The winter season brings bulky sweaters, hot chocolate, and other holiday traditions. One tradition in our household is our friendly elf. Each year, I research new and creative ways to keep the kids’ imaginations running wild with our mischievous elf, but sometimes I find myself thinking, “How do other parents find the time?” particularly when I see other family’s elaborate elf setups on social media.
As a working mother of two active kids, I’m always looking for a quick and easy setup that still delivers the fun and magic of the season.
Have your elf promote movement by doing yoga. Use our free printable, construction paper, felt, or even wrapping paper to make a yoga mat. Have barbies or action figures laying around? Make it a group session. Include a sign that reads “join me” to encourage your child to try yoga as well.
Being strong inside and out will help your children stay healthy. Grab a toothpick and put two grapes, mini marshmallows, or gumdrops on either end of the toothpick to make a dumbbell. Reuse the yoga mat that you made before!
My children love to play doctor. Their stuffed animals are the patients, and they always leave feeling much better! If your kids enjoy this activity as well, make your elf the doctor. Use your child’s play doctor kit or use our free printable.
Helpful tip: first glue the printable doctor kit to a thin piece of cardboard, like a cereal box, to make them sturdier.
Is your elf ready to play in the snow? Use different size marshmallows and small pretzel sticks to build a snowman. Add a face with frosting or edible markers. Save this setup for a snowstorm or snow day and include a sign asking if your child wants to go outside and play in the snow.
Reading sparks your child’s imagination! Promote reading together with an elf story time. Pick your child’s favorite book or our elf sized book, and set up the elf so it is reading to other toys and stuffed animals.
Start the day off with a healthy snack. Cut up some of your child’s favorite fruit and place it in a bowl. Sit your elf next to the bowl holding this sign that says, “I made you a healthy snack that will help you grow big and strong!”
Add a little fun to the morning and night brushing routine. Wrap floss all around your elf, like it’s tangled, and place your child’s toothbrush and toothpaste nearby. Use this sign that says, “Is this how you are supposed to floss?”
It’s always fun to bake during the holidays. Why not get your elf involved? Set up your elf on the counter with a favorite recipe and the ingredients needed to make it. Don’t forget the apron and oven mitts.
Self-care is important for all, including your elf. To prepare them a “bubble bath,” put your elf in a bowl, cover it with grapes, and place a folded washcloth next to the tub. Cut out cucumbers from the printable sheet for an especially luxurious experience for your elf.
From all of us at CDPHP and Community Care Physicians, we wish you and your family a happy, healthy, and safe holiday season.
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