1. Pass the Antlers
Played like the traditional game of Hot Potato, pass the antlers has guests gather in a circle and pass a pair of antlers around as music plays. When each player receives the antlers, she must put them on her head, then take them back off and pass them to the next player. Any player caught wearing the antlers when the music stops is out of the game. Play continues until one player remains.
2. Reindeer Relay Race
To play this game, you will need two large boxes to serve as sleighs. Cover them in holiday gift wrapping or have the guests paint and decorate them as one of the party activities. Attach lengths of ribbon to each box to from the sleigh reins.
Divide players into two teams and have each team form a line on one side of the room. Stack a pile of gifts – or empty, wrapped boxes – on the floor in a spot on the other side of the room (make sure you have one gift per player). Give the first player in line for each team a pair of antlers. Inform the payers that Santa is almost ready to embark on his journey, but the elves are snowed in at the toy shop, so it’s up to the reindeer to load the sleigh.
When you signal the start of the race, the first players in line don the antlers, pull the sleighs to the stack of presents, load a gift inside and return to their teams. When a player returns to the line, she must hand the antlers to the next person in line, who must put them on and take the sleigh back to retrieve another gift from the pile. The first team of reindeer to fill their sleigh wins the race.
3. Red Nose Wins
For this game you will need a bunch of trinket prizes and several small rubber balls or even gumballs. Fill a sack with the balls, making sure there is only one red one inside the bag. Have guests sit in a circle and pass the sack around. As each guest receives the bag, he must reach in without looking and pull out a “nose.” When a player gets the red nose, he wins one of the prizes. That player then sits out, and the red nose is put back into the bag. Play continues until everyone has pulled out the red nose and won a prize.
4. Balloon Antlers
Divide players into two teams, and have each team choose who will be the reindeer. Hand each team’s reindeer a pair of pantyhose and give the rest of the teammates a bag of balloons. Set a timer for five minutes and have the players blow up the balloons that the reindeer must then stuff into the legs of the pantyhose.
When the timer rings, both reindeer must race to place the pantyhose antlers on their heads. The first team whose reindeer is wearing its antlers wins. Another variation is to have some judges on hand to determine the winning team based on the better pair of antlers.
5. My Reindeer Name
Put a reindeer spin on the classic party game of “My Name is.” Place the names of nine reindeer in a hat. If you have more than nine kids playing, you can make up some additional reindeer names of your own to add to the mix.
Have the children gather in a circle and hand the first player the hat. When he picks a name from the hat, he will read it aloud in this manner: “Hello my name is Blitzen.” He must then add a sentence of his own that describes something he likes that begins with the same letter as his reindeer name. For instance, he might say, “Hello my name is Blitzen and I like books.”
The hat is passed to the next player who must pick out a name and do the same thing, as well as repeat what the first player said. (“Hello my name is Prancer and I like puppies and he is Blitzen who likes books.”)
The hat is passed around the circle and play continues like this until a player forgets or loses track of the names and sentences that came before him. When a player messes up the order, he is out of the game. Play until only one player remains, or until the circle is completed without any errors.
6. Reindeer Food Hunt
Making magic reindeer food is a fun party activity that creates little packages guests can take home to sprinkle on their lawn for the reindeer to eat on Christmas Eve.
Before making the magic reindeer food, send your guests on a scavenger hunt for the ingredients. Hide them around the party space and give guests a list of the ingredients they need to locate. Once they have retrieved all of the items, they can gather at the table to mix them into a big bowl and divide the batch into individual, take-home portions.
7. Reindeer Word Search
Give each player a pencil and a piece of paper with the word Reindeer written across the top. Set a timer for three minutes and challenge players to write down as many words as they can from the letters that make up the word “reindeer.” When time is up, the player with the most words wins.