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Fun Reindeer Activities You Can Use in the Preschool Classroom

written by: lhunsicker • edited by: Elizabeth Wistrom • updated: 1/20/2012

Ready, set, count! See how many reindeer legs there are when Santa has them hooked up to his sleigh. Preschool students learn where the reindeer live and how they are different from the deer we see every day with these fun classroom activities.

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    Preschool children are fascinated by reindeer! Capitalize on that by introducing some fun reindeer activities for the classroom this holiday season.

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    Circle Time Questions for Discussion

    This helps in finding out what the children know and need to learn and gets your lesson going.

    1. Have you ever seen a reindeer?
    2. Where do reindeer live?

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    Stories

    Stories help your students practice listening skills and build vocabulary. Here are a few suggestions to get you started:

    • Reindeer Moon by Mark Kimball Moulton
    • Reindeer, by R.M. Cuthbert
    • How the Reindeer Got Their Antlers, by Geraldine McCaghrean
    • Reindeer, by Emery Bermhard
    • Reindeer, by Caroline Arnold

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    Songs and Finger Plays

    Songs and finger plays are a great compliment to your reindeer activities for the classroom. They also help your students build their vocabulary and practice listening skills.

    Do the Reindeer Hokey Pokey (To the tune of Hokey Pokey)

    You put your antlers in

    You put your antlers out (use your head)

    You put your antlers in and shake them all about

    You do the reindeer pokey and you turn yourself around

    That’s what it’s all about ….hey, Rudolph!

    Continues with other verses:

    You put your hooves in… (Use feet)

    You put your tail in… (Use back in)

    You put your red nose in… (Use nose)

    You put your reindeer body in… (Your body)

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    Math Activities

    Here is a fun math game you can play with your students:

    Reindeer Leg Counting Game

    For this activity, you will use a picture or a toy sleigh. Put a reindeer in front of it, and have the kids tell you how many legs the reindeer has. Then, add another reindeer and ask again how many legs. Keep doing this until you get to at least eight reindeer.

    This can also be done by showing how many reindeer Santa uses to pull his sleigh (8) and then subtract from that. Try this activity for addition and subtraction as well as memory enhancing from what they have just counted. (depending on the child's age.)

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    Science

    Compare a deer to a reindeer as a science component to your reindeer activities for the classroom. How are they the same and how are they different? Use Zoo Books magazines and other informational texts or posters to show the children how these two kinds of deer are the same and different. Venn diagrams are a great way to organize information for this type of activity.

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    Language Arts

    Build vocabulary and comprehension skills by using the story of How Reindeer Got Their Antlers. Ask the children what their favorite part of the story is and then have them write a sentence about it and draw a picture with it, or draw a picture and label the picture as a scene from the story.

    For the language element, you can also create a temporary word wall for the reindeer by naming the different types of deer/ reindeer and possibly sleigh could be added again this is depending on the age of your students.

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    Arts and Crafts

    Here are two arts and crafts components to your reindeer activities for the classroom:

    Hand and Foot Reindeer (Fine and gross motor skills)

    Trace around each child’s shoe on brown construction paper. Then, trace around each child’s hands on orange construction paper. Cut out each of the hands and feet. Glue hands on the back of the foot’s top as antlers. (One hand on each side of one foot.) Draw on eyes or use wiggle eyes, and add a red pompom for a nose.

    Reindeer Hats (Fine and gross motor skills)

    • Each child will need one brown strip of construction paper for a headband.
    • Close headband together with glue or staple. Cover staple with tape.
    • Trace each child’s hands on brown construction paper.
    • Cut them out.
    • Glue or staple hands on each side of the headband for antlers.
    • Attach 2 wiggle eyes and a red pompom for the nose.
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    Classroom Library Area

    In the Library area, consider having pictures of reindeer along with magazines and books about reindeer. This way the children can learn and explore about the reindeer and where it lives.

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    Have fun with your reindeer activities for the classroom! Try these tasty Rudolph snack ideas to accompany the lesson.

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    References

    ABC Preschool. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.abchom-preschool

    First School. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.firstschool.com

    Indiana's Academic Standards and resources. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.indianastandards.org

    Kids' Soup. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.kidssoup.com

    Kinder Art. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.kinderart.com

    Perpetual Preschool. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.perpetualpreschool.com