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Elf on the Shelf Ideas, Fun and Free Printables

Elf on the Shelf is our favorite Christmas tradition that kids love and it is so much fun to enjoy during the Christmas season.

You will want to check out all of the Ideas for Elf on the Shelf we have so you can plan your elf fun throughout the season, or if you are like me, you do everything last minute. ;)

24 Days of Elf on the Shelf Ideas



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What Is Elf on the Shelf?

Elf on the Shelf is a fun holiday tradition in which scout elves are sent from the North Pole by Santa to add magic to the holiday season.

Each night the elf goes back to the North Pole, some parents say to report back to Santa the children's behavior and others say it is so the scout elves can meet up and come up with ideas to share with the children.

The elf magically moves to a new spot every night, and children find their elf friends when they wake up each morning. The fun part for the kids is seeing what the elf (or elves if they have multiple) have done for the day. Sometimes the elf brings a gift, other times the elf does something silly, and sometimes something mischievous.

In our house, our Elf adds to the magic of the Christmas Season and is used to have extra fun and enjoyment. You can choose to have the elf be a watcher of good behavior if you want to, that is a personal parenting choice.

If you are new to Elf on the Shelf be sure to check out our Ultimate Guide of Everything you need to know about Elf on the Shelf.

How does the Elf on the Shelf tradition work?

The Elf on the Shelf tradition is a popular holiday activity that typically begins in early December and continues until Christmas Eve. The main idea is that the elf is a scout for Santa Claus.

Elf On The Shelf Arrives

The first year the elf arrives, the elf is introduced to the household, often accompanied by a storybook that explains the tradition and the role of the elf. You can add to the fun by getting an elf adoption certificate for the elf. You may also want to have the elf bring a letter to the kids that explains the new family Christmas tradition you are starting.

We have a few different FREE Elf Arrival letter printables that you can use. It is also helpful for kids to know the Rules of Elf on the Shelf. We also have a great list of Elf on the Shelf arrival Ideas.

Every year after the Elf makes their arrival between the day after and Christmas Eve, with many family's having the elf arrive on December 1st (We start on December 1st each year). When the elf returns they normally bring a letter letting the kids know they are back for another year of fun. We have Elf on the Shelf Arrival letters to help with that as well. We have 2 different sets of I'm Back elf on the Shelf letters, our original elf on the shelf arrival letter and our newest set of Elf on the Shelf arrival letters that has 7 different ones you can pick from. If you have more than one elf that comes to your house (yes it happens!) We also have Elf on the shelf arrival letters for multiple elves.

Elf on the Shelf Antics and Fun

Each night, the parents move the elf to a new location in the house, creating the illusion that the elf is actively watching over the children. Children wake up each morning to find the elf in a new, often mischievous, position, leading to excitement and anticipation as they search for the elf's latest hiding spot.

During this time you are going to want to find some Elf on the Shelf Ideas I am sure, and we have made that super easy and have hundreds of Elf on the Shelf Ideas that kids love. You can use the Elf on the Shelf Planner printable I have created to get organized and make your Elf on the Shelf plan for the holiday season.

Elf on the Shelf Heads back to the North Pole

On Christmas Eve the Elf catches a ride home with Santa until the next year when they return again. There are lots of ways to Say Goodbye to Elf and we have Elf on the Shelf Goodbye letters to help you with that too. There are many ways to have the elf on the shelf say goodbye, get creative, and make the last night special.

Elf on the Shelf Movies

If you have kids who love reading the Elf on the Shelf book then they will love the Elf on the Shelf Movies too! There are 4 different Elf movies that all are under 30 minutes in length that are great for a quick movie night with the kids.

    • An Elf Story. This Elf movie tells the story of the Elf on the Shelf.

    • Elf Pet's: Santa's Reindeer Rescue. The movie follows the adventures of the Scout Elves as they embark on a mission to help Santa Claus rescue his reindeer, who have encountered difficulties during test flights leading up to Christmas. With the help of a crew of adorable reindeer and Santa's trusted friends, the Scout Elves work to ensure that Santa's sleigh can fly smoothly on Christmas Eve.

    • Elf Pet's: A Fox Cubs Christmas Tale. In this movie, a curious Scout Elf named Newsey, along with a young boy named Michael, other Scout Elves, and a group of charming Arctic fox Elf Pets, set out to uncover the truth. Together, they discover that even Santa's magic is surpassed by the extraordinary power of hope!

    • Elf Pet's: Santa's St. Bernard Saves Christmas. In this movie, Santa realizes there's a shortage of Christmas spirit to make the holiday truly magical. The Scout Elves, a pack of Saint Bernard puppies, and a compassionate family to bring back the magic of Christmas in their community.

Easy Elf Ideas

We have lots of Elf on the Shelf Ideas, you will never have to worry about getting stuck on what to do! Just check out everything that we have and you will never worry about getting your elf fun done and having fun too!


More Christmas Fun for Kids

You can Facetime Santa for a fun Santa Phone Call!

There are so many tasty Christmas treats that the kids will love and they are all perfect for any kids Christmas parties that you might have. Some of our favorite Christmas treats are Santa Hat Cupcakes and Whoville Cookies !

But you can check out the full list of Kid Friendly Christmas Treats and pick out your favorites to make with the kids!

If you are looking for cookie recipes we have you covered there too! Check out our Beautiful Christmas Sugar Cookies, and Christmas Tree Desserts Recipes!

If you want to have even more fun you can get Personalized Text Messages each day from Santa!

If you are looking for a totally fun activity to do with the kids, reindeer poop slime is always a BIG hit!

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