Easy Elf on the Shelf Ideas for Good and Healthy Kids


Easy Elf on the Shelf Ideas for Good and Healthy Kids

12, December 2014 3:32 PM

As a busy mom, I am always looking for easy, quick ideas for my children's Elf on the Shelf®. For those of you not familiar with this holiday phenomenon, Santa has granted our family a scout elf that flies back to the North Pole each night to report on whether the children have been good or bad that day. When your elf flies back to your home from the North Pole, he or she lands in a new spot, often finding a fun situation. When you've had your elf for several years and you are exhausted at the end of the day, coming up with new ideas can be difficult.

Here are some ideas that do more than monitor your children's behavior – they use your elf to role model healthy habits and remind the whole family to spend quality time together during this busy time of year. If you catch your elf doing something healthy, tag an image on any social media channel with #HealthyElf to be added to our Pinterest board.

elf on the shelf ideas for happy healthy kids


1. Elf on the Shelf® encourages brushing and flossing.

Whether your child is diligent with brushing and flossing or needs frequent reminders, you can use your elf to underscore the importance of dental health, especially after eating some of the sweets that your elf may bring.

elf on a shelf teaches kids to brush and floss their teeth 

2. Elf on the Shelf says, "Time to walk the dog!"

Winter weather can lead to cabin fever for every member of the family, even the dog. When your elf shows up carrying the dog leash, it's a perfect signal to make sure you are getting outside for some movement and play, even if it's a quick trip around the neighborhood when it's cold outside.

elf on the shelf ideas for healthy kids

3. Elf compares food labels to encourage healthy eating.

Does your child know the importance of checking food labels to find the healthiest foods? Help the elf and your child compare the cereals you have in the house. Plus, since the boxes will be out, you are already one step closer to a quick, well-balanced breakfast that morning!

easy ideas for elf on the shelf

4. Elves love to play games (especially if it's Candy Land and a friend is available)!

Does your Elf on the Shelf love to play board and card games as much as everyone else in the family? It's a great reminder to carve out some quality family time for fun during the busy holiday season.

easy ideas for elf on the shelf

5. Elf on the Shelf can't resist a good holiday movie.

While screen time should be limited for the children, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, catching a fun holiday movie as part of an annual tradition is a great family activity (add popcorn and cocoa with milk for a healthy snack too!). You can set up your elf to be watching a looped video on the TV, browsing through your DVD collection or perusing NetFlix to find the perfect holiday film.

      elf on the shelf ideas easy and healthy

6. Elf on the Shelf sets up an indoor obstacle course. 

Winter weather keeping you inside? Set up an indoor obstacle course using jump ropes, pillows, yoga balls or whatever else you have in the house. Written directions can come from your elf, or you can have your kids come up with the course based on the "equipment" provided. 

obstacle course for elf on a shelf


7. Elf on the Shelf Helps with the Laundry

Have the littlest ones help you sort and put clothes away and the older ones start loads of laundry, transfer them to the dryer and fold. Let's face it, every parent needs an extra set of hands this time of year!

get good kids with elf on the shelf

 8. Even in the North Pole, elves wear sunscreen.

My son detests wearing sunscreen, even though I have tried different brands and application techniques. It's the perfect message for his elf buddy to deliver, reminding him of the importance of protecting his skin!

sunscreen is important to the elf on the shelf

9. Reading is Fun and Important!

Our friends at First5 Sacramento use their Elf on the Shelf, Cinco, to remind us how important it is to read, talk and sing to young children for language development. The emphasis on reading never goes away, and your elf can remind you and your children to read together – whether it's their favorite storybooks, a holiday tradition or a chapter book. 

ideas for elf on the shelf reading books


See Elf on a Shelf Ideas for Healthy Behaviors from last year.


LeAnne R. Ruzzamenti, MA
Director of Marketing Communications, Dairy Council of CA

Tags: healthy eating for kids holidays LeAnne Ruzzamenti

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