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A Winter Party with a Reindeer Theme: Easy Ideas for Kindergarten

December can be an exhausting month for teachers! You’re pulled in a million directions. You’re exhausted. But you still want to give your students a fun sendoff to winter break! Here are some ideas to help you plan a winter party with a reindeer theme that can be adjusted to recognize Christmas or not be holiday-related at all! 🦌

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Easy ideas for planning a winter party with a reindeer theme in kindergarten. Image includes reindeer snack and reindeer games (BINGO and ring toss).

Why a Reindeer Theme for Your Winter Party?

A December reindeer theme in kindergarten is a wonderful way to integrate a science theme into the holiday season. Because of their association with Santa’s sleigh, students who celebrate Christmas can make connections to their families’ holiday traditions. If you teach a culturally diverse group of students, though, it is easy to just teach about reindeer—respecting the traditions of all families! Reindeer are absolutely interesting enough, even without Santa Claus!

If you teach a reindeer unit (or even a mini-unit) before the December holiday break, a reindeer-themed winter party will be all the more meaningful for your kiddos!

I’ve put together a reindeer unit you can purchase on TPT or in my shop if you want to conserve your time!

image of materials included in a reindeer unit for kindergarten and first grade: informational PowerPoint slideshow, vocabulary posters, reindeer shape craft, anchor charts
This informational reindeer unit includes a beautiful slideshow to project and share, lots of teaching tools, and many printable activities (books, worksheets, crafts, and more) for students!

Setting the Stage: Decorating for Your Winter Party

During the days leading up to your holiday party, having your students help decorate the classroom can be fun. If you’re teaching a reindeer theme, you can have students work on reindeer crafts to hang around the classroom (such as the shape reindeer in my reindeer unit or handprint reindeer that can be repurposed as ornaments for those who celebrate Christmas).

reindeer crafts: a reindeer paper bag puppet, a handprint reindeer ornament, and a shape reindeer craft

It’s also fun to decorate the classroom with a winter theme, like the tundra home of the reindeer! Have students make paper snowflakes. (You can incorporate math lessons on symmetry and geometry into this craft!) There are lots of ways to make snowflakes, but for kindergarten, you’ll want to make it as simple as possible.

Though real snow crystals have six sides, folding the paper to make four- or eight-sided snowflakes is much easier. Starting with pre-cut circles will give students more satisfying results. Consider cutting big circles from white copy paper to start out. You can also have smaller circles prepared for students with stronger fine motor skills.

easy steps for kids to make paper snowflakes for a winter party in kindergarten

Here’s a nice video to introduce your snowflake project and inject a little science into the lesson!

Another easy and satisfying winter party decoration is paper chains! Pre-cut strips of paper in varying shades of blue and white and let your kiddos go to town, gluing them into long chains. This is a great fine motor activity that can also be used as patterning practice. If you want or need to make it even more academic, consider having students write on the paper strips before gluing them. You could focus on phonics skills (word families, initial consonants, etc.) or math skills (equations, numerals, ways to show numbers, etc.).

image of blue paper chains with paper snowflakes - decorations for a winter party in kindergarten

Reindeer Games for Your Winter Party

Bring your reindeer theme into your holiday party with reindeer games and activities! This Reindeer Games printable set (available on TPT or in my website shop) includes lots of easy-prep activities (including Reindeer BINGO, Pin-the-Nose-on-the-Reindeer, and Roll-a-Reindeer). It also includes other printable activities and coloring sheets that are great for keeping kids busy while they’re waiting for their turn at the games!

an inflatable ring toss game from Amazon adds extra excitement to a winter party in kindergarten

Reindeer Ring Toss is another fun winter party game! This inflatable version from Amazon lets a child be the reindeer while others try to toss the rings over their antlers!

These candy snowflake bracelets, reindeer finger puppets, or reindeer stickers make fun prizes for the reindeer games!

And if you’d like your students to be able to contain their treats and prizes, these “Let it snow!” treat bags are sweet!

And is a kindergarten party even complete without a fun hat? You’ll find a template and instructions for this reindeer hat in my informational reindeer unit on TPT and in the My Happy Place website shop.

template for making a reindeer hat for your reindeer-themed winter party in kindergarten

More Winter Party Reindeer Fun

Dancing The Reindeer Pokey is a great way to get the wiggles out during your holiday party! If you aren’t trying to avoid a Christmas theme, your students can dance along with Jack Hartmann in the video below. It does include Christmas imagery, though, so if you are avoiding specific holidays, just put your kids in a circle and sing and dance with them as “you put your antlers in” and out (along with your hooves, tails, etc.).

Your students might also enjoy playing “Reindeer Says,” like Simon Says—using commands like, “Reindeer says clap your hooves three times,” or “Reindeer says wiggle your antlers.”

You can also find instructions for a simple math subitizing reindeer game in this post!

an illustration of a girl holding up four fingers as she plays a kindergarten reindeer subitizing game

Add a Reindeer Snack to Complete Your Winter Party!

Kids will enjoy making and eating this simple reindeer snack at their holiday party! To make this treat, you will need (for each student) one square graham cracker, nut/seed butter OR chocolate frosting (about 1 T per student), two pretzels, and small candies or raisins for the eyes and nose.

If you scoop the nut butter or frosting into a zip-top bag ahead of time, you can snip a hole in the corner and squeeze a dollop onto each child’s cracker for them to spread. You’ll want to provide plastic knives (or wooden tongue depressors) for students to use to spread their topping.

These candy eyes are super cute, but M&Ms (or similar candy) or raisins will also work for eyes.

reindeer snack made from graham cracker, pretzels, candy, and chocolate frosting or nut butter

I hope the ideas in this post will make your party planning much easier! Happy December to you, and best of luck making the days before break as productive and stress-free as possible!

Find all my reindeer activities in one money-saving bundle on TPT or here in my shop!

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