Christmas is just around the corner which means there may be an Elf arriving at your home soon. Many families with younger kids like to participate in the Elf on the Shelf tradition. In this post I’ll share with you how to welcome an Elf on the Shelf this season with an official Christmas Elf Adoption Certificate, what Elf on the Shelf involves, and fun ways to entertain your family this Christmas!
What is Elf on the Shelf?
The Elf on the Shelf is one of many Christmas traditions that have become popular over the last several years. An Elf is usually “sent” to an individual family by Santa Clause with orders to watch over the children and report back to St. Nick to help Santa prepare his list for Christmas Eve. Will your kids be on the naughty or nice list?
When Does Elf on the Shelf Come?
Generally, Santa sends his helper every December 1st. It’s up to you when you start Elf on the Shelf, but introducing your elf after Thanksgiving, during the break, gives you a few more days of fun before the crazy Christmas season begins!
Where to Buy Elf on the Shelf
One thing you’ll love about Elf on the Shelf is that you can get an elf that has different skin tones or genders to make the experience unique, just like families are unique and special.
If you haven’t found a scout elf yet, Amazon’s super fast shipping has you covered. It’s also a great way to find exactly which version on the elf you want without running around town. Grab one here and you’ll be ready in plenty of time!
If you’re out shopping for Black Friday, or even just making a weekly run to Target, most stores carry these mischievous little friends. They do tend to run out, so your should buy yours where you find them so you don’t have to stress later about finding an elf in time.
How Does Elf on the Shelf Work?
The Elf arrives in a magical way after being found somewhere in the house when children are not around. Parents usually hide the Elf in a new location every day leading up to Christmas, with different spots being revealed each morning.
Every day during the month of December, children should look for their elf to see what mischief they have been up to while they were asleep. The Elf is believed to watch all of your family’s activities so it can report back to Santa Claus.
This makes mornings so much fun! Kids are excited to get out of bed to see what funny situations their elf has gotten into each day. Your kids are then sent off to school with a smile on their faces. What a great way to start the day!
How to Introduce Elf on the Shelf to Your Children
Elf on the Shelf is a tradition that many parents love to share with their children. If you’re ready to participate this year, keep these pointers in mind:
The Elf on the Shelf can be introduced after Thanksgiving dinner and before kids go back to school. Have the Elf arrive at night by hiding him somewhere in sight of children before bed.
The Elf on the Shelf set has a Christmas tradition book that you can read to introduce the fun to your children. You’ll want to explain to your children how they should look for him daily. Each morning the Elf will be set up in a new location making a mess, or acting silly.
Elf Adoption Certificate & Free Printable
Welcome your elf into the family with an official adoption certificate for Santa’s Helper. Get the free printable pdf for this Elf Adoption Certificate and so many more great printables instantly by using the form below.
The kids will love getting an official adoption certificate for their family elf. This will be a wonderful keepsake as they look forward to their elf’s arrival each year for the month of December.
Funny Elf on the Shelf Ideas
Your kids are going to have so much fun with Elf on the Shelf! Here are some ideas to help get you started:
Hide the Elf in the most different places each day. This is a great excuse to get creative! Hide him in comical situations and have him do silly things like cooking and making a mess in the kitchen, waiting to play a game with the kids, crafting, getting stuck in wrapping paper and ribbon… the ideas are endless!
- Have the elf make a Christmas themed pancake for breakfast. Set up the kitchen with little toy dishes if you have them or use your own. Spill some pancake mix and make little elf footprints in the mess. Put a bit of the dry mix on the elf’s nose.
- Set up a holiday game for the family to play. Deal the cards or set out the pieces so it’s ready to go after the kids get home from school.
- Use a string to make the elf hang over the dining table, bathroom sink or other funny place where messes can be made. Toothpaste squeezed into the sink or napkins making a happy face shape are silly ways to make the kids laugh.
Easy Last Minute Elf on the Shelf Ideas
Running low on ideas or just plain forgot to plan? Here are a few last minute Elf on the Shelf ideas to use that don’t need a bunch of props.
- Have your elf leave messages for a hide and seek game for your children to find after they wake up.
- Use a Christmas mad libs game or holiday bingo printable to set up fun activities for the family. Print the pdf out extra small for the elf, of course. Set out pencils if you need them or candy for bingo card markers too.
- The elf can pretend to be part of the Christmas tree or hanging out under the tree trying to unwrap gifts.
- Traveling from the North Pole sometimes means your elf needs to quarantine. Use a large glass jar or freezer size Ziploc bag with “QUARANTINED” written across the front. Print this Elf on the Shelf Quarantine Letter out and roll it up with a piece of ribbon or string for the kids to find.
Elf on the Shelf Sets & Accessories
As elf on the shelf has become more popular, there are now many different Elf on the Shelf doll sets to choose from.
From girl elves, boy elves, a black elf on the shelf, or light skin tone elves- there’s the perfect elf for any family. There are also accessories and elf on the shelf outfits and pets! If you’re looking for a set, here are some of our favorite options:
When Does Elf on the Shelf Leave?
The Elf on the Shelf leaves your home on Christmas Eve to return to the North Pole until next year. To ease the transition of your elf leaving until next year, use the Elf on the Shelf Goodbye Letter printable that’s located in the free printable library (access below).
Your kids are going to have so much fun enjoying this tradition with you! Santa’s little helper is a great way to get in the holiday spirit while keeping your home merry and bright throughout December!
Just print your copy of the free Elf Adoption Certificate (in the free printable library) and get creative. Make it an extra special Christmas this year with Elf on the Shelf!
More Christmas Printables
Elf on the Shelf Goodbye Letter
Holiday Bingo Game
Christmas Mad Libs