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20 Nice {Not Naughty} Elf on the Shelf Ideas

We have so much fun with our Elf on the Shelf.  It has become a great source of magic and excitement in our house during the holidays.  I have seen a lot of naughty elves on the web... but our "Elfie" is a nice elf.  I think he knows I have enough to do without cleaning up his messes.  lol


Here are 20 things our "Elfie" has done:
{Click on the titles for more info...where available.}

1)  Letter from Santa in November... "Elfie is coming soon!".  

2)  Elfie brings a special advent calendar.  {Click the link for more info.}

3)  Magic Elf Seeds.  {Click the link for more info.}

4)  Magic Elf Key {with free printable key tag}.  {Click the link for more info... and a free download.}

5)  Elfie draws a picture.

6)  Elfie spends some with Santa and his Reindeer.

7)  Elfie hides in the light fixture... not touching the lightbulb.  :-)

8)  Elfie hides in the shower.

9)  Elfie takes a nap... in a kleenex box.

10)  Elfie spells his name with blocks.

11)  Elfie hides among the Christmas tree ornamements.

12)  Elfie brings a Christmas movie {on family movie night}... and brings his own popcorn.

13)  Elfie builds a snowman out of marshmallows... and brings a tiny elf note answering questions about "Elf life".

14)  Elfie brings a special treat... marshmallow pops.

15)  Elfie brings a chocolate elf.

16)  Elfie gets his own Christmas stocking.

17)  Elfie brings a letter from Santa letting us know that we have a video from Santa in our email.

18)  Elf Kiss... with free printable.  {Click the link for more info, and a free download.}

19)  Elfie says "Happy Birthday!".  Elfie gets special permission from Santa for an early "birthday" visit.  {Click the link for more info.}

20)  Elfie says "goodbye"... leaving us the "Elf on the Shelf" movie and a tiny goodbye note.

Is your Elf on the Shelf naughty or nice... or maybe a little bit of both? 


♥ 
Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)

Elf on the Shelf Christmas Countdown

Do you do a countdown to Christmas?  Well... this year, our Elf on the Shelf saved us the trouble of making an advent calendar... he made one for us.


While we were sleeping, "Elfie" dug out our Christmas books and movies, wrapped each one, and created a Christmas countdown for us.  He even numbered them 1-24 so that we would know when to open each one.  I have a feeling that the one for Christmas Eve might be "The Night Before Christmas".  {wink!} 


Isn't this a fun Elf on the Shelf idea?  What is your favorite way to count down to the big day?

♥ 
Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)


Santa Beard - Preschooler Craft

When crafting with a group of preschoolers, I like to keep things simple.  If small children have to wait around for a lot of help, they will lose interest and move on to something else.  This craft is definitely a simple one.


To make a Santa beard, it is best to do a little "prep work" before involving the little ones.  First, print out the beard template, which you can find here.


Then,  tape a popsicle stick to the back of the beard.


Now it is time to involve the preschooler.  Just let him/her glue cotton balls all over the beard.  What preschooler doesn't love a craft that involves lots of glue?


It's an easy craft to make, and it is fun for little ones to "play Santa" over the holidays.  Do you have a favorite holiday craft to make with Preschoolers?

♥ 
Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)

* You can find me on facebook here.

Letter Writing to Santa Party/Fundraiser

Last weekend, the boys hosted their 2nd Annual "Letter Writing to Santa" party/fundraiser.  This year, they were able to donate $187.55 to a local children's hospital.  I am so proud of them! 


Want to throw a similar party with your little ones?  Here's what we did...

As guests arrived, they were given the supplies needed to write a letter to Santa and a fun paper Santa beard.



As the children were writing their letters, they were given some juice and a cookie baked with love by Mrs. Claus.  :-)


Then, each guest made a little craft and some magic reindeer food.



Isn't this a fun way to teach children about "giving back" during the holiday season?  I can't wait to do it again next year!
 
♥ 
Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)

* You can find me on facebook here.
 

