Bottom Line: A fun, simple to use Christmas app that allows the user to decorate six different trees with a wide variety of ornaments. 123 Kids Fun Christmas Tree contains very basic content for $0.99. Children will enjoy decorating their own Christmas trees, but the app is not highly engaging. It could be used for cheap e-mailed Christmas cards, though.
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Many families join together one day out of every year to put up a Christmas tree. Some may have a real tree, while others prefer artificial. There are trees with just bulb ornaments and others with ornaments that have been passed down over the years. No matter what a family's tree looks like, they only get to decorate it once a year for Christmas. It is such a fun event, especially for kids, so why not allow them to do it more? Now, kids can decorate trees as often as they want with 123 Kids Fun Christmas Tree. (They can even reach the tall branches!) Want to decorate a Christmas tree in August? Just open the app and go for it!
The main screen provides six different Christmas trees to choose from. With the click of a button, a child can choose a tree to decorate. How easy is that? No going out to buy one or even hauling it down from the attic! Once a tree is chosen, it is time to decorate with a variety of ornaments. There are many categories at the bottom of the screen, such as lights, star toppers, bells, fruits, vehicles, dinosaurs and more. Clicking on a category moves it to the right side of the screen and opens up its contents vertically.
The use of the app is a simple drag and drop method. A child drags ornaments onto the tree to complete it. One unique element of the app is the option to use a picture from your device's library to make an ornament. This is a great way to personalize the tree. This can be done by clicking the bulb category and then choosing the bulb with the face that appears on the left side of the screen. Pictures can only be chosen from the device's library. It would be better if a child could take a picture of themselves from within the app to add to a bulb. If there are no pictures for a child to choose from, they will have to leave the app to take pictures first.
Decorated trees can be saved as cards. The user taps the camera at the top to take a picture of the tree and then proceeds to the card section. The app automatically fills in "Merry Christmas!" and "Your" (not sure what that's about), but the user has the option to change the words to personalize it. Once the card is completed, it can be saved to the device's photo library or it can be emailed directly from the app. Connecting to e-mail requires the user to hold down the email button for a couple seconds. The app automatically fills in an email message that can be changed and attaches the card. This is a fun addition to the app, but be warned that a child can easily access this and send emails to whoever they can pull from the device's contacts.
The music in this app can be turned on and off from the home screen only. I wish you could do it from any screen, as a child would have to exit decorating to turn off the music. This may not be a huge deal, but it is a preference to make things easier for users (especially parents). I would love for the music to be familiar Christmas songs to make this app more engaging.
Overall, this is a simple app that would be easy to use for young children. It provides the fun of decorating a tree repeatedly, but it is $0.99 and many children will probably not play with it repeatedly. The basic elements of this app make it an easy to use app, but as a paid app, it doesn't have any qualities that make it stand out. It runs well, and does not have any big flaws, but I would love to see more engaging elements, such as kids' Christmas sing-a-long songs and even interactive elements to click on for different actions or sounds. This would help to keep children engaged longer. If your child loves decorating a Christmas tree and would like to do it more often, it will be worth the money to have a tree always on hand, but for others it may just be a fun app to get through some holiday madness in short spurts.
Heather S. only half decorated her tree this year. She should probably finish that before Christmas.