Preschoolers and toddlers have special needs when it comes to our good buddy, the elf. At just barely 2 years, baby S. just doesn’t understand the detrimental consequences of touching the beloved elf. So how do you keep elf placement exciting enough for 4-5 year olds but safe from exploring hands? The key is up, up, up! Here are a few ideas that might help
Playful Elf– My kids love seeing Ebert holding tightly to one of their toys at the top of a bookcase. Put your elf holding a stuffed animal (like tiny Caillou) pictured above.
- Candy Elf– Last year Ebert loved M&Ms, he was caught with his hands deep in the bag on the pantry shelf. Again, low enough to see but high enough to be out of reach. A mischievous elf could also get into the flour (oh no!).
- Flying Elf-Wrap your elf around a fan blade and let it fly. This one was a BIG hit. Kept the kids watching him for hours!
- Elf with a Marker– Just make sure it is dry erase or washable. We actually did this to reinforce the letters that the two older kiddos were learning that week. If the elf did it, they remembered it!
- Elf with a Book– We let Ebert read the previous night’s bedtime story on the bookshelf. We said that he loved hearing it so much that he had to read it again after they went to bed.
Some might argue that since this age group in so young, they won’t remember anyway. This is not exactly true. Just the other day, my oldest, H., happened to notice that Ebert the Elf was in the same situation as he was last year (gasp!). As I went searching for more ideas, I found a TON of amazing, creative ideas, just not for our family of under 5 year old kiddos. Here are a couple other posts with some great ideas too. This website from “ Life With My Littles “ and this website from “P is for Preschooler” also have wonderful ideas to keep your little ones on their toes this Christmas season.
Just remember, preschoolers are happy with simple things. Making it too complex only sets you up for high expectations later down the road. Believe me, you don’t have to make it too hard for them to love it. We don’t usually use the elf to promote good behavior, we try to teach them to be self motivated to do the right thing. However, we love it to have some excitement and a fun activity for the kids while waiting for Christmas.
Please share some of your preschoolers favorites?