Christmas is a time of celebration, but it can also provide an opportunity to learn. Regale your child with the famous Christmas story of the red nosed reindeer, and then segue into a fun paper and glue art project. Construct a portrait of the beloved red nosed reindeer with your child using shapes such as circles, rectangles, triangles, and more. This Rudolph collage will facilitate a discussion about basic math concepts such as geometry, shapes, and the part to whole relationship. Additionally, this activity can easily be used as a lesson in color recognition, the narrative process, or animals.
What You Do:
- First, entertain your child with the story of Rudolph the red nosed reindeer from a well-illustrated book. Ask your child to look at the illustrations, and discuss what shapes can be found in the face and body of the reindeer.
- Help your child cut out shapes from the construction paper to build the reindeer with. Begin with the brown paper and create a face, body, and legs. If needed, use a shape stencil or other items to trace the shapes. The bottom of a drinking cup is a good size for the head. The body can either be a rectangle or an oval, and the legs can be long rectangles. If your child can find different shapes in the reindeer, go ahead and use those as well!
- Help your child to cut out small shapes for the ears (triangles) and eyes (circles).
- Ask your child to form the reindeer by gluing shapes together on a separate piece of construction paper. For a larger reindeer, try a piece of poster board. Compare this to putting together a puzzle.
- Add the red nose. Your child can use a red pom pom to create a bright nose for Rudolph. Have him place a dab of glue in the middle of the reindeer’s face, and then firmly press the red pom pom on top.
Brighten Christmas morning by giving this colorful collage to a special family member or friend! Or, simple hang your child's creation up for a festive holiday display.
Erica Loop has a MS in Applied Developmental Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education. She has many years of teaching experience working in early childhood education, and as an arts educator at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh.