After much debate about the elf, both my kids know that I am the one that moves the elf each night. For us it’s been just a fun game of hide-n-seek to play each morning before Christmas for the past couple years.
This year I decided to add a kindness twist to the elf on the shelf, inspired by The Imagination Tree’s version of The Kindness Elf.
Teaching Kindness with the Elf on a Shelf
When our elf arrives on St. Nicholas Day (December 6), there will be a letter inviting the kids to come up with ways they can be kind to others over the next few weeks.
These ideas will be written on slips of paper, and each day, when the kids find the elf, they will also get one of the slips with a daily challenge to show kindness.
I am hoping most of our ideas will come from the kids, but here are 10 ways children can show kindness to others:
- Make a thank you card for the postal worker for delivering the cards and packages this season.
- Shop for a small toy to drop off in one of the Toys for Tots collection boxes.
- Hold the door open for someone.
- Donate a few toys to a children’s hospital.
- Smile at each person you meet today.
- Choose a couple gently loved stuffed animals to donate to the fire station (to give to kids whose homes have been destroyed) or to a local nursing home.
- Bake cookies to share with a neighbor.
- Make Christmas decorations to take to a local nursing home.
- Call a grandparent and tell them you love them.
- Make bird feeders to help our feathered friends when it gets cold.
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- Teaching Kids to Give Back
- Christmas STEM: Make an Elf Zipline
- Go on a Candy Cane Hunt!
- 25 Homemade Ornaments Kids Can Make
I think the whole idea of the kids not letting them touch the elf just asks for problems — glad yours gets to give his elf a hug! (Touching the elf is a BIG thing here!)