The game started as a sort of joke: My husband, who tends to leave for work before Luke and I wake up, would hide Luke’s little plush Elmo somewhere in the kitchen — under the bananas in the fruit bowl; swinging from a light fixture. He did it mostly to make me laugh, but — of course — Luke loved it. It became a morning ritual that helped get the kid’s rear in gear, and down the stairs in the morning: Where was Elmo hiding today?
I don’t pretend to have invented the idea (oh, how I wish I did — I’d be a katrillionaire instead of those people from Elf on the Shelf©), but, well, we’re going on 6 months now, and the Elmo hunting is still going strong. It’s hilarious, it’s free, it takes approximately 20 seconds, and it gives a lollygagging kid a reason to bust a move from one floor or one room or one moment to the next. And unlike, ahem, some other hunts, this little game removes that creepy-elf factor, because you can hide any lovey you want. Score.