Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Holiday fun for the kids

Santa's Village, at noradsanta.org


Hi, everyone! Those of you with little (or medium) ones should check out the Santa Tracker options online this year. Both Google Santa Tracker and NORAD's Santa Tracker sites are up and running, with games that unlock each day, advent calendar-style. I've been messin' around with them, and BOTH look great!

The Official NORAD Santa Tracker has traditionally been the one we've used at our house at Christmas. If you're not familiar with it, the site allows your kids to follow Santa's travels around the world on Christmas Eve, and they have a countdown to the big day during the month of December. They've always had sound clips, short videos, etc., but this year, they've really upped their game, with better graphics, more games, songs, short movies, and now, apps that you can download, too. Their site is easy to navigate, for kids who are old enough to read, and can be viewed in multiple languages. Make sure and have your little readers scroll down on the North Pole / Santa's Village page, for the NORAD HQ section and the Secret Santa Files! A good thing just got better.

I'd never seen Google's Santa Tracker before today, but it's also chock-full o' fun for the kids. Their interactive Santa's Village (right on the main page) is super-cool- try clicking on EVERYTHING! I just discovered that the sun, if clicked, becomes a moon, and the whole view changes. The site is easily navigated without reading, perfect for your pre- and new readers, and the graphics are fun and bright! I checked out a game (unlocked on the 2nd of the month- look for the bouncing racing flag in Santa's Village), and was pleased to discover that the instructions for the controls are completely non-verbal or written- it's all visual and intuitive. I wish this had been around when Thing Two was littler- it would have been right up his alley. As it is, though, I think both kids are going to have a good time with it.

Of course, the REAL fun will begin on Christmas Eve...can't wait to see what both sites have to offer, as Santa starts the Big Delivery Run! Google's is going to feature the technological wonders of Santa's sleigh, and Google maps technology- looking forward to seeing that. NORAD will be using radar, satellites, SantaCams, and jetfighters in their tracking. Even if you and yours don't get a chance to visit the sites beforehand, do make sure and hit them up on Christmas Eve- it's fun, free, and festive! The boys are going to be so excited.

CLICK HERE for the NORAD Santa Tracker!

CLICK HERE for the Google Santa Tracker!

In other news, it's a balmy 21 degrees here in the City of Trees, and it's spittin' snow. Dare I say it?
It's, well... it's beginning to look a lot like...Christmas.
(Sorry. Had to do it.)

What traditions do you follow on Christmas Eve? Do you do the NORAD tracker with your kids on Christmas Eve? Have any of you used the Google Santa Tracker before? What did your kids think of it?

~

4 comments:

  1. Have a happy holiday season my friend :) have fun!

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    1. Aw, thanks! I wish a wonderful holiday season to you and your family, as well! :)

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  2. Santa's coming! Santa's coming! I know him.

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    1. *Giggle* Me, too! This whole thing is being CRAZY-anticipated by the Things. Fever pitch, I tells ya!

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