Our family has done many things to celebrate the days before Christmas. From chocolate advent calendars and a chain of linked construction paper rings, to making daily ornaments with Truth in the Tinsel or inspired by Ann Voskamp’s “Unwrapping the Greatest Gift.” This year, we are adding to our Christmas traditions with two beautiful dolls who traveled from across the pond to help us spread kindness and think of others during the Christmas season.
I stumbled upon the Kindness Elves about a year ago and fell in love with the idea. Created by a UK school teacher as an alternative to the “elf-on-the-shelf” tradition, Kindness Elves place the focus on positive, character-building activities while giving families opportunities to teach and practice acts of love, kindness, and gratitude.
Our Elves were shipped in their sweet, little home, complete with a working mailbox. In a week or two, they will appear somewhere in our house with an introduction to the kids and a heart note suggesting an act of kindness to complete for the day. It is suggested to leave the elves besides an object needed for the day’s suggested activity. e.g. inside a mixing bowl ready to bake some cookies as a gift.
Here are other ways we plan to use our elves as suggested by the creator of the Kindness Elves. I love the idea of the “Little Book of Big Kindness.”
- When the elves see the children doing kind and lovely things, they leave a little note for them to find in the morning e.g. “Oh I loved it when I saw you sharing your new book with your little sister” or “you were very kind to help your Mummy load the dishwasher!” etc These notes can be collected into the Little Book of Big Kindnesses as a record keeping journal.
- Some mornings they may wake up to find the elves have lined up their shoes, tidied their coats, got the breakfast things ready or fixed a broken toy etc. Modelling direct ways to be kind and helpful as a prompt for the children in the day.
- Occasionally they leave a treat out as a thank you!
- On the last day (Christmas Eve usually for us) the Kindness Elves leave a little goodbye letter, thanking the children for their wonderful stay and sharing so many lovely experiences together. They say that they might pop back throughout the year for birthdays or other special occasions and that they can’t wait to come again next Christmas!
Need elf size heart notes? I punched hearts out of red paper. Here is a link to a sheet of heart templates to use if you do not have a punch. http://www.timvandevall.com/wp-content/uploads/Heart-Template-Printable.pdf They are perfect elf size. 🙂
The Kindness Elves are adorable and I know we will enjoy them, but they not necessary to complete acts of kindness this season. Check out the following Acts of Kindness Advent Calendars and start sprinkling kindness today.
Acts of Kindness Advent Calendars and Ideas: