Christmas

Paper Chain Reindeer Craft

Paper Chain Reindeer Craft

This paper chain reindeer craft was easy to make and turned out adorable! It is perfect for preschoolers who want to make Christmas decorations because it doesn’t make much of a mess (outside of glue) and it can be assembled pretty quickly so they don’t lose interest in the activity. For more Christmas crafts, check out my crafts page: https://imaginationsrunningwild.com/preschool-winter-crafts/

Supplies Needed:

Paper chain reindeer craft supplies
  • 1 piece of brown construction paper
  • scissors
  • glue ( we used both a glue stick and white glue)
  • ribbon/yarn
  • goggly eyes
  • small pompom
  • brown or black marker

How To:

Cut your construction paper into 6 equal-sized strips. Mine are 2″ wide x 9″ tall.

reindeer face

Begin by choosing one strip of paper to turn into your reindeer’s face. Make the face first so that the pompom nose can be drying while you assemble the chain. Using your brown or black marker, draw 2 antlers. Then attach your googly eyes. My son really wanted his reindeer to be Rudolph, so he chose a red pompom (size 1.2 cm) for the nose. We used white glue to attach our nose because the glue stick wasn’t sticky enough and our nose kept falling off.

Now it is time to make your chain our of the remaining 5 strips of paper. Fold your first strip of paper into a circle and glue the ends together. Next, take your second strip and stick it through your circle. Glue the ends of the second strip together forming a circle. Repeat this process with the remaining strips of paper until all 5 pieces are connected in a chain. Once your pompom nose is dry, you can add the last of piece of paper with the reindeer face to the top of your chain.

To finish our craft, I tied a red ribbon through the top chain so we hang the paper chain reindeer craft up in our home!

paper chain reindeer craft
Paper Chain Reindeer Craft
Christmas

Peppermint Paper Plate Craft

paper plate peppermint craft

This peppermint paper plate craft is fun and easy to make. Plus, you get to use your child’s handprints as the candy’s wrapper! I am a sucker for handprint crafts and I am always looking for ways for my child to personalize the crafts we make together 🙂

Supplies Needed:

-paper plate

-red, washable paint (I like to use Crayola Washable Paints)

-paintbrush

-white paper

-pencil

-scissors

-glue (we used a glue stick, but white school glue is okay too)

How To:

First thing I did was show my son what a peppermint is, because he apparently had no idea that’s what those little mint candies were called! Once he got the image in his mind, his creativity took over. He came up with all sorts of ways to make the candies. We ended up making 2 paper plate peppermint crafts: one with paint and one with a color pencil spiral.

Using red paint, he painted a spiral around his plate. He started in the middle and worked his way around to the outside. It was a little difficult to paint on the ribbed part of the plate. My son had to go back and touch it up a little bit so that it looked more like a solid red line. Then we let the plate dry.

While the plate is drawing, I traced my son’s hands on white paper. Then I cut out the handprints.

My son glued his handprints onto either side of the paper plate to look like the candy’s wrapper. Using a glue stick, rub some glue onto the underside of the plate and onto the handprints to make sure that they really stick onto the plate.

Let your project dry completely before showing off your cute peppermint paper plate craft 🙂

More Winter Crafts!

Christmas Cookie Cutter Coloring: Since my waist line can’t handle too many Christmas cookies, I found another way for my kiddo to use cookie cutters: a Christmas cookie cutter coloring craft!

Fingerprint Winter Tree: finger paint some “snow” on a barren tree!

Sparkly Snowflake: craft sticks, markers, and sequins come together to make an awesome sparkly snowflake craft!

Christmas

Gingerbread Stories

Gingerbread cookies are one of my favorite Christmas treats! I bought my son the book, The Gingerbread Pirates, because it looked cute and combined both my love of Christmas stories and gingerbread cookies. This book started us a gingerbread stories journey, where we read all that we could find! We’ve put together a list of our favorite gingerbread stories to share with you. At the bottom of the post, I’ve added some other gingerbread-themed activities so you can add to the fun!

Gingerbread Stories

12 Gingerbread Stories:

1. Tough Cookie: a Christmas Story by Edward Hemingway–

This book is so funny! Get ready to laugh your way through this updated gingerbread man story, featuring a tough cookie. Cookie claims to be a delicious sugar cookie, but he isn’t sweet and cookie isn’t fast. Cookie taunts Fox, who immediately catches Cookie. Fox tries to take a bite, but hurts his tooth! What a tough cookie! An unlikely friendship forms between the two and Fox sets out to help Cookie be his best cookie-self in this hilarious picture book.

The Gingerbread Pirates

2. The Gingerbread Pirates by Kristin Kladstrup–

Cookies and pirates together in one sweet Christmas story! A boy and his mom make gingerbread pirate cookies for Santa. The boy’s favorite is Captain Cookie and he takes the captain to his room. After the boy falls asleep, Captain Cookie goes in search of his cookie crew, who he needs to save from being eaten by Santa! Along the way, the cookie discovers Christmas wonders and finally meets Santa himself. Captain Cookie challenges Santa in a daring attempt to save crew. Santa promises not to eat the gingerbread pirates before delivering a bit of his Christmas magic to the cookies. Pirate-obsessed and imaginative kids will enjoy this book and its magical ending!

Cookie stories: 'The Gingerbread Man Loose at Christmas" by Laura Murray

3. The Gingerbread Man Loose at Christmas by Laura Murray–

Lisa Murray’s Gingerbread Man has a whole series of adventures! In this rhyming Christmas book, the Gingerbread Man learns about the spirit of giving. The kids make cards, sing songs, and bake treats for their community. The Gingerbread Man knows just who he wants to make a card for and he sets out with his class to give their gifts. The Gingerbread Man gets separated from his class and his little cookie legs get hurt in the snow. He doesn’t give up and he hobbles up to the shop with his card to give out. Read this book to find out who the Gingerbread Man’s special card is for! This little cookie has many other stories too. Be sure to check out The Gingerbread Loose at the Zoo and The Gingerbread Man Loose at School.

4. How to Catch a Gingerbread Man by Adam Wallace–

In this storybook-themed adventure in the “How to Catch” series, author, Adam Wallace, brings us a rhyming story of the Gingerbread Man. One day during story time, the Gingerbread Man leaps off the page of his book and takes off through the book store. The kids make a whole bunch of traps to catch him, but the Gingerbread Man’s storybook friends come to his rescue! The Gingerbread Man escapes all of the traps, but notices that the kids are sad that they can’t finish the book. The cookie leaps back onto the page so that everyone can finish the story. Grown-ups will enjoy seeing their childhood book friends come to the Gingerbread Man’s aid.

The Gingerbread Bear

5. The Gingerbread Bear by Robert Dennis–

I love this twist on the classic folktale! In this version, at mom bakes a gingerbread bear cookie for her daughter. But before it can be eaten, the Gingerbread Bear escapes! It runs all over Woodlands National Park, escaping everyone who traps to trap it. A clever park ranger manages to trick the cookie and put an end to the chase. This story prompted us to learn more about Woodlands National Park.

6. The Gingerbread Baby by Jan Brett–

I absolutely love Jan Brett’s books! Her illustrations are fantastic and the gingerbread baby is so cute. In this twist on the classic folktale, a family makes a gingerbread baby who jumps out of the oven and runs through town. One after another, the people and the animals give chase. The boy, however, has a plan. He bakes a gingerbread house and the cookie, looking for a place to hide from everyone, runs inside. Now the gingerbread baby lives safely inside his gingerbread house.

Ten Tiny Gingerbread Men

7. Ten Tiny Gingerbread Men by Tiger Tales–

This book is lots of fun to explore thanks to the peek-though windows revealing the gingerbread cookies. In this story, ten gingerbread men love bouncing everywhere. Turn the pages and follow these cute gingerbread men as they count down from 10 to 1. My son loves counting the gingerbread men and all of the glitter accents!

Gingerbread Mouse

8. Gingerbread Mouse by Katy Bratun–

One day little mouse’s home is destroyed by a falling branch, so she sets off to find a new home. Little mouse explores a human house where she discovers the perfect home for her — a gingerbread house! Little mouse makes a cozy rug for her new house and adds a dresser. Mouse settles into her new home and falls asleep. She’s awakened by Santa, who has brought her a new house to live in. This new house will last longer than a gingerbread house! Mouse adores her new doll house and quickly moves in. To mouse’s surprise, a little girl knew she was there all along and leaves mouse a present of a gingerbread cookie in the shape of mouse. My son loved that mouse got a new house all of her own!

The Gingerbread Boy

9. The Gingerbread Boy by Paul Galdone–

My son loves Paul Galdone’s retelling of folktales! In this tale, a woman makes a gingerbread cookie in the shape of a boy. When the woman opens the over, the cookie jumps up and runs away! As the cookie runs, it comes across a cow, a horse, some men–none of who could catch him! “Run, run, run. Catch me if you can. You can’t catch me, I’m the the gingerbread boy, I am, I am!” The overconfident cookie meets a a clever fox, who manages to trick the cookie and eats it up! Paul Galdone’s rhymes are lots of fun, as well as the subtle humor in the story.

Gingerbread Christmas

10. Gingerbread Christmas by Jan Brett–

Gingerbread Baby and his friend, Matti, take his gingerbread band to the town’s Christmas Festival. The gingerbread band are a huge a hit! Everything is going great until the children start smelling the yummy gingerbread and get hungry. Yikes! Run away, gingerbread band! Matti uses snow to disguise the gingerbread instruments while Gingerbread Baby leads the audience on a merry chase. Gingerbread Baby finds a great spot to hide in the Christmas tree where he is safe from the hungry crowd. Fantastic pictures and lots of humor make this book a great choice for Christmas stories.

Catch that Cookie!

11. Catch the Cookie! by Hallie Durand–

Cookies can’t come to life and runaway, can they? A boy named Marshall and his class are surprised when their cookies disappear. Now they have to solve rhyming clues to find the missing cookies! This story is lots of fun and a great mystery.

