Keep the magic of Christmas alive for your little one with this helpful little scout elf!
I was introduced to the world of “The Elf on the Shelf” by other mums in Hong Kong. Being a first-time mother, I am always looking for ideas on how to entertain, interest and teach my daughter something, especially around the holidays. I started reading up about Elf on the Shelf and was amazed at the world of possibilities. That’s how I started on this journey and “Elfie” became an integral part of our family. It’s been three years now and, thanks to Elfie, I have been able to maintain the “Magic of Christmas” for my now-6-year-old daughter, Isha.
The concept I rolled with was to make my daughter look for Elfie’s new hideout every morning, starting in December. For those few days before the holidays, waking up early for school was no longer a problem! She’d scamper around as I made sure to use every room, every nook and corner in the house to make it more challenging. As she learnt how to read, I used little notes from Elfie to make reading fun for her. Having the Elf on the Shelf as part of your family doesn’t always have to be a lot of effort. Here are some easy ideas with some household items to make the visits by your elf more interesting and fun!
Life Lessons By An Elf
I started having Elfie visit for two reasons – one was that I loved the idea myself as it helped my creative juices flow, another was to make my daughter conscious that someone was watching, to help her become more responsible and better behaved. I found that any lesson coming from an elf is more easily accepted than from a lesson from mama, so make sure to use your elf to your advantage, just as I did!
Healthy living and habits are something we try to instil in our daughter. She is now a little yogi, just like her magical annual house guest.
At some point, Isha will be old enough to add weights to her daily exercise. After all, if Elfie can do it with a couple of marshmallow weights, so can she!
Use Your Child’s Toys
Isha invariably got excited when “Stinky Pants”, as she teasingly calls her elf, used her toys. I sometimes used fridge magnets, her dolls, Lego and even her Barbie bathtub to create a scenario for Elfie to be discovered in. It always got a laugh from her to see how well he had settled into her home and with her things.
Arts And Crafts
When you have a child who loves arts and crafts, you will surely find something or other that will come to the rescue when you’re strapped for ideas. If you have a packet of stickers with “googly eyes”, this one is easy to recreate. It may not be the easiest to discover though, so wait for a weekend to have your child go nuts looking for your elf, before thinking to look in the fridge.
Use one of the many chalkboards or whiteboards at home (my daughter has plenty!), along with playdough or cotton wool to help your elf get creative if he is in the mood for crafting himself.
When she turned five, my daughter wanted to touch and play with Elfie. I didn’t want her to miss out just in order for me to keep the story alive. So one morning, she discovered this “Glove” that allowed her to play with him without making him lose his magic! Do watch the movie with your kids, if you haven’t already.
Ideas While Travelling
While travelling, make sure to take your elf with you. He is part of your family, after all! It might mean that you won’t have much to work with. On one occasion, I used the sugar sachets from the hotel minibar to make snow angels.
If you’re catching an early morning flight back, don’t make the search very elaborate. Stick your elf in your child’s bag and say that he was afraid of being left behind! Elves are very accommodating that way and don’t mind roughing it out, crammed into any small space they can find.
Read more: Christmas Travel For Hong Kong Families
I hope these ideas are useful and you are ready to welcome a new member to your family. If the elves have already been visiting your household for a while, I hope these ideas add a lot more fun and laughter this year. Merry Christmas and happy holidays!
Featured artwork courtesy of Sassy Media Group with images from Tarana Desai Shah, all images courtesy of Tarana Desai Shah.