Once again it started with a simple question, , “How did elves end up in Christmas traditions?” And so the research began! Below are the online resources and activities we linked to as we discovered the origins, lore, secrets, and magic of elves.
Elves make appearances in Norse mythology, Shakespeare, and Tolkien. Those tell of elves in forests, but not at the North Pole helping Santa! Elf Origins and History – http://www.livescience.com/39689-history-of-elves.html
After hundreds of years of elves being a part of Germanic paganism, the beliefs carried over to the Scandinavian people. “The perception of gnomes largely depended on whether a person was naughty or nice” Read more about it here and find out how by the mid 1800’s elves had made a place in our Christmas traditions http://www.theholidayspot.com/christmas/history/elves.htm
To keep our elf studies in the proper perspective – http://www.christianity.com/christian-life/christmas/how-you-can-have-genuine-joy-and-hope-this-christmas.html
Leadership lessons from one of our favorite Christmas movies, Elf https://dculberh.wordpress.com/2013/12/23/five-leadership-lessons-from-elf/
Several Elf Documentary (?) Videos – http://www.santatelevision.com/?s=elves
Listen to The Elves and the Shoemaker http://www.storynory.com/2007/12/16/the-elves-and-the-shoemaker/
Christmas Elf Jokes, Mischief, and Ideas – http://www.elfcrazy.com/christmas-elf-jokes-for-kids/
My friend, Fran, has some fun elf ideas – http://www.franw.com/2011/12/santas-elves.html
Elf Pal Academy offers themed activities that can be fun and educational (several resources here for my younger boys) http://www.northpole.com/Academy/
“Elf on the Shelf”? No, but We’re enjoying looking at social media photos of the creative things parents are doing. However, as we wrap up (pun intended) our Christmas studies, we used a few of these suggestions for “Kindness Elf” activities. http://www.theeducatorsspinonit.com/2013/12/kindness-elves-free-printables-for-busy.html
With all of the added activities, caroling, parties, crafts, baking, shopping, and decorating of the season, we have certainly been as busy as elves!
Elves ended up being an unexpected but appropriate, interesting, and fun study to close out our homeschooling semester.