I've always loved the idea of magical holiday traditions such as Elf on the Shelf, where children find a mischievous little elf somewhere in their home, fishing out of the sink or headfirst in the flour bin, in the days leading up to Christmas. I've toyed with the idea of hiding an elf in my therapy room, but just couldn't bring myself to do it. I love the magic and creativity, but I'm just not a fan of the whole "elves catching me being good before Christmas" aspect of it. So I found an Elf on the Shelf alternative: a Gnome Home!
I've got this great dogwood tree right next to the sidewalk that leads to my office. It's full of knots from branches that have been pruned in years past. I decided it would be the perfect location for my magical gnomes to live.
I painted rustic windows on the knots...
...and made a stone pathway up to a door made from a piece of wood that I found at a craft store.
My 16-year-old son made the little table and chairs from a branch from the tree. We decided we needed a bridge...
...so my older son crafted one and we painted it red to match the doorknob. I love red!
We placed the bridge in the midst of the path...
...and added a scarecrow for a festive fall touch.
And now the magic begins!!! All week long, my little friends have been enchanted by this happy little house tucked in amidst my landscaping. If they don't notice it as they walk by, I take them by the hand and show them, telling them all about the magical little gnomes' new home. Then I tell them that the gnomes left me this note:
...and tell them that we need to be on the lookout for those pesky little gnomes or for things that might belong to them.
In a week or two, the gnomes will make an appearance in my therapy room. And, oh, the mischief they will create! I can hardly wait!!! They will be sure to bring with them lots of opportunities for practicing our speech and language goals and magic for the holidays and beyond.