Elfie Arrives... a little early

Our Elf on the Shelf {aka "Elfie"} arrives every year on December 1st.  It is always a very exciting event for my boys.  But... this year, Elfie arrived early.  :-)


This year, our sweet little elf got special permission from Santa to come early to wish my son a very Happy 7th Birthday.  It was all explained in the letter he brought with him. 

I got the stationary here.

Isn't he a great elf?  I can't wait to see what other surprises Elfie has in store for us this year. 

♥ 
Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)


DIY Star Wars Party

My son recently turned 7, and he requested a Star Wars party.  So... I put together a super fun "Jedi Training Academy" for him and his friends.


Here's what we did....

1)  We set the mood with a fun invitation.  {You can get the full tutorial for it here.}


2)  As guests arrived, they colored their own Jedi Academy Security Badge {which I made by scanning a page out of one of their coloring books}.


3)  We played a little "Freeze Dance" to Star Wars music, and then we took a break for dinner, cake and cookies.



4)  After everyone finished eating, it was time for some lightsaber training.  The kids balanced balloons on their lightsabers, my husband gave them some "formal" instruction, and they took a final "test" by fighting Darth Vader... who was actually my five year old.  :-)  {You can find the tutorial for the pool noodle lightsabers here.}



5)  The final activity was to "Destroy the Death Star" aka break open the pinata.  {You can find the full tutorial for the pinata here.}


Finally, it was time for the new Jedi to:

...receive their Graduation Certificates


...have a quick "photo op"


...and collect their treat bags.


My son loved his party, and all the kids had a great time.  Isn't Star Wars a great theme for a party?  

♥ 
Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)

* You can find me on facebook here.

Happy Birthday {Letter} to my 7 Year Old

I can't believe that I have been a mother for 7 years.  How is it possible that it seems like yesterday, and yet I can barely remember my life before?


Each year, I write my boys letters on their birthdays, and I hope to make them into books when they are older.  Here is my letter to my oldest son on his 7th birthday:

Dear Cameron,

Whenever I think of you, the word "angel" always comes to mind.  You are such a special boy, and you have such a kind heart.  Here are just a few of the things that make you such a fantastic 7 year old.
  • You are a great big brother.  Little brothers can sometimes be a pain, but you are patient and kind with them, and they love you very much.
  • You are losing lots of baby teeth now, and your toothless grin is very cute.
  • You are developing a great sense of humour, and you are always laughing at the crazy antics of your little brothers.
  • You always try your best, and you are determined to succeed when you are trying something new.  This summer, you learned to ride a two wheeler, and you were very proud.
  • You love to draw, read and write stories.  You are very creative, and you want to be an Actor {in movies} when you grow up.
  • You love pancakes, cookies, pizza, and peanut butter sandwiches.
  • Your favorite sport is hockey, and you never complain about hockey practice... even when it is early in the morning.  {You even sleep with two hockey player "stuffies".}
  • You still let me kiss and hug you when I drop you off at school, but you are starting to check to see if anyone is around before you kiss me back.  :-(
  • You love Star Wars and never get tired of playing "Jedi" with your brothers.
  • You have lots of great friends, and I am not surprised because you are an awesome kid!
Happy Birthday, my sweet angel!  You may be seven, but you will always be my first baby.

Lots of Love,

Mommy  xoxo

Pool Noodle Lightsabers

For my son's 7th birthday, I made all of the guests {20 of them} lightsabers out of pool noodles.  I have seen a ton of different versions floating around on the web, but I thought I would share my version here.


Aren't they so cute?

Here is how I made them:

1)  My husband cut all the pool noodles in half using a utility knife.  Then, I used silver duct tape to create a handle.  I made a "criss cross" on the bottom.  Then, I wrapped four separate pieces around the noodle. 


2)  Then, I made a simple design using black electrical tape {see below}, and I added a little red sticker for a power button.


The pool noodles are great for little ones because they are so soft.


I think these the lightsabers were the highlight of the party.  I would highly recommend them for any Star Wars celebration.  :-)

♥ 
Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)

* You can find me on facebook here.
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