Though the idea of Christmas with all the family seems wonderful in theory, if you have several kids to entertain it can be hard work. So here's Macworld's guide to some of the best iPad apps for ensuring harmony in your household throughout the holidays.
For younger youngsters, the newly-launched Sesame Street iPad app, called The Monster at the End of This Book, is just the ticket. Featuring Grover as narrator, it'll help them develop their reading skills using reverse psychology - Grover is so scared of the monster mentioned in the title that he tries to convince readers not to turn the page.
Sir Charlie Stinky Socks and the Really Big Adventure is an entertaining app that should enthrall children (and parents) of all ages. Based on the award-winning book by Kristina Stephenson, the app lets you explore Sir Charlie's world, with its monstrous trees and terrible beasties. There are colouring-in tasks, and you can touch on the words to hear them spoken by actor Michael Moloney. It is available from the App Store now and costs £2.99.
For older children, the Guinness World Records: At Your Fingertips app for iPad, also priced at £2.99, has plenty to offer. If your child fancies taking on Usain Bolt in the 100m then they can do so using only their fingers. Keeping more than one child entertained with this app is easy too - simply start a competition to see who can type the alphabet backwards the fastest. You'll also find memory tests as well as access to a massive archive of World Record stats - enough to keep anyone quiet for hours.
For bright sparks with an interest in astronomy, Solar System for iPad is the perfect app. You can explore the major objects in the solar system with this app and immerse yourself in the 150 pages of detailed information and colourful illustrations. It costs £7.99.
Finally, one for the grown-ups: though the Sky+ for iPad app might not be an entertainment-focused app per se, it could dig you out of a hole - imagine, when you arrive at Auntie Mildred's, that you realise you've forgotten to set your Sky+ box to record Doctor Who. This free app will let you set up the recording remotely with no fuss, and it can also help you plan your - and your kids' - TV-based entertainment this Christmas.
This story, "iPad Apps to Keep Kids Entertained at Christmas" was originally published by Macworld U.K..