Yesterday was the last day for me to take care of my 2-year-old granddaughter, Zoey, until after Christmas. So we reached the end of our Kindness Elf activities for this year. Was it a success? Well, let me tell you about it.
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Sweet and Simple Kindness Elf Activities … Creating Magical Days of Kindness for a Toddler
I wanted to observe the 12 Magical Days of Kindness in a loose sort of way. I don’t take care of my granddaughter every day, so we actually observed 7 Magical Days of Kindness.
You wouldn’t need to start this at age 2, and I don’t think I’d start it earlier (unless older siblings were already involved in Kindness Elf activities). I’m glad we started it this year, though, because it was a fun way for Zoey to start thinking about kindness at Christmastime.
I had a few definite points I wanted to follow in my Kindness Elf activities:
- I wanted the activities to be simple for Zoey to do. Some of them took some planning ahead on my part, but I wanted Zoey’s part in every activity to be sweet and simple.
- I wanted every activity to be fun for Zoey. I wanted her to feel good about being kind.
- I wanted to talk with Zoey each time about how the activity showed kindness.
- I wanted the activities to be enjoyable enough for me that I would want to continue the tradition throughout this Christmas season and in future years. (If you’ve been following my blogs, you know that I like holiday traditions that feel meaningful and don’t feel like a burden.)
The Kindness Elves: “Let’s make some healthy muffins for our family!”
I started our Kindness Elf activities by reading the letter that came with the Kindness Elves. Then I asked Zoey if she could find the Kindness Elves. I said they look like little dolls.
Zoey found them on the mixing bowl on the kitchen counter with the note saying: “Let’s make some healthy muffins for our family!” (I changed how I used the notes after the first day. You’ll see photos in one of the days below.)
I loved Zoey’s first response! She said, “Hi, scarecrows!” She loved the scarecrow activities we did in the fall and naturally thought these were scarecrows.
I explained that they’re called Kindness Elves and will remind us to be kind. That satisfied her, and she had to hug the Kindness Elves. (I’m not concerned about how fully Zoey understands the concept of Kindness Elves at her age. The important thing is simply that she’s focusing on being kind.)
Then we made the muffins while the Kindness Elves watched. You can see how Zoey worked at the kitchen counter in my post at Living Montessori Now.
The Kindness Elves: “Let’s help Grandma wash the floor!”
Our next Kindness Elf activity was something that I needed to do and that Zoey loves to help me with … washing the floor.
The Kindness Elves: “Let’s spend some special time reading books with Grandpa!”
My husband and Zoey love to read Pete the Cat books together, so this was fun as usual (along with being a kind activity by making Grandpa happy).
The Kindness Elves: “Let’s go to the food and toy drive with Pete the Cat and give it our all!”
This extended our Pete the Cat activity from the day before. This was also our biggest activity … and lots of fun. You can read all about it in my post “The Kindness Elves Meet Pete the Cat … and Go on a Great Adventure.”
The Kindness Elves: “Let’s make some Christmas music for everyone to enjoy!”
Zoey and I love singing and making music together. We used Tomie de Paola’s Book of Christmas Carols, which I had from when my kids were little. It’s very expensive now, although there are lots of great children’s Christmas song books to choose from. Or you can sing to YouTube videos.
This is the system I used for Kindness Elf notes after the first day. First, Zoey found the note ornament on the Christmas tree, and then she searched for the Kindness Elves. It was easier to photograph the Kindness Elves without their notes, and it was a fun game for Zoey to find the notes on the Christmas tree.
I simply printed out the blank hearts, wrote the messages, punched a hole in the top of each heart, and used the same ribbon to tie the notes to the tree each day. With older kids, you could even leave all the notes on the tree to have a Kindness Tree at the end.
The Kindness Elves: “Lets make some wrapping paper for Mommy and Daddy!”
This activity completed the Christmas present Zoey made for her parents. You can read about the sparkly craft-stick Christmas tree ornaments Zoey made as well as my post today where she made the special DIY Christmas dot wrapping paper.
The Kindness Elves: “Let’s make a gingerbread house so Grandma and Grandpa will have a nice decoration for their dining room table!”
This was our final Kindness Elf activity for the year. Using the Wilton Gingerbread House Kit made it much simpler. I still asked my daughter, Christina (Zoey’s aunt), to join us for the activity. Christina used to make gingerbread houses with her friends as a preteen and teen, so I consider her the gingerbread house expert in the family.
With a toddler, it was best for Christina to add the icing to one part at a time at the dining room table and then bring the gingerbread house to Zoey’s table for decorating.
If you use a kit, you might want to have extra candy available for sampling!
Zoey and Christina had a great time decorating their gingerbread house. And I had to declare our sweet and simple Kindness Elf activities a definite success!
More Kindness Elf Activities
You’ll find lots of Kindness Elf activities in my “New Kindness Elf Ideas for Building Character This Christmas.”
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