The Gingerbread Pup

12. The Gingerbread Pup by Maribeth Boelts–

A girl named Evalina desperately wishes for someone loyal to be her friend. She gets a great idea to make a puppy out of gingerbread. However, the gingerbread pup springs to life and runs right out the door! Evalina chases the pup and soon the other villagers join in the chase. Will anyone be able to catch the cookie? Like in the classic folktale of The Gingerbread Boy, the cookie runs to the edge of a river, where he hitches a ride. This time, the cookie partners with a shaggy dog, who isn’t a trickster, and safety gets the cookie across the river. Turns out the dog is stray and Evelina adopts it! In a fun twist, Evalina bakes a gingerbread boy to befriend the gingerbread pup and everyone lives happily ever after!

Gingerbread cookie

Check your library for these and other gingerbread stories. To help cover the costs of this site, I joined Amazon’s Affiliate program. If you buy a book through one of my links, then I get a small percentage of the sale (at no additional cost to you). Thank you for your support! Happy Reading 🙂

More Gingerbread Fun!

Find the Differences: My son loves “find the differences” activities and he asked if he could design one. He made this cute gingerbread themed Find the Differences (free downloadable PDF) worksheet. Can you find all 5 differences?

Gingerbread Math Worksheet: count the number of gingerbread cookies in each box and circle the number.

Mosaic Gingerbread Man Craft: make a cute gingerbread man out of construction paper.

Mosaic Gingerbread Man Craft

Cookie Activities!

Read some more COOKIE STORIES together! I’ve gathered 10 great cookie stories for you to read with your child.

Cookie Cutter Craft: We turned some of our cookie cutters into stencils and made paper Christmas cookies!

Cookie Cutter Coloring Activity
Christmas, Rhymes and Poems, Winter

Five Little Stockings Rhyme

These is a super cute Christmas poem that my son learned in Kindergarten. I had never heard the Five Little Stockings rhyme before and was so impressed that he has memorized it. You can turn this into a finger rhyme by wiggling a different finger for each one of the five stockings. For more rhymes, check out my Rhymes Page — it has lots of action, finger and counting rhymes, as well as nursery rhymes.

Five Little Stockings Rhyme

Turn this into a finger rhyme by wiggling a finger for each of the five stockings. Start with your thumb for the first stocking, and keep wiggling fingers until you reach your pinky on the fifth stocking. Clap your hands together when you say “out went the light” and then wiggle all of the fingers at the same time when the stockings get filled!

FIVE LITTLE STOCKINGS

Five little stockings hanging by the fire,

The first one said, “I’m getting tired.”

The second one said, “Santa’s in the air!”

The third one said, “But we sure care!”

The fourth one said, “I hear sleigh bells ringing!”

The fifth one said, “It’s the joy he’s bringing.”

Then ding went the clock and out went the light.

And five little stockings got filled that night!

Christmas, Winter

Christmas Picture Books!

Christmas Picture Books

There are so many wonderful Christmas picture books available! It was really hard to narrow down our favorites for this list, but I did not want an endless list 🙂 So here are my family’s 25 favorite Christmas picture books in no particular order because there is no way we could rank them! If these 25 aren’t enough, check out my list of Elf Books and Santa Stories!

25 Christmas Picture Books:

Bear Stays Up for Christmas

1. Bear Stays Up by Karma Wilson–

Sweet Bear is supposed to be hibernating, but his friends want him to stay awake to experience Christmas with them! Bear gets to experience his first Christmas tree, bake cakes, hang up stockings, and sing Christmas songs. By staying up and participating in all of the fun activities with his friends, Bear discovers that giving is one of the best Christmas presents of all!

The Grinch's Great Big Flap Book

2. The Grinch’s Great Big Flap Book by Dr. Seuss–

My kiddo loves lift-the-flap books! Being able to interact with the book, whether its a touch-and-feel or lift-the-flap, makes reading extra fun for little ones. This book tells the story of the Grinch, a Christmas-hating meanie, who tries to keep Christmas from coming to Whoville. The Grinch learns that Christmas isn’t about presents or a big feast for dinner, but about family, togetherness, and love. With this new revelation, the Grinch’s heart grows! He embraces the Christmas spirit and returns everything he stole. The citizens of Whoville welcome the Grinch to spend Christmas with them in this sweet ending. This is a long story, but being able to lift-the-flaps really kept my son’s attention throughout the book. He was excited to see what pictures were underneath the flaps!

The Chicken Who Saved Christmas

3. The Chicken Who Saved Christmas by Rebecca Elliott–

In this bright, sparkly book, Santa is sick in bed and unable to deliver to toys to children! “Calamity” cries chicken, who rallies the farm animals to save the day. The bright, cheerful illustrations with touches of sparkles will capture your child’s attention as the animals nurse Santa back to good health and get the sleigh ready. With so much happening, Chicken forgets to get the reindeer ready. The reindeer say they can’t fly on empty stomachs, but it’s time to head out and deliver presents! Is Christmas ruined? Not to worry, Santa is feeling better and he uses a bit of Christmas magic to make the farm animals fly and they pull the sleigh full of toys!

4. Click, Clack, Ho! Ho! Ho! by Doreen Cronin–

In this sparely worded picture book, Duck attempts to come down Farmer Brown’s chimney but gets stuck! The other animals attempt to unstuck Duck, but get themselves trapped in the chimney too. Now Santa has arrived and needs to get down the chimney. Will he get stuck too? Get ready for giggles as Santa gets everyone successfully down the chimney and soot goes flying everywhere! Pay special attention to Duck’s backpack to find out why he was trying to get down the chimney in the first place.

