2013 – My Christmas Elf – Day 5 – Reading Rewards (The Book Basket)

Screen Shot 2013-12-02 at 5.40.25 AM Screen Shot 2013-12-02 at 5.42.24 AMToday’s Antic and Adventure was timed specifically to coincide with the last day of school.

To reward Master O for all of his hard work at SChool this year we bought him a new book. Books are given for every special occasion in our house.  In the front cover we write  a message outlining the occasion and date.  This is a tradition passed to me form my own mother.  On a recent trip to her house I just loved reading the front covers of books given to me (in the Early 80’s!) detailing “The Loss of my first tooth” “Congratulations on a great Ballet Exam” etc. 

This year I searched for a book with a positive message for children.  I was in luck when I  stumbled upon this “AWESOME” book.

"An Awesome Book" By Dallas Clayton

“An Awesome Book” By Dallas Clayton

You can literally READ the book HERE.

“An Awesome Book”  is all about dreaming big.  About children not loosing sight of their dreams no matter how crazy they seem.  It really bought home the fact that already Master O has begun to dream about material items instead of creativity and imagination.  This book really hit a nerve with me and hopefully with him too.

 I definitely recommend it and its sequels to all readers aged 3-9. 

Of course life intervenes and the book didn’t arrive from The Book Depository in time! So the Book Basket was a surprise enough on it’s own!

Screen Shot 2013-12-02 at 5.40.25 AM

I have written many, many times about our book baskets, but put simply it is a basket of books, grouped together of a similar theme.  We do this for The Start of School, Valentine’s Day, Easter, Anzac Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day etc.  Usually the Book Basket is a plain white basket but the Christmas one is a little more special!  I picked this basket up last year at The Reject Shop. 

Screen Shot 2013-12-02 at 5.38.37 AMOver the years we have accumulated quite a lot of Christmas Books!  

We try to have a mix of Traditional, Modern and Religious.  A favourite is the Jolly Christmas Postman filled with letters and envelopes to explore and read.

This Basket has now found a home in the playroom for the festive season.  In a place where little hands can easily access and explore reading them. 

Do you have a favourite Christmas Book? 

 

2013 – My Christmas Elf – Day 4 – Lunchbox Laughs

Part of the reason we start our Elf so early in the year, is that we finish school so early in the year!  Private schools in Queensland finish the last week of NOVEMBER! I love for the kids to be able to share the joy and magic of the elves with their classmates and teacher, so we start on the 25th of November.

One of the ways I love to spice up the last week of school, is by having the elf make a mark on the school lunch!  

Screen Shot 2013-11-30 at 5.56.35 AM

 

Holly Jingles had gotten into the biscuits, whilst Trixie had the Vegemite! 

The Clue Card read…….

Screen Shot 2013-11-30 at 5.59.10 AM

 

This leaves it open for you!  You could just pop a “Lunch Box Laugh” card into your childs lunch box. (See Below for FREE Printable)

Or add a sweet treat – We added Marshmallows, but you could add a Christmas biscuit, pretzel, or chocolate.

Or even add your own little note from the Elf! 

Simply DOWNLOAD AND PRINT these 

[download id=”9″]

FREE
ELF ON THE SHELF LUNCHBOX LAUGHS

Screen Shot 2013-11-30 at 6.08.43 AM

 

It also includes two blank cards for you to write your own joke, riddle or Love Letter.

Enjoy! 

2013 – My Christmas Elf – Day 3 – Passport Photo

Screen Shot 2013-11-28 at 5.43.07 AM

Looks like Holly was trying to send Trixie HOME!

Using this cute Mail Box form The Reject Shop the elves found a new place to hide!

But elves don’t travel by mail!  They need a passport and we have to make one for them!

For today’s activity, we created a passport for each Elf.  We took a photo of them and printed it out, cut and pasted it on to the template and then filled out the questions!  So how old are Elves?  Where were they born?  There were some interesting answers!

Elf Passport

 There is also a blank sheet included in the Printable if you want to use it to write a story about The Elf’s Journey From the North Pole to your home! 

