Elf on the Shelf

I'd like to introduce you to our Elf on the Shelf.

Her name is Clara.

She was created by my daughter, Jenna.

It seemed silly to me to pay what the stores ask for the Elves on the Shelves, so this was a good solution for us.

Table of Contents
We Meet Clara Elf Day
Colored Us Pictures
Snow Angels Day
Playing a Board Game
Made Us Lunch Day
Taking a Bath
Magical Milk Day
Watching a Movie
Drinking Maple Syrup Day 10 Magic Seeds
Day 11 Brought Us Stationery Day 12 Video Chat with Santa
Day 13 Christmas Books Day 14 Stickers
Day 15 Making Snowflakes Day 16 Visit to the North Pole
Day 17 Playing Video Games Day 18 Hide and Seek

Day 1

Clara just appeared in our daycare the week following Thanksgiving.

She was sitting on the stair banister with a note from Santa Claus on her lap that explained to the kids who she was and what she would be doing over the next month.

The note went like this:

Dear (Kid's names listed),

I have many, many children to watch each year, so I have sent an elf to some very special homes to help me keep an eye on the children there. Your elf's name is Clara. These elves help me make the naughty and nice list, so you can be sure that this elf is watching you. Sharing and talking nicely to others are a great way to get on the nice list! I'll be getting reports from Clara to know if you've been naughty or nice.

Since Clara will be keeping an eye on things, she'll be exploring your house from top to bottom, so you never know where you might find her. Even though she is 103 years old (that is very young in elf years), she's still learning how to use her magic so she might make mistakes or cause a little mischief.

Elves are known to be very curious, especially this one. Clara's magic allows her to come to life at night, but during the day she will be frozen. You should place her on her special chair each day so she can watch you and make sure you are behaving. Be gentle. Although she is a magic elf, she is not a toy. You can talk to her (she is a very good listener) but you must not play with her. Too much handling will cause her to lose her magic! Clara will be returning with me to the North Pole on Christmas Eve when I drop off your presents. Take good care of her until then.

Merry Christmas,

Santa Claus

Day 2

Clara Elf spent her first evening coloring pictures for each child to find when they arrived in the morning.

That wasn't mischievous like we thought we were going to see. That was just a nice thing to do. All the kids immediately sat down and colored a picture to give back to Clara.

Day 3

Oh oh! Clara Elf is being a little naughty.

She spilled the rice out all over to make "snow angels".


Day 4

Well, we can see Clara Elf was having a lot of fun last night!

She's playing the Game of Life with all her friends from our playroom.

What a mess we have to clean up now.

Day 5

Clara Elf surprised us by packing a lunch for us! Unfortunately, an elf doesn't know what kids like to eat.

She packed cat treats, mushrooms, tomato sauce and honey. I offered to cook something up with these ingredients, but the kids passed.

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Day 6

What's going on here?

Not sure how we're supposed to wash our hands.

Clara Elf decided to take a bubble bath in our bathroom sink!

Day 7

This morning, we looked and looked for Clara Elf everywhere and couldn't find her.

It wasn't until we were having our breakfast that we found her.

We opened the refrigerator door and she handed us a jug of Magical Blue Milk!

Day 8

Clara Elf has made herself right at home. She's watching a movie and eating popcorn.

We think she picked the movie "Elf" because she's missing her friends and family back at the North Pole.

But really, Clara, you should not be eating popcorn at 7:00 a.m.

Day 9

I didn't even ask!

We found Clara Elf hanging out of the kitchen cabinet, upside down, drinking maple syrup.

I can't come up with one single reason to do this, except that she's an elf and doesn't play the same way we do.

Day 10

Hmmm...Magic Seeds?

I wonder what Clara Elf is growing for us.

We'll have to keep an eye on this pot to see what grows throughout the day.

Something's sprouting.

We have blossoms.

In full bloom, just in time for an afternoon treat!

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Day 11

Clara Elf is sitting in our coat closet waiting for our arrival.

She has stationery that she is giving us to write our letter to Santa.

How thoughtful of you, Clara.

Day 12

This morning, Clara Elf was sitting at the computer having a video chat with Santa Claus.

We sure hope she's telling Santa to put us on the nice list!

Day 13

Clara Elf brought us Christmas books to read!

We LOVE to read, so this was a great idea, Clara.

Day 14

Apparently, elves like stickers as much as kids do.

Clara got into our sticker box and they're stuck all over her!

More mischief from our visiting elf.

Day 15

One day during daycare, the kids and I were trying to cut out snowflakes.  They were not turning out very well.

The next day, we found Clara Elf in our craft cabinet.  She was showing us how to make beautiful snowflakes!

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Day 16

We looked everywhere for Clara Elf.  We looked and looked and looked and couldn't find her.

Just as we were giving up, I signed on to my computer for the day and there was a message to us from Santa Claus:

"Dear Children,
Clara came to visit me this weekend and I'm very glad to hear that you all have been behaving. I will try my very best to get you all the presents you want but remember, there's more to Christmas than presents. I've sent some pictures of Clara here at the North Pole for you to enjoy. She should be back from her long journey tomorrow.
Merry Christmas,
Santa Claus"

Day 17

Yay!!!  Clara Elf is back from the North Pole.  We sure missed her!

She must have needed some time to just kick back and relax because this morning we found her playing our video games.

Day 18

Today, Clara Elf asked us to play hide-and-seek with her.

It took us quite awhile, but we finally found her hiding spot.  She was perched at the top of our Christmas tree.

Day 19

Brrr!!! Clara Elf built a snowman in our freezer.

You would think Clara Elf would be cold.  But she is, of course, from the North Pole.

We enjoyed the snowman, Clara!

Day 20

You just never know where Clara Elf is going to show up.

Today, I asked two of the older kids to run some Christmas cards out to my mailbox.

Look who they found in the mailbox!  We all put on boots and coats to go see Clara.

Clara Goes Home

On the first day back to daycare after Christmas, we found these bags of chocolate kisses on the table, along with a note from Clara Elf.

It was time for her to go home.  Good-bye Clara.  We will miss you!

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Marcia Reagan is the creator of DaycareAnswers and lives in Central Minnesota with her husband and two children.  She's been an in-home daycare provider for over twenty years and loves to share her experience and passion for daycare with other providers.  

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