The Elf on a Shelf: A Holiday Game with Your Kids

If you haven't seen The Elf on a Shelf, you should pick one up. They're a ton of a fun with your kids. With each Elf comes a keepsake box and a storybook. This time of year (just after Thanksgiving) is the perfect time to start the game.

According to their website, the Elf on a Shelf is "a special scout elf sent from the North Pole to help Santa Claus manage his naughty and nice lists. When a family adopts an elf and gives it a name, the elf receives its Christmas magic and can fly to the North Pole each night to tell Santa Claus about all of the day's adventures."

Every morning, the story goes, the magic elf returns to your house and parks himself in a different spot. You can make a fun game with your kids out of finding the Elf each morning. They can't touch the Elf, or his magic will vanish and he won't be able to return to the North Pole. Nor will he speak to you or move about while you're awake - his job is to watch and listen.

After your kids go to sleep, re-position your Elf somewhere else in your house, so it appears he moved on his own over the night. Their website has a whole section on funny places to position your Elf.

I found this amazing calendar of clever spots to hide your Elf over at Still Playing School.

What's great about the game is that you can be involved as you like. If you like to find a cute spot just before the kids wake up, you can stash him anywhere (but you have to leave him there all day, so don't position him somewhere inconvenient). Or, you can go all-out like the calendar and create scenes of his night-time escapades and even create videos!

It's a great way to build a little excitement in the morning, start the day off in a good mood, and give your kids a reason to jump out of bed.

Written by Stephanie Parker from, inventors of the Zipadee-Zip

The motto for Sleeping Baby, makers of the Zipadee-Zip, is: "Inspiring Dreams One Night at A time," and that, in a nutshell, is how it all started…with one little dream that has since become the Parker family's reality. When Brett and Stephanie Parker's daughter, Charlotte, was born, the feeling that welled up inside of them was indescribable; they never realized until first looking into those baby blues of hers that they were even capable of that kind of love.

When it was time to transition baby from swaddling, the Parkers tried every sleep sack on the market and every swaddle weaning trick they could find for nearly two weeks and nothing worked to get baby Charlotte to fall and stay asleep.

Stephanie became determined to restore sleep and sanity to their household and set out to find a solution that would soothe Charlotte's startle reflex and provide her the cozy womb-like environment she loved so much but still give her the freedom to roll over and wiggle around in her crib safely. Out of sheer desperation and exhaustion, the Zipadee-Zip was born. The first Zipadee-Zip(R) Stephanie put together on her little sewing machine worked like magic!

To date tens of thousands of Zipadee-Zips have been sold and all from word-of-mouth marketing. It is so rewarding for the Parkers to see other parents and babies getting the sleep they both need and deserve!

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Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici /

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