Reindeer food is damaging
Reindeer food is a much loved craft option to make with children in the early years. It usually involved oats and glitter along with a little poem card asking you to sprinkle it outside on Christmas eve to help guide Santas’ sleigh. In the early years this activity is done in many ways from it being more of sensory experience mixing and playing in the oats and glitter before practitioners portion it up to send home with parents for Christmas eve, or with older children it is often used as a great mathematics activity where the children are encouraged to follow a recipe card and add certain amounts of the oats and glitter to their bags of reindeer food ready to take home. All in all it has many benefits, however many are now urging parents to stop using reindeer food in the traditional manner.
Why should we stop using reindeer food?
The problem with this unfortunately comes down to the glitter. Glitter has already recently made it on the early years agenda with a large chain of nurseries banning glitter from its settings, classing glitter as a micro plastic that is causing damage to the immediate environment and the oceans.
Now whilst this might be a contributing factor as to why you might want to think twice about making reindeer glitter, it is having a huge impact on Wildlife. Wildlife experts are claiming that glitter is causing harm to the local wildlife who may be intrigued and eat the oats and glitter. Glitter isn’t digestible and is therefore harming wildlife such as hedgehogs. This is important to consider as it is important that we teach the next generation of adults about caring for wildlife and the environment.
Whilst this may seem like a huge blow to have to consider banning reindeer food from early years settings, there are some alternative methods that could be used instead.
Alternative ideas to the traditional reindeer food.
One idea is to simply change the poem that is attached to the reindeer food. This means changing the poem so that instead of the reindeer food being sprinkled outside to guide Santa, instead the reindeer food can be placed in a dish at a window to guide Santa
Another alternative if you are concerned about the wider damage caused by glitter being a micro plastic then you may like to swap the glitter for a more environmentally friendly product such as an eco-glitter.
What are your opinions on this?