Elf on the Shelf Simplified


Special delivery, straight from the North Pole, the elves have arrived! And with them, the endless search for Elf on the Shelf ideas! After Thanksgiving, we all know who comes to visit! Whether you have a shelf or not, the elves are here to stay until Christmas Eve morning. These little guys are a lot of fun for kids, but it is somehow stressful for parents who have to come up with twenty-eight (28) new and fresh ideas for entertaining our visitors.

My husband and I love to see our kids searching for their little friends in the morning. However, there is nothing simple about these elves. After a long day, we just wanted to go to bed and let the magic of the elf take over by itself. That never happened, and for the last four years, we have been coming up with ideas for these Elves on the Shelf. Even so, this year, the magic finally happened! YAY!!

Two weeks or so ago, I received an email from the Big Journal blog with some Elf on the Shelf idea. Interestingly, the blog pointed out how this funny tradition can be used as an opportunity for promoting kindness and creativity in children. I loved this approach! The Big Journal blog post listed different elf types and a brief description of what that elf would do, but nothing too detailed. It was more of a white canvas for the parent to be creative. Yes Yes! Both, parents and children get to explore their creativity!

My husband and I didn’t grow up with the Elf on the Shelf tradition but have adopted it as our family grows. For the kids, it is like every morning is Christmas! For us, it is a constant search for ideas. So, since this is the Simple Woman blog, we came up with a simplified version for this fun family tradition:

  1. Focus on What Matters – Based on the Big Journal blog’s Elf on the Shelf ideas, we decided to turn the types into weekly Elf themes instead of focusing on just one elf.
  2. Weekly Themes – We chose the themes most relevant to what we want to teach our kids. Here are the winners:
    1. Critical Thinking Week
    2. Be Creative Week
    3. Christmas Around the World Week
    4. Kindness Week
  3. Activities Calendar – To simplify our life and have some peace of mind knowing what the elves will be doing until Christmas Eve morning, we created a calendar. Click here to see our calendar. Each day of the week, the activity will be focused on that particular week’s theme.
  4. Have fun with the kiddos!

Now, we don’t have to search for ideas throughout December anymore. Plus, next year, we will have something to work on, an Elf on the Shelf Simplified Plan! Most importantly, we are having fun as a family while building memories and teaching our kids valuable life skills.

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