For additional ideas on how to extend the talking and learning for this activity check out last year’s post HERE.

2013 – My Christmas Elf – Day 2 – The Christmas Creation Station

Screen Shot 2013-11-27 at 5.29.09 PMThe Elves have left a Christmas themed creation Station for us to use over the festive season!  That cheeky “Holly Jingles” even got into the sticky tape!

Using a Large Christmas Box, I gathered some cheap Christmas Craft supplies.

Screen Shot 2013-11-27 at 6.16.48 PM

Christmas Tape, Stamps, Laminated Word Cards, Sticky Note Pads

 

Screen Shot 2013-11-27 at 6.16.31 PM

Writing Paper, Coloured Paper, Colouring In Books

 

Screen Shot 2013-11-27 at 6.17.04 PM

Stickers and Pencils 

and lots of envelopes and Christmas Cards! 

The Elves were sitting pretty with Trixie using a giant pen (from Big W) to leave a note! 

I created this area in the Playroom and used a cute spotty paper fan to make the space feel Christmasy!  We will be doing lots of writing this festive season especially with our Elf Activities!

 Day 2’s Elf Activity to follow on from the Elfy Breakfast was to talk and write about our Elves names, using the template below.

Screen Shot 2013-11-27 at 6.34.09 PM

Name Your Elf Worksheet 

For more ideas on how to position your elf, some cute names and activities to go with Naming your elf check out last year’s NIFTY NAME post. 

2013 – My Christmas Elf – Day 1 – A Very “Elfy” Breakfast

Here is how our elves arrived in 2013……

THEY ARE HERE!!!

The Elf Antics have begun!

Yesterday our mischievous elves arrived all the way from the North Pole for the third year! All of the late night shenanigans of this tired Mummy were totally worth it, when she heard the squeals!!!

So this is how it happens in our house!

Screen Shot 2013-11-26 at 5.20.48 AM

The night before the big reveal, I set up a simple breakfast table.  

  • A cheap plastic Christmas tablecloth (that will come in handy for many cooking and craft activities that was left over form last years cookie decorating party) bought form a discount store
  • Divided Christmas Plate (Kmart)
  • Christmas Cup (The reject Shop)
  • Christmas Serving Dish (The Reject Shop)
  • A Christmas Box (The Reject Shop)
  • Printed Santa Letter of Introduction
  • Clue Card (see the bottom of this post)

The elves were placed on top of the Christmas box with their case.  The boy elf is our original elf.  Back in 2011 I wanted to do the Elf but could not get him in time for Christmas so a lovely friend of mine found this little fellow at a Christmas Warehouse.  His name is “Trixie” Master O took him to Kindy for show and tell that first you and the following year when he appeared in my own classroom some of the kids (that went to Kindy with Master O) remembered him!  I couldn’t believe it! 

The girl elf is an “Official” Elf on the Shelf and her name is “Holly Jingles” She arrived last year and Master O called her Holly as he loved the Christmas song “It’s a Holly, Jolly Christmas!” 

Calling it a night, I left it to be discovered!

Master O is an even earlier riser than me and I heard him sneak downstairs about 5am! Little Miss A was only a minute behind and came to get me.  Before us girls could get to the top of the stairs Master O was calling out and running!

 “They’re HERE!  Trixie is HERE!  I’m not lying you have to come and see this!”

 The look on his face was priceless!  Little Miss A wasn’t sure wether to be wary or excited! They ran over to the table and started checking it out!  Master O remembered all of it from last year and quickly began imparting his knowledge to Miss A.  We sat down and read the letter together.

Screen Shot 2013-11-26 at 5.46.23 AM

They were happy to just sit at the table staring and talking whilst I got started on Breakfast.

ON THE MENUScreen Shot 2013-11-26 at 5.47.15 AM Screen Shot 2013-11-26 at 5.47.38 AM Screen Shot 2013-11-26 at 5.47.56 AM

  • Pancakes with Syrup (cut into Christmas Trees)
  • Yoghurt (Little Miss A doesnt like pancakes)
  • Fruit (Banana’s and Strawberries)
  • Wafer Biscuits (which doubled as straws for our hot chocolate)
  • Hot Chocolate with mini marshmallows

Over breakfast we chatted about the Clue Card:

“Maybe it’s Snowy, maybe it’s Sue

Whatever my name is, it’s up to you!