Construction Site on Christmas Night

5. Construction Site on Christmas Night by Sherri Dusky Rinker–

In this sweet story, Excavator, Bulldozer, Crane, Dump Truck and Cement Mixer build a new home for fire engines. They get the job done just in time for the fire engines to spend Christmas in their new home. As the construction crew heads back to the yard to settle down for the night, they find that they get their own Christmas surprises. The rhyming story and great pictures will delight preschoolers, as will discovering the gift each machine receives.

Counting to Christmas

6. Counting to Christmas by Nancy Tafuri–

This lovely books shows a young girl’s activities as she counts down the days of December from the first to Christmas Day. Each day she does something news: “Days 1, 2, and 3/ I paint, cut,/ and paste.” I love how the child wants to create home-made gifts and forgoes all of the commercialism associated with the holiday. She also remembers her animals friends and makes sure to have something special for the animals to enjoy on Christmas too! At the end, the author gives how-to instructions and recipes for the yuletide cards, popcorn-cranberry garland, spicy gingerbread cookies, and outdoor animal treats mentioned.

The Day Santa Stopped Believing in Harold

7. The Day Santa Stopped Believing in Harold by Maureen Fergus–

We’ve all read stories where children start to doubt Santa exists, but in this funny twist, Santa starts to doubt that a little boy named Harold exists. Santa has plenty of good reasons to doubt Harold. For one thing, the handwriting on the letter looks like an adult’s handwriting. And when Harold came to sit on Santa’s lap this year, he looked different than the last time Santa saw him. Seems pretty suspicious. So Santa decides to hide out at Harold’s house this Christmas and see if he really does exist. Kids will love the ending!

Dinosaur VS. Santa

8. Dinosaur vs. Santa by Bob Shea–

We are huge Bob Shea fans! We love his sense of humor and fun illustrations. In this story, Dinosaur is getting ready for Santa’s Christmas visit! Dinosaur has lots to do–decorating, making presents for Mom and Dad, trying not to be naughty. And since Dinosaur is determined to win, he defeats each task! ROAR! He’s doing great, but on Christmas Eve, he hears some rustling downstairs and sneaks a peek. Uh-oh, will he get caught and not get any presents? Check out this story from your library to find out!

The Donkey's Christmas Song

9. The Donkey’s Christmas Song by Nancy Tafuri–

A very special baby is born in a manger and all of the animals are excited to welcome the new baby . Each animal takes a turn saying hello, but donkey is too shy. However, baby Jesus welcomes donkey with his own sweet smile. The donkey brays, hee-aw, making the baby laughs with joy! This book is a sweet and beautifully illustrated story celebrating the first Christmas.

Gingerbread Christmas

10. Gingerbread Christmas by Jan Brett–

Gingerbread Baby and his friend, Matti, take his gingerbread band to the town’s Christmas Festival. The gingerbread band are a huge a hit! Everything is going great until the children start smelling the yummy gingerbread and get hungry. Yikes! Run away, gingerbread band! Matti uses snow to disguise the gingerbread instruments while Gingerbread Baby leads the audience on a merry chase. Gingerbread Baby finds a great spot to hide in the Christmas tree where he is safe from the hungry crowd. Fantastic pictures and lots of humor make this book a great choice for Christmas stories.

11. How to Catch an Elf by Adam Wallace–

My son loves Adam Wallace’s “How to Catch ” series! In this Christmas book, Santa’s helper elf is target by the children. They set all sorts of traps, but with Santa on his side, no one catch this elf! Better luck next Christmas! Kids will giggle at the silliness and enjoy the bright, engaging pictures.

I Got the Christmas Spirit

12. I Got the Christmas Spirit by Connie Schofield-Morrison–

A little girl and her mom are out and about during the holiday season. The little girl takes in all of the noises and sights around her, and picks up on the rhythm of the season. The author does a great job of highlighting the sounds that the girl hears– CRUNCH! CRUNCH! CRUNCH!–and the flashing lights in the store windows–BLING! BLING! BLING!–giving readers not only an opportunity to make some noise and participate with the story, but also plants the idea to be more thoughtful about their own surroundings. Throughout the story the little girl sees and spreads joy and imparts a lovely message for the reader to do the same.

Little Blue Truck's Christmas

13. Little Blue Truck’s Christmas by Alice Schertle–

The rhymes, sweet message, and Christmas tree countdown make this a perfect choice for preschoolers! Blue and Toad deliver trees and joy to their animals friends. Will there be a tree left for Blue? Preschoolers will love the light-up tree at the end of the story!

Llama Llama Holiday Drama

14. Llama Llama Holiday Drama by Anna Dewdney–

Llama Llama books are so relatable for preschoolers! Each story features an emotion/struggle that young children also face. In this story, Llama Llama is finding it hard to wait for Christmas. Even though he is plenty busy shopping for presents, baking cookies, decorating the tree with Mama, Christmas is not coming fast enough. With mounting frustration, Llama Llama just can’t wait any more! Mama knows just what to do –a warm cuddle and a gentle reminder that “Gifts are nice, but there’s another: The true gift is, we have each other.”

