Reindeer Logic Puzzle

This reindeer logic puzzle is perfect for bringing a bit of Christmas cheer into your classroom. Students are given seven statements about Santa’s reindeer who have run a race. They must use logical reasoning to determine the order in which the reindeer finished the race.

Reindeer Logic Puzzle Clues

Santa’s reindeer had a race to see who would lead the sleigh this year. Medals were given to the top three reindeer. In what order did they finish?

• Blitzen finished two ahead of Cupid and three ahead of Vixen.
• Rudolph finished just ahead of Blitzen and just behind Dancer.
• Only one reindeer was slower than Cupid.
• Comet was pleased to have beaten Rudolph, but he wished that he’d also beaten Dasher.
• Prancer, Comet, and Dasher all won medals.
• Donner was unhappy to be in the bottom half of the results.
• Prancer was delighted to beat Dasher.

Puzzle Source

This logic puzzle is a testament to how much I love twitter and the difference it has made in my classroom. In 2016, I came across this Christmas-themed logic puzzle from Learning Maths on twitter.

I knew I had to recreate it for my classroom, and now I am sharing it with you.

Using This Puzzle in the Classroom

The first time I used this reindeer puzzle with my students, I projected the text on my SMARTBoard and let students work through the puzzle using dry erase boards.

I found that my students did not know the names of all of the reindeer from memory which made the puzzle extra difficult for them to solve.

I soon got tired for repeating the names of the reindeer over and over again, so I decided there had to be a better way.

I ended up typing up the clues on a sheet of paper and made laminated cards with each reindeer’s name printed on them.

MATH = LOVE RECOMMENDS…

A laminator is a MUST-HAVE for me as a math teacher! I spent my first six years as a teacher at a school with a broken laminator, so I had to find a way to laminate things myself.

I’ve had several laminators over the years. I currently use a Scotch laminator at home and a Swingline laminator at school.

I highly recommend splurging a bit on the actual laminator and buying the cheapest laminating pouches you can find!

With this structure in place, it took my students about 5 minutes to work through this puzzle. This is the perfect length for a lesson starter during the Christmas season!

Three Different Printable Versions

Since this activity has proved to be so popular since I originally posted it on my blog, I gave it a face lift and created three slightly different styles of the activity for teachers to choose from.

The first two versions feature the clues organized either as bullet points or a table. They are designed to be used in conjunction with the laminated cards which students will place in order as the answer to the puzzle.

Finally, I made a worksheet version in case teachers that teachers can use in conjunction with the laminated cards or without them.

I also created several different sizes/styles of reindeer name cards that you can print and use with your students.

My favorite version has reindeer clipart on each card with the reindeer’s name. This set of reindeer cards prints 1 set/page.

If you want to save paper, this next set of reindeer names prints 2 sets/page.

The third option is probably what you want if you are making a class set of these puzzles. The reindeer name cards are much smaller, but you can print four sets per page.

Puzzle Solutions

I intentionally do not make answers to the printable math puzzles I share on my blog available online because I strive to provide learning experiences for my students that are non-google-able. I would like other teachers to be able to use these puzzles in their classrooms as well without the solutions being easily found on the Internet.

However, I do recognize that us teachers are busy people and sometimes need to quickly reference an answer key to see if a student has solved a puzzle correctly or to see if they have interpreted the instructions properly.

If you are a teacher who is using these puzzles in your classroom, please send me an email at sarah@mathequalslove.net with information about what you teach and where you teach. I will be happy to forward an answer key to you.

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1. Anonymous says:

You are amazing especially given the number of preps you have! What a joy you must be to your students! Thank you!

2. Amy and Bryan says:

Awesome. I was looking for something to do in my algebra class tomorrow since we tested today.

3. Unknown says:

Is their an answer key for the Reindeer Logic problem?

1. Unknown says:

I was also wondering if there was an answer key somewhere. Thanks!

4. Anonymous says:

Answer Key from first to last was: Prancer, Dasher, Comet, Dancer, Rudolph, Blitzen, Donner, Cupid, and last was Vixen.

5. Unknown says:

This answer key is incorrect – it said that Dancer received a medal, making him top 3…

1. Unknown says:

No it says Prancer, Comet and DASHER won medals. I believe that that answer is correct

6. Unknown says:

I created a Classkick using your PDF. It is digital and you can create manipulatives which I did for the Reindeer names. Here is the link: app.classkick.com/#/assignments/AW7iEfN-Qy6UF75XEcLx8A

7. Connie says:

While you’re thinking reindeer, do you know the game Jumping Reindeer? It’s a logic jumping game with the goal of ending up with only one marker.

I’ve played it with second graders, many of whom can win regularly. I can’t so I assume the game label of ages 7 to 11 ought to 7 to adult.

We’ve changed the rules so that you win if you end up with one marker but it’s a Super Win if you end up with one marker in the center of the board.

The creator of the game says it’s a one-person game but it also works as a cooperative game with partners. If they win, they both win (second graders love this). If there’s more than one marker left, “the reindeer win” and the kids try again.

https://nrich.maths.org/1191

8. Kristen says:

My students and I absolutely LOVE these puzzles! I cannot thank you enough!!!