Gathering Activity We made Reindeer Food together. The children each measured their own ingredients into their own bags and shook them up. We placed the poem inside. I have done this for several years as a teacher and with my own children. I am not sure where I originally found the poem and recipe, but I am sharing a link in case you need one.
Circle Time We read Santa's Noisy Night by Julie Sykes. This is a funny story, perfect for a read aloud to 3 year olds! It follows Santa along his Christmas Eve journey as he tries unsuccessfully to remember to be quiet and not wake up the children. It is perfect for a read aloud. There is repetition which the children can join in on, yelling and whispering, which makes it easy to be silly with, and familiar characters like reindeer, snowmen, elves, and of course, the Big Man himself. After sharing the story, we sang "Up on the Housetop," "Santa Claus is Coming to Town," and "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer." We also did the following Finger plays. (You can click on the links to find the complete words). We did "Call Rudolph", and each child helped take away a reindeer figure during the finger play. We did "Here is the Chimney" and "There's A Little Reindeer." The last one was originally about an elf, but we changed it, and I gave each child a Little People Reindeer to use to act out the song with me. This one was by far their favorite. We sang it several times.
Art We made these adorable Paper plate Santas. You can find directions here at No Time For Flashcards. This was a wonderful fine motor activity that the children could do without much help.
Pin the Nose on Rudolph: One of our talented moms made these super cute Pin the Nose on the Reindeer Game. She drew a noseless reindeer on poster board and cut out enough red noses for each child to have to turns. We covered the children's eyes with our own hands, so it wouldn't be as frightening as a blindfold.
Quiet Santa Says Played like Simon Says, but whisper all of the directions.
Snack Reindeer Sandwiches: These fun sandwiches have been around forever. Another one of our fantastic moms made these from peanut butter triangle sandwiches, pretzels for antlers, cherry noses, and marshmallow eyes with mini chocolate chips. I had to take a picture fast, because these disappeared quickly!