Reindeer Fun Facts and Craft Round-Up

Can you believe Christmas is only a week away? To get you in the mood and perhaps to entertain your kids, I am sharing some fun facts about reindeer and a craft and activity round-up.

Fun Facts

  1. Reindeer are actually caribou. Reindeer are usually considered the domesticated ones while caribou are the wild ones. Reindeer are usually found in Scandinavia and Siberia. The reindeer typically have shorter legs than the wild caribou. They can be found in Canada, Alaska, Asia, Greenland, Siberia, Scandinavia, and some states of the United States.
  2. Caribou can run up to 48 mph. However, their normal walk is slow to conserve energy.
  3. According to the Smithsonian reindeer have been domesticated for around 2000 years. Some scientists believe they were among the first animal to be domesticated.
  4. Many Arctic societies still use reindeer for food, clothing, and material for shelter.
  5. Most reindeer are very quiet. Normally the females communicate in summer (after the birth of offspring) and males communicate in the autumn (mating season). There is one species whose knees make a clicking noise so the deer can stay together during a blizzard.
  6. Reindeer are the only type of deer that both the male and female grow antlers. The antlers fall off and regrow every year. Males’ antlers fall off at the beginning of December (after mating season). Females keep their thinner antlers through the winter. (So it looks like Santa’s reindeer are actually females.) Females lose them after giving birth. They use their antlers to dig in the snow for food in the winter months.
  7. Spitsbergen reindeer01
    Female Reindeer Lomvi [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], from Wikimedia Commons

  8. Their noses are designed to warm the air before it reaches their lungs.
  9. They are herbivores. They consume plants, grasses and lichens.
  10. Some North American caribou migrate over 3,000 miles in a year (more than other land animal).
  11. Their hooves expand in the summer when the ground is soft and shrink in the winter when the ground is hard. They act like snowshoes in the winter and paddles in the water. They have hollow centers to help scoop the snow when searching for food and sharp edges to help walk on ice and climb rocks.
  12. Until the 19th century there were caribou in southern Idaho.
  13. The name “reindeer” has nothing to do with the reins of a sled. It comes from the Norse word “hreinn” which means deer.
  14. The northern most species are much lighter than their southern relatives.
  15. The biggest predator of caribou calves (in late spring and fall) are golden eagles.
  16. Caribou are considered to be ungulates which means they chew cud and are cloven-hooved.
  17. Caribou babies become independent at one and half years.
  18. Caribou are endangered and some subspecies are critically endangered.


Craft Round-Up

To get you and your kids into the mood. Apparently there are many reindeer crafts around the internet, so I divided them into some groups.

Paper Reindeer

1) Candy Cane Reindeer                           10) Reindeer Bag 
       from JDaniel4's Mom                                 from A Dab of Glue will Do
2) Rudolph Paper Craft                                         11) Reindeer Bookmark
      from I Heart Crafty Things                          from Red Ted Art
3) Newspaper Reindeer Craft                    12) Easy Felt Covered Ornaments
     from I Heart Crafty Things 
4) Coffee Sleeve Reindeer                         13) Reindeer Fingerpint Gift Tags
      from Laly Mom                                     from Messy Little Monster   
5) Sponge Painted Reindeer Wrapping Paper 14) Paper Rudolph Ornament
      from Artsy Craftsy Mom                               from Red Ted Art
6) Paper Reindeer Baubles                       15) Paper Reindeer Puppet Template
      from Red Ted Art                                        from Red Ted Art
7) Changing the Color of Reindeer's Nose  16) Flying Reindeer Craft
       from JDaniel4's Mom                                from Kids Craft Room
8)  Cardboard Reindeer                            17) Christmas Reindeer Cards
        from Kids Activities                                  from Picklebums
9)   Paper Plate Reindeer                          18) Printable Accordion Reindeer 
        from Kids Activities                                   from Kids Craft Room

Sticks & Nature Reindeer

1) Craft Stick Rudolph

2) Reindeer Stick Craft from A Dab of Glue Will Do

3) Twig Reindeer Ornaments from Fireflies and Mudpies

4) Yarn Wrapped Craft Stick Reindeer from Buggy and Buddy

5) Reindeer Nature Craft from Mother Natured

6) Toilet Paper Roll Reindeer from Red Ted Art

7) Stick Reindeer

Mixed Media Reindeer Crafts

1) Wood Slice Rudolph Ornament       6) Felt Reindeer Free Sewing Pattern
     from Natural Beach Living                   from Swoodson Says
2) Jar Lid Reindeer                            7) Clothespin Reindeer 
     from Fireflies and Mudpies                   from Fireflies and Mudpies
3) Rustic Reindeer                             8) Painted Rock Reindeer 
      from Teach Me Mommy                       from Projects with Kids
4) Pine Cone Reindeer                       9) Reindeer Play Dough from Picklebums
     from Blissful Domestication
5) Hanger Reindeer from JDaniel4's Mom                                           

(Hand/Foot) Print Reindeer Crafts

1) Reindeer Footprint Craft                        5) Pipe Cleaner Reindeer
       from Messy Little Monster                         from Blue Bear Wood
2) Handprint Reindeer Ornament                6) Reindeer Handprints
       from Simple Everyday Mom                       from Kids Activities
3) Handprint Reindeer Ornament               7) Reindeer Handprint Card 
      from Buggy and Buddy                              from I Heart Crafty Things
4) Handprint Reindeer                              8) Handprint Reindeer 
      from The Best Ideas for Kids                      from Simple Everyday Mom

Reindeer Antlers to Wear 

1) Printable Reindeer Antlers from Picklebums

2)  Printable Reindeer Antlers to Color and Wear from Kids Craft Room

3) DIY Reindeer Antler Headbands from Pink Stripey Socks

Reindeer Food

1) Easy to Make Reindeer                     5) Reindeer Treat Bags
      from Kids Activities                                from Eats Amazing
2) Easiest Reindeer Cookies                  6) Easy Candy Cane Reindeer 
      from Crystal & Co.                                  from The Search for Imperfection
3)  Reindeer Hot Chocolate                   7) Reindeer Treat Bags 
       from Thrifty Jinxy                                 from Kids Activities
4) Reindeer Cookies                             8) Wildlife & Bird Friendly Reindeer Food
                                                                 from Eats Amazing

Reindeer Games

1) Rudolph vs. Reindeer Tic Tac Toe Game from Rainy Day Mum

2) Pin the Nose on Rudolph from Red Ted Art

3) Rudolph Races from 123 Homeschool 4 Me

4) Pin the Nose on Rudolph from Pink Stripey Socks