Introducing a new Elf on the Shelf to your family is a whimsical and cherished holiday tradition that infuses your home with magic and wonder. These creative and delightful ideas for welcoming your Scout Elf are sure to captivate young and old alike. From printable elf props and staging adorable scenes to encourage good behavior, the possibilities are endless. Embracing the Elf on the Shelf tradition not only adds an extra layer of joy to the season but also fosters lasting memories that will warm your hearts for years to come… Take a look!
Disclosure: Frugal Coupon Living and this blog post are not associated with CCA & B, LLC, Scout Elf, Elf on the Shelf, or the Lumistella Company.
So you’ve gotten an Elf doll! Now what?
Introducing Elf on the Shelf is a fun and interactive way to get kids excited about the Christmas season. This beloved Christmas tradition involves a magical Scout Elf who keeps an eye on children and reports back to Santa each night. The Elf moves around the house each day, getting into mischief and creating a sense of wonder and excitement for kids of all ages.
Understanding the Tradition of Elf on the Shelf is important before introducing it to your family. The story of the Elf and its purpose in watching over children can be explained to kids in a way that is both fun and informative. Once kids understand the magic behind the elf, they will look forward to its arrival each year and enjoy coming up with creative ideas for its daily antics.
Understanding the Tradition
The Elf on the Shelf is a Christmas tradition that has become increasingly popular in recent years. The tradition involves a Scout Elf who flies to the North Pole each night to report back to Santa about the children’s behavior. The Elf then returns to the family’s home and perches in a new spot, waiting for someone to spot them. Children love to wake up and race around the house looking for their elf.
The tradition started back in 2005 when Carol Aebersold and her daughter Chanda Bell self-published the book “The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition” along with a small elf doll. The book explains that elves love to report to Santa to tell him about each day’s activities. The Scout Elves help Santa manage his nice list by taking note of a family’s Christmas adventures and reporting back to Santa at the North Pole nightly.
Parents often move the elf each night to create a sense of excitement and anticipation for the children. The tradition is easy to uphold and follows three simple rules: First, children cannot touch the elf or he will lose his magic. Second, the elf can’t speak or move while anyone is watching. And third, the elf is only allowed to move at night.
The Elf on the Shelf tradition has become a beloved Christmas tradition for many families. It’s a fun way to create lasting memories and build excitement for the holiday season.
The Magic Behind Elf on the Shelf
Elf on the Shelf is a beloved Christmas tradition that has been enchanting children and adults alike for years. But what is the magic behind this little Elf?
First and foremost, the magic of Elf on the Shelf is in the excitement it brings to children during the holiday season. The idea of a magical elf who reports back to Santa every night is a thrilling concept for kids, and it keeps them on their best behavior. The anticipation of waking up each morning to see where the elf has moved to next is a source of endless joy and wonder for children all over the world.
Another aspect of the magic of Elf on the Shelf is the creativity it inspires in parents. Coming up with new and fun ways to position the elf each night is a fun challenge that allows parents to get creative and have some fun of their own. From silly poses to elaborate scenes, the possibilities are endless, and the joy it brings to children is immeasurable. While that might sound like a dreadful task to some parents, there are many helpful resources to come up with creative Elf ideas. You can look at our huge List of Elf on the Shelf ideas or this Easy Elf on the Shelf List to get your creative juices flowing.
But the magic of Elf on the Shelf doesn’t just come from the joy it brings to kids and the creativity it inspires in parents. It also has a deeper meaning rooted in the spirit of Christmas. The idea of a magical elf who watches over children and reports back to Santa is a reminder of the importance of being good and kind, not just during the holiday season, but all year round.
The magic of Elf on the Shelf is multifaceted. It brings joy and excitement to children during the holiday season, inspires creativity in parents, and serves as a reminder of the importance of being good and kind. It’s no wonder this beloved Christmas tradition has captured the hearts of so many people around the world.
