Now that Thanksgiving has come and gone, we are diving full swing into everything Christmas!!! Our house is decorated, carols are playing, our family pictures for Christmas cards have been taken (at a responsible social distance), our elf on the shelf is here (and in quarantine for 14 days- luckily he brought his tiny lap top to email Santa about our littles’ behavior) and presents are arriving from the internet and getting wrapped! Christmas may look different this year (I’m SO sad we’ll be missing out on hosting our annual party!), but we are bound and determined for it to be the most wonderful time of the year (which may not be too hard considering we’ve been living through a plague for most of 2020! LoL) I thought we’d start off our Christmas learning with a fun filled reindeer week! Don’t forget to hop on your sleigh and fly over to my toddler post Little Deers for more great ideas like a Rudolph jingle bell shaker craft, painting ideas, and a reindeer food sensory bin!
-Rudolph song: We added this song to our daily calendar time each day this week! As we sang I pointed to the words to build sight word recognition, text direction and “return swoop” skills (when you go from the end of one line to the start of the next while reading).
-Rudolph cause and effect: I read the story “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” to my little, then we reviewed what cause and effect is. Next, I had him identify 3 cause and effect relationships from the story and I wrote them down on the chalkboard.
-Reindeer directed drawing: We did one of these with pumpkins back in November and my little enjoyed it so much we did another for reindeer! It builds oral language skills and following directions (and math is even thrown in if you use shape words!) You basically just tell them step by step how to draw a reindeer face. I got the idea from Busy Kids, Happy Mom who also provides printable directions but I just gave my own directions!
-R is for reindeer writing page: I got this page from a free reindeer printable packet on Teachers Pay Teachers. I love how it included a word along with the letter practice- my little was very excited to write “reindeer” and did that first! LoL
-Build a shape reindeer: This activity was so much fun- I also did it with my toddler and he loved it (modified of course… I still used shape words when giving him directions, but I helped him find them and did the glue for him then had him stick the parts down)! I cut out several shapes representing each part of the reindeer (ie. circle nose, rectangle legs, oval body) then used the shape words to direct my littles in putting the deer together (ie. Glue the trapezoid to the top end of the oval to make a head). It took some prep work, but they turned out so cute! What a fun way to practice shapes! I got this idea from Mrs. Plemon’s Kindergarten!
-10 little reindeer number ordering: I printed, cut out, and laminated two pages of these cute little reindeer then numbered them 1-10. I gave them to my little and had him identify the numbers and put them in the correct order.
-Reindeer clip and count: I got these adorable reindeer clip and count cards for free on Teachers Pay Teachers. You just print them, laminate them (if you want to) then have your little count the dots on the ten frame and clip the corresponding number.
-9 reindeer page: I got a whole set of great reindeer activity pages for free on Teachers Pay Teachers, and this one working on the number 9 was one of them! It was great and included the number, the word, and counting on a ten frame and with tallies.
-Flying reindeer experiment: My littles both LOVED this one! I printed and cut out a small reindeer (you can adjust your printing size to make it smaller) then taped it to a toilet paper tube. Then we strung the tube on a string, and I told my little we were going to use a balloon to make the reindeer fly by blowing up the balloon, then letting it go. I explained that the air whooshing out of the balloon would push the reindeer along the string. Then I had him predict how far the reindeer would fly and we unraveled the string so it was that long. Next I blew up the balloon, taped it to the tube using packing tape, had my little firmly hold the other end, and let it go- our reindeer easily made it to the end of the string, so we tried a few more times with a longer string. It was loads of fun to play around with! I got the idea from Team Cartwright.
-Reindeer launcher: I cut out a tiny reindeer from construction paper then made a paper pocket by folding a 3×2 inch piece of paper in half top to bottom then folding in the sides and taping them down. I taped the reindeer to the pocket, then gave it to my little along with a straw. So the idea is, you put the straw into the pocket then blow on it to launch the reindeer. We used this to discuss force and motion (we found if we blew harder, he flew further because there was more force behind it). We also threw in some math by using a tape measure to see how far we could get the reindeer to fly! I got this idea from JDaniel4’s Mom.
-Reindeer book and fact foldable: Have I mentioned how much I love foldable graphic organizers? LoL So for this activity we just read the book “A Day in the Life of Polar Animals: Reindeer” (which was a perfect nonfiction text for early learners!) then I made the foldable by folding a sheet of paper in half left to right, then in half top to bottom. Then you fold down the top left corner (it should be where all the folds join together if that makes sense). When you open it up, you should have a parallelogram in the center of your page and 4 boxes around it. I wrote “reindeer” in the center and then had my little tell me 4 reindeer facts from the book to write in each of the boxes!
-Reindeer diagram: I had my little color his reindeer (he colored its face blue because it’s “really cold”…LoL) then carefully cut out the diagram words. Next I read the words for him, let him find their correct spot on the reindeer and glue them down. This was another activity in the free reindeer pack from Teachers Pay Teachers.
-Popsicle stick reindeer ornament: These came out so cute and were a perfect addition to our tree! First I had my little paint 3 popsicle sticks brown. Once they were dry, I hot glued them together in a triangle shape and added eyes, a nose, and a ribbon to hang it with and voila! Cute little reindeer! You could even make several of these for your little to give away as Christmas gifts!
-Paper plate reindeer: I had my little mix the “magic Christmas colors” red, yellow and green on a paper plate to magically make brown, then use the brown paint to cover the whole plate. Then I traced and cut out his hands for antlers, and gave him ovals drawn on black paper and a circle on red paper to cut out. When the paint was dry, he glued the eyes, antlers and nose on to finish his reindeer! I got this idea from Super Simple (and now that I look at theirs I’m realizing it came out way cuter because they added extra details like ears and a snout! Oh well!)
- a straw
- tape measure
- paper plate
- 3 popsicle sticks
- googly eyes
- red pom pom