Friday, 5 December 2014

Kindness Elves 2014: Day 4

Our cheeky Kindness Elves were found hiding amongst the ice cream sundae glasses yesterday morning, with a well done token and some coins for the children. The didn't however have a task for the children to do, which threw Erin a little once she's realised!! But I had a plan!

Their task for Day 4 was Loving Friends - and was to create a picture for a friend to make them smile. I hadn't had time to set anything up and we don't have the opportunity to do anything on a normal school morning so I set to getting it ready at lunchtime. I invited one of Erin's school friends to come and join us too.

They came home to find the Elves had set up a tray of things for them to use and they had a great time with their friend and getting messy!

What struck me afterwards was that they appreciated doing it with their friend and enjoyed having her over, which to me was far more rewarding for them that creating a picture to give away! So we compromised and let them keep the pictures - they turned out so well!

Today's task is a little more subdued, as you will soon see, and Daddy might even get to do this one with them!

Day 5 coming soon!

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Homemade Magic Reindeer Food

On Christmas Eve we have a lovely plate that we put out for Santa, and this year we have a little cup to make the set (we'll post about our Christmas Eve traditions another time). But last year something caught my eye - homemade reindeer food! Something that is simple, easy and cheap to make, but adds a little more excitement!

The method and ingredients I use are edible (all two ingredients!) but I know some people add glitter etc to their. My only concern with adding glitter or sequins is that the local wildlife may eat it!! Now I'm sure it won't do any damage, but mine ensures that its unlikely to cause a problem!!

You will need:
  • Porridge Oats (about 3-4 heaped dessert spoons per bag
  • Sugar Shimmer Dust / Sugar Sprinkles or Edible Glitter
  • A food bag, either cellophane, or clear sandwich bag OR a little pot - whatever you fancy!
  • A Magic Reindeer Food label (free printable here)

  1. Put about 3 heaped dessert spoons full of porridge in your bag or container.
  2. Add enough sugar sprinkle, edible glitter or whatever your chosen "sparkle" is until you've got as much sparkle as you would like.
  3. Shake or mix it around.
  4. Seal bag or pot and add label!
  5. Ridiculously simple!
I've not had a chance to make mine yet, but will upload a picture once I have! Simple, cheap yet great way of creating anticipation (if any more is needed!?) for Christmas!

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Kindness Elves 2014: Day 3

Day 3 - Today we were Loving our Family. and writing nice things about the children's grandparents. With Erin going to nursery at lunchtime and the other two having their naps, our activity was done when we got home from the school run. It worked really well doing it then, and we'll have to do that the next couple of days too.

We sat and wrote 10 things we loved about Nana and Grandad (pretend you're not reading this mum!!) - I wrote down what they said and then they coloured the cards. We put them in a nice plastic jar ready to give to Nana and Grandad to make them smile. Erin did really well thinking of things, as Lara didn't really grasp what I was asking!

We delivered our flapjacks we made yesterday to our neighbours this morning, and the Elves had left the children a well done token and coins.

I think it's time to do a messier activity tomorrow! Click here to see Day 4!

Kindness Elves 2014: Day 2

Yesterday, Day 2 of our Kindness Elves adventure, was a little trickier! Not because the task itself was difficult, but because it was combined with 3 under 4's who were each having regular meltdowns!lol!

Our task was about Loving Others - to make some cake for our neighbours. We have yet to deliver it as it was raining all day yesterday!! I wanted to show a difference between being kind to our friends who live very close by, and people that we don't really know. The plan is to leave them wrapped on the doorstep of our neighbours house with a little note inside saying "From Erin, Lara, Caleb, and the Kindness Elves @ *our address".

We are really blessed to have lovely neighbours, and the estate we live on is fairly new so we have been able to meet a number of people on our road as they've moved in.

We made some flapjack together, and the children enjoyed a chocolate coin the Elves had left along with a green well done token for their charity donations the day before. I think Erin found it funny that they were set up ready to go!

I do think that we are on the very limits of being able to take part - Erin understands enough of what we're doing but they are mostly just enjoying the activity that's planned. They activities do allow for a purposeful conversation about kindness regularly so it can't be a bad thing! I'm not going to lie, there were trying moments when out of frustration I threatened the Elves to go back to the North Pole if they didn't see the children being kind to each other!lol! It wasn't the intention but it did have the desired effect - I won't be saying it again though, it defeats the object of what we are doing: trying to foster kindness and thinking of others.

Today's task is a little simpler and focusses on Loving Our Family!

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Click here for Day 3!

Monday, 1 December 2014

Kindness Elves 2014: Day 1

Today marked the first day of our visit from the Kindness Elves, and so far so good! (Although I hadn't appreciated how much of a watertight story I'd need to have rehearsed!)

The children woke up a little later than normal, although Erin was up first (as is usual in our household!) and had already found the elves hiding in the Christmas tree along with the letter from Santa.

We went down to breakfast and I read them the letter from Santa (find it here on Kindness Elves Part 2) which explained who the elves were, why they were here and what to expect. The best bit of today was when Erin came into the kitchen exclaiming "The elves got in the tree by MAGIC! Santa put them there with MAGIC!" - the glint of excitement in her eyes made it almost exhilarating to watch! The girls then went to have a look (Lara hadn't done so so far) and I read out the first day's card describing what the elves would like us to do to help other people. They had a go with their little sleeping bags too!

I explained that we would go to one of the local charity shops, but that we needed to find some things that we could donate (and what that meant). Erin was all for it, and we got a bag together and made our way into town. One thing I hadn't accounted for was how much stuff we would bring back from the charity shop (!!!!) but I told them that the money we gave the lady for the "new" things would also go to help people in need. Erin seemed quite pleased with this.

The aim was to put the elves to bed in their little sleeping bags under the tree, mostly so I could find them in the evening to set up for the next day - this was fine for their daytime sleep (the elves'!) but bedtime was a little trickier. Erin was adamant that her elf would sleep in bed with her, and the compromise was on her bedside table - although I did say that the Christmas tree would remind them of their home in the North Pole so he may sneak back into the lounge whilst she was asleep!!!

On the whole, it's been a great day so far, and I'm looking forward to Day 2 tomorrow. We definitely couldn't have managed more in terms of the level of understanding. The activities we've got will be about right for under 4's but I'm hoping it will become clearer the more we do!

Stay tuned for tomorrow's activity!

Click here for Day 2!