Reining It In

by Laura Overdeck

You might have heard about magical reindeer that pull Santa’s sleigh. But the regular reindeer that live in the Arctic don’t fly. They just eat, drink, walk, run, poop, and do everything else mammals do. Also known as caribou, reindeer live in cold northern places like Finland, although thousands of years ago they lived as far south as Spain. They are one of the bigger types of deer, with males weighing 400 pounds and females topping 250 pounds. They’re also incredibly strong and are in fact used by people to pull sleighs…and if they could fly, they could probably pull an even heavier one.

Wee ones: Who has more legs, you or a reindeer? (All reindeer have 4 legs.)

Little kids: Reindeer are the only kind of deer where both the males and females have antlers, with 2 antlers each.  How many antlers do 3 reindeer have all together?  Bonus: A real reindeer can run at up to 50 miles per hour.  If a magical reindeer can fly 10 miles an hour faster, how fast is the magical one?

Big kids: A reindeer’s antlers can be as tall as 53 inches!  How does that compare to your height?  Bonus: If a reindeer could fly 100 miles an hour, how far could it fly in 1 full day? (Reminder if needed: A day has 24 hours.)

Answers:

Wee ones: The reindeer has more legs.

Little kids: 6 antlers.  Bonus: 60 miles an hour.

Big kids: Different for everyone…subtract 53 from your height in inches, or subtract your height from 53.  Bonus: 2,400 miles – about 1/10 of the way around the Earth!

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