Reindeer originate from the most northern areas of the planet. They are the only species of deer in which both male and female have antlers. Male reindeer shed their antlers in winter, while female reindeer keep theirs until they give birth in the spring so that they can compete for food while pregnant. Reindeer are traditionally associated with Christmas because they pull Father Christmas's sleigh.
Santa's reindeer were first named Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen in the 1823 poem "A Visit from St Nicholas" (also known as "The Night Before Christmas".) Although Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer wasn't part of the original group in this work, he first featured in a 1939 booklet written by Robert L. May and is usually depicted as the lead reindeer, because his bright red nose shows the way through the fog.
You can make some fun Christmas cards using reindeer which will also serve as mementoes. You could use a child's handprint with the fingers acting as antlers to make a reindeer Christmas card, or else use the thumbprints of the whole family to make a reindeer card.
|Craft from Jennifer's Little World|
You could also cut around your child's hand to make a sweet reindeer decoration.
If you have some wooden clothes pegs you could make a lovely clothes peg reindeer ornament. Even young children can help with this as there is no cutting involved.
On Christmas Eve, we like to make reindeer food to scatter on the lawn. Just mix together a few handfuls of porridge oats with some glitter and store in a little plastic bag. Just before your child goes to bed, pop outside and sprinkle onto the garden for the reindeer when they come to visit that night. Don't forget to leave a carrot out by the stockings too!
With a simple heart shaped cutter you can make some reindeer cookies that are really fun for children to help decorate.
You can also make some really simple reindeer cupcakes which are really sweet.
You can make your own reindeer antlers quite easily with a plastic hairband - here are some instructions for felt reindeer antlers. Then you can play Santa and his sleigh.
That's Not My Reindeer - I can't recommend the books in this series enough, they are fantastic for little fingers.
Olive, the Other Reindeer - A lovely festive reindeer story.
The Little Reindeer - Another story about a reindeer at Christmas.
Reindeer's Christmas Party - A lovely pop-up book about what Santa's reindeer get up to when the present delivering is over.
Reindeer Shoes - Gorgeous little shoes that can be worn all winter, not just at Christmas.
Activity Plush Reindeer - A lovely first soft toy for a young toddler, with lots to keep them entertained.
Roofle Reindeer Plush Toy - A more realistic stuffed reindeer toy for toddlers.