Merry Christmas, Little Critter

15. Merry Christmas, Little Critter by Mercer Mayer–

Little Critter books are always so cute and funny. My son just loves these books! In this story, Little Critter writes his letter to Santa and awaits Santa’s visit. Little Critter and his family do lots of fun things together. Children can lift-the-flaps throughout the book and learn more about Little Critter’s fun Christmas season activities!

16. The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore and Jan Brett–

You just have to read the Clement C. Moore’s poem, The Night Before Christmas, as part of your Christmas stories! In this beautifully illustrated edition by Jan Brett, readers will love seeing Santa and his elves delivering Christmas presents while the children are tucked into bed. Each page’s illustrations are a treasure trove of detail that perfectly compliment the poem.

The Not Very Merry Pout-Pout Fish

17. The Not Very Merry Pout-Pout Fish by Deborah Diesen–

My son loves the original Pout-Pout Fish story so he was excited to read this Christmas tale. Mr. Fish learns that Christmas is bigger than store-bought gifts — it is all about giving from the heart and bringing joy. With sing-songy rhymes and detailed pictures, this picture book is a fun Christmas-time read. We love pouring over the pictures and seeing all of the fun little details.

18. Pete the Cat Saves Christmas by Eric Litwin–

It’s preschoolers’ favorite story character, Pete the Cat! This time Pete has lend a paw to Santa who is too sick to deliver the presents! This is one of the original Pete the Cat stories and has great rhymes and a fantastic message of giving your all. I love that this book reinforces the idea to little kids that you don’t have to be big to make a huge impact! As it says in the story, “Small is Cool!”

Samurai Santa

19. Samurai Santa: a very ninja Christmas by Rubin Pingk–

My son is obsessed with this book! He loves the epic snowball fight. This book is a lot of fun and captures the excitement of a good snowball fight. It’s ninjas vs. a snowman army led by a samurai, who turns out to be Santa in disguise, making this the best Christmas present ever for little Yuki.

20. Santa Bruce by Ryan T. Higgins–

We love the Mother Bruce series and just adore Bruce, the grumpy bear, the clueless geese, and the happy-go-lucky mice. In this Christmas book of mistaken identity, the woodland animals think that Bruce is Santa! The illustrations throughout the book will crack your kids up!  Since all of the animals think they told Santa their wishes, Bruce, the geese, and the mice set to make sure everyone gets something for Christmas!

Stick Man

21. Stick Man by Julia Donaldson–

Julia Donaldson is one of my family’s favorite authors! My husband randomly chants, “Oh Stick Man, oh Stick Man, it’s me. How I long to be home in the family tree!” Can you tell we’ve read this one a lot!?! Stick Man gets separated from his family and longs to go home. Travel along with Stick Man on his crazy journey, as one thing after another keeps him from making his way back to the family tree. On Christmas Eve, Santa arrives to grant Stick Man’s wish and takes him back to him family. The rhymes and repetition really hooked my son and he couldn’t wait to see what happened to Stick Man.

Suzy Goose and the Christmas Star

22. Suzy Goose and the Christmas Star by Petr Horacek–

I love this book about Suzy Goose who wants a star for the top of the animals’ Christmas tree. Suzy sees bright star, high in the sky, and no one can stop her from trying every possible way to get it! Preschoolers love telling Suzy that her ideas won’t work. Though all hope seems lost as Suzy loses her way, her animal friends guide her home where she finds the perfect star. This beautifully illustrated story captures the magic of the season and strength of hope.

Little Unicorn's Christmas

23. Little Unicorn’s Christmas by Rhiannon Fielding —

My son and I love the Ten Minutes to Bed series! In this Christmas edition, Santa needs Twinkle, the little unicorn, help to deliver presents. With only ten minutes until bed, Twinkle and Santa combine their magic to zip around the world and deliver presents. Kids will love this rhyming, brightly colored book and be delighted by Twinkle’s cuteness! Twinkle makes it home with one minute to spare and gets into bed right on time. When she wakes up the next morning, there’s a special present just for her.

Tough Cookie

24. Tough Cookie: a Christmas Story by Edward Hemingway–

This book is so funny! Get ready to laugh your way through this updated gingerbread man story, featuring a tough cookie. Cookie claims to be a delicious sugar cookie, but he isn’t sweet and cookie isn’t fast. Cookie taunts Fox, who immediately catches Cookie. Fox tries to take a bite, but hurts his tooth! What a tough cookie! An unlikely friendship forms between the two and Fox sets out to help Cookie be his best cookie-self in this hilarious picture book.

You Are My Merry

25. You are My Merry by Marianne Richmond–

This a lovely story for a parent to read to their child. Each page reaffirms a parent’s love for their child, highlighting different aspects of how special their child is to them. Read these sweet rhymes and nurturing words while cuddling close with your little one this Christmas season.

