Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Christmas Reindeer Activities

Children build language and emergent literacy skills through exposure to rhymes, songs, poetry, and stories.  By learning these fun rhymes and stories, they will increase their oral fluency skills which help build reading fluency.

Rhymes and chants are the ideal to focus on rhyming words.  Here is a new poem that I wrote about Santa and his reindeer.  Nine Little Reindeer provides rhythmic fun for everyone! Teach your children this rhyme and let them become familiar with the rhythm and language.  I made this prop below for whole group, small group, and as an independent literacy center.  The paint stick provides great fine motor practice too, as the children use their pincer grasp to add and remove Santa and his reindeer.

Amazon links included in this post.

  • 1 paint stick
  • 10 clothespins
  • Red duct tape
  • Glue gun or craft glue
  • FREE Printable (see below)

Nine little reindeer guiding Santa's sleigh.
Santa said, "Up, up, and away!"
The first one said, "Here we go!"
The second one said, "I see some snow!"
The third one said, "There's a nip in the air."
The fourth one said, "But we don't care!"
The fifth one said, "Let's fly across the sky."
The sixth one said, "We're going fast! Oh my!"
The seventh one said, "I see something bright."
The eighth one said, "It's a shiny red light!"
The ninth one said, "My nose is what you see."
Santa and his reindeer shouted, "WHEE!"
Then SWISH went the sleigh as it drove out of sight.
Merry Christmas to all and to all a GOOD NIGHT!

Kathy Griffin (c) Copyright 2014
Permission to post this poem on the Internet must be granted by the author. 
Please link to my site/this page if referring to this activity.


The children can act out the poem and wear antlers, reindeer headbands, or hold reindeer cards. They can put on a performance play for the class and parents too!

Choose 10 children to play the roles of the nine reindeer and Santa.  You can have a narrator or the class say the parts of the poem that are not the dialogue or sentences in quotations.  Keep on reading for the FREE printable link below.

Puppet Stands for Little Hands helps children put on plays independently or in a small group.  The cups provide the stability children need to move their puppet props as they retell the story.  I use the cups from the Dollar Tree in the birthday supply aisle for my puppet stands. They come in many colors and are sturdy.

  • Glue puppet pieces onto popsicle sticks.
  • Cut a small slit in the top of a paper cup.   
  • Place the popsicle stick in the cup.  
  • Read to play!
  • Remove the puppet sticks and stack the cups when finished.  
  • Store in small container or bin.
  • Play repeat and echo.
  • Say a line to the poem and have the children repeat it.
  • Do a choral reading where everyone says it together. 
  • Find the rhyming words in the poem.
  • When the children have learned the poem, leave off the rhyming word and have them guess what word would fit.
  • When finished with the poem, list the rhyming words on chart paper.
  • Can they children think of other words that rhyme?
  • Focus rhyming words include:  sleigh, away, go, snow, air, care, sky, my, bright, light, see, whee, sight, night
  • Put the reindeer in numerical order.
  • Teach math skills such as ordinal position (1st, 2nd, 3rd . . ). 

If you like this activity you might be interested in the full packet which includes the printable story, headband cards, story retelling cards, and puppet pieces for the Puppet Stands for Little Hands.  To find out more about this packet CLICK HERE.

Click HERE for your FREE printable that can be used with the paint stick activity.  It also includes the words to the poem. 

Have fun using this poem to teach rhyming, number recognition, and ordinal position.

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