28 Fascinating Reindeer Facts for Kids 

Published May 5, 2022
reindeer in northern Norway

Reindeer aren't just hustling carrots from Kristoff or pulling a sleigh on Christmas. These amazing creatures live in the wild and have some exciting features. Dive into fun and interesting reindeer facts for kids. Find out why Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer isn't just a movie and what's so special about reindeer antlers.

Fun Facts About Reindeer

Ready to warm up your fact knowledge with a bit of reindeer trivia? Learn about the fascinating lives of reindeer. Get some quick facts about where reindeer live, what they eat, and how many reindeer species there are. You'll also find out some pretty cool statistics about their migration and herds.

  • Reindeer, also known as caribou, are part of the deer family.
  • You can find reindeer in the Arctic Tundra like Canada, Alaska, Russia, and Scandinavia.
  • The scientific name for reindeer is Rangifer tarandus.
  • Males weigh up to about 550 pounds, and females weigh up to about 300 pounds. Now that's a giant deer!
  • Reindeer come in various colors, from gray to brown.
  • The fur of a reindeer has an insulating coat like a dog.
  • Reindeer walk more than 3,000 miles throughout the year to find warmer areas and food.
  • A reindeer's hooves are split to get traction in snow and dig for food.
  • Reindeer can live between 15 and 20 years.
  • They eat plants, typically moss, grass, and lichen.
  • There are seven subspecies of reindeer.
  • Male reindeer are nearly seven feet tall.
  • They eat about 18 pounds of veggies a day. Could you imagine?
  • It takes two years for a baby reindeer to become an adult.
  • Reindeer babies are not born with spots.

Cool Facts About Reindeer Antlers

reindeer antlers

One of the fantastic things about reindeer is their fascinating antlers. They are one of the first things you notice when you see them. In addition to being massive, enjoy these cool facts about reindeer antlers.

  • All reindeer grow antlers, both males and females.
  • Reindeer have the largest and heaviest antlers, at a whopping three feet tall.
  • Reindeer shed their antlers every year.
  • Every reindeer's antlers are unique to that deer... kind of like human fingerprints.
  • It takes a few months for reindeer to grow new antlers.

Surprising Facts About Reindeer for Kids

herd of reindeer

Reindeer have some extremely unique features beyond their lush fur and big size. From their nose to their incredible eyes, learn about a few reindeer facts that make these animals truly special. A few of these features are unique to reindeer.

Glowing Noses

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer's nose isn't just the highlight of a fictional story. There's a little truth to the glow behind the nose. Reindeer noses have extra blood vessels and fur to warm air up as it is inhaled into their nose. This results in their noses glowing red on a thermal camera!

Changing Eyes

Reindeer eyes change color depending on the season. They are gold in the summer and blue in the winter. This is so the reindeer can see more light during the darker winter months.

Big Herds

Reindeer like to have a lot of friends. In fact, they move in massive herds that can be comprised of up to ½ million reindeer. Could you imagine having that many family members hanging with you all the time?

Fast Runners

While the fastest human can run 23 miles per hour, reindeer have him beat at 50 miles per hour. That's a fast deer. They are almost breaking the speed limit!

Clicky Feet

It's well-known that reindeer click when they walk, from the tendon moving past their bone. But this click serves the purpose of helping them find each other in the snow.

Santa's Reindeer

The first written account of Santa and his reindeer was in A New Year's Present, to the Little Ones from Five to Twelve Number III: The Children's Friend in 1821. This little booklet started a tradition.

Strong Sense of Smell

A reindeer's eyes and ears are pretty keen, but it's their sense of smell that gets them around. This is a good thing if they are trapped in a snowstorm.

Worker Reindeer

Remember how Sven hauled ice for Kristoff in the Disney film Frozen? Well, Sami people herd reindeer and use them for transportation. You'll find reindeer pulling a sleigh in areas of Norway and Finland.

Fun and Interesting Reindeer Facts for Kids

Animals have some fascinating features. This includes Santa's favorite pals, the reindeer. Now you know why their fur is so thick, their noses are so warm and bright, and how they keep the herd together. Learn all about another animal associated with a major holiday by delighting in these turkey facts for kids too.

28 Fascinating Reindeer Facts for Kids