Christmas Tree

Check your library for these and other Christmas picture books. To help cover the costs of this site, I joined Amazon’s Affiliate program. If you buy a book through one of my links, then I get a small percentage of the sale (at no additional cost to you). Thank you for your support! Happy Reading 🙂

Christmas

Candy Cane Reindeer

Make a candy cane reindeer to give out to a friend, neighbor, or family member. This reindeer craft is pretty quick and easy, but turns out so cute. Both kids and adults will love receiving one of these little reindeers. My son enjoyed making them and had a blast handing them out 🙂

candy cane reindeer
Candy Cane Reindeer

Supplies Needed:

  • candy cane
  • googly eyes
  • pompoms
  • pipe cleaner
  • glue dots
  • white school glue

How To:

Pick a candy cane to decorate. Leave the plastic on the candy cane!

Pick a pipe cleaner and a pompom to use on your candy cane. My son wanted to make a “Rudolph” candy cane reindeer so he picked a red pompom for the nose 🙂

Twist the pipe cleaner around the top of your candy cane to make the antlers. Now twist the 2 ends of the pipe cleaner around your little one’s finger to make them look kind of zig-zaggy.

For the eyes, we originally just peeled off the back of the sticker googly eyes and stuck them, but we found that they did not stay on very well. So Plan B — we glued the eyes onto the candy cane with white, school glue.

Last, we attached our pom pom nose with a glue dot. I think you could also use the white glue for the nose too, but then you have to wait a while for it to dry.

And now we have a cute (and yummy) candy cane reindeer! For more crafts ideas, check out my Winter Crafts page 🙂

Animals, Christmas

Reindeer Stories

reindeer stories

Here are fourteen reindeer stories to share with your preschooler this Christmas season. The stories are funny, sweet, and teach us about reindeers! Check out my list of ELF stories and SANTA books too 🙂

14 Reindeer Stories:

Olive, the Other Reindeer

1. Olive, the Other Reindeer by Vivian Walsh–

This is my son’s favorite reindeer story! I can’t even keep track of how many times we have read this book! This is a really cute story about a dog named Olive who hears the Christmas song saying, “All of the other reindeer,” and mistakenly thinks the song is about her. It’s almost Christmas so Olive heads out to the North Pole to report for reindeer duty! Turns out a little dog is just what Santa needed this year. Check this one out from your library and learn how Olive helps save the day!

The Littlest Reindeer

2. The Littlest Reindeer by Brandi Dougherty–

Why we like it — it’s a sweet story and shows that everyone can contribute, no matter how small! Dot the reindeer, the smallest reindeer in the North Pole, wants to learn how to fly. Unfortunately her little legs just couldn’t take off. Feeling sad that she’s too little to fly Santa’s sleigh, Dot finds a present that dropped out of Santa’s sack. She tries as hard as she can to take flight and begins to fly! Dot reached Santa and landed in his sleigh, returning the present! Check out the companion book: The Littlest Elf.

How to Catch a Reindeer

3. How to Catch a Reindeer by Alice Walstead–

This rhyming story is told by Comet from Santa’s team. Santa’s reindeer have a rough job of avoiding all of the traps set by the kids on Christmas Eve. Dodging flying ornaments, avoiding fake Santas, and various other traps, Comet has so much fun grooving and dancing through the neighborhood. Time is up and there are more homes to visit so Comet and the rest of the reindeer say goodbye to kids and wish them a Merry Christmas. A few reindeer facts are included at the end of the story!

The Wild Christmas Reindeer

4. The Wild Christmas Reindeer by Jan Brett —

Ever wonder who trains the reindeer for Santa? Well it’s Teeka’s job! Read along as Teeka tries to get the energetic reindeer to follow her directions. Teeka didn’t realize that they reindeer had their own likes and dislikes and she didn’t take their feelings into consideration. This lead to a lot of problems for Teeka as the reindeer were upset, they crashed into each, strained their muscles, and just didn’t fly like a Christmas team. Teeka learned that yelling and demanding wasn’t helping. She needed to be kind and considerate of the reindeers’ feelings and lend a helping hand. Teeka’s change in attitude improved the reindeers’ training and soon everyone was ready to fly Santa’s sleigh.

Reindeer Helper

5. Reindeer Helper (Uni the Unicorn) by Amy Krouse Rosenthal–

When one of Santa’s reindeer gets lost, it is up to Uni the Unicorn to find it and help it get back to Santa! Combing unicorn and reindeer magic, Uni and the reindeer work together to catch up to Santa’s sleigh. With the sleigh missing a reindeer, it was off balance and Santa was losing presents. Good thing Uni is here! Uni and the reindeer deliver the missing presents and the lost reindeer is reunited with Santa!

Never Let a Unicorn Meet a Reindeer

6. Never Let a Unicorn Meet a Reindeer by Diane Alber–

My 5 year old loves this book! It has humor, sparkly magic, and Christmas, so what’s not to love! The little girl in the story gets a reindeer for her birthday, but the new reindeer and her pet unicorn aren’t getting along. Each tries to outdo the other! In the end, they put aside their feud to help Santa deliver presents 🙂

I'm a Reindeer

7. I’m a Reindeer by Mallory Loehr–

This book provides reindeer facts for your readers. Did you know that reindeer are already up and running when they are only 2 hours old?!? With cute pictures of reindeer, this book is anything but boring. Read this one with preschoolers who want to learn more about reindeers.