How to Introduce Elf on the Shelf
Introducing Elf on the Shelf to children can be a fun and exciting way to get them into the holiday spirit. Here are a few tips on how to introduce Elf on the Shelf:
- Pick a date: Decide on a date when you would like the elf to start appearing. Some families choose to have the elf arrive on December 1st, while others have the elf appear earlier in the season like on Thanksgiving. Whatever date you choose, make sure it is consistent each year so that your children know when to expect the elf.
- Explain the concept: Before the elf arrives, explain the concept and rules of Elf on the Shelf to your children. Let them know that the elf is a special helper from Santa who watches over them to make sure they are being good. The elf reports back to Santa each night, and in the morning, he or she can be found in a new location.
- Give the elf a name: Once the elf arrives, give him or her a name. This can be a fun activity for the whole family. Encourage your children to come up with creative names for the family Elf on the Shelf.
- Create a welcome letter: Consider creating a welcome letter from the elf to your children. The letter can introduce the elf and explain his or her role in watching over the children. You can find Elf on the Shelf letter templates for welcome notes online or create your own.
- Set up the first appearance: When the elf makes his or her first appearance, make it special. You can have the elf bring a small gift or leave a note for the children. This will help build excitement and anticipation for the rest of the holiday season. See the full list of Elf on the Shelf arrival ideas for Thanksgiving, December 1st, or whenever you want!
By following these tips, you can introduce Elf on the Shelf to your children in a fun and memorable way.
Elf on the Shelf Arrival
The arrival of Elf on the Shelf is an exciting moment for children during the holiday season. Parents can make the arrival even more special by incorporating fun and creative ideas to introduce the elf. Here are some ideas to make the arrival of Elf on the Shelf a memorable experience for your children.
When Does Elf on the Shelf Arrive?
The arrival of Elf on the Shelf typically happens during the holiday season, sometime between early November and December 1st. Parents can choose the date they want the elf to start appearing. Some families prefer to start early with Thanksgiving, while others wait until December 1st to get their kids in the mood for Christmas.
There are many creative ways to introduce Elf on the Shelf to your kids. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Introduce Elf as a reading buddy. Gather up your holiday reads, and maybe grab a couple of new ones. Elf likes reading too! You can bring a new book every day (just visit the library to check out 25 books from Elf’s arrival until Christmas.)
- Use mini marshmallows or gumdrops to make the big announcement. Have Elf spell out “I’m back!” or “Hello!” with marshmallows on the kitchen counter.
- Have Elf arrive with a welcome note. Write a personalized note from Elf, welcoming your child back to the holiday season and reminding them to be on their best behavior.
- Have Elf arrive with a small gift. Elf can bring a small gift, like a holiday ornament or a candy cane, to kick off the holiday season.
These are just a few ideas to help you create a special Elf on the Shelf arrival for your kids. See a full list of Cute Elf on the Shelf Arrival Ideas. Get creative and have fun with it!
Elf on the Shelf Ideas
One of the most exciting things about Elf on the Shelf is coming up with creative and fun ideas for your elf’s antics. Here are some popular Elf on the Shelf ideas to get you started:
- Elf Arrival: Welcome your elf with a grand entrance. Have him arrive with a grand Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. You can also have him bring a small gift or treat to kick off the holiday season.
- Elf Mischief: Elves are known for their mischievous behavior. Have your elf get into some silly antics like TP-ing the Christmas tree or making a snow angel in flour on the kitchen counter.
- Elf Reading Corner: Create a cozy reading corner for your elf with a miniature bookshelf and a few holiday-themed books. Your elf can be found snuggled up with a book and a few stuffed animal friends.
- Elf Movie Night: Set up a mini movie theater for your elf with a tiny screen and popcorn. Have your elf watch a holiday movie with some of his friends.
- Elf Snowball Fight: Have your elf create a mini snowball fight with some of his stuffed animal friends. Use cotton balls as snowballs and create a fun winter scene.
- Elf Baking: Have your elf get into the holiday spirit by baking some holiday treats. Set up a mini kitchen with a small baking sheet and ingredients. Your elf can be found mixing up a batch of miniature Elf cookies, cupcakes, or rice krispies.
- Elf Sports: Have your elf show off his athletic side with some mini sports equipment. Set up a mini basketball hoop or soccer goal and have your elf shoot some hoops or score some goals.
These are just a few ideas to get you started. Let your creativity run wild and come up with your own unique Elf on the Shelf ideas to make the holiday season even more magical.
Elf on the Shelf Rules
Introducing Elf on the Shelf to your family can be a fun and exciting tradition during the holiday season. However, it’s important to establish some rules to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience for everyone involved. Here are some common Elf on the Shelf rules to consider:
- No Touching: One of the most important rules of Elf on the Shelf is that children are not allowed to touch the elf. This is because it could cause the elf to lose its magic and ability to report back to Santa. It’s important to explain this rule clearly to children and remind them of it often.
- Elf Cannot Talk: You can talk to the Elf and Elf will listen but Elf cannot talk back.
- Elf Movement: The elf will move to a new location each night, but you cannot move the Elf. If he falls, get Magic Grippers to move him.
- Elf Reporting: The elf is meant to report back to Santa each night about the children’s behavior. It’s important to remind children that the elf is always watching and to encourage good behavior and kindness throughout the day.
- Elf Goodbye: On Christmas Eve, the elf will leave for the year and return to the North Pole with Santa. It’s important to explain this to children so they don’t become upset when the elf is no longer around.
- Elf Names: While not necessarily a rule, giving the elf a name can make the experience more personal and enjoyable for children. Encourage children to come up with creative and fun names for their family Elf.
Remember, the rules you establish for Elf on the Shelf can be customized to fit your family’s needs and preferences. You can print out these free printable Elf on the Shelf rules to guide you. The most important thing is to have fun and create lasting memories during the holiday season.
Involving the Family
What makes the Elf on the Shelf truly magical is its ability to involve the family in a delightful game of hide-and-seek and imagination. This mischievous visitor not only reports back to Santa but also engages in playful antics that ignite the imagination of children and parents alike. It’s a tradition that encourages creativity, storytelling, and togetherness.
Take a look at the various ways the Elf on the Shelf involves the entire family, from its arrival and naming to the daily discoveries and cherished memories created along the way. Whether you’re already a seasoned Elf on the Shelf enthusiast or new to this enchanting tradition, there are endless opportunities to make it a cherished part of your family’s holiday celebration. Discover how your Elf on the Shelf can bring your family closer during the most wonderful time of the year.
1. Naming the Elf
The first step to involving the family is to let everyone help name the Elf. You can make it a family affair by having everyone suggest a name and then vote on the best one. This will make the Elf doll feel like a part of the family and give everyone a sense of ownership over the tradition.
2. Setting up the Elf Ideas
Another way to involve the family is with the way you stage the Elf. Use things that are special to your child and family. Ideas can include Elf in your child’s backpack, Elf decorating the family photo, Elf declaring his love for family, and writing the family letters from Elf.
3. Creating Elf Stories
The Elf can be a mischievous little guy and having a narrative for his antics can add fun and excitement for the entire family. Have a back pocket of explanations for Elf’s location, what to do if Elf is touched, or even a list of reasons why Elf did not move (for the time you forget to move him!)
4. Encouraging Good Behavior
Elf on the Shelf is not just about fun and games, it’s also a way to encourage good behavior during the holiday season. You can involve the family by having the Elf leave notes for good behavior or by having the Elf reward good behavior with small treats or surprises.
5. Making Memories
Finally, Elf on the Shelf is a great way to make memories with the whole family. You can take pictures of the Elf’s antics each day and create a scrapbook or photo album of the tradition. This will be a fun way to look back on the memories for years to come.
Involving the family in Elf on the Shelf can be a fun and exciting way to create holiday traditions and memories. Whether you have toddlers or teenagers, everyone can get involved and have fun with this holiday tradition.
Fun with Elf on the Shelf
Elf on the Shelf is not just about keeping an eye on the kids for Santa Claus. It can also be a fun and creative way to add excitement and surprise to the holiday season. Here are some funny Elf on the Shelf ideas to get you started:
- Have your elf create a “snow” angel on the kitchen counter using flour or powdered sugar.
