“MOM, HE’S BAAACK!” Much to my kids delight, our Elf on the Shelf has joined us again. My kids are so excited that they even made him a little welcome back sign.
This time my plan is to have Zac (the name we chose for our little Elf) encourage healthy habits, good social skills and wonderful manners! All of his missions are simple and easy to recreate. They also offer ‘teachable moments’ to talk to your children about kindness, respect and character development.
What do you need to get started? Just download these FREE printables – Elf Missions 1 (408 downloads) Elf Mission 2 (424 downloads) , and Elf Mission 3 Blank version. Cut out each mission and tape it to a craft stick. There are sixteen ready-made missions and a blank page to create your own. The possibilities are endless!
Ready to get started?
Mission 1 – Healthy Habits
A little reminder to take care of personal hygiene–especially brushing their teeth.
Mission 2. The Love of Reading
The Elf agrees! Reading WILL make you smarter! Why not read out loud to your little Elf?
Mission 3 – Family Cooking
The kitchen is a fantastic way to teach children math with measurements, science, healthy eating and general social skills. How about carrying out a holiday act of kindness and bring cookies to your neighbor?
Mission 4 – Donate Toys
Time to clean out the toy closets. Ask your children to go through toys and donate gently used ones. A great way to recycle toys and make room for new ones.
Mission 5 – Table Manners
As the strict table manner mama, I thought the Elf could help reinforce good manners. A gentle reminder on how to set the table and perhaps a little refresher on basic table manners.
Mission 6 – Dance Party
Dancing is a wonderful way to encourage stress release and creativity. Who’s ready for a family dance party tonight?
Mission 7 – Family Game Night
Playing board games with your children is a terrific way to teach vital life lessons. It’s also a great way to unplug and entertain the kiddos during the holiday. Check out our special post called ‘Amazing Life Lessons Learned from Board Games‘.
Mission 8 – Polite Behavior
Why not sneak in some good manners lessons? Encourage the lost art of opening up doors. Challenge of the day: How many times you can hold the door open for someone?
Mission 9 -Healthy Eating Habits
During the holidays, my children can certainly use a bit of a reminder to eat their fruit and veggies. Elf in a fruit bowl will hopefully encourage healthy choices (at least for that day)!
Mission 10 – Clean up!
Yes, I had to throw in a little help for mom! Elf would like the children to help pick up trash. Trash can be collected at home, in school, outside and more.
And a few more missions to set up on your own:
Mission 11 – Call Someone Today
Here create a scene with the Elf and his telephone with his little mission sign. Ask your kids to call someone special (a friend and/or family) and spread a little holiday cheer!
Mission 12 -Draw a Picture
The little Elf becomes an artist for the day. Create the art scene with lots of markers, paper, paints, brushes and paper and find the little Elf amongst them! Can your child draw a picture for his or her teacher today?
Mission 13 – Give Someone a Hug
Elf needs a hug! Find lots of fury friends and create a special moment between our friend the Elf and your children’s stuffed animals.
Mission 14 – Chat ‘n Giggles
Elf would like you to unplug and get back to basics with fun conversation and jokes. Surround the Elf with lots of little cards filled with jokes and questions. Visit our post on how to make Chat ‘n Giggle cards!
Mission 15 – Share a Candy Cane
The Elf has a sweet tooth! Place him on a mountain of small candy canes. Perhaps add a few furry friends that he has shared the canes with? How many can your child share today?
Mission 16 -Send a Holiday Card
Surround Elf with either your holiday cards or a collection of the ones you receive. The challenge of the day is to mail a few holiday cards to friends and family or even make some cards and ship to the troops.
What to do when the missions are complete? My daughter enjoys drawing or writing a note back to Zac. It’s a fun way to make the Elf lesson of the day go a little further. For example, after the brushing your teeth mission, she wrote the note, “You are the best at helping us brush our teeth!”
What lessons would you like to encourage your child through Elf of the Shelf. We can’t wait to hear your ideas! Enjoy.