Spreading reindeer food, along with leaving cookies for Santa, has become a tradition for our family on Christmas Eve. I had never even heard of sprinkling reindeer food outside until one of my girls came home from preschool with it a few years back. She literally could not wait to spread it around our yard because she was sure Santa and his reindeer would spot the glitter from the sky (because the moonlight would shine upon it) and that’s how the sleigh would be guided down to our house. And the reindeer would certainly be hungry, too, with all that flying they’d be doing!!
She was so cute about it, I could hardly stand it. She just knew Santa would think it was a kind gesture and she would definitely end up on the nice list!! :) How could something this sweet not become an annual event?
This is the easiest kids’ project. You simply mix glitter with old-fashioned oats (they are larger than the instant ones, so they look better). I wrote a little poem to go with it, too. I recently did this project with my daughter’s kindergarten class, and they seemed to like it–they were all very excited to bring it home and show their family! Almost all of them had never spread reindeer food before, so they seemed pretty fired up about it. You could also have these bags ready to go and give them as a simple and affordable party favor at a children’s holiday party. Or hand them out on Christmas Eve to all the children if you are gathering with friends and/or family.
I hope this post inspires you to try this fun activity–perhaps it will become a new tradition in your family as well! And if you don’t live in an area with a yard, who says you can’t shake the reindeer food on a balcony, a roof deck, or even on the street? The sleigh has to land somewhere! :)
All you need is glitter and oats. It doesn’t get any easier than that! (I found my glitter at Dollar Tree, and I like to use old-fashioned oats because they’re larger than the instant ones.)
You could spoon the oatmeal into anything you have handy, especially if it’s just for your own family. But if you want to do something “cute”, I’m a big fan of vase-shaped cellophane bags like these. They are perfect for ribbon-tying! I use them all the time for all kinds of things. (I just put toffee pieces in bags like this and gave them out as small gifts to the members at the gym where I teach fitness classes). I get these at a party-supply store. You can probably find something like this anywhere they sell wedding favors and supplies.
Sprinkle the glitter inside. The kids love to choose the color of their glitter, so it’s fun to have a few options. :) Usually my girls like to use all the colors at once!
If you are just using the reindeer food for your own family, you really don’t even need the poem–or the ribbon for that matter. (although perhaps you could print and read the poem to your kids before they head outside to sprinkle the food around!) But for a class project or a party favor, it’s fun to print out the poem and attach it. I looked online for a poem I liked, but I wasn’t having much luck, so I just decided to write one myself! :)
I printed my tags on white cardstock and then cut them apart. If you don’t have one of these handy paper-cutters, you have to get one!! (I got mine at Michael’s, but any craft store will have them.) I use it for anything that needs a straight edge… school pictures, party invitations that I print myself, reindeer food poems… :) My mom saw me using it once, and she was like, “What is that?! That would have been handy for all those school pictures I used to cut with a scissors back when you were kids!!” It really is awesome–I love mine.
Get the poem by clicking the link below – it’s free!
Reindeer Food Poem written by Harvard Homemaker
After cutting the poems apart, simply punch a hole in the corner and secure a poem to each bag.
Ta-da! Easiest (and cheapest) kids’ project ever… a perfect party favor, too!
Along with being a fun school craft or party favor (ready to go for your guests as they walk out the door), you could also have a “station” ready to make these on Christmas Eve if you’re having family or friends over. Kids would love it!
Here are my girls last year on Christmas Eve spreading their reindeer food (in their matching pajamas, of course… another favorite tradition in our house!) If only you could hear them giggling with excitement as they zig-zagged around our yard… fun memories!
I love this simple tradition, and so do my daughters! For them to imagine the sleigh actually gliding down into the grass where they sprinkle the glitter is almost more than they can take! There’s nothing like the anticipation of Santa Claus coming! :)
What Christmas Eve traditions does your family have? I’d love to know!
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Please don’t put glitter on your lawn, especially mixed with something an animal might ingest. You could hurt or even kill any animal that eats it. For a similar effect, consider mixing colored sugar or edible glitter with the oats instead. Thanks!