Archive for December, 2015

An Awesome Digital Advent Calendar to Enhance Your Holidays

By Jinny Gudmundsen, Editor of Tech with Kids Magazine

The first of December is always a big day in our household, because it means we can start our yearly tradition of opening the first day to our Advent Calendar. Over the years, the various cardboard lift-the-flap versions inevitably wear out, so I am constantly on the lookout for a new one.

For the past several years, I have been looking for a digital version that was not commercial but was special in what it offered as each day’s surprise. I had not been able to find one I could recommend — until this year. Thanks to a Twitter follower’s suggestion, I checked out Jacquie Lawson Advent Calendar. It has everything I had been looking for in a digital advent calendar, with a nice combination of delightful animated scenes accompanied with nostalgic holiday music, art activities, and interactive games. Jacquie Lawson is a brilliant illustrator and animator, and her site is one of the best for beautiful e-cards.

Jacquie Lawson Advent Calendar

The theme of this year’s Jacquie Lawson Advent Calendar is a Victorian town at Christmas.


Charming Daily Surprises

So far, I have been charmed by every daily surprise presented in this digital advent calendar. Here is what I have experienced so far:

Day 1: Watch a band assemble in a holiday-festooned Gazebo for impromptu concert. This is an advent calendar’s version of a flash mob.



Day 2: I loved how the calendar invited me to add some color to the constantly changing city scene by designing my own stained-glass window for one of the town’s buildings.



Day 3: See an animated scene unfold where a bicycle-riding postman mixes up his delivery by dropping a package, and a cute dog saves the day.


Day 4: Play a game involving matching colored ornaments. The ornaments are beautiful to look at, and this variation of a match-three game works well in this 10-level game.


Day 5: Listen to a quintet of teddy bears playing string instruments.


Day 6: Watch as Christmas carolers sneakily assemble on a doorstep, with a new one appearing each time a person or a vehicle passes by.

Jacquie-Lawson-Carolers1 Jacquie-Lawson-Carolers2


Day 7: Peek in on a hilarious scene inside of a hat shop where a fussy feline fashionista directs her owner’s selection of a new hat.

Jacquie-Lawson-Hatstore1 Jacquie-Lawson-Hatstore2


Day 8: Be entertained by a vignette involving two dogs uniting at a train station.


Day 9: Create your own Christmas Card to appear in the stationery store’s window.

Jacquie-Lawson-Advent-2015-screenshot3 Jacquie-Lawson-Advent-2015-screenshot4

Day 10: Observe an adorable animated scene about how animals help a little girl to reach the letterbox so she can mail her Christmas card.


Day 11: Visit an art emporium and see reproductions of famous artwork depicting winter scenes.


Day 12: Contribute to the townscape by decorating a hot air balloon that you see lazily gliding over the town.



How to Download This Advent Calendar

This delightful Advent Calendar can be downloaded on the Jacquie Lawson website for $4.00. The site offers a discount for pricing if you buy more than one, making this a great gift to send all of the kids on your Christmas list.

I had a terrific experience when playing it via a browser on an iPad or from a computer. But when I tried to download the file to my computer, it didn’t work for me on either my Windows 10 or iMac since it comes in an “.air” format. I would encourage you to go the browser route.

More Holiday Fun with Apps

For more holiday fun with apps, check out this rec list:



Fun Christmas & Holiday Apps for Kids




You might also want to check out DAY 8 of the 31 Days of Play found on the Toca Boca site. I wrote that article about using holiday apps with your kids.