- Take Elf to the door with a help sign.
- Set up a miniature hot cocoa stand with your elf as the barista, complete with tiny mugs and marshmallows.
- Roll elf into a burrito for a fun Taco Tuesday surprise.
- Have your Elf climb a bow wall using gift wrapping ribbon.
- Set up a photo booth with a festive backdrop and props for your elf to pose with.
These are just a few examples of the many ways you can have fun with Elf on the Shelf. Get creative with your Elf Ideas and come up with your own ideas to surprise and delight your family during the holiday season.
Remember to keep it friendly and appropriate for all ages, and never use Elf on the Shelf to scare or threaten your children. With a little imagination, Elf on the Shelf can be a fun and memorable addition to your holiday traditions.
Saying Goodbye to Elf on the Shelf
Saying goodbye to Elf on the Shelf can be an emotional moment for both children and parents. After all, the elf has been a part of the family’s daily routine for weeks, if not months, leading up to Christmas. However, there are ways to make the farewell less sad and more memorable.
One idea is to have the elf leave a goodbye letter for the children. This letter can thank the children for being such great hosts and recap some of the elf’s favorite moments during his stay. There are many free Elf printable templates available online, making it easy to create a personalized letter that the children can keep as a memento.
Another way to say goodbye to Elf on the Shelf is to throw a farewell party. This can be a fun way to celebrate the end of the elf’s visit and create lasting memories. The party can include festive decorations, snacks, and even a special performance by the elf himself. Involving the children in the planning process can make the party even more special.
For those who prefer a simpler approach, a hug and a thank you may be enough to bid the elf farewell. Reminding the children that the elf will return next year can also help ease the sadness of saying goodbye.
One last way to say good-bye is an Elf retirement letter. This says goodbye forever as the Elf on the Shelf moves to a new family.
No matter how the family chooses to say goodbye to Elf on the Shelf, it’s important to remember that the elf’s visit is just one small part of the holiday season. The memories and traditions created with family and loved ones are what truly make the season special.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I introduce a new Elf on the Shelf to my family?
Introducing a new Elf on the Shelf to your family can be a fun and exciting experience. One way to introduce your Elf is to have them make a grand entrance on the first day of December. You can have them appear in a creative and unexpected location, such as on the Christmas tree or in an arrival package. You can also give your elf a name and write a letter of introduction from the elf to your child.
When is the best time to introduce my child to Elf on the Shelf?
The best time to introduce your child to Elf on the Shelf is when they are old enough to understand the concept of the Elf’s magical powers and the importance of good behavior during the holiday season. Typically, children as young as three years old can understand the idea behind Elf on the Shelf. There are a lot of cute Elf on the Shelf toddler ideas for younger kids.
What are the three rules of Elf on the Shelf?
The three rules of Elf on the Shelf are simple. First, your Elf cannot move except at night when your child is sleeping. Second, your Elf cannot be touched by anyone in the house, or they will lose their magic. Third, your Elf will fly back to the North Pole every night to report to Santa on your child’s behavior.
What should I do with Elf on the Shelf on the first night?
On the first night, you can have your elf make a grand entrance by appearing in a creative and unexpected location. You can also have your elf bring a welcome letter or a small gift for your child. This will help your child feel excited and engaged with the Elf on the Shelf tradition.
Where can I find an Elf on the Shelf kit?
You can find Elf on the Shelf kits at most major retailers, including Walmart, Target, and Amazon. The kit typically includes an elf doll and a book explaining the Elf on the Shelf tradition. You can also find a variety of printable Elf accessories and clothing for your elf to make them even more festive and fun.
Our most popular Elf can be found in our Elf Store. Shop Elf costumes, our Elf Twister board, jokes for kids, Elf letters, Elf notes, Elf games, and so much more!
Free Elf on the Shelf Printables
We also love sharing Elf printables! Get all of our free Elf on the Shelf printables by entering your email address below. Look for an email to confirm you signed up. Once you confirm, look for a second email in your inbox with a link and password!
