We took a BHT blogger tip and invested in our very own set of Kindness Elves. My decision was bolstered by a supporting article that suggested that they were a great alternative to the Elf on the Shelf. I know Elf on the Shelf has a legion of supporters, but the underlying concept just didn’t appeal to me. I didn’t see the point of creating elaborate scenes (especially as I am already up late trying to catch up on the day and getting ready for the next) and the no-touch rule made me think it was very detached and remote from children (who love getting involved and interacting).
Despite ordering our Kindness Elves at the end of November, they arrived just in time for the 12 days to Xmas countdown. And what a delightful 12 days they were … with very little effort and tremendous positive outcomes for our family!
Here are my top tips for the Kindness Elves:
Let the Kindness Elves stick around after Xmas
New friends shouldn’t necessarily be packed up and left in a dark and lonely box for the next 11 months. Sure they might go on holidays or need a little break.
These guys are helping us bring in an extra kind 2017, and will most certainly help us celebrate the International Day of Random Acts of Kindness.
Find the very simplest of props
Resist the urge to create elaborate scenes. It will take away from the very essence of the Kindness Elves, whereby SIMPLE acts can make a big difference.
I stole shamelessly from the kid’s toy collection. For example, Good sportsmanship playing Spotto was highlighted with a note leaning against a yellow matchbox car.
Craft wire was used to fashion a simple pair of reading glasses for the Elves to wear when they celebrated all the references to kindness in the kid’s school reports.
The Elves even provided a suggestion that Mummy deserved a cuppa, by actually perching themselves in a teacup.
Purchase the extras kit
With this kit you are up and running with no prior preparation required. It includes blank and pre-printed notes (with delightful suggestions for kind acts). This allows for consistency (important for children who may be at that questioning age – the one where many of their friends are doing away with their belief in all things magical and mysterious) and offers flexibility (to either pen your own note, or pick something already prepared).
We spent no more than 5 minutes, on any given day, with the setting up of props and/or writing notes.
Mix it up
Don’t just offer suggestions for acts of kindness, also highlight the kind things your kids have done without prompting – no matter how small. It really is about getting a good balance between modelling good behaviour, positive reinforcement and rewarding initiative.
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