So today while my class was outside on the playground with my assistants I stayed inside to hide our Elf on the Shelf (who is named Ralphie, by the way). He decided to perch himself in one of the kids' stockings hung on our "fireplace."
When we came inside the kids were busy hanging up their coats when one little boy named Ethan called my attention to the elf. "What do you mean? What elf?" I said.
"That one over there!" he pointed to the fireplace with our stockings and in less than a minute the word had spread and all the kids rushed over to the dramatic play center.
Isabel was most excited of all because she has an elf at her house. She quickly explained that we couldn't touch him because he'd lose his magic.
As the children ate their lunch I read the letter from Santa addressed to our class and the Elf on the Shelf story. They all sat in silence, wide-eyed. The rest of the afternoon they would occasionally remind a friend that "Ralphie the elf is watching us...he's going to tell Santa everything we do. We better be good."
They can't wait to see where he winds up tomorrow morning!
(I wish I could share photos I took of the kids first discovering the elf but for the children's protection it's best that I don't.)