(Our Version of Elf on the Shelf)
I try really hard to teach and model kindness to my children. I think this is especially important during the holiday season. I want my kids to learn about the gift of giving, showing compassion for others, and learning empathy.
One simple and fun way to do this is using Elf on the Shelf and having the Elf deliver a daily kindness challenge.
When I ask my son (5) to reflect on the holiday season last year, many of his highlights are the things that we were challenged to do by our Kindness Elf.
This year's list was a little trickier with COVID, but I hope it will be just as meaningful.
The Basics of our Kindness Elf (who was originally named "Austin," by Austin at age 2. Renamed to "Elf" at age 4)
Yes, "Elf" comes December 1-December 24 and flies to the North Pole every night to talk to Santa.
Yes, Elf hides in a new spot around the house for my kids to find each morning. He will always have his kindness challenge for the day with him.
No, Elf does not do naughty things around our house. No judgement at all if your elf does (there are some amazing and hilarious ideas out there), but I'm:
1. Too lazy for that
2. Don't want to give my kids any more ideas about how to be naughty
3. Don't want to set the bar too high because I'll have to commit for many, many years
Some nights that my husband and I are feeling adventurous, Elf will be doing something a little more extraordinary than just sitting on a bookcase or hanging on the tree. Last year Elf was zip-lining across the playroom one day and happily perched on a shelf doing nothing the next day.
If this is something that interests you, feel free to download my Kindness Elf 2020 printable for free (scroll down to the bottom for the download). It's not editable, but I included an extra page with blank labels for you to fill in on your own if you want to/need to modify an idea.
This kindness elf takes WAY less time than the traditional Elf on the Shelf, and for our family, is way more meaningful.
Let me know if you end up trying it this year!
Free Kindness Elf 2020 printable
(click below to download)