Free Printables Step-by-Step Directions
2.) Look for a confirmation email in your inbox and confirm you requested a signup.
3.) We will send you a Free Printables Welcome Email with a link and passcode to all of our free printables.
4.) Enter your passcode at the top of the page here and click “Access Printables”
5. Enjoy your Elf Printables.
By downloading digital downloads you are accepting the copyright terms and permissions that this is for personal use, non-commercial use. Please contact Frugal Coupon Living with any questions. If you don’t have a printer, use Staples Online Printing.
I am happy to share printables. When sharing with others, please lead them to my website instead of emailing them the file(s). Thanks for visiting and thanks for sharing with others!
Elf on the Shelf Resources
At Frugal Coupon Living, our goal is to create an easy Elf on the Shelf season for you. This is not our first year of having an Elf in the home. With over eight years of Elf ideas, we have created a rather large Elf on the Shelf fan club full of new Elf on the Shelf ideas. These Elf on the Shelf resources are all you need to create the best Elf ideas.
What is Elf on the Shelf?
Elf on the Shelf is a Christmas Tradition. The tradition has a book and an elf doll. The book is poetic and in rhyme sharing the purpose of the Elf’s visits. The Elf visits each Thanksgiving. He/She goes and returns from the North Pole each evening. Every morning he can be found in a new location in the house. The Elf has been found in the refrigerator, fishing in the toilet, writing messages on the mirror, or hanging from the lights. It is VERY IMPORTANT, that the Elf is not touched each evening or his Christmas magic will be lost! Each family is able to name their special elf. The elves return to their home (Santa’s North Pole Work shop) every Christmas Eve.
More Helpful Elf on the Shelf Links
Some call Frugal Coupon Living the biggest resource for all things Elf on the Shelf. While we don’t want to brag, we will. We have moved our red little North Pole friend year after year. We have created plenty of free printables, must-have resources, inspirational Elf links, and more. Use us as a platform to keep your sanity through the entire Christmas season.
Use the helpful Elf on the Shelf links to come up with creative ideas, grab free printables, and answer Elf on the Shelf Questions.
- Elf on the Shelf Ideas – a Starter guide to all things elf including some of our top post ideas and Elf on the Shelf digital downloads.
- Largest List of Elf on the Shelf Ideas – Now over 600 Elf on the Shelf Ideas. New ideas are added daily during November and December.
- Elf on the Shelf Questions and Answers – Are you just beginning with an Elf? Could you use a refresher on all the Elf on the Shelf rules? Take a look at frequently asked elf-on-the-shelf questions to get started. You will immediately be an Elf expert.
- Free Elf on the Shelf Printables – Sign up for our emails and grab these free Elf digital downloads to help you during the Elf season. Includes an Elf calendar, notes, Elf coloring pages, encouraging ideas, and more.
- DIY Bendable Elf on the Shelf – Want your Elf to do all sorts of positions? This is an easy no-sew bendable Elf on the Shelf tutorial.
- Elf Shop with Digital Downloads – This is one of the best Elf shops full of printable resources to perfect the holiday season.
- Elf on the Shelf Emails with New Ideas Daily – Each day we will write you with a new Elf on the Shelf idea as well as links to Elf on a Shelf resource and sometimes hidden coupon codes and freebies!
Follow on social media! Take a look at the Elf on the Shelf Pinterest Board. Tell us what you are doing with your Elf on the Shelf this season. Is there an Elf idea we haven’t tried? Do you have any Elf on the Shelf questions? Leave a comment here or on Pinterest.
Disclosure: Frugal Coupon Living and this blog post are not associated with CCA & B, LLC, Scout Elf, Elf on the Shelf, or the Lumistella Company.
WHAT’S TRENDING? Looking for a few engaging activities? Grab Minute to Win it Games – Traditional, Christmas, Friendsgiving, Thanksgiving, and more! Use these fun activities in the office, classroom, or at your next party.
Last Updated on November 25, 2023 by Ashley at Frugal Coupon Living