Empowering Parents to Teach- Day of the Deer

Holiday Art: Day Of The Deer

Day of the Dead meets Christmas in this art activity


My son and I were feeling artsy.  I came up with the idea to make a Day of the Dead style reindeer.  I love the artwork on the Day of the Dead skulls and I was wondering what it would like on a reindeer face for Christmas. This intrigued him too so we decided to go for it. 


Being very technical and precise, my son wanted the reindeer face to be “just right”, so we found a book at the library to guide us on the creation of the reindeer face.  Once my son was satisfied with the shape of his reindeer’s face, we looked at a book about the Day of the Dead to refresh our knowledge of the artwork typically used to decorate the skulls.  There wasn’t too much information in the book we chose, so we ended up using the internet to see images of the skulls.


We noticed the lines, flowers, colors, and other elements that went into the skull designs. This was great practice with analyzing patterns as he had to discern the common elements among the skulls.


He made one deer using the colors and designs that he noticed from the skulls, but then we decided to use Christmas symbols to decorate our reindeer.


We brainstormed all things Christmas:

  • Santa
  • Trees
  • Snowmen
  • Snow
  • Lights
  • Poinsettias
  • Candy canes
  • Stars
  • Angels
  • Presents
  • Hot chocolate
  • Cookies
  • Peppermints
  • Elves
  • Mistletoe
  • Holly
  • Warm clothing
  • Red and Green


Here a couple of the reindeer that we drew:


Empowering Parents to Teach- Day of the Deer

You can see how much my little guy drew and erased to achieve his final version!



Empowering Parents to Teach- Day of the Deer

Final Version



Empowering Parents to Teach- Day of the Deer

Trying out new designs



Empowering Parents to Teach- Day of the Deer

This one was my final product


What may look like just a fun art project is really a very valuable learning experience! Through the creative process important skills are practiced,  such as research (searching through the books), analysis (synthesizing important design elements), and application of ideas (using what he analyzed to create a new project).  These skills are transferable to all academic disciplines!


What will your child’s Day of the Deer look like?