Game

Welcome to part five of our festive roundup series! We’ve been showing you all the best apps to help you stay on top of the holiday season with nothing more than an iPhone or iPad. The final part is coming tomorrow!

Part one: the best apps for making plans.
Part two: the best apps for gift shopping.
Part three: the best travel and weather apps.
Part four: the best food and drink apps.

Keeping kids happy

You can tell it’s no longer summer when your kids start demanding to know how long it is until Christmas — every single hour of the day. As the big day draws near, keep them distracted with games and apps!

Here, then, are our four favorite festive apps for little ones.

Toca Hair Salon – Christmas Gift [Free]

If we’re honest, Santa’s look’s getting a bit old, and it’s time for something a bit different. In Toca Hair Salon, you can restyle his beard and hair, adding some vibrant color and entirely unnecessary Christmas decorations. And because it’s Christmas, you can do precisely the same to Topzy, an oddly sentient and grumpy Christmas tree. (Or perhaps he only got grumpy because we painted him orange.)

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Get Toca Hair Salon

A Charlie Brown Christmas [$5/£5]

For many people, the holidays aren’t complete without checking in on the Peanuts gang. This interactive book reimagines the 1960s classic cartoon for the touchscreen, enabling you to interact with animations, play small games, and read along with the narrative. It’s really sweet and even the odd bug on current versions of iOS (the clock never seems to go away) doesn’t really spoil the fun.

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Get Charlie Brown Xmas

Bogga Christmas Tree [$3/£3]

You might balk at spending a few bucks on a virtual Christmas tree, but it’s a good bet for kids. First, it might stop them wrecking your real tree through regularly ‘redesigning’ it. Secondly, a premium app means no hideous adverts interrupting things every eight seconds as per most of Bogga’s rivals. And finally, you can make custom baubles from photos of anything in front of your iPhone’s camera, including your own gurning face. Perfect!

Get Bogga Xmas Tree

Sleeps To Christmas 2 [$2/£2]

The countdown app mentioned earlier isn’t exactly aimed at kids, what with its weird neon tree and explosions. Sleeps to Christmas 2 Premium, though, is bang on. This is basic stuff – Santa or some other grinning wintry character stands next to a sign that states how far away Christmas is. Initially, it displays ‘sleeps’. But if your kid demands precision, you can have the sign count down the seconds until the big day.

Get Sleeps to Xmas 2