LET The Reindeer Games Begin! 19 family-friendly holiday game ideas you need to do this December! Just add a few select reindeer, some supplies around the house, and THIS top-notch list of kid-tested and approved reindeer games to make some magic happen! LET's experience this, together! I've got you covered.
LET the Reindeer Games Begin!
WHAT IS A REINDEER GAMES, ANYWAY?
Reindeer Games is a holiday event where fun, competitive games take place and festive food and prizes are often present. This might be for a corporate event, a classroom full of kids, sports team, or even your family. For us, specifically, we started this tradition four years ago when we first moved to a new neighborhood and didn’t know anyone. My son wanted to connect with new friends so we invited classmates, neighborhood kids, and their parents over for a Reindeer Games. As a result, IT WAS A BLAST! So many friendships blossomed that night, even for me! Over the past three years, all the Phillips kids have learned to join in on the festivities and now really look forward to it happening! While this December may look a little different due to the the pandemic, I am certain it will be just as magical as years before.
BUT WHAT ABOUT COVID-19?:
In efforts to do our part to stop the spread of Covid-19, we will, sadly, not be able to invite our usual reindeer pack this year (sigh), but we DO still plan to have one! Some time was spent flirting between ideas of either keeping it an intimate family affair or moving it online to a virtual event with friends. Ultiimately, I made the decision to keep it in-house as a Phillips party of six this year. We will be picking the games from the list below and modifying it a bit to accommodate all ages. After you narrow down your game choices, be sure to head on over to my post, REINDEER GAMES: How To Throw a Magical Holiday Kid Party. Here, I unlock my best holiday party secrets to ensure your whimsical night doesn’t tragically turn South from the North Pole! I have also included a “VO” (Virtual Option) next to each game that is virtual-friendly.
THE REINDEER GAMES LIST!
We usually start the night by greeting our hand-selected reindeer at the door and inviting them to sit down to hear the book, Reindeer Games: The True Story of Santa’s Reindeer, read aloud by yours truly. This year, since everything is different, I plan to start with Snow Globe Santa by Kathryn Burgess; a creative tale for the times where Santa accidentally gets trapped in a snow globe! Choose an intro activity like this where kids can trickle in and not miss much if they are running late. After the story is read, the games finally begin…Here are 19 Reindeer Games that have been kid-tested and approved throughout the years!:
STOCKING/PRIZE BAG DECORATING:
- MATERIALS NEEDED: bag, things to decorate it
- HOW TO PLAY: Great starting activity as kids trickle in. Have the kids sit down and decorate with markers/crayons or, if you are brave, glue, cotton “snowballs,” and glitter!
LETTER TO SANTA:
- MATERIALS: paper, shoe box
- HOW TO PLAY: Another great starting activity. We found these “Dear Santa” lists at Target a few years back, but you could use any type or paper/cardstock and have a shoebox for them to drop it in. Find a way to get the letters to the parents that night before they head home so they can deliver the letter to Santa. 🙂 We also really love The “Elf on the Shelf” Santa Letters ($22.95) and do those as a family every year. Once the kids finish writing their list, a parent bakes them and they shrink so your elf can take it to the North Pole. Later, it mysteriously returns back onto your tree as an ornament! This box lasts us a few years.
ANTLER TOSS GAME:
- MATERIALS: Inflatable Antlers & Rings from Oriental Trading Co.
- HOW TO PLAY: Depending on how many kids, you can have one kid have the antlers on and the other kids line up to try and throw the ring once and get back in line. We bought 2 sets to keep the lines going fast.
BALLOON STUFFED ANTLERS:
- MATERIALS: Brand new women’s stockings (1 per group), pre-blown up balloons (on the smaller side)
- HOW TO PLAY: This one can be a little tricky, lol, and a little on the pricier side. Purchase new women stockings (the stretchier the better), divide kids up into teams and have them build antlers by stuffing balloons in both legs of the stockings…this game may not be for everyone so know your audience. The outcome is hilarious.
“DO YOU WANT TO BUILD A SNOWMAN?” CHALLENGE:
- MATERIALS: Anything you would put on a snowman and a whole lot of toilet paper.
- HOW TO PLAY: Grab all your scarves, mittens, hats, carrots, and a ton of toilet paper for this fun event. The kids have to turn their partners into a snowman. You also will need to cut out black circles and scotch tape for the snowman buttons. Have partners do a 2nd round so everyone gets a turn. Change it up each year and turn them into Christmas Trees or Reindeer! Don’t forget to snap a picture.