Tiny Reindeer

8. Tiny Reindeer by Chris Naylor-Ballesteros–

In this sweet Christmas story, an extremely small reindeer name Tiny is feeling sad because he is too small to help pull Santa’s sleigh. Meanwhile there is a sad little girl wishing for a small reindeer to pull the little wooden sleigh her grandfather made her. Here’s a chance for Tiny to make a big difference in someone’s life by helping the little girl! I love the moral of the story that there is always a way to help others despite our own limitations. Preschoolers will enjoy the artwork and laugh at the pictures of this super small reindeer trying to do ordinary things like eat out of an average-sized food dish.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

9. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer by Rick Bunsen–

No reindeer list would be complete without Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer! In this story (based on the movie), Rudolph is excluded from the other reindeer because his glowing red nose makes him different. What these other reindeer learn to understand is that our differences are actually assets, not hindrances. Rudolph and his nose save the day when a dense fog rolls in and none of the other reindeer can see where they are flying.

Reindeers are Better than People

10. Reindeers are Better than People (Disney’s Frozen) by Disney Books–

This short and sweet, rhyming board book is an ode to Sven, Kristoff’s best friend from the movie Frozen. Each page features a different character from the movie and highlights something great about them, but concludes that Sven is the best. The board book has fuzzy antlers that stick off the top, so as you turn the page, it looks like each person (or snowperson) has antlers! The book is adorable and perfect for little Frozen fans

The Little Reindeer

11. The Little Reindeer by Nicola Killen—

Little Ollie, dressed in her reindeer pajamas, awakens to jingling bells outside her window. She heads outside into the snow to follow the sound, where she finds a real reindeer looking for it’s missing jingle bell collar. Ollie finds the collar abs then she and the reindeer soar up into the sky and back to Ollie’s house. Little Ollie goes back to bed while the reindeer returns to Santa’s sleigh. The lovely pictures of Ollie and the reindeer are soothing and perfect for bedtime read-alouds.

Never Ever Race a Reindeer

12. Never Ever Race a Reindeer by Adam Wallace & Mary Nhin–

Read this rhyming story to learn why you shouldn’t race a reindeer. In addition to being very competitive, reindeer will do anything to win, even cheating! I love the moral that cheaters never prosper as the reindeer ultimately end up losing the race to the children. Check your library for this story so you and your child can giggle together over the reindeers’ antics!

13. Reindeer in Here by Adam Reed–

This is an adorable rhyming story about a little reindeer with mismatched antlers. The little reindeer shows up as an early Christmas gift from Santa to encourage children to celebrate their own differences like just like the litter reindeer and its friends! While telling the story of Santa’s early Christmas days, little reindeer lets us in on a secret, Santa sends helpers (like the reindeer) to learn children’s real Christmas wishes and report back. The book and the plush toy come together so your little one can also have an early gift from Santa!

Santa's Story

14. Santa’s Story by Will Hillenbrand–

My son gives this book 2 thumbs up! He loves the pictures and liked that each reindeer got its own page that told about them. Not only did we learn something unique about each reindeer, but we learned the reindeers’ Christmas Eve tradition of gathering together to hear Santa read The Night Before Christmas.

Little Tikes Rescue Tales Reindeer Pup
This cute pup reminded me of Olive!

Thank you for checking out my list of reindeer stories for preschoolers! I hope you enjoy these books! I joined Amazon’s Affiliate program to try and help cover the costs of this site. If you buy something through one of my links on Amazon, then I get a small percentage of the sale (no extra cost to you). Thank you for your support! Happy reading 🙂

Reindeer Crafts

Paper Chain Reindeer: glue construction paper strips together to form a chain and add a cute reindeer face to the top chain.

Candy Cane Reindeer: make a cute and yummy candy reindeer by adding pipe cleaner antlers, googly eyes, and a pompom nose!

Christmas, Winter

10 Preschool Christmas Crafts

Christmas is just around the corner and kids are getting so excited! Help channel that excitement into some fun Christmas crafts. We rounded up our favorite 10 preschool Christmas crafts to share with you.

preschool Christmas Crafts
Preschool Christmas Crafts

10 Preschool Christmas Crafts:

Decoupage Santa Hat: make a Santa hat out of craft sticks and red tissue paper.

Christmas Owl Craft: adorable owls made from empty toilet paper rolls and construction paper.

Paper Plate Peppermint: a cute, winter handprint craft to make with your preschooler.

Christmas Cookie Cutter Coloring: a fun way to use cookie cutters without the calories!

Candy Cane Craft: quick and easy candy cane craft out of construction paper and cotton balls.

Mosaic Gingerbread Man: use pieces of construction paper to make a cute gingerbread man craft.

Christmas Fireplace: make a festive Christmas fireplace for your toys!

Christmas Wreath: cute little wreath out of a paper plate that combines painting and coloring for lots of fun.

Candy Cane Reindeer: make a cute and yummy candy reindeer by adding pipe cleaner antlers, googly eyes, and a pom pom nose!

Fingerprint Snowy Tree: draw a barren tree with a marker and then your preschooler can paint on the snow with their fingerprints.

