Every morning, have fun hiding an elf in your daycare. Your elf mustn’t be completely hidden, but finding it should represent a challenge for the children in your group. As soon as they find your elf, photograph it and print the picture. Display it near your daycare entrance so that children can tell parents all about where the elf was hiding at the end of the day. Wear an elf hat to greet children in the morning. Name a “head elf” each day and grant him or her various theme-related privileges.
Animated discussion-Elf hunt-Fun & games
(Open picture game-Elf hunt-Fun & games) Print and laminate the illustrations in the format you prefer. Use them to spark a discussion with your group and to ask children questions about the theme. Encourage families to search for pictures related to the theme. Children will be happy to share the pictures they find with their peers. Display them on a wall throughout the theme.
Thematic poster-Efl hunt-Fun & games
(Open thematic poster-Elf hunt-Fun & games) Print, laminate, and display where parents are sure to see it.
Pennant garland-Elf hunt-Fun & games
(Open educa-decorate-Elf hunt-Fun & games) Print, laminate, and cut out the pennants. Fold them and staple them on a colorful string or ribbon to create a garland. Hang it within your daycare or outside, near your daycare entrance.
Stickers-Elf hunt-Fun & games
(Open stickers for rewards-Elf hunt-Fun & games) Print the illustrations on adhesive paper and use them to create original stickers.
Educa-theme-Elf hunt-Fun & gams
(Open educa-theme-Elf hunt-Fun & games) Print and laminate the different elements representing the theme. Use them to present the theme to your group (and parents) while decorating your daycare.
Educa-decorate-Elf hunt-Fun & games
(Open educa-decorate-Elf hunt-Fun & games) Print, laminate, and cut out the illustrations. Use them to decorate your walls and set the mood for the theme.
Photo booth-Elf hunt-Fun & games
(Open photo booth-Elf hunt-Fun & games) Print the various accessories, cut them out, and glue a drinking straw behind each one. Purchase elf hats, elf ear headbands, scarves, glasses, tiny bells, etc. at your local dollar store. Create a colorful Christmas decor using a large piece of cardboard or by hanging a curtain. Write “Elf hunt-Fun & games” on a banner. Invite children to pick the accessories they prefer and pose for you. You can take individual, group, or family photos. Print the pictures and display them on a wall for everyone to see.
(Open door decorations-Elves) Print, laminate, and cut out. Decorate your doors to set the mood for your theme.
Elf adventures Advent calendar
(Advent calendar-Elf adventures) Print and assemble the various parts. Display the calendar on a wall. Children can take turns coloring or adding the picture of the day.
The pictures may be used as a memory game or to spark a conversation with the group. Use them to decorate the daycare or a specific thematic corner. (Open picture game-Elf hunt-Fun & games) Print, laminate, and store in a “Ziploc” bag or in your thematic bins.
Memory game-Elf hunt-Fun & games
(Open picture game-Elf hunt-Fun & games) Print the pictures twice and use them for a memory game.
A WEEK OF ACTIVITIES-ELF HUNT-FUN & GAMES
This week, the educatall team has prepared a series of games that you can present to your group, much like a Christmas fair.
Game book-Elf hunt-Fun & games
Every time children participate in a game, encourage them to add a stamp or sticker to their book. (Open stickers-Elf hunt-Fun & games) (Open game book-Elf hunt-Fun & games) Print a game book for each child. Be sure to identify them.
Fun & games-Prizes
(Open Elf hunt-Fun & games-Coupons) Print and laminate. To make your weekly activities even more fun, tell children they can earn coupons every time they participate in a game. At the end of the week, you can set small gifts on a table and let children trade their coupons in for a surprise.
Perpetual calendar-Elf hunt-Fun & games
(Open perpetual calendar-Elf hunt-Fun & games) Print and laminate the poster. Use it to announce your special activities.
Invitations-Elf hunt-Fun & games
(Open invitations-Elf hunt-Fun & games) Print an invitation for each child. Organize a special elf-themed fair complete with several kiosks and games.
Kiosks-Elf hunt-Fun & games
(Open posters-Kiosks-Elf hunt-Fun & games) Print, laminate, and display the posters. Greet children and explain each of the kiosks you have chosen from the list that follows.
Kiosk-Elf ornament toss
You will need three boxes (different sizes). Wrap them like gifts, leaving the top open. Collect unbreakable Christmas ornaments. Press elf-themed stickers all over them. Encourage children to stand a few feet away from the boxes. They must attempt to toss the ornaments in the boxes. Give a certain number of coupons to each child who participates.
(Open models-Elf hats) Print. Give each child who visits this kiosk an elf hat. They must paint their hat as quickly as possible. Time children to see how quickly they complete the task. Stop the timer once there is no longer any white paper showing through the paint! The fastest child wins. Give each child who visits this kiosk 2 coupons. If you wish, you can give the winner 3 coupons.
Provide an assortment of Christmas necklace beads and let children use them to create original necklaces. Give 2 coupons to each child who participates.
