Utilizing ‘Elf of the Shelf’ to support child development in positive ways
Many parents enlist Elf on the Shelf to remind our kids that he/she’s keeping tabs on them and letting Santa know if they should be on the ‘naughty’ or ‘nice’ list…
However, this concept doesn’t align with theories for child development as it is believed that threats, coercion, and punishments do more harm than good for behavior modifications, particularly since COVID. With that said, Melody Johnson, child development expert and CEO of SKILLZ Worldwide, developed a cool concept to help utilize Elf on the Shelf as another support tool just like the SKILLZ we utilize in classes at Southwest Arkansas Taekwondo!
Here’s how it works:
- There are 8 Elf SKILLZ.
- Each night, have the Elf leave a challenge or message alternating through one skill, in order.
- Rotate through each one 3 times equals 24 days of Elf SKILLZ starting December 1st.
- For even more fun and better results, the child can earn 5 points each day they complete the challenge and then the Elf will leave a small gift once they receive 20 points. Gifts can include candy, money, art supplies, etc.
Here are the SKILLZ:
Introducing the Elf SKILLZ
Just like the traditional “Elf on the Shelf” entrance, here’s an example of how you can introduce this innovative idea with your elf:
“Dear _____, I’m excited to be here for another year, I’m so excited that I want to cheer! I know this year has been very rough, But I also know that you are tough! So this year I have some tasks, to teach you Elf SKILLZ, it will be a blast! Each morning, just look for me, and a big red envelope you will see. Each day I’ll give you a new lesson to learn, And cool treats and prizes you will earn! So if you are as ready as I am, then let’s get to it, Open your envelope and I’ll walk you through it! But before we begin I want you to know, You can do hard things, just give it a go!”