It has been a while since I posted…but I felt this was important. I got great feedback from the posts about teaching the bible with Elf on the Shelf. (click here to read that!) I wanted to do something similar with Valentine’s Day.
We kept is simple…we made a Valentine’s Day garland to hang up in our kitchen.
First, I read the bible to the girls. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. I had to stop as we read and explain what the words meant to the girls. I wanted to break it down to their language. I was sure to teach them the correct words, patient, envy, boast, arrogant, irritable, resentful, bears all things, endures all things, rejoice and so on. I think this is important, when we discuss the bible later, I always use the biblical word as well as an easier synonym.
I cut strips of red construction paper. On each strip I wrote something from the bible that love is. I was sure to add the word love on to each of them.
Love is patient. Love is kind. Love does not envy or boast. Love is not rude or arrogant. Love does not insist on it’s own way. Love is not irritable or resentful. Love does not rejoice in wrongdoing. Love rejoices in the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Then I had the girls tell me examples of how we can show love in that way. Kares wrote her own, I wrote for Kailani. Some of the answers were great! “Love is sharing my special toys” “Love is taking turns” “Love is being a good friend” and so on!
Then I just folded the strip in half and stapled to the bottom of the previous heart. We made a chain that hangs in our kitchen/living area.
The best part of this was later in the day when the kids were acting out. One wasn’t waiting her turn, the other was insisting she was first. I said wait girls…”Love is patient. Love doesn’t insist on its own way. Do you think you can show love here?” Then we talked about how to take turns, let others go first, and really LOVE each other according to the bible.
I hope you have a wonderful Valentine’s Day and I hope you also incorporate some of the bible into your activities.
I have been a little behind updating the blog! So I am going to update rather quickly today. I apologize that my writing is about quantity verses quality today. I just want to share the bible verses and explanations that we did daily for our elf on the shelf.
Things are getting pretty busy in our house, as I am sure they are for you too. I hope you can use the ideas and resources. I also want to let you know that these explanations are purely my own interpretation of the bible verse, it is my way of explaining it in ‘kid language’ so my girls can better understand.
Day 17- Elfie was laying in a baby doll stroller since this verse is about children. Here is the verse and explanation the girls received. Click here for kindness elf day 17
You have had a lot of bible verses about kindness, and that is important, but today’s is about behavior.
Proverbs 20:11 says,
Even a child makes himself known by his acts, by whether his conduct is pure and upright.
What does this mean? Well, conduct is another word for behavior, and pure and upright mean good, innocent, and right. So this means that EVERYONE’S, even children’s behavior is a reflection of themselves. Our actions show what is in our hearts. We are all sinners and all make mistakes, but God forgives! Is your heart good? Do your actions show this? Spend today thinking about making good choices in your actions and in your heart.
Day 18- This one was about gifts. We get so wrapped up in the gifts that I wanted the girls to know that God gave them special gifts too…the most special things are not usually THINGS at all. Click here for Kindness elf day 18
Elfie was dressed up in Daddy’s fancy tie today!
Today’s verse is from 2 Corinthians 8:7
“Since as you excel in everything — in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you—see that you also excel in this grace of giving.”
What does this mean? Faith is very important. Learning new things is also very important. But we should also try to be honest, loving, and generous. It is said that we should show our honesty, love, and generosity by the way we live.
Remember that grace means gift. We should be really good at giving. This doesn’t mean we have to buy presents for people all of the time. It means we should give ourselves, we should share. Sharing toys is a great thing, but also sharing a smile with a stranger. Sharing a sweet conversation with someone can even be a gift!
The girls had a chart to fill out today. They had to think about ways that they could share with others. We tried to focus on personal gifts rather than material things. I wanted the girls to know they are special, God gave them gifts, they can make a difference too.
Anyone with children can appreciate the bible verse from today!
It is from Philippians 2:14
Do all things without complaining or disputing.
Elfie was in some pretty interesting spaces and didn’t complain once! He was on the kitchen light and then on the stairs banister. (we had this verse two days in a row)
This is a GREAT one! I know that both kids and adults complain…but the bible says we shouldn’t. When explaining this verse, I referenced the fruits of the spirit again. I explained that joy was one of them. In order to have joy in our lives, we can’t complain. We don’t have to like it, but we DO have to change our attitude and how we think about things.
Elfie told my girls to memorize this verse because it was so important. Well, they didn’t memorize it, and honestly they didn’t really live by it that day. SO they got it again the next day! Elfie told the girls this verse was SO important they needed to hear it twice and NEEDED to memorize it. Kares and I have talked about this verse a lot. We made a deal that whenever we hear the other one complaining…we will just say, “Philippians 2:14” and then the other will recite the verse. I am hoping this helps keep both of us in check! Even though I try not to, I complain too.
We also finished our ornaments that day. They were SO easy and very inexpensive. Kares wanted gold balls and Kailani wanted bells. So we did both! I got 5 balls for $1 and 9 bells for $1 both at the Dollar Tree. We chose a clearance ribbon at Michaels for $0.99. Then we took them home and strung them together with our tags that Elfie left us. At $4 for all 10 of them (one was without a bell) I think it was a great way to show kindness and not break the bank!
The girls had so much fun delivering them. We talked about how true acts of kindness is doing something nice without anything in return. We talked about how anything even meant a thank you or acknowledgement of the act itself. So we put ornaments on doorknobs and didn’t ring doorbells. It was a lot of fun.
Here are the daily notes!
I hope your kids have as much fun with this as mine did…AND I hope they do it without complaining and disputing.
Today (Day 4 of our Elf on the Shelf) Elfie came to the girls with a note saying how much our mailman liked his cookies and his note. He also praised them for sharing so nicely the day before. It is important that Elfie notices the good things they are doing!
