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The Developmental Benefits of Having the Elf on the Shelf Visit Your Home

My son absolutely LOVES Christmas. I think building up to the special day is just as exciting for my husband and I as it is for him. To us, it’s no longer just about the special day, but more about the joy of seeing his face light up from the excitement.

My little 6 year old was having a naughty few days after Halloween. I wasn’t sure if it was the change of weather, daylight savings, or a growth spurt of some sort. Whatever it was, was driving him into a foul mood.

Why It’s Ok to Create Your Own Elf on the Shelf Rules

One day, I had my wardrobe door open and noticed the Elf on the Shelf box hidden on the top shelf. It was like an instant light bulb turned on! I was going to have the Elf help me with my little guy’s temper tantrums.

It might seem a bit too early to get the Christmas excitement going, but in this case, I didn’t care. I didn’t care about the rules! I was on a mission to get my sanity back. And the Elf on the Shelf was going to help me do it!

6 Reasons the Elf on the Shelf Is a Helpful Parenting Tool

Having the Elf on the Shelf at home helps create a more fun parenting experience. Check out the many ways it can benefit your children:

  1. Encourages Good Behavior
  2. The Elf is sent by Santa to keep watch of all children. It’s how Santa determines who goes on the naughty or nice list. It makes it a great motivational tool for good behavior. If they’re nice, the Elf will see it and report to Santa. If they’re naughty, the Elf will again report to Santa.

  3. Teaching Tool
  4. The Elf moves around once the kids are asleep. So when they wake up, they usually find him in many different positions, sometimes funny and sometimes to teach a lesson.

    My son gets really frustrated when he can’t figure things out. Sometimes he refuses to try, just because he believes he’ll never get it and it’s “too boring.”

    One day, the Elf left him a little note that says, “We are all cheering for you Oliver! Math is a super skill that only the best of the best can have! We know you can do it!”

    When my son woke up and found the note, he screamed. He just couldn’t believe the Elf left him a message! He immediately grabbed his workbook and spent the entire afternoon trying to learn how to add big numbers.

  5. Forms Healthy Habits
  6. Many kids (not all) would choose to have sweets over anything healthy. If you set it up right, the Elf could be found eating a healthy bowl of fruit or vegetables. This could be a great way to get your kiddos to start eating the healthy stuff.

  7. Exercises Imagination
  8. An Elf should never be touched by a child. Being able to see the Elf from a distance helps make it more believable. Could you imagine the amount of questions you’d have to answer if they held the Elf and felt how flimsy he is?

    My son accidentally knocked over the Elf last week and felt terrible about it. So he write him a little note.

    Christmas traditions

    The next day, the Elf wrote my son a little note with pasta.

    elf benefits for kids

    Having the Elf around helps expand the children’s imagination with so many possibilities! Kids use their imagination to help find ways to make the Elf happy. After all, a happy Elf equals a happy kid.

  9. Encourages Creativity
  10. I only allow my son to play on the iPad in the weekends. Because of this, I’m having to deal with “I’m bored!” more often than I’d like to hear. So now that the Elf is around, my son is always eager to find out what his reaction is to things he makes.

    He’s been very creative lately, drawing and writing stories. It’s lovely to see him expressing his creative side, even if it is only for an imaginary little toy.

  11. Tradition
  12. Even though I know Santa isn’t real, I still love the memories of Santa during my childhood years. I remembered how excited I was to get gifts from him. In fact, I was always more excited about his gifts than I was about the gifts my parents gave me. Having the Elf on the Shelf in our home, makes it a fun tradition that I hope my son will cherish forever!

Find the Right Elf for You!

If you’ve never had the Elf on the Shelf be a part of your Christmas traditions, it might be a good time to start! It’s not just great fun for the kids, but it’s almost just as fun for the parents! Come on, what’s better than having fun seeing your kids enjoying the best holiday season of the year?

The Elf comes in a few different eye colors too! Just be sure it’s the one you really want, because he (or she) will most likely be with you for many years to come!

Karlyn Bishop

Karlyn Bishop

Karlyn Bishop is the proud mommy to little Oliver and wife to hubby. She is a resident of Laguna Beach and a big player in the web's large social media circle.


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  • Part of me feels good about this. I have the elf on the shelf with my daughter. And I do love the fact that it keeps the magic alive. But it does feel a little bit strange to me. And I worry missing moving the Elf every night.

  • I never really thought about the Elf on the Shelf as a teaching opportunity. Boy, was I wrong? It seems like it would be a terrific way for kids to learn a lot of life lessons. I also just adored your sons drawing – so cute.

  • I love how you linked the elf on the shelf to developmental benefits for kids. I know some people think he is silly but I don’t agree. I think you are right on the money! Not only does it promote good behavior, traditions and creativity it is also something that our kids really look forward too!

About Author

Karlyn Bishop

Karlyn Bishop

Karlyn Bishop is the proud mommy to little Oliver and wife to hubby. She is a resident of Laguna Beach and a big player in the web's large social media circle.