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I love family Christmas traditions. I think we have all heard of that tricky little elf on a shelf that causes mischief in the night.
Personally, I think he sounds a little creepy–but kids and families alike love him.
I am still a little undecided on whether elf on the shelf activities and printables will make their way into our home. My oldest is almost three, so I still have another year to decide.
Even though the jury is still out on whether we will allow this impish character into our home, I have to admit I LOVE the stories I hear about other parents doing elf on the shelf.
A quick Youtube search will yield hilarious videos of Elf on the Shelf activities, with some bordering on a little dark or geeky. Like this one.
Regardless, I wanted to round up the best Elf on the Shelf activities and printables I could find so that way I am ready for next year.
Assuming we actually go through with it. We may just stick with some traditional Christmas crafts.
ELF ON THE SHELF ACTIVITIES & PRINTABLES
I decided to split these into two different sections. If you are wanting to take a look at the printables available, click here to scroll down.
If you don’t have time to read this now, PIN IT FOR LATER!!
ELF ON THE SHELF ACTIVITIES
If this is your first year doing the elf, here is a step-by-step guide on how to get started with your elf. I am definitely using this next year!
GET SOME EMERGENCY DUST
We all know that the conventional rules state that touching your elf causes him to lose his magic. But it’s not like your elf is going to wither away and die, because THAT wouldn’t be very good Christmas spirit, would it?i
Here is a free magic dust printable so that you can DIY some emergency magic dust for your elf (because eventually touching WILL happen!)
GET HIM A MASSAGE
Isn’t this Elf on the Shelf massage table hilarious? Younger kids may not get this, but once they are older they will probably get a kick out of it.
MAKE ELF COOKIES
I thought these little Elf on a Shelf cookieswere SO adorable – although I am sure they wouldn’t look half as good if I made them.
MAKE A CANDY CANE GARDEN
This Elf candy cane garden would be such a FUN art project to do with your littles this year – and this activity includes a FREE printable to go along with it!
Even though we aren’t doing the Elf this year, I think we will still make this adorable candy garden.
MAKE HIM COOKIES
These mini Elf cookies are very adorable. I recommend doing this activity on a weekend so that you and your kids can enjoy some tiny cookies together after finding Mr. Elf.
DO STAR WARS
My husband is a pretty big geek, and he sort of has me converted. These Star Wars Elf on the Shelf ideas will be a big hit in our house next year!
YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE FANCY
Remember that’s IT’S OKAY if you don’t have a big budget for extravagant elf activities. Here are the important things to keep in mind (and some budget-friendly ideas!) for your elf this year.
DO A TOY CHALLENGE
The month of December is an EXCELLENT time to get rid of some that old toy clutter. This Elf toy challenge includes a printable poem that will help encourage your kiddos to do something thoughtful this season.
MAKE A HOUSE
I loved this Elf on the Shelf STEM activity where you build your elf a house (cute, I know!)
This DOES mean you’ll have to break the traditional rule and touch the elf in order to measure him, but it’s a great way to throw some education into your elf routine.
BUILD A FANCIER HOUSE
If you want to make your elf something fancy this year, consider building him this adorable Elf travel house.
I know my daughter (who loves playing house) would love something like this, and I’m sure I couldn’t keep her from touching the elf.
GIVE HIM CLUES
I loved this Elf on the Shelf advent activity. Basically your kiddos find the elf holding a small clue, and they have to figure out what it means in order to find a small gift.
MAKE ELF SLIME
Every kid loves slime (with the exception of mine!) and this Elf slime is very festive and appropriate for this time of year.
NAME YOUR ELF
Do you find it’s a struggle to pick out a good name for your elf? If you have multiple kids it’s even harder! Here’s a list of 80 cute name ideas for your Elf.
MAKE HIM A ZIPLINE
This Elf on the Shelf zipline is another great activity to get your kiddo thinking. They will have to problem solve multiple issues that come up, but that’s part of the learning experience!
ELF ON THE SHELF PRINTABLES
ELF ON THE SHELF PRINTABLE MEGA PACK
This printable pack was by far the largest set of FREE Elf on the Shelf printables pack I found! It’s over ninety pages of well thought out activities.
ELF ON A SHELF PLANNER SET
I am seriously obsessed with all things planner, so this Elf on a Shelf planner set (yes it’s free!) was right up my alley. It even comes with adorable stickers you can print out to help keep track of elf antics!
ELF ON A SHELF WELCOME LETTER
Every elf deserves a warm welcome, and we loved the layout of this Elf on the Shelf welcome letter. This blogger also has options for a welcome back Elf letter if this isn’t your first year!
ELF ON THE SHELF BLANK CALENDAR
We have included some pre-filled calendar options, but if you want something plain that you can fill in yourself, this Elf on the Shelf blank calendar is a great option.
ELF ON THE SHELF RULES PRINTABLE
Every elf needs to set some