Give each child a piece of brown or yellow construction paper. Help them trace around both their hands on their papers. Have them cut out their hand shapes and set them aside to use for antlers. Give the children large brown construction paper triangles to use for reindeer faces. Have them place their triangles, points down, on a table. Help them fold over the two upper corners of their triangles to make ears. then have them glue their hand-shape antlers at the tops of their triangles and add black construction paper circles for eyes and noses.
Set out small tree branches, shallow pans of tempera paint and large pieces of construction paper. Let the children pretend that the branches are antlers. Have them dip the tips of the antlers into the paint, then gently brush them across their papers.
Give the children triangles cut out of brown posterboard to use for reindeer faces. Help them each tape two twigs to the backs of their triangles for antlers. Then let them glue on black construction paper circles for eyes and noses. Complete the puppet by attaching popsicle stick handles to the backs of the reindeer faces.
Discuss the many different ways that people and animals can run. Have the children pretend to be reindeer. Ask them to experiment with different ways of running such as fast, slow, backward, in slow motion, in place, in a circle, on tip-toes, side-by-side with a partner, in a race with giant strides, or through the snow with prancing steps.
Discuss with the children the kinds of tracks different animals make. Show them pictures of reindeer and other animal tracks. Talk about how tracks are made in snow or mud.
Extension: Cut sponge pieces into reindeer track shapes and glue them on small pieces of wood. Let the children make their own reindeer tracks by pressing the sponge stamps first on ink pads, then on pieces of construction paper.
Draw matching pictures of different animal tracks (including reindeer tracks) on pairs of index cards. Then mix up the cards and let the children take turns finding the matching pairs of tracks.
Variation: For a more difficult game, draw pictures of animals on one set of index cards and pictures of their tracks on another set. Then have the children match each animal to its tracks.
Ten Little Reindeer
Sung to : "Ten Little Indians"
One little, two little,
Three little reindeer,
Four little, five little,
Six little reindeer,
Seven little, eight little,
Nine little reindeer,
Playing in the snow.
To make 4 reindeer sandwiches, you will need 1 slice of bread, 8 celery sticks, peanut butter, 8 raisins, and 4 cherries or red berries. The night before, remove the crust from the slice of bread and cut it twice diagonally to make 4 triangular pieces. Freeze the cut pieces of bread. (It is easier for the children to spread peanut butter on frozen bread.) Slice each of the celery sticks halfway down and refrigerate them overnight in a bowl of water. (The sliced halves of the celery sticks will curl outward and resemble antlers.) The next day, have the children spread peanut butter on their frozen bread triangles and place them points down on small plates. Then let them create reindeer faces by adding raisins for eyes, cherries for noses and celery sticks for antlers.