Elf on the Shelf is an elf doll plus a book to explain it all: the elf watches and listens during the day but does not speak or move; at night while we sleep the elf flies to the North Pole to report to Santa Claus whether the kids have been naughty or nice; then he flies back to the home and chooses a new spot to perch for the next day. The kids have fun trying to find the elf each morning! This repeats from December 1 through Christmas Eve. When Santa delivers the goods on Christmas Eve, the elf goes back to the North Pole with him until next December 1st.
An extra incentive for kids to behave? Sounds beautiful to me.
You can even choose your elf's gender, eye color, and skin color. If you really want to go all out, there is a DVD and a plush doll, plus other goodies to get your kids super-pumped about your Elf on the Shelf.
Last year was our first time with Alvin in our home. Each family gets to name their elf, and yes, ours is Alvin. I was not on Pinterest last year, so I didn't know how crazy people were getting with their elves! Ours perched in the fruit basket, in the tree, on the mantle, on the bookshelf, blah, blah, blah. Boring. But now I KNOW! And this year, Alvin will do amazing things.
Well, Alvin will do amazing things that can be set up quickly, without much preparation. Alvin will also do amazing things that allow him to remain out of reach of the kiddos - for the most part. If the kids touch the elf, he or she loses all magic. What will you do if this catastrophe happens? You can find that solution on Southern Disposition. Have Santa Claus send some Magic Elf Dust (a.k.a. glitter) to sprinkle on your elf and restore his or her magical powers. Brilliant! You can even download "From the Desk of Santa Claus" stationery to make it more authentic.
After scouring countless blogs and photo sites, I have devised my quick-and-easy plan for the 25 Days of Alvin the Elf!
- double-sided tape
- toy truck
December 2: driving a toy truck on the dresser of other child's room
- candy jar filled with candy
- goldfish crackers in a bowl
- fishing pole from "Go Fishing" game
- toy chair (from a dollhouse, or in our case a fire house/police station)
- LEGO mini-figures
- juice box
December 4: building a marshmallow snowman, in the kitchen
December 5: zipline across the toy room (tied on a string, secured with thumbtacks)
December 6: reaching in to the candy jar (dining room table)
December 7: sitting on a toy chair, holding a fishing pole, fishing for goldfish crackers (in the pantry closet, where we keep the crackers)
December 8: "tied up" and surrounded by LEGO guys (on the mantle)
December 9: in the fridge, drinking a juice box
- toilet paper roll, mostly gone
- coffee mug
- coloring book
- safety scissors
- white paper
- toy toilet (from from a dollhouse, or in our case a fire house/police station)
- clean pair of underpants from each member of the house
- tissue box
December 11: in a coffee mug (next to the coffee maker, in the kitchen)
December 12: coloring in a coloring book (on a table)
December 13: cutting paper snowflakes (dining room table)
December 14: sitting on the toy toilet (place on top of the real toilet)
December 15: sitting on the mantle with underpants hanging from the stocking-hooks instead of the stockings (that sneaky little elf!)
December 16: sleeping in a tissue box
- powdered sugar
- a puzzle
- remote control
- small bowl of popcorn (popped)
- blocks, any kind
- Christmas stocking
- deck of cards
- stuffed animals
- small envelope labeled "Magic Elf Seeds"
- white or green Tic Tacs, or Christmas-themed decorative sprinkles
- a note from the Elf about Magic Elf Seeds
December 18: doing a puzzle (in the play room)
December 19: sitting in the living room, with the remote control and a bowl of popcorn
December 20: sitting on a tower of blocks (under the tree)
December 21: hanging in a Christmas stocking
December 22: playing cards with stuffed animals (on the dining room table)
December 23: hanging from a Slinky (tacked to the ceiling), holding the packet of Magic Elf Seeds and the note - click the link to see an example of a note that instructs the kids to "plant" the magic seeds in a bowl of sugar to see what will grow
- mixing bowl that the kids filled with sugar, in which they planted the Magic Elf Seeds
- Christmas cookies (homemade or store-bought; either way, DON'T LET THE KIDS SEE THE COOKIES AHEAD OF TIME!!! Or the packaging afterward.)
- lollipop sticks
- goodbye-letter from the Elf (click the link to see a great example)
December 25: the Elf is gone, but s/he left a note to say goodbye
I hope these ideas help you - or inspire you! - to do some creative, easy things with your Elf on the Shelf this year. Have fun and as always, thanks for reading.