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Free Printable Reindeer Mask

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It’s nearly wintertime and the kids are stuck inside for way longer than you’d like. So, what’re you supposed to do with all the extra free time?

How about some fun pretend play with this free printable reindeer mask for kids!

One of the most essential parts of early childhood is mastering the art of pretend play.

Nearly every child does it naturally, without even thinking about it.  A stick becomes a lightsaber, a horse or a magic wand.  A blanket becomes a cape, a cocoon or a roof to a palace. 

The imagination of children knows no limits!  

Read on below to see how to entertain your kids and encourage healthy development!

Reindeer Mask Printable

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. You can read my full disclosure here.

Reindeer mask image collage with the words free printable reindeer mask in the middle

Supplies

Directions

  1. Download the free reindeer mask template and print out on white card stock.
  2. Color in the mask with the crayons or markers.
  3. Cut out around the mask and inside the eye holes.
  4. Flip the mask over, place the jumbo popsicle stick towards the bottom of the mask and glue in place.

Isn’t that the simplest craft ever?!

And, as we said earlier, this mask is a great prop for imaginative play!

Are you worried you need expensive props to have your child engage in pretend play?

Don’t be!

While the shiny new play kitchen is bound to encourage pretend play, so is the box that it comes in!

Simple, homemade props, like this adorable deer mask, is an easy way for a child to assume a new fantasy role.

As a bonus, children get some fine motor skills practice creating the mask, and are more invested when they’ve made the props themselves!

But what function does imaginative play fill?  There are five key reasons why you should encourage pretend play in your home.

Pretend play encourages creativity and imagination.

A close up of a logo

From the moment a child picks up a mask, dons a pirate hat, or becomes a doctor, they are imagining themselves as someone else. 

Research has found that an important benefit of early pretend play is its impact on a child’s ability for cognitive flexibility and, ultimately, creativity.

By immersing themselves in an imaginative story, children are given the chance to practice using their imagination, to flex their brain and learn to think creatively, and how to think for themselves.

The ability to use imagination is a skill that all successful adults require throughout life, and we need to encourage children to learn how to do this from the start with frequent opportunities for imaginative play!

Colored in reindeer mask

2. Pretend play supports social and emotional development

Children engaged in pretend play with others are working on developing important social and emotional skills. 

They are practicing taking turns, sharing materials, and working cooperatively – skills that are needed to be a successful student, and later, adult. 

They are also learning the very important skill of give-and-take, or compromise. 

A group of children playing “house” can’t all be filling the role of “baby.”  Often, children engaged in pretend play with friends will find ways to compromise – you might even hear negotiations such as, “Ok, fine, you can be the baby but I’m going to be a mom that’s also a superhero.”  

Reindeer mask craft

Make-believe play can also help nurture a sense of empathy in children. 

Children are, by nature, egocentric.  They struggle to understand the viewpoints of others.  This is why a toddler has no problem standing directly in front of the television even though it blocks the view of everyone else in the room. 

They literally can’t make the leap that what they see with their eyes is NOT what everyone else is seeing from where others sit. 

In other words, the toddler can see just fine, so everyone else should be able to! 

Pretend play puts children into the roles of other people so they naturally expand their viewpoint. 

For example, a child taking on the role of “Mommy” in a game of pretend starts to understand the frustration their own mother might feel when the “child” is not listening to their directives!

Reindeer mask

3. Pretend play improves language and communication skills

One of the biggest benefits of imaginative play is the opportunity for language development. 

Children who are involved in a make-believe story of their own design use descriptive words, expand their vocabulary, practice conversational skills, and develop their listening skills. 

They learn to develop their ideas and opinions as well. 

Does the reindeer fly?  What does he like to eat?  Where does the reindeer live? 

All important questions to the child engaged in pretend play, and ones they’ll be happy to answer.

4. Pretend play develops problem-solving and critical thinking skills

Printed and colored in reindeer mask

Children that are playing often plan out scenes that they want to incorporate into their narrative.  This involves some thinking ahead, and also some quick decision-making skills.

Pretend play offers children a variety of different problems to solve and scenarios to think about carefully.

Choosing what roles to take on, what games to play, who will be involved and how, what materials are needed for the game and what rules apply to the game, and how to overcome scenarios where something “goes wrong”, all require problem-solving skills in one form or another.

Being involved in pretend play requires a child to use their cognitive thinking skills that they will find themselves using in each aspect of everyday life, and this will stay with them all the way through to adulthood.

5. Pretend play enhances gross and fine motor skill development

Another benefit of pretend play is that it is often very physical and involves both types of motor skills. 

Fine motor skills are used in pretend play as children manipulate the buttons and zippers on costumes, “write” down an order on a piece of paper or combine ingredients to make a play-dough masterpiece.

Children flex their large muscles pretending to be a reindeer leaping from rooftop to rooftop, chasing down imaginary villains, or being a star athlete in the championship game. 

Even physical pretend play that borders on roughhousing, provided that it is supervised to ensure safety, can help children develop the frontal lobes of their brain and develop self-regulation skills.

As you can see, there’s so much benefit to children through a simple printable, like this reindeer mask!

Share With Us

Did you color in this reindeer mask with your kids or students? If so, we’d love to see it!

Take a picture and share it with us on our Facebook page or in our private Facebook group.

Reindeer Books Kids Love

Printed and colored in reindeer mask

Free Printable Reindeer Mask Craft

Active Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

Download this free printable reindeer mask template and make with the kids this winter!

Materials

  • White card stock
  • Tape
  • Crayons or markers
  • Jumbo popsicle stick
  • Reindeer mask template (download form located at the end of the page)

Tools

  • Scissors

Instructions

    1. Download the free reindeer mask template and print out on white card stock.
    2. Color in the mask with the crayons or markers.
    3. Cut out around the mask and inside the eye holes.
    4. Flip the mask over, place the jumbo popsicle stick towards the bottom of the mask and glue in place.

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