When our elf on the shelf first made an appearance, my youngest child was just over a year. Although there was a lot of excitement, there was also some tears when the elf was inevitably touched by our toddler. Young children understand that the elf is exciting and special, but are often too young to understand that they are not intended to be a toy and cannot be touched. For older children it can be very upsetting when their precious elf is touched, moved or played with by a younger sibling. In order to avoid this issue, and still enjoy our elf, I decided to create “Magic Elf Spray” for my kids.
On one of the first days our elf visited, she also brought a spray bottle, filled with a magical, sparkling liquid. (I filled the bottle with sparkles, a few drops of food colouring and water. Be careful not to add too much food colouring in case your elf ends up on carpet.) It also included a note. (Printable here: Elf Magic Spray Letter).
After reading the note, we decided that since a young child does not understand not to touch the elf, that their touch must not have the same strength as a child who does understand. We tried to keep the elf from being touched, but when it was touched, my oldest quickly got the spray and sprayed 3 times over her elf. She was comforted in knowing that the spray would make sure her elf kept her magic and that the elf would be fine again by morning. It was a great, and easy, solution to what may have become a problem.