Not sure about that creepy Elf who watches the kids and reports back to Santa? (not to mention causing parents a LOT of extra work each night?!) Looking for a new family Christmas tradition that encourages kindness and character development instead? It’s time you met the Kindness Elves tradition and joined our Kind Kids revolution!
It’s that time of year. The frantic weekly count downs to Christmas have begun, and in amongst the endless to-do lists of shopping and organisation planning there are the longer term thoughts about which traditions to adopt as a family for making memories together. There are plenty of ideas around, some traditional and simple such as baking homemade treats and creating christmas tree ornaments together. Others are more fantastical and focus on the magic making, such as visits to Santa and sending him a gift list up the chimney! One of our favourites is our ever-popular Christmas Eve Box where we share out new PJs, cosy socks, a holiday movie and some tasty treats together!
One of the most popular fun traditions out there for December is the Elf on the Shelf. If you’ve read this post from a few years back then you’ll already know my feelings about it, but suffice to say, the creepiness and extra hard work for parents mean that it’s not for us (although goodness I can see that there are some seriously fun things about it too, I’m sure it can be great!)
When I was first thought about adopting a new tradition with my 4 young kids at Christmas it seemed like what I was looking for simply didn’t exist. There was plenty of fun and magic, yes, but nothing that focused on giving back to others at a time that is so centred on receiving gifts for young kids. So, in the manner of all the best traditions that we make for our own families, we created our OWN- and boom, the Kindness Elves tradition was born!
If you’ve been looking for an way to encourage your kids to think about giving to others and to help them stop and think a little during the crazy business of the “what I WANT season” for kids, then this is for you!
It’s not preachy, is super simple to adopt and encourages empathy and thoughtfulness for others in such a fun and magical way that it’s still SUPER FUN for kids, which is hopefully the perfect balance! Better still, with the addition of the accessories kit, it’s all ready to go each day so parents don’t have to do any extra work (phew! can I get an AMEN to that?!)
This is how the Kindness Elves tradition works.
In the approach to Christmas (we start on December 13th so that we do just 12 Days of Christmas Kindness to keep it manageable amidst the madness of the month!) the Kindness Elves arrive at your home.
They write a teeny little letter introducing themselves (you can see their names and characters here or choose your own!) and explaining why they’ve come. They are here because they’ve heard you are SO kind and want to get started on some fun kindness projects together!
The kids write back and can post tiny notes into the real working mail box on the front of the house. Each day they find the Kindness Elves set out next to something that will be needed for their kindness project, alongside a little act of kindness card telling them what they will do.
For example “let’s fill a box with supplies for the food bank and drop it off together.” “Shall we bake some cookies for the elderly neighbours?” “Can you smile at everyone you see today!” etc.
The children are encouraged to think about friends, neighbours and community workers who might need to be cheered up, thanked or helped in some way and they give lots of their own ideas for acts of kindness too. This is an important part of the kindness tradition as it helps them to start thinking beyond their own sphere and seeing the needs of others around them more clearly.
It’s a lovely way to combine the simple traditions such as cookie baking or wrapping homemade gifts with giving to others = a perfect match for Christmas!
After the act of kindness is completed, the Kindness Elves sometimes leave a thank you on a mini post card which can then be stuck into the Little Book of Big Kindnesses, a kindness memory book for the family to treasure as a keepsake!
The ripple effect of the Kindness Elves amongst children is just wonderful and we have had SUCH wonderful feedback from parents, grandparents and teachers from all around the world about the kind things their children are saying and doing because of the tradition.
All of the acts of kindness are simple enough for a child to do and most require no money to achieve. There’s lots of emphasis on thinking about others, helping in simple tasks, letting others go first and donating to good causes.
Our aim is to inspire this generation to think of others and see the great need for kindness in the world around them. If we can plant these small seeds of empathy and compassion at this early age, just think of the impact we could spread with this generation!
Will you join us in our Kindness Elves Tradition? We have an active and loving Kindness Elves Facebook Community page where you can find ideas and share your inspiring stories of your own. We just LOVE to see photos and hear stories of kids being kind and loving towards others. Please join us!
Here is a quick look at all of our Kindness Elves materials to support this new tradition in your home this Christmas!
Kindness Elves Set (available in 11 colour choices and two skin tones)
The Story of the Kindness Elves (hard cover story book, written by me!) This explains the concept of the Kindness Elves with some beautiful illustrations from our resident artist Naomi Berry.
Kindness Accessories Pack. This contains a step-by-step instructions card, the Little Book of Big Kindnesses memory book, mini postcards, stickers, bottle of magic dust and 50 Acts of Kindness Cards all ready to use!
Family Bundle Set: You can find these as a Family Bundle set, which reduces the cost if buying all at once!
Kind Classroom eBook. Perfect for teachers to use at school, this eResources kit contains lesson plan ideas, activities, games and printables for your classroom.
Camp Kindness eBook. A summer camp guide packed full of activities, acts of kindness ideas and printables for a busy summer holiday with kids!
To find out more about the Kindness Elves you can read all of our previous posts here. We have also been featured on Good Housekeeping, on a USA news channel and in many online articles!
We can’t wait to have you join our Kindness Elves Community. Together we can sprinkle a little kindness wherever we go and make this world a better place! Use hashtags #thekindnesselves and #kindkids when you post your ideas and set ups. We can’t wait to be inspired and encouraged by YOU and YOUR kids too! <3
Here are 25 Ideas for the Kindness Elves to get you started!
And our absolute favourite books about Kindness for kids to add to your collection here!
I’d love it if you pinned this image to share the idea with your friends too! Thanks
Hi, I asked a few weeks ago where I can get the cane chair,you,show your elves sitting on but had no reply. Would you consider adding some sort of chair to your range of elves and accessories please? I want to display mine, not have them stuck in their house/box.
Anna Ranson says
Sorry Beth! No, this is just a lovely doll’s chair from when I was a little girl. I recommend looking out for sweet dolls house furntiure for the Kindness Elves as they’re a good size for it x