Kiosk-Trim your tree
Set 2 miniature Christmas trees on a table. Fill 2 boxes with similar decorations (same quantity). Challenge 2 children to each decorate one of the trees as quickly as possible. The first child to complete the task wins. Give one coupon to each child who participates and 3 coupons to the winner of each round.
(Open games-Elf) Print, laminate, and cut out the elf hats. Display the elf on a wall. Give each child an elf hat. They can take turns trying to press the hat as close to the correct area as possible, while they are blindfolded. Give 2 coupons to the child whose elf hat rests closest to the correct spot.
Kiosk-Catch my elf hat
2 players stand in a pre-determined playing area, each wearing an elf hat. Set a timer. They must try to remove their peer’s elf hat before the timer rings. Give 2 coupons to the child who succeeds.
Kiosk-Don’t wake up the elf
Divide your group into 2 teams. Children from each team stand one behind the other. Give the first child from each team a small Christmas bell. The object of the game is for each team to pass their bell up and down their line without it tinkling. Give each child who participates 2 coupons.
Set 25-30 Christmas Smarties in a bin filled with icing sugar. Children must try to find all the hidden candy pieces. Reward children with coupons per their participation or findings.
You will need 2 ping-pong balls. Paint one red and one green. Divide your group into 2 teams. On a table, draw a starting point and a finish line. Children take turns moving their team’s ball across the finish line and back to the starting point simply by blowing on it through a drinking straw. Each team member must successfully complete the challenge. The first team who finishes wins. Reward children from the winning team with 2 coupons.
Kiosk-Elf souvenir photos
On several large pieces of white poster board, paint elves or other items related to the theme to create a decor. Cut out the contour of an elf face. Children can take turns standing behind your decor, pressing their face through the cut-out. Photograph them and print the pictures. They will make great souvenirs! Give each child who visits the kiosk a coupon.
Kiosk-My adorable elf
Fill a bin with Christmas garlands and a few elf hats. Add a red shirt, striped socks, red and green mittens or gloves, etc. Divide your group into pairs. Children take turns dressing their partner like an elf. Take pictures and reward each participant with 1 coupon.
Kiosk-Elf face painting
Provide nontoxic face paints and makeup along with unbreakable mirrors. Children will have fun painting elf-like features on their face. Give each participant 1 coupon.
Make a list of Christmas items that children must search for as part of an elf hunt. Make sure children recognize the items you have chosen. Divide your group into pairs. The team that collects the most items wins. Give each participant 1 coupon. The winning team shall receive 2 coupons.
Use your imagination to create an obstacle course that fully exploits the space you have. You may, for example, have children crawl under dining room chairs or a coffee table. Hang a Christmas garland between two chairs and have children hop over it. Encourage them to climb over an exercise ball. Have them tiptoe across an exercise mat. The possibilities are endless! Each participant gets 2 coupons.
Kiosk-Beware of the elves
Fill a basket with green, red, and white balloons that you have filled with water. Divide your group into two teams. Determine a start and finish line. The object of the game is for children to transport as many balloons as possible from the start to the finish line by squeezing them between their legs. The duration of the game is one Christmas song. When the song ends, count how many balloons each team transported. Give each participant 2 coupons.
Hang tiny bags containing coupons or treats from the branches of a tree. Blindfold children and guide them to help them grab a bag. Let them discover their surprise.
(Open stickers-Elf hunt-Fun & games) Print. Use small empty plastic bottles to create bowling pins by pressing elf stickers on them. Arrange your bowling pins on a table. Children must make them fall by tossing a frisbee. Give each child 3 tries. Give children 1 coupon for every fallen bowling pin. Children who make all the bowling pins fall receive 5 coupons.
(Open stickers-Elf hunt-Fun & games) Print. Collect empty metal cans (different sizes). Decorate the cans using the elf-themed stickers. Use them to build a pyramid on a table. Children must try to make them all fall by tossing a frisbee in their direction. Each child gets 3 tries. Give 2 coupons to children who succeed.
Kiosk-Mystery elf box
A mystery elf box is a box containing mysterious items that children can discover by touching them with their hands, but without looking at them. Give children 1 coupon for every item they identify correctly.
Kiosk-Elf surprise fishing
Hang a rope from one end of an old broomstick. Attach a clothespin to the other end of the rope. Position yourself behind a large furniture item so you can attach a coupon to the fishing line using the clothespin. The object of the game is for children to “catch” a coupon. If you wish, replace the coupons with Christmas treats or trinkets.
Hold a hula hoop upright. Indoors or outdoors, invite children to stand single file and take turns climbing through your hula hoop. Once everyone has succeeded, raise the hula hoop a few centimeters and encourage them to try again. Keep moving the hula hoop higher after each round. Give each participant 2 coupons.
Provide several cardboard boxes and empty yogurt containers and invite children to use them to build large structures. Add Christmas wrapping paper that they can use to wrap the boxes. Reward the child who builds the largest structure with 1 coupon.
The educatall team