We were late to the Elf on the Shelf phenomenon but we have had lots of fun with our Elf Lucille since she arrived a few Christmases ago. She doesn’t have the job of reporting naughty or nice behaviour but does create fun in the lead up to Christmas. I find the kids are so excited in the weeks before Christmas and I am so busy that it is really fun to add a little Christmas touch to each day. Our Elf on the Shelf mixes up her activities but she loves to recreate adventures that are wheelchair accessible. Usually something we have done in our travels.
I have included a pattern of how to make a cardboard wheelchair for your Elf (like the one pictured above) and of course you can custom design it to be more like your child’s wheelchair or a totally unique chair. BJ has bat wheel covers on his chair so we printed off the pattern and that is what Lucille also has on her chair.
At the base of the post I have listed some ideas on how to use Elf in a motivating way to achieve, or work towards, some therapy goals.
Here are a few ideas from our Elf Lucille.
ELF AT THE BEACH IN A BEACH WHEELCHAIR
Lucille enjoying some beach wheelchair fun. BJ was lucky enough to be presented with his very own Sandcruiser beach wheelchair in October. It has given our family the freedom of choice and lots of fun family outings. You can read about my joy at the new found freedom here and I also did a review of the Sandcrusier and the smaller Sandpiper here.
ELF AT THE INCLUSIVE PLAYGROUND
Lucille is all about fun so she loves the idea of inclusive playgrounds like Livvi’s Place at Five Dock where BJ experienced a wheelchair accessible carousel for the first time (photo right). We made a carousel out of a dollar store plastic plate and used craft sticks to make the rails.
ELF ZIP LINING
This year we learnt that Tree Tops Crazy Rider (the world’s longest roller coaster zip line is wheelchair accessible (see photo on right) and our Elf, Lucille, decided to give it a go in front of the Christmas tree at home. You can read more about Hubby’s adventure at Tree Tops here.
ELF DOING WALKING PRACTICE
BJ uses a wheelchair and a walking frame so our Elf has taken to doing some walking practice during the night. A wire coat hanger was bent to make a very basic walking frame.
The year I bought our Elf stores were sold out all over Sydney and I eventually bought it online at Booktopia (Australia only). I’ve seen the same book with doll set in other stores for about $10 more. Our overseas friends can purchase Elf on the Shelf:A Christmas Tradition from Amazon and there are different varieties.
MAKING A WHEELCHAIR FOR YOUR ELF
If you would like to make a wheelchair similar to the one above Hubby has made an A4 template of the wheelchair. We used black A4 cardboard and sticky tape to make the main body of the chair. Blank CD’s were used for the large wheels and we glued the bat wheel guards (printed paper) on to them. The front wheels are made from coins which are stuck on with Blu tac.
Incorporating therapy goals
Obviously the main aim of Elf on the Shelf is to have fun with your child BUT if you can tie in a few therapy goals, all the better.
Why not position Elf so some walking practice can be achieved each day.
If your child needs standing frame time they could perhaps find Elf before they go into the standing frame and then have Elf to keep them company during that time (this depends on whether you are staying true to the story because in the story no-one can touch Elf of course).
If your child is learning wheelchair skills you could have them self-propel or drive their electric wheelchair to find Elf. If they are more advanced you could set up a bit of a driving obstacle course to get to Elf.
There could be a whole speech therapy board made around finding Elf. A photo of Elf surrounded by the symbols you may use when finding Elf eg. where, high, low, awesome, find etc
If there is some other goal your child is not keen to work on maybe Elf could be found to be doing it happily.
I know with BJ it has always been about motivation and if Elf on the Shelf is exciting for your child you may have a good motivator for a few weeks.
Most of all………. have fun! I’d love you to share photos or stories of your Elf in the comments below or on our facebook page.
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Anne Cosworth says
This is without a doubt the most beautiful and the most considerate collection of elf on the shelf ideas, it blows everything out of the water in an instant, in the name of all disabled children out there, I thank you, eternal gratitude !
Hi Anne, Getting messages like yours makes everything worthwhile. Thank you so much. And have a Happy Christmas.
Dana Beech says
This is amazing and we tried to replicate this. Our son is in a wheelchair and this meant everything to him – thanks for sharing ❤️
I’m so happy to hear that Dana.