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December 5, 2017

Classroom Kindness Elf and Other Fun Elf Activities

By Shari Carter
Grades PreK–K, 1–2

    December is a great month to teach kindergarten! There are so many fun activities and themes during this time of year, but I especially LOVE the week we learn all about elves!

    Our Kindness Elf

    I enjoy kicking off December by having our Kindness Elf make his first appearance. Many of my students are already familiar with The Elf on a Shelf, but our Kindness Elf (whose name is Sparkle) is just a little bit different. The traditional Elf on a Shelf can sometimes be a little mischievous, but Sparkle is all about kindness — and that is something that we can never have enough of!

    Sparkle makes his arrival at the beginning of December, and encourages my students to spread kindness. Every day the elf returns with a new kindness card. I use the great ideas for children from ParentSavvy.com that encourages kids to perform random acts of kindness throughout the day. I love that these kind acts are designed for younger children!

    Here are the letters I use to introduce our Kindness Elf, and recognize the daily kind acts of my students. After each week, there is a new letter and Sparkle always brings my kids a little treat to go with it. I made a Magic Holiday Box, and voila! . . . my kids are completely excited when this little box arrives in our classroom! A simple candy cane or little toy is all it takes to add a little joy to your classroom.

    This year, Sparkle arrived with Elf Kisses! To say the least, the kids were beyond excited! My kids are looking forward to Friday Funday where we will estimate, count, and sort our Elf Kisses. When we are all done with the math activity, we will share and enjoy the yummy chocolate!

    Do You Have an Elf at Home?

    After meeting Sparkle, all talk was on who had an elf. I thought it would be fun to have the kids survey each other to see who has an elf at home. I was a little curious too! The kids had a blast running around (look at the blurry photos…) and collecting data. When they were finished with their surveys, they graphed their data and even drew pictures of some pretty cute little elves! Here is the survey I made if you would like to do this activity with your class.

    Since I wanted to give my students an opportunity to analyze the elf data they collected, together we built a large graph on poster board for all the kids to see. We counted how many kids had elves (or didn’t have elves), recorded the number for each, and then took the opportunity to discuss the concept of greater than/less than.  

    Elf’s Fizzy Lab

    Who knew soda and candy could be so much fun! This was one of the easiest experiments I’ve ever done, but it was awesome to see the reaction of the different candies in the soda. But what was even better, was to see the reactions and total engagement from my kids! If you'd like to do this experiment with your students, please use these Fizzy Lab Labels to help you get ready.

    Before we put the candies into the soda, we predicted how each would react. We found out that soda removes all the sugar from sour gummies, candy shells get quite foamy and dissolve quickly, and candy cane stripes don’t last long in soda water! Many of us thought the candies (or at least some of them) would float with the help of the tiny soda bubbles, but were surprised that none of them did. You can see from my students’ expressions they LOVED this activity!

    Here is the Fizzy Lab Recording Sheet your students can use to record the result of the experiment.

    Giant Elf Heads

    Well this is kindergarten, and it just wouldn’t be right to not let my cuties make a little (okay, BIG!) elf to go with all these other elf activities! So, here are our adorable little elves. I loved how they turned out, but they looked even cuter up on our bulletin board!

    It was pretty simple to prep. Most of the paper was cut into strips, but I did cut the elf hats and ears to make it a little bit easier for my kiddos. Since there are a lot of pieces to assemble, you’ll want to give yourself a little extra time to make these adorable little elves.

    My Favorite Elf Books

    You can’t have all this elf fun without some whimsical stories about elves…

    So here are a few of my favorite stories starring elves. I used my bonus points I received from my Scholastic Book Club orders to purchase all of these books — there’s nothing I love more than FREE books!

    Here's wishing you and your students have as much fun learning about elves as we did. I hope you can use some of these activities and that you always remember, when you love what you teach, your students will love what they learn!

