Bottom Line: A Christmas activity app that offers kids singing, puzzles, flashcards with simple poetry, and the ability to create, direct, and record their own plays.
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Magikid Christmas, from developer Magikid, opens to a screen depicting a stage with a closed curtain and several hanging signs that made me think of ornaments, so for the rest of the review, just consider them so. Okay? To activate any of the activities, users must pull down on the ornament that corresponds with what they want to do. For some reason, my little one found this delightful and spent a full ten minutes backing out of activities just so she could yank on the ornaments again. Sometimes it's the little details like tugging on those ornaments rather than just tapping a button that can delight a kid.
But I digress…
The first activity, activated by pulling on the Santa hat ornament, brings up the singalong portion. The user can sing right along with "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" as many times as she likes. Unfortunately, that appears to be the only song available. Boo.
Next comes the "flashcards" section, where your child can choose from among ten different cards hanging across a sliding line. Each card tells the child the name of the object on the flip side and then there is a short poem relating to the word. The poems are simple and rhyme a lot; they're the kind of easy ditties that kids appreciate. The user can also tap on the word again to hear it said aloud. This would be helpful for kids that are learning to read.
The target ornament leads into the games section. The games offered are simple jigsaw puzzles. They are nice little puzzles that work smoothly, but the user may lose interest quickly because the difficulty level never seems to increase.
The ornament with the director's clapper leads us straight to the stage. To me this is the meat of the app. Your little ones can create, direct, and record a simple play straight out of their own imagination. The user records all of the dialogue, so it truly can be about anything. There are two backgrounds available: a winter snow scene and a warm cabin scene with a crackling fire and a Christmas tree. Your little director can make the four characters provided (including the big guy himself) have a pretend snowball fight or drink hot chocolate by the fire . . .or anything else he might want them to do. Though the characters and scenery are a little limited, the user's imagination doesn't have to be. Record the whole thing and watch it over and over.
This app is perfectly acceptable as is, but it is a bit limited in content in many sections. I'd love to see more songs in the sing-a-long, and either more types of games or at least varying levels of difficulty in the puzzles. The stage is the most entertaining part, and what is there is quite good. The app gets extra points for that, and for the creativity of it. But with the addition of more characters, different scenery, and more props to choose from, it could really open up your child's fantasy world.
This is a cute little Christmas app that will entertain little users for periods of time. But I really want to see them kick it up a notch and add some content to earn a higher rating.