I love this “Kindness Elf” idea from Courtney DeFeo of “Light ‘Em Up”. She had her kiddos leave some of their artwork along with a thank-you note and some treats for their sanitation workers. A simple idea that should spark some great feelings! Read more about her Light Em Up series HERE.
Pets need attention this time of year too! Today we sent our dog’s canine friend, Moe, a little care package in the mail. He’s the terrier mix pictured below with our Goldendoodle, Penny. My son found a cute squeaky toy at Target that says “I dig you” on it. It was perfect! I can’t wait to hear what Moe thinks of his surprise.
Shovel Someone’s Driveway
Last week we got our first snowfall that we knew was going to stick (…and STICK it did, literally. We got slush again over the night and whatever wasn’t cleared from driveways was stuck on for good). Before that could happen, my son and I decided we’d strike again as “Kindness Elves” and clear our neighbor’s driveway. He is always so good to us – mowing our lawn, doing us favors, etc. This was something we could do that would help him out too. Plus, it was something my son and I could do together and get a little exercise while we were at it. Shoveling wet snow is quite the workout!
Later that night, I was tired and cranky. The kids had been fighting, and I was feeling overwhelmed with all the things on my to-do list. That’s when I got a call from him thanking us. It came at just the right time, because his call lifted my spirits. That call was nice example of instant karma.
Where to Buy Kindness Elves
You don’t need a certain type of elf or doll to do this project. You can use what you have already! You don’t even need an elf. You can have a “Kindness Bear,” “Kindness Reindeer” or even your existing Elf on the Shelf doll.
That said, the Kindness Elves pictured here came from the seasonal department at Target in the $3 ornament bins. Originally, they had ski poles and skis but I removed them. I thought they were both cute and affordable. Other places to look are Ikea, craft stores, and any store that sells holiday ornaments.
Other Places to Buy Kindness Elves
- Posable Dollhouse Gnomes, Handmade in Brazil (Amazon)
- Set of 3 Plush Elves (Amazon)
- Kurt Adler Stuffed Sitting Elf Ornaments, Set of 2 (Amazon)
- Woodland Friends Diminutive Doll Family, Set of 5 (Amazon)
- Posable Holiday Mini Fairy with Glittery Wings
Where did you purchase your kindness elf?
More Target Elf Ideas:
Kindness Elves: Make a Double Batch
Today I wasn’t sure what the kindness elves would do. The members of the Kindness Elves Facebook Page shared some wonderful ideas, but I was neither motivated to do them nor had enough time. Sometimes it’s nice to have some quick-and-easy RAK ideas on hand.
A friend of mine who used to live next door recently gave me Miss Kay’s Duck Commander cookbook as a gift. I used to cook for him a lot, but since he had moved it was harder to do. I whipped it out and made one of the recipes he had starred – Jep’s Meatloaf. I’d make one for us, and freeze one for him.
What I decided to do was simple and only required a few extra minutes in my day. When I was making dinner, I doubled my batch of meatloaf. This is something I often do anyway, simply because I don’t always have time to cook every night. Keeping my freezer stocked with meals is a way to feed my family good meals without spending hours in the kitchen.
His meatloaf is now in our freezer, waiting for the next time I see him.
Kindness Elves Day One: Bake Treats for the Neighbors
My son is ten years old and already knows his way around the kitchen better than most adults. He’s always had aspirations to excel in the field of culinary arts. In fact, when asked in preschool what he wanted to do when he grew up, he replied, “Be a baker.” Although his early dreams have since given way to thoughts of being an NBA star, his baking skills are still being honed on a daily basis.
Since today’s elf task was to “Bake a Treat for the Neighbors” and he was on top of the job. Not only did he make them all from start to finish, he delivered them with a smile. The four-year-old next door was excited to be on the receiving end of his act of kindness!
