Preschool: Reindeer

We are loving our holiday themes this year.  Our reindeer theme was a fun way to get in the holiday spirit without going all santa and elves and even do a little nonfiction learning. Check out this week full of all kinds of reindeer themed learning and fun!
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Here were our plans for our reindeer theme:

And here are the details for each activity:
 Reindeer Retelling:
Our first story was Olive, the Other Reindeer, by  Vivian Walsh and J. Otto Seibold. We started by reading the story.  After reading I gave Madelynn a response page divided into 3 columns for beginning, middle, and end. We talked about what happened in the story then Madelynn drew a picture to show each part. Afterwards I asked her to tell me about each picture/part of the story.
Beginning: He was listening to music.
Middle: He went with the reindeer to help.
End: They were at the North Pole and opened presents.
The Reindeer Problem:
Our next story was The Great Reindeer Rebellion by Lisa Trumbauer. Before reading we discussed and defined problem. We talked about how every story usually has a problem or something that goes wrong. After reading, Madelynn drew and labeled the problem in the story (Santa's reindeer wouldn't fly the sleigh.) Then we talked about how the problem was solved.
Making Predictions:
Our next story was The Wild Christmas Reindeer by Jan Brett. Before reading, we practiced answering questions and making predictions.

I asked "After looking at the cover, what do you think this story will be about?" 
Madelynn: "That's about reindeer."
Then I asked: "What will the reindeer do in the story?"
Madelynn: "They're going to fly and deliver some presents."

She is still making very basic predictions initially, but I love that she is starting to use the vocabulary that we have been talking about each week, like characters.
Reindeer Vocabulary:
For some nonfiction learning, we read Reindeer (A Day in the Life…Series) by Katie Marsico. While reading I used picture cards to reinforce new words. Then Madelynn made a reindeer vocabulary book. She drew pictures to show the meaning of each word and used the picture cards and book as a reference.
  Tracking Print:
Our last book was this letter R alphabet reader. Madelynn identified the picture then pointed to each word as she read. Afterwards she colored all of the pictures in.
Sleigh Read and Color:
This week we focused on beginning sounds so we started with this color by code activity. Madelynn identified each picture, then decided what letter it started with. Knowing it was one of the 5 listed on the left side of the page helped with some of the trickier sounds, then she followed the directions to make each spot the correct color.  
Reindeer Sound Stamping:
Next, for more letter practice we used our dot stampers. We started out stamping inside the letter to make an R for reindeer. Then Madelynn had to find the upper and lowercase r's in Rudolph, stamp them and make the "R" sound each time. 
Reindeer Rhymes:
This week we focused on rhyme again. For this rhyme sort, I taped reindeer feed bag labels onto small paper bags with pictures and printed carrots with rhyming pictures. First we read the word on each carrot, Madelynn found the rhyming word then placed it in the correct feed bag. Afterwards we brought them to our stuffed Sven (the reindeer from Frozen) for a little snack.
Reindeer Name Craft:
For this week's name craft we created this fun reindeer.  First Madelynn cut the reindeer pieces out. Then she traced the letters in her name on each antler piece. After she finished writing, she glued the reindeer pieces together and added the antler pieces in order to spell her name. To finish off the reindeer she used a marker to draw a mouth. 
Reindeer Journal Writing:
For our journal this week Madelynn chose to draw and label a reindeer habitat. She decided that her reindeer lived in a cave because that is what she saw in Rudolph.  After drawing she wrote Rudolph next to her reindeer with "RF."  All the letter sound work and stretching out words is starting to show!
Magic Reindeer Feed Tray:
Our first math activity this week was a reindeer themed writing tray.  I filled the tray with oats and sprinkled with glitter. Then Madelynn used small reindeer number cards as a model to write numbers in the oats with jingle bells or her finger.
Reindeer Shape Run:
It's starting to get a bit cold to be outside for long so it's time to incorporate a little movement into our learning inside for sure. For this shape game Madelynn put on reindeer antlers and chose a shape reindeer card from our basket. Then I called out an action and she ran, jumped, tiptoed, hopped on one foot, and flew like a reindeer across the room to find the matching shape carrot in a basket. She named the shape then fed it to her matching reindeer.
Build a Shape Reindeer:
Learning shapes was fun with this little shape reindeer.  To make this activity more about shapes and less about cutting, I precut the reindeer shape pieces from construction paper. I also didn't want her cutting skills to interfere with her ability to identify each shape. (The circles sometimes turn into squares and triangles into trapezoids depending on her cutting ability that day.)  I named a shape to find. Madelynn looked for it then followed directions to glue the pieces together and create a reindeer.
Reindeer Shape Puzzles:
These shape reindeer were just too cute, so I had to find another way to use them.  I created these little Rudolph shape puzzles. Madelynn matched the shape pieces together. Then I helped her read the shape words and match them to the puzzles.
Roll & Build Reindeer:
We can never have enough counting practice so I came up with this little game for Madelynn to get some more practice in this week.  First I printed the reindeer (without antlers) page. Madelynn rolled 1 or 2 dice. Then she counted out the correct number of brown connecting cubes and used them to build antlers for the reindeer.
Rudolph Sensory Bin:
Fruit Cup Reindeer:
This little Rudolph was fun and easy to make.  Before we started I used a utility knife to poke 2 holes in the bottom of a few plastic fruit cups. Madelynn painted the entire fruit cup brown then we waited for it to dry. Next she bent small pipe cleaner pieces around a longer one to create antlers.  She pushed the antlers into holes in the fruit cup and I added a little hot glue on the inside so that they would stay in. Finally I helped Madelynn use hot glue to add googly eyes and a large pom pom nose. (I added a dot of glue and she was able to carefully push it into the glue without any problem, but you may want to do this part on your own!)
Rudolph Rockets:
These little rockets were hands down our favorite activity of the week. I printed black and white reindeer and Madelynn colored them in. I cut a few inches of length off 4 plastic pipettes and taped them to the back of each reindeer. Madelynn pushed a straw inside of the pipette on the first reindeer. Then  she blew in each one to see how far she could launch it. After she repeat with each reindeer we talked about which one went the furthest.
Reindeer Paper Plate Mask:
To prep this mask I cut out a semi-circle from the top center of a paper plate. Madelynn painted the plate brown. While we waited for it to dry she cut out cardstock antlers and a nose. I reinforced the antlers by taping a craft stick to the back of each one. When the plate was dry she drew a mouth with a marker and  helped glue the antlers and an additional craft stick to the bottom of the plate for a mask handle.
Reindeer Feeding Sensory Bin:
In this bin: oats, pipe cleaners (bent into reindeer shapes), cups, bowls, scoops

Want all of this week's printables and plans?  You can grab them here:

Or you can grab our entire year of themes and plans here:

And that's it for this week. I can't wait to share all of our learning and fun with you this year! Here are our tentative plans for weekly themes if you want to follow along!



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