Saturday, December 21, 2013

Reindeer Hunt

When I was little, my dad used to do the cutest things to make Christmas morning more special for us.  We always left out the milk and cookies for Santa, and we always left out some carrots for the reindeer too.  And in the morning, the cookies and carrots weren't JUST gone.  My dad would do things like crumble up some of the cookies and spell out, "THANKS" with the crumbs, or carve a snowman out of the carrots.  One year he even made a video of the carrot being sucked through the blinds.  He always made it so fun.
I want to do fun things for my kids to make Christmas morning as fun and magical for them as it was for me and my brothers.  However, Ammon, is only 6 months old, so he doesn't really understand the whole missing cookies thing.  So, this year I decided to do something special for my nephews last night instead.  They are at the perfect age right now for something like this!
I made a fluorescent "paint" and a reindeer track stamp out of felt hot glued to the bottom of a super old shoe I was going to throw away, and I put tracks leading them down the sidewalk and around the front of Grandma's house.  It was dark out so I borrowed a blacklight flashlight that Grandpa uses to hunt for scorpions and made a label for it turning it into a "Flying Reindeer Hunting Light".  I got several carrots, and tied them up with a ribbon.  I also wrote a little poem and turned it into a cute printable note and tag.
To download PDF copy of printable, click here
Haha... the label was more as a joke.  There are a lot of people in my family that like Duck Dynasty.  So I made it a DEER Dynasty light, and put a Santa face on it.  Only looking at it... I think it's pretty easy to just mistake the Santa face as one of the people on the actual show! '=)


So once all that was in place, I sent them on a reindeer hunt!  I told them the North Pole called me that day, and told me that at a certain time, someone would be stopping by, then told them it was time and sent them into the front yard.
(I did colorize the footprints when editing these pictures so you could see how I did them)

The boys had a lot of fun following tracks to the surprise from Rudolph at the end with the carrots to leave out.  The was super easy, and fast, and I think that they enjoyed it.  AAANDDD... it was super CHEAP.

    M&M candy canes ($1/each)
+  Carrots (50 cents for 5)
+  Highlighter ($1)

TOTAL COST: $2.50!!!

How to put it together:

Reindeer stamp:
The printable has a template for the reindeer hoof.  I printed this, traced it on to some felt, cut it out, and glued it to the bottom of an old shoe I was going to throw away.  I was originally going to glue it to the bottom of a can, but all the cans I had were really small, and my shoe was the first alternative I thought of.  Haha, I'm sure you can find something better!  But I just dipped the felt in the paint and stamped out the hoof print.  Easy peasy.

Reindeer Footprint Glow Paint

Fluorescent highlighter (yellow or green work best)
1/4 cup water
1 Tbs liquid dish soap
1 Tbs cornstarch

Here is a tutorial how I got the idea for my reindeer footprint paint using a highlighter.  (link shows how they open the end of the highlighter and pull out the inside felt)  It's super easy.  I just let the highlighter felt soak in the water, then added some green liquid dish soap I had on hand (which kinda glowed under the blacklight too), and then the cornstarch. It was still very liquidy, but a little bit goes a long way!  It may not look like much on the sidewalk, but under the blacklight it glows really good! It dries super light colored, and in the dark you can't tell it's there.  And it just washes off after.

Here is a tutorial for just plain ol' washable sidewalk paint if you don't want to cut open a highlighter, or don't have a flashlight blacklight.

I hope you enjoy!

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