The Elf On The Shelf will soon arrive at our house. The weekend of Thanksgiving we’ll put up the tree and that will be a beacon for George to arrive at our home.
Then, each night for about a month, my wife and I will look at each other in bed with an “Oh sh–“ look that says “I forgot to move the elf.”
If that’s the kind of thing you dread, you’re not going to like Dinovember. For an entire month, Refe and Susan Tuma go Jurassic Park meets Toy Story on their kids, with a full on adventure that brings their toys to life each night.
“It began modestly enough,” Tuma writes on Medium. “The kids woke up to discover that the dinosaurs had gotten into a box of cereal and made a mess on the kitchen table.”
If you’ve ‘done the Elf on the Shelf thing’, you know it always escalates.
And the reason the Tumas celebrate Dinovember (and are encouraging others to join the movement through their Facebook page) is the same reason we all do these silly things with elves, leprechauns, bunnies, witches, and Santa – to embrace the magic and unconditional believability of childhood.
“In the age of iPads and Netflix, we don’t want our kids to lose their sense of wonder and imagination. In a time when the answers to all the world’s questions are a web-search away, we want our kids to experience a little mystery. All it takes is some time and energy, creativity, and a few plastic dinosaurs.
Childhood is fleeting, so let’s make sure it’s fun while it lasts.”
That Elf doesn’t get here for another 2 weeks, so guess what’s happening at our house tonight?!
Scrambled Eggs 1 of 11
"Uh-oh," the Tumas heard their girls whisper. "Mom and Dad are not going to like this."
Mom’s Favorite Vase 2 of 11
If you're going to do Dinovember, you HAVE to commit. There's no half-acting it here, it's all the way or skip it. The Tumas offered up a favorite vase as part of their commitment to the cause.
Fruit 3 of 11
Despite being terrifying large, and loud, many dinosaurs are actually vegetarians. Not necessarily clean ones, mind you - those are still little and those feet are still huge.
Crayon Power 4 of 11
We play it pretty straight with our Elf on the Shelf. Dinosaurs, on the other hand, are terrors and are constantly up to no good, like redecorating.
Frat House 5 of 11
Every night of the week is like a Pteradactyl Toga Party.
Clean Up 6 of 11
After a few nights of messing around, the dinos try to pitch in and clean things up... but still manage to make a mess.
Dinosaur Karaoke 7 of 11
What do you think they like ... The Killers? Bieber? Maybe a little Was Not Was?
Role Playing 8 of 11
Everyone loves dress-up, even dinosaurs.
Breakfast 9 of 11
"Can we still have that cereal for breakfast, Daddy?" asked Refe's children the morning after.
I mean, is there a "5 second rule" that applies to dinosaurs in your cereal?
Muffins 10 of 11
Did someone ask for breakfast in bed? These guys were trying to make muffins, but just ran out of time.
Muscle Beach 11 of 11
There are always moments to lighten it up, not everything is mess and destruction.
So, what do you think? Will you be celebrating Dinovember this year!?
All images by Refe and Susan Tuma. Used with permission.