Kindness Elf Origin
The concept of the “Kind Elf” may have sprung from the backlash behind the explosive popularity of The Elf on the Shelf. All sorts of alternatives to The Elf on the Shelf started popping up. The MaryAm the Kindness Elf and Kind Little Elf Kit were introduced in 2013. Bloggers began to write about the acts of kindness performed by their elves instead of pranks and mischief. For the Love of My Home came up with some great acts of kindness and elf printables, and user “Why Bird” from The Money Saving Expert Forums Declared November 20th “Elf Day” and spent the entire day committing acts of kindness. Anna of The Imagination Tree (a UK-based blogger) also wrote about “Kindness Elves” in November 2013. Look at all the kindness they have inspired!
The idea behind KindnessElves.com is to perpetuate the idea of kindness during the holidays and all year long as well as act as a portal for sharing all these inspiring ideas and stories. If you are blogging the Kindness Elf tradition, please comment below so we can add your site to our blogroll.
Kindness Elf Blogroll:
Bits of Positivity – Is using variations of Elf on the Shelf to encourage kindness
The Kindness Kids – The Orthodox Mom - uses our same Target elves and has some cute arrival ideas on her site
The Crazy Nuts Mom has a cute little Kindness Elf poem to introduce your elves to your kiddos as well as printable templates
Clarina’s Contemplations named her Kindness Elves Nico and Nati
My HodgePodgery also has cute little elf ornaments from Target
The Day of Knight has a cute little “Christmas Angel” spreading kindness
Motherhood Faith Fitness is also having her cute little pair of elves inspire kindness this season
Courtney DeFeo has a great “Light ‘Em Up” series designed to spread kindness
BeckieandBrad found their Kindness Elf “Charlie” for $4.99 at Ikea
Izzy Anderson has a kinder, gentler elf that leaves notes when he hides
Only Little Once is using the traditional Elf on the Shelf to teach kindness
Teaching Madness is using an elf to foster kindness in the classroom
Tabith at the StuderTeam is blogging kindness with their elf, Marco
IgniteLearningLLC has an elf on the shelf with a new focus this year: KINDNESS
Teaching Ace is using Kindness Elves in the classroom and presenting kids with a kindness challenge each day
Kindness Elf Printables and Kindness Calendars:
Laurie at Passionate Penny Pincher has some great “Elf Acts of Kindness” printables
Mommysavers has thee pages of Elf on the Shelf Printables for RAKs
Light ‘Em Up has a printable sheet of 20 Elf Kindness Ideas
The Educators Spin On It has some wonderful Kindness Elf Printables: 14 Kindness Elf Messages
More Elf on the Shelf Alternatives (Some Humorous):
The Kindness Elves: A New Christmas Tradition
The Elf on the Shelf Tradition is extremely popular these days, but some people find this type of elf “magic” is a bit off-putting or even creepy. Here’s a kinder, gentler alternative. This Kindness Elf Tradition combines both the fun and magic of the elves with the spirit of the season. The Kindness Elves use their magic to help others; whether it’s by baking holiday treats, shoveling driveways for the elderly or writing a kind note. Each day in December The Kindness Elves perform an elf-like RAK.
Ideas for Your Kindness Elves:
- Give a box of unused toys to a younger friend or neighbor
- Call Grandma/Grandpa just to say “hi”
- Send a care package to someone far away
- Make a card for a teacher
- Offer to walk the dog of an elderly neighbor
- Send a care package to someone in the military (here are some resources if you don’t know anyone)
- Bring in needed supplies for the classroom
- As a family, volunteer as a foster family for a kitten or dog at the Humane Society
- Bring flowers or cookies to the neighbors
- On trash day, bring the cans back up to the neighbors’ garage after the truck has gone by
- Leave “wishing pennies” near a fountain
- Give your kids’ outgrown clothing to a friend
- Donate to the food shelf
- Leave change in the vending machine
- When you’re at the convenience store, buy a lottery ticket for a stranger
- Write a letter to an anonymous nursing home resident (include some of your kids’ artwork)
- Donate books to your school library or child’s classroom
- Leave a treat in the mailbox for your carrier
- Make cookies or brownies for your local volunteer fire department
- Drop off some crayons and coloring books at your local doctors office, or hospital
- Bring flowers to a local nursing home
- Pack extra treats with your kids school lunch for them to share with friends
Read more about the Origin of the Kindness Elves