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.
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.
Day 12 was about singing! The bible verse is from
Psalm 68:4 says,
“Sing to God, sing praises to his name; lift up a song to him who rides through the deserts; his name is the Lord; exult before him!”
Our elf was in our surround sound and DVD player! I thought this was fitting for the verse about singing. He told the girls that one of the best ways to praise God was to sing to him. That day was so much fun. When we were out running errands, I blasted the Veggie Tales CD in the car and the girls (and me too) were singing bible songs at the top of our lungs. They had so much fun, they sang praise to God! As we were singing Kares asked me what some of the words meant. I realized that she has been singing all of these words, but never really knew what the song was about. So it was nice to turn down the music an explain the songs to the girls. I hope it will be more meaningful the next time we sing them.
Elfie asked the girls also to do some random acts of kindness today. He suggested going to the store to find some inexpensive ornaments. Then to hang an ornament on the doors of our neighbors. He even left a little tag to attach to the ornaments.
Okay, I am going to be honest again. We were able to go to the store to get the ornaments. But it was such a busy day and a little bit rough dealing with a cranky kid or two! So we did not get the ornaments finished and delivered. So I will post our finished product next time. I explained to the girls that things happen, we tried, and we are sorry we didn’t get it done today. It was priority number one the next day!
Today Elfie was caught fishing! He was fishing for some goldfish next to the real pet fish!
The bible story John 6:1-14 is one of my favorites. It is about how Jesus fed thousands of people with just 2 fish and 5 loaves of bread. This is a story my girls have heard many times, but they still love hearing it! It also teaches such a wonderful lesson about sharing and about faith. These two things are so important and things that I don’t think anyone does near enough. Share what you can with others, and ALWAYS have faith in Jesus, he WILL work miracles.
To get the word document for day 6 Click kindness elf 6
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!