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Top 5 Apple iPad Apps for Kids

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NEW YORK ( TheStreet) - Looking forward to a vacation? A warm beach, freshly powdered mountain, long romantic dinners, rounds of golf, wild nights of dancing or hours of reading by the fire...Getting away for the holidays can be the best gift of all.

But vacations around the winter holidays usually involve more family time than some are used to spending. And, as adorable as those little cherubs can be when all is merry and bright, there is bound to be a moment (or two) when mommy, daddy, auntie, or grandpa needs to unplug.

Fortunately, an Apple (AAPL) iPad is easier to pack and port than dolls, toys and board games. And chances are that your kids will enjoy the expensive device as much as you do. According to a Nielsen study earlier this year of tablet-owning households, 70% of children under 12 use the tablet.

To ensure everyone has a memorable holiday in the sand and sun or frost-chilled air, TheStreet recommends downloading these five, child-friendly apps:

Toca Hair Salon

With Toca Hair Salon , children 3 and above can play stylist for six charming characters.

Harry, Berry, Mary, Rita, Larry and Fuzz react with sounds and expressions as kids shampoo, towel, cut, dye, blow-dry and style their hair. Select the G.R.O. potion, and their hair grows back again. With this entertaining app, the risk of becoming a beauty school dropout is slim.

Available for $1.99, this app is compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad, but requires iOS 4.3 or later.

Scribble Press

Children can become book publishers with Scribble Press . This elaborate app offers 50 themed templates with illustrations and hundreds of markers, stamps and stickers to make storytelling easy for a range of ages.

The app prompts users to select cover art and a border, apply stickers, input a title and an author and off they go! Perhaps with their parents' help, youngsters can add text and comic bubble language, upload images or photos to create a book. Or, with a single image, users can also create customized puzzles or greeting cards. The most rewarding step, of course, is publishing the masterpiece to the public Scribble Press Book Gallery, sending it to loved ones through email, Facebook (FB) , Twitter or Pinterest, or ordering a printed copy.

For an additional 99 cents, parents can download the Holidays Story Pack to serve as a festively-themed journal for the upcoming holiday vacation. The package offers one new story with audio for non-readers, 27 thematic stickers and 3 additional backgrounds.

Available for $2.99, this app is only compatible with iPad and requires iOS 5.1 or later.

Cupcake Maker

Cupcake Maker lets kids enjoy baking without creating a mess.

The process is realistic, starting with a selection of cake mixes. Then, children have to add the ingredients, stir the batter, select six cupcake tray liners and watch the cupcakes bake.