Please make it lovely or maybe just fun

Something easy to say and spell for everyone!”

Are they the same elves?  What were their names last time?  Do we keep the same names?

It was a resounding YES to the last one!

So we now have “Trixie” and “Holly Jingles” in our house visiting!

Now it’s your turn!

Screen Shot 2013-11-26 at 6.05.35 AM

DOWNLOAD and PRINT our first 8 Clue Cards!

[download id=”8″]

Elf Letter Of Introduction

The Elf is nearly here!  Our Elves (we have a girl and a boy) are preparing for their arrival on MONDAY!!!!

I have written before about some different ways to Welcome Your Elf.  

However they arrive, they will need a way of introducing themselves and the concept!

FOR FIRST TIMERS

Using the Elf and Book set:

  1. I suggest reading the book to the children the night before the Elf arrives at your house! This will help introduce the character, story and concept.  By giving your children a “heads up” not only will they understand who the elf is and why they are in your house but it also builds excitement and dispells fear! 
  2. Print the letter and have it ready to arrive with your elf.  By reading the letter the concept is reinforced and the child begins to make a connection between Santa and his special helper, your Elf!

WE HAVE DONE THIS BEFORE!

If you have had a visiting Elf before (like us!) go straight to step 2! This will give them a reminder about the Elf and you can then enjoy the story at a later time! 

We have two versions of the ELF INTRODUCTION LETTER for you! 

The first is for A CHILD (just one child participating)

2013 Elf Intoduction Letter – Child

 The second is for CHILDREN (this is suitable for families or a class)

2013 Elf Introduction Letter – Children

Print, Share and ENJOY!

Day 15 ~ Oh No! Where did the Elf Go!

All of these Elf appearances can be hard work!  There are going to be times when you forget to move the elf or quite frankly just couldnt be bothered! So here are 5 reasons the Elf has not appeared!

  1. Snow Storm.  The Elf has been caught in a snow storm over night.  When he returns he will bring some snowballs (aka Marshmallows with him!)
  2. Santa Shopping. He is late night shopping for Santa’s Christmas Present.  What do you think Santa would like for Christmas?
  3. Reindeer Rescue.  Last night he got a distress call from Rudolph he is having some problems with his flying lessons.  He had to stay a while to help him out! after all thats what good friends do.
  4.  Fighting The Flu.  All this snow travel has given him the sneezes!  He needed to pop home to his Elfy doctor. On his return he comes with a packet of tissues and some cough lollies!
  5. Writing Reports.  His reports were due to Santa and he needed some extra time writing them.  Do you think he has written that you have been naughty or nice?
When all else fails use your imagination or even better ask your children to use theirs?  Where do they think the Elf is?  Their answers will amaze you!
 
For these activities and any others that you would like to differently we have created some BLANK CLUE CARDS for you!!!
This first set is for you to Print and write onto yourself.

Tomorrow, by popular request we will share your very own EDITABLE BLANK CLUE CARDS!

Find an Elfy font and get typing!

Day 14 ~ Reindeer Ride, Food and Craft

This Little Elf has a ticket to ride!  Has he been enjoying a joy rideon the back of a reindeer?  Or maybe a few reindeers pulling a toy sleigh?  This one is about those magical reindeers!  

“Dashing through the snow

riding through the neighbourhood

But please make my friends some food

something yummy, sparkly and good!”

 That little Elf is ready to take a REINDEER RIDE! Any old reindeer will do!!!

 
 

This activity is all about Reindeers so here are some of our suggestions;

  • Use the Internet to find out about Reindeers.  Find out where they live, what they eat, what they look like.
  • Can you draw a picture of a reindeer?  What are the most important feactures of a Reindeer that make it look different to other animals.

OR

MAKE SOME REINDEER FOOD!
 