Craft Supplies:

I try to make crafts with supplies I already have at home because I hate having to put a project on hold to run to the store and get supplies. So if anytime you don’t have one of the things I mentioned, feel free to substitute it with something you have at home — there’s no wrong way to craft!

My go-to supplies are: construction paper, craft sticks (popsicle sticks), tissue paper, pompoms, Crayola glitter glue, paper plate, crayons, water color and Crayola Washable Paints, white school glue, and a glue stick. I’ve joined Amazon’s Affiliate program to help cover the costs of my site. So if you click on a product that I have on my site and buy something on Amazon, then I get a small percentage of the sale (at no additional cost to you). Thank you for support! I don’t ever recommend anything that I have not personally used and loved 🙂

Christmas, STEM, Winter

Christmas Fizz STEM Activity

 Looking to incorporate more STEM education into your preschooler’s activities? Then try this fun Christmas fizz preschool STEM activity! To make this Christmas themed, we used red and green food coloring and we added red and green glitter for sparkly fun. We had a blast watching it bubble up and we loved seeing the red and green glitter sparkle in the bubbles! Play some Christmas music in the background and enjoy this holiday STEM activity together.

Christmas Fizz S.T.E.M. Activity

CHRISTMAS FIZZ

Supplies Needed:

Fizz STEM activity supplies
supplies for Christmas Fizz STEM Activity
  • bowl or foil tray 
  • 1 box of baking soda 
  • red and green glitter
  • white vinegar
  • 2 paint cups ( we reused plastic fruit cups)
  • red and green food coloring
  • Teaspoon (for spooning the vinegar into the tray) or eyedroppers/pipettes

Prepare the Tray:

  • Pour baking soda inside the tray so that the entire bottom is covered
  • Sprinkle the red and green glitter around the tray on top of the baking soda
add baking soda and glitter to tray to make the FIZZ
add baking soda and glitter

Prepare the Paint Cups:

  • pour vinegar in each cup
  • add a drop of red food coloring to one cup and a drop of green food coloring to the other cup
  • stir the food coloring until it is well mixed with the vinegar

Making the Christmas Fizz

add some vinegar to the baking soda
Christmas Fizz
Christmas Fizz STEM activity
Christmas Fizz
  • To make the fizz, spoon some of the colored vinegar into the tray. Watch as the vinegar bubbles up when it touches the baking soda! The glitter looks awesome as the bubbles rise up 🙂
  • Keep spooning vinegar* into the tray until all of the baking soda is covered in red and green.

*the larger amount of vinegar that you dump into the tray at a time, the larger your fizz will be!

We love making fizz and incorporating it into our learning themes! We’ve made superhero fizz, rainbow fizz, pumpkin fizz, and winter fizz too! Just change the food coloring colors and use different glitter to make any kind of fizz you want 🙂

Check out more fun STEM activities: https://imaginationsrunningwild.com/stem/

Christmas, Winter

Elf Picture Books

Elf Picture Books
Elf Picture Books

There are lots of books about Santa, but what about his helpers? Elves get overlooked in books, but we know how important they are! Here are 4 elf picture books to celebrate Santa’s helpers. Check your library for these and other great Christmas books!

Elf Picture Books:

There's an Elf in Your Book

1. There’s an Elf in Your Book by Tom Fletcher–

One of Santa’s elves is here to administer the Nice List test with the readers. In this fun, interactive books, kids will blow Christmas kisses, name a reindeer, and pass other cute tests. But look out, this elf has a few trick questions! DO NOT fall for the trick questions. This book has a sprinkling of potty humor that makes son giggle. After passing of all of the tests, the reader is awarded with an official Nice List certificate 🙂

How to Catch an elf

2. How to Catch an Elf by Adam Wallace–

My son loves Adam Wallace’s “How to Catch a. . .” series! In this Christmas book, Santa’s helper elf is target by the children. They set all sorts of traps, but with Santa on his side, no one catch this elf! Better luck next Christmas! Kids will giggle at the silliness and enjoy the bright, engaging pictures.

The Littlest Elf

3. The Littlest Elf by Brandi Dougherty and Kirsten Richards–

Oliver is a cute little elf with a big heart! He wants to help Santa get ready for Christmas, but every time Oliver tries to help, he ends up causing more problems. Young kids can relate to Oliver and the struggle to help when you are little. Oliver meets a small reindeer and they become friends. Together they realize that they can help in their own way.

Elf picture books: North Pole Ninjas: Mission Christmas!

4. North Pole Ninjas: MISSION: Christmas! by Tyler Knott Gregson–

This is book is awesome and inspiring 🙂 Santa has an elite team of elves to carry out goodwill missions! I try to impart the message of do kind things for others to my son and this book is a great way for kids to understand that message. The book encourages its readers to also carry out kindness missions with examples of kind, thoughtful acts that kids can do.

Santa Picture Books:

Looking for books staring Santa, check out my list of 7 Santa stories: https://imaginationsrunningwild.com/2021/12/02/santa-books/ . We found all of these are our library and ended buying a few of them 🙂

I joined Amazon’s Affiliate program to try and help cover the costs of this site. So if you buy something through one of my links on Amazon, then I get a small percentage of the sale (no extra cost to you). Thank you for your support! Happy reading 🙂