The girls have dance class today and Elfie told them to bring their dance teachers treats with a note today. He said that maybe he will make the teachers’ day just as the girls made the mailman’s day.
The verse today was:
Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth. –I John 3:18
Elfie explained that although saying nice things is good, what is most important is that we DO nice things. Click Kindness Elf 4 for the word document.
We made some soup for dinner that night. I suggested that we bring some to our neighbors. Kares said, “Mommy that is doing something kind and Elfie will like that!” Although I would her rather say, God will like that, I am still pleased that she is getting excited about doing something for others.
On day 5 Elfie came flying in! He was hanging from our Thankful Garland. (Don’t judge that I still haven’t taken it down! Or the messy house…no super mom here…we are very real in this house!) Oh and I am not the most creative when it comes to placing our elf in silly places…we try hard, but sometimes it is just exhausting!
Click kindness elf 5 for the link to day 5. Elfie came with this verse:
Luke 6:35 says
But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back.
The note then gave an explanation of the verse so the girls could easily understand it.
Today Elfie asked the girls to bring a bottle of water to the gate guard who checks IDs when we get back on the Army post. I was so pleased with Kares today. We had just bought the girls some little candy canes (they have been begging for them). Today Kares wanted to share her candy canes with her friends at our Homeschool group. She said this is being kind with nothing back. I thought, “THIS IS REALLY STARTING TO WORK!”
I will try to keep posting more and more as we do them. I hope you are sharing the bible too!
For the last 3 years we have done the traditional Elf on the Shelf. This was all fine and good, but my kids weren’t learning ANYTHING about what Christmas is all about…GOD! They were so focused on the Elf, Santa, and the mischief the little elf got into that we missed the birth of our Savior. We missed the lessons on kindness, giving, sharing, generosity and so on. I decided this year was time for a change. I was inspired by this blog post here.
This year our elf, named Elfie, brings a message to the girls each morning. He brings a bible verse, an explanation of the verse, and an act of kindness for the girls to do. Not to worry, we still have LOTS of fun. Elfie finds silly places to hide, gets into things and makes for some silly mornings. I didn’t want the girls to have the fun taken out of the elf, but I did want them to learn about the bible and about kindness.
Today’s verse is from Deuteronomy 16:17 and says,
Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the Lord your God that he has given you.
With this verse Elfie asked the girls to make some cookies and a note for our mailman. We will leave the cookies in a bag in the mailbox for him.
Other ideas are to donate old toys, to bring dinner to a friend, write a sweet note to a family member and so on. I am also going to have Elfie do random acts of kindness. One night he might pick up toys for the girls, or put shoes away. I want the girls to know what it feels like when someone does something kind and asks nothing in return.
Our first day was quite different than a typical day! We are going away for Christmas this year. The girls really wanted a trampoline from Santa. We decided to have Elfie bring them one early! He wrote a note about how God constantly gives us the gift of grace and forgiveness. He gave us his only son so we could be saved! Santa gave the girls a gift early too. Elfie showed up at our house that morning and there was a trampoline in the backyard! What a great way to start the Christmas season. Santa did say he would be back to fill up stockings for the girls and to eat the yummy brownies (we don’t leave cookies) that they always make him. So we will still have our Christmas morning, minus a really big present. This way they get the joy and the magic twice!
I will try my best to upload photos and templates if you are interested in doing this too! I think it is a wonderful way to still have fun with Elf on the Shelf and teach about the REAL meaning of Christmas! Subscribe to my blog by clicking the follow button on the right so you don’t miss out!
One of the best parts of the party was watching these kids turn into superheroes! I made a cape for each child to wear and take home. These were adorable decorations and then provided a lot of fun. Plus what kid doesn’t like to go home with a superhero cape?
I made these capes from t-shirts. Keeping my budget in mind, I wanted to find these shirts for cheap! THere were a few options. I searched the internet to try and buy them wholesale. Without having to buy 100 shirts, they were just as expensive online as they were in stores. Then I thought about going to thrift stores. I never actually made it to thrift stores because I found shirts at the Dollar Tree! I was so excited. They were in all different colors and sizes. Most of the shirts were irregulars, but that is okay, I was going to cut them up anyway!
Here is how I made superhero capes for $1
I took a t-shirt and cut it up the sides, then cut the sleeves off, then cut carefully around the front of the collar. THis way all that was left was the collar and the back attached. I wrote “Super” and the Kids names on them. (This made sure no one was fighting over a color at the party. Plus I had different size shirts, so the little ones could get a little cape and big ones a big cape) It was SO easy to do and looked so great. I hung the masks and the cape on a hanger.
Then I used the sleeves to make a mask for each of the kids. I just cut eye holes in them and they were able to put them on their heads. Finally I cut scraps to make wrist bands, head bands, or anything else. I put these in a bucket labeled “Extra Disguises” so they could just grab.
Kares wanted to do a craft project at her party too. I wanted something easy that the kids could do themselves. I found these little people cut outs and then made different colored capes. I provided markers, crayons, glue, and eyes for them to use. I set all of it up at a little table in the corner and directed a few kids at a time to go create their own superhero! We hung all of the heroes up on the window to dry and provide a little more decoration.
I was able to find Super Hero markers and crayons for $1 each. They were perfect for the party. (Also great when the markers didn’t get the tops put on…we threw them out without a worry) I put them in the bins I bought at the Dollar Tree.
I think the kids had a blast, and were able to take home a personalized favor. I thought it was better than a bag full of dollar store toys they will use for an hour! They now have their very own superhero cape and little craft to go with it.