How many of you use the Elf on the Shelf or the impending Santa visit as bait for good behavior for the holidays?? It works like a charm for my 4 year old. It’s to the point now that he will walk a little taller and speak a little quieter when we pass Santa at the mall. This is an activity we do to enforce the kind of behavior that warrants a visit from the big guy and which behavior deserves of a lump of coal! :)
WHAT YOU’LL NEED: The actions printable found here, a stocking or other Christmasy container!
WHAT TO DO: Print the list of actions from our Freebies and cut each one into a small square. Spread them out, face down on a table or on the floor. Have your child pick up one of the squares and tell you if the action pictured on the card would be naughty or nice behavior toward a friend or sibling. If it is a nice action, have him give you a “thumbs up” and place the piece of paper into a stocking. If it is a naughty action, have him give you a “thumbs down” and place his piece of paper to the side. Continue until all of the pieces are gone.
HOW TO CHANGE IT UP:
-Make this into an obstacle course for a little extra gross motor challenge! Put the pieces of paper at the beginning and the stocking at the end (you may even put an empty trash can at the end for the naughties!).
-Speed up the game a little bit! Show the cards to the kids and see who can respond first with a thumbs up for nice and a thumbs down for naughty!
-Act out the pictures and talk about the feelings that might result from the behaviors.
SKILL AREAS ADDRESSED: Social skills, finger isolation (thumbs up, thumbs down), cognitive skills
Want to take a closer look at the skills kids are using in this activity? Check out our Clinical Closeup page, where we break down the skills listed below in terms everyone can understand.