We don’t do Elf on the Shelf in our house, because I don’t love the idea of the kids being “watched” for good behavior before Christmas. That said, if your kids’ attitudes could use a little tweak this holiday season, consider this Naughty or Nice Jar instead.
To make the jar, I first covered an empty oatmeal container with sparkly red felt. Empty coffee canisters or similar round containers would work well, too.
Next, add a belt and buckle from craft material. I used black construction paper for the belt and a shiny silver chenille stem for the buckle, but black and yellow felt would also work for this part, or even aluminum foil for the buckle!
Trim the bottom of the felt if needed so the jar stands flat, then trace the bottom circle on yellow construction paper. Cut out and cover the bottom of the jar. Write in the words “Naughty or Nice?” in permanent marker.
Now to put the jar to good use! Good behavior receives a reward in the jar and bad behavior earns a piece of coal. The goal is for kids to have more treats than coal as the month progresses, so they wind up on Santa’s nice list by Christmas Eve!
Mini candy canes were our rewards for nice behavior and I found fun mini “coal” erasers in case of any naughty antics. Once Travis understood, he was doubly motivated to make Santa’s “nice” list this year!
Note: If you make a pair of these jars, you can fill one with all treats and one with all coal (real or fake), then seal. It makes a fun gag gift for a recipient who would appreciate the humor.