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart for following my blog, and here’s to a joyful December that’s filled with lots of kindness!

    xo-Shari

    December is a great month to teach kindergarten! There are so many fun activities and themes during this time of year, but I especially LOVE the week we learn all about elves!

    Our Kindness Elf

    I enjoy kicking off December by having our Kindness Elf make his first appearance. Many of my students are already familiar with The Elf on a Shelf, but our Kindness Elf (whose name is Sparkle) is just a little bit different. The traditional Elf on a Shelf can sometimes be a little mischievous, but Sparkle is all about kindness — and that is something that we can never have enough of!

    Sparkle makes his arrival at the beginning of December, and encourages my students to spread kindness. Every day the elf returns with a new kindness card. I use the great ideas for children from ParentSavvy.com that encourages kids to perform random acts of kindness throughout the day. I love that these kind acts are designed for younger children!

    Here are the letters I use to introduce our Kindness Elf, and recognize the daily kind acts of my students. After each week, there is a new letter and Sparkle always brings my kids a little treat to go with it. I made a Magic Holiday Box, and voila! . . . my kids are completely excited when this little box arrives in our classroom! A simple candy cane or little toy is all it takes to add a little joy to your classroom.

    This year, Sparkle arrived with Elf Kisses! To say the least, the kids were beyond excited! My kids are looking forward to Friday Funday where we will estimate, count, and sort our Elf Kisses. When we are all done with the math activity, we will share and enjoy the yummy chocolate!

    Do You Have an Elf at Home?

    After meeting Sparkle, all talk was on who had an elf. I thought it would be fun to have the kids survey each other to see who has an elf at home. I was a little curious too! The kids had a blast running around (look at the blurry photos…) and collecting data. When they were finished with their surveys, they graphed their data and even drew pictures of some pretty cute little elves! Here is the survey I made if you would like to do this activity with your class.

    Since I wanted to give my students an opportunity to analyze the elf data they collected, together we built a large graph on poster board for all the kids to see. We counted how many kids had elves (or didn’t have elves), recorded the number for each, and then took the opportunity to discuss the concept of greater than/less than.  

    Elf’s Fizzy Lab

    Who knew soda and candy could be so much fun! This was one of the easiest experiments I’ve ever done, but it was awesome to see the reaction of the different candies in the soda. But what was even better, was to see the reactions and total engagement from my kids! If you'd like to do this experiment with your students, please use these Fizzy Lab Labels to help you get ready.

    Before we put the candies into the soda, we predicted how each would react. We found out that soda removes all the sugar from sour gummies, candy shells get quite foamy and dissolve quickly, and candy cane stripes don’t last long in soda water! Many of us thought the candies (or at least some of them) would float with the help of the tiny soda bubbles, but were surprised that none of them did. You can see from my students’ expressions they LOVED this activity!

    Here is the Fizzy Lab Recording Sheet your students can use to record the result of the experiment.

    Giant Elf Heads

    Well this is kindergarten, and it just wouldn’t be right to not let my cuties make a little (okay, BIG!) elf to go with all these other elf activities! So, here are our adorable little elves. I loved how they turned out, but they looked even cuter up on our bulletin board!

    It was pretty simple to prep. Most of the paper was cut into strips, but I did cut the elf hats and ears to make it a little bit easier for my kiddos. Since there are a lot of pieces to assemble, you’ll want to give yourself a little extra time to make these adorable little elves.

    My Favorite Elf Books

    You can’t have all this elf fun without some whimsical stories about elves…

    So here are a few of my favorite stories starring elves. I used my bonus points I received from my Scholastic Book Club orders to purchase all of these books — there’s nothing I love more than FREE books!

    Here's wishing you and your students have as much fun learning about elves as we did. I hope you can use some of these activities and that you always remember, when you love what you teach, your students will love what they learn!

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart for following my blog, and here’s to a joyful December that’s filled with lots of kindness!

    xo-Shari

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Susan Cheyney

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