This is one of my favourite Christmas Activities! I was hoping to make these for Master O’s class this year but they beat me to it! Reindeer food is basically a mixture of oats and jelly crystals to create a magical dust for reindeers.  You sprinkle the mixture on the lawn and helps the reindeers find their way to your house AND gives them something to eat at the same time! There are many printables to help you create “Reindeer Food” online but I love this one from the alwys creative Bianca at  A Litte Delightful

 

OR

Feel like getting crafty? Here are some of our favourite Reindeer Craft ideas!

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Perhaps the reindeer and the Elf will become life long friends?

Let your imagination run wild!

Day 13 ~ Snowball Fight and Cotton Ball Craft

On Christmas day, we ‘Aussies’ are more likely to be swimming in the pool than ice skating! But that doesnt mean we can’t have some snowy fun! That cheeky elf has convinced the other household toys to have a snowball fight!  

 

 Mnay of these ideas use marshamllows as snow balls, but I am going with cotton wool balls!  We have already used marshmallows for one Elf activity (the bath) so we are going to use these fluffy white balls for craft this time!

This is a craft activity using cotton wool balls! Gather up all of those snowballs, put them in a container and get crafting! There are so many Christmas Carft ideas using cotton wool balls. Naturally most of them are Santa related. Here are just a few;

Paper Plate Santa

 

Santa Tree Ornament

Source: parents.com via Larissa on Pinterest

 

Basic Santa Hat

 

Wearable Santa Hat

Source: firstpalette.com via Larissa on Pinterest

 

 

Santa Puppet

 

My Favourite….A Santa Christmas Countdown Calendar!

Add a cotton wool ball each day to Santa’s beard! No more asking how many sleeps until Christmas!

 

Ok so there are no curriculum links in this one! This is great last week of school Christmas Crafting fun! I have siad it before but I will sat it again.. There is nothing like cranking up those Christmas Carols and crafting as a family or class!

Enjoy!

Day 12 ~ A Christmas Book Basket

The greatest gift you can give any child, is a love of reading.  It could be just spending time reading together, presenting them with a new book or even sharing a book from your own childhood.  Children who grow up in text reach environments have a much better chance of becoming good readers.  

Like Dr Seuss said

“The more that you read,

the more that you’ll know,

The more that you know

the more places you’ll go”

This clue card is in the second set of Clue Cards, available for download later this week!

 Anything to do with your little Elf reading! 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

  • Gather up all of the Christmas Books in your house or classroom and create a Book Basket. We ensure we have a mix of traditional, modern, religious and Australian versions of Christmas!

This was a Christmas Basket I found at a dollar store.  I have used this as our main book basket for Christmas and placed it in our playroom.

  • Place the basket in an area of your home or classroom that easily accessbible for the children.  The aim is for them to at any moment of the day indulge in a Christmas story
  • The theme of this basket can change form season to season.  Once you have it set up it will work beautifully and the children will await each change!
  • I also use these serviette holders to display a few Christmas books in each childs bed room.  

  • I have used our usual book basket to collate the Christmas activity books.  I have put these up high so they are away form a certain little two year olds enquiring fingers.  She uses stickers as bandaids on her imaginary injuries! 
  • Now read, read, read! 
  • If you are looking for some actvities to go with your books, it is amazing what you will find on google! OR
  • Retell; can your child retell the story breaking it into three sections (Beginning, Middle, End) . This is a greta way to assess their comprehension of the story, even if they just use pictures to retell the three parts. 
  • Character List; Can your child draw a character of the list and write a description of them?
  • Text Innovation; How else could the story have ended?
  • Text Comparison; How are the traditional and the aussie Twelve days of Christmas different. Compare each page side by side
  • Setting Comparison; How does a Norther Hemispher and Southern Hemisphere Chrsitmas differ? Can you paint a picture or create a collage to illusrtate one or both?
Oh how I could go on and on and on!
Books are amazing in the opportunities they provide for LEARNING!!!

 This is a hard one as there are just way too many ideas!

So I will take your lead!

What would you like to see as a printable for this activity?

A template for a story retell? A character comparison? A Christmas comparison?

Let me know!