Ideas for a Good, Friendly Scout Elf
I often hear people talk about their elf on the shelf as an elf that gets up to a load of mischief. Now that our elf, the beautifully named Chickazeet has been with us for a couple of years, it’s exhausting as a parent to come up with and then create 24 crazy mischievous ideas. According to elf legend (in The Elf on the Shelf story), the elf’s “job” is only to keep an eye on your child’s naughty and niceness. This is later reported back to Santa each night. Let’s look at what to do when you give your scout elf a friendly personality who loves to play. Because that’s what children (and elves) do best.
Here are some good, friendly and very do-able elf ideas for younger children – 2-5 year olds. I refer to the elf as “He” as we have a boy elf. Elves can also be girls.
He can hide
As with all good hide and seek games for young children, think about a variety of hiding spots that children love, find simple enough, yet still be challenging:
- Hide up high. Still make the high places visible for children. We learned that hiding the elf on the ceiling fan is not a great idea. For Australian stinkin’ hot summer days, all we wanted to do was turn on the fan. We stayed hot in the interest of keeping our elf in one piece!
- Hide down low. But inaccessible to pets as you don’t want your little elf to be loved too much by your four legged friend. Create little hiding nooks and crannies. Under a basket is great, as children can still see the elf. There’s the added intrigue of not knowing how he got under there.
- Places children are familiar with and see daily. Pot plants are wonderful hiding places!
He enjoys the same things as your children
When your elfie returns in the “morning”, your little ones will love to see their elf doing the same thing as what your children enjoy doing or playing. We read a book or two every night before sleep. It’s always been one of our routines. My boys were so excited to find our elf reading one of their favourite books. Having your family elf “share” your children’s enjoyments adds that special touch and familiarity to making your elf special.
He can write & draw
Elf on the shelf magic means that elves don’t talk. He can write though! Writing a little message is a visible way to show your children what your elf would like to say. I use the good ol’ “other hand for writing” trick for my elf notes. This way, the elf writing looks uniquely different to my normal writing and no-one will tell it’s me. Shhh!
Elves can write all sorts of notes – messages of love, a countdown of sleeps to Christmas, or an affirmation of ways your child showed niceness. Why not ask your children to write a letter to Santa? This is a fabulous way to boost meaningful and genuine literacy learning. Your family elf can deliver the letter personally to “Santa”, which then becomes a lovely keepsake.
He can take photos
The Elfie Selfie! Make sure the camera is close by for those all-important shots! Taking photos of your children sleeping, or of you going about your night time stuff shows that the elf really does have his eyes on them!
These four friendly, good elf on the shelf ideas can easily be repeated over the Christmas elf season. Mix it up and if you want to add a bit of cheekiness, give that a go too. The best elf is the one that suits your children’s personality, developmental ages and your own family routines. Where is your elf on the shelf hiding?
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