SNOWMAN DRAWING PAPER PLATE CONTEST:
- MATERIALS: paper plates, sharpies
- HOW TO PLAY: This one is hilarious and very cheap to do! Each kid puts a paper plate on their head and uses a sharpie to try and draw the most perfect snowman on the plate. They giggle so hard once they are instructed to look at their masterpiece and reveal it to everyone!
REINDEER FOOD CRAFT:
- MATERIALS: Oatmeal, glitter, small container/bag for each kid
- HOW IT WORKS: Kids scoop oatmeal and glitter into their container to make reindeer food and spread all over their yard on Christmas Eve night to ensure that when Santa’s reindeer stop by their house, they will have enough food fuel to make it through the night!
DEER, DEER, MOOSE: Holiday version of Duck, Duck Goose
DASHER, JUST DANCE! Video Game:
- MATERIALS: Just Dance! Video game
- HOW TO PLAY: A good starting activity if you want the kids on their feet and playing as they wait on the rest of the pack to arrive. I call it Dasher, Just Dance!, but it is the Just Dance! Video game.
A REINDEER TAIL:
- MATERIALS: bandana, Pin-the-tail Reindeer found at Party City.
- HOW IT WORKS: A holiday version of Pin-the-tail with blindfold on.
THE GREAT PENGUIN RACE:
- MATERIALS: Balloons, streamers
- HOW TO PLAY: Each kid puts a balloon in between their legs while they are standing up. Parents wrap their bodies so that they arms are stuck to their body. They all start in one room and you give them a path in the house to go through. Ready! Set! Go! And they are off to the waddle races! It is hilarious!
- MATERIALS: Christmas trees, decorations
- HOW TO PLAY: I found great sized trees and decorations at Five and Below and use them every year. Team kids up and the object of the game is who can decorate their tree the fastest without it being knocked down…the trick is whoever is decorating is blindfolded and their teammates have to instruct them on where to walk, how close they are, and where to place decorations.
CHRISTMAS CUP TREE TOWER CONTEST: (VO)
- MATERIALS: Solo cups…a lot of them
- HOW TO PLAY: Build teams. The object of the game is to try and build the tallest christmas tree using all their cups.
REINDEER CHARADES: (VO)
- MATERIALS: pre-make cards with holiday specific words on them.
- HOW TO PLAY: Each kid acts out a card and whoever guesses it right gets to go next to act theirs out. If they already went, they can choose someone who has not gone yet.
SANTA BELLY BALLOON LIMBO:
- MATERIALS: Limbo stick, balloons, music
- Kids make a Santa belly with a balloon in their shirt and limbo.
REINDEER POOP EATING CONTEST: (VO)
- MATERIALS: Plate, chocolate morsels or marshmallows.
- HOW TO PLAY: Each kid has an equal pile of reindeer poop on their plate. They have to keep their hands behind their backs and eat all the poop off the plate. Whoever finishes firsts, wins! Whoever finishes first, wins.
- MATERIALS: Snowballs, parachute
- HOW TO PLAY: It’s a full on snowball fight. Use the indoor ones if you are staying in. But if there is real snow outside, it is absolutely mandatory to end the games with a real epic snowball fight!
WHITE ELEPHANT GIFT EXCHANGE: CHRISTMAS STORY VERSION
- MATERIALS: Each kid must bring a gift valued under $10. I recommend buying extra gifts and wrapping them in case someone forgets.
- HOW IT WORKS: Everyone sits in a circle as the host reads the white elephant story of “Twas the Night before Christmas.” Throughout the story, follow the prompts of passing the gift to left or right!
As far as how many activities to plan, gauge how large your party will be and how much energy you think they will have. With more activities, the games will be more structured. The less activities, the quicker your games will go and you may have more time for free play. Think about ages and ability. Do not miss any details on how to cover the entire experience of this night. Remember to check out REINDEER GAMES: HOW TO THROW AN AMAZING HOLIDAY KID PARTY! Happy Reindeer Games and let the Christmas spirit be with you! Please comment or question below and I will be happy to help! I would love to know if you decide to throw one and how it goes!
You know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen, Comet and Cupid and Donner and Blitzen. But do you recall the most famous reindeer of all?
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