12 Kindness Elf Activities - Teaching Kindness to Children15:39:00
I really wanted to do something this year to help my girls understand kindness and why we should do kind things for others. I've seen many people do 'elf on the shelf' but the idea of a creepy elf watching my children, getting up to no good and reporting them to Santa when they do bad behaviour like him, just doesn't sit right with me. (Besides, what can a 3 year old possibly do that would mean Christmas actually gets cancelled?)
However, I loved the idea of the magic in the elf, the fact it could come to life while we slept and do lots of wonderful and crazy things which wouldn't usually happen. I knew this was the kind of magic we needed, but I had no idea how. Then it hit me, walking through town I spotted a friendly looking elf and knew he would be perfect to help the girls learn about kindness.
A few days before his arrival, I told the girls I had received a letter from Santa explaining that he would like to send us a kindness elf to stay with us. The girls understood that he would only be around until Christmas eve when Santa would take him home as he dropped off the presents.
We've done 12 days of kindness so far, some days our elf does kind things for us and others we do kind things for somebody else. It's been extremely easy to do and lots of fun. The only slight difficulty was thinking up what he would do next. So with much positive feed back (and a push from Laura over at Petit Moi Big World) I've decided to share our ideas and fun with you.
On our first day we woke up to Patch (named after one of the Vendigons from Santa Clause the movie) sitting upon our kitchen table with a note from Santa. He had set up North Pole breakfast, which can be anything you want it to be, as long as its different from usual. We had Christmas tree crumpets with chocolate dots for baubles and Hot chocolate with all the toppings in a glass that had its rim dipped in melted chocolate with a mini candy cane and sprinkles. He also left us party plates, crackers and decorated the table tree too.
On day two I wanted to girls to learn about using what they have and being grateful. Patch found an unused present from last year and asked if they would be kind enough to turn it into an Elf door for him. We got to work with spray paint and then kids paint, glitter and pop pops afterwards and decorated his door and even make him some 'Christmas trees' out of pine cones.
Day 3 was all about helping others. Patch thanked us for our kindness in making him an elf door and asked if we could help his friend the Robin and other birds by making a bird feeder with all the bits he left. The girls loved making it and we've been watching the birds come back everyday to eat.
Day 4 we did something kind for our friends. We used the cake mix he left, adapted it for Christmas and made our friends cakes. Once finished we got our pens out and made gift tags and bags to put them in. It was nice to see the happiness on their face when they gave out the cupcakes they had made.
On day 5 I felt we needed a break! Luckily Patch had decided to do something nice for us firstly he sprayed the window with 'snow' and wrote Christmas messages on it. The following day we were off to see Nanny on the train so instead of an activity, Patch very kindly packed the girls backpack and left us some treats to enjoy on the train.
A week in, day 7 and this is my absolute favourite activity (and yours too judging by reactions). Today Patch left us some money, however these weren't coins for us, they were 'kindness pennies' which the girls could donate to anywhere they chose. They chose to donate to the guide dogs and have since found money on the street which they donated too.
On day 8 I felt like we needed a day without props. Patch left a note asking us to pick up some rubbish off the street to put in the bin. To my surprise, Kairi remembered a few days later while we were out and actually picked some rubbish up and found a bin. It was so nice to see her learn about our community and how to care for it. The following day we were getting the train to go away so as we were already packed, Patch asked to come with us and left us some snacks.
On day 10 we were staying in the Travelodge and didn't have much with us. We were talking about being friendly and woke up to a letter asking us to spread smiles. We did a quick trial run and then spent the day spreading infectious smiles.
For our final two days, Patch left us an art activity to do for the Christmas table and new toothbrushes to take care of our teeth. The girls were very excited about brushing their teeth and will be doing the art activity this afternoon.
We still have a few more days left until Christmas and I have a few more ideas left for Patch before he leaves, so if you would like too, why not follow our Instagram Mummies Waiting where we post updates of what Patch has left us and then snaps of us completing them. If you'd like to see more why not check out our YouTube channel Mummies Waiting where we are taking part of Vlogmas and have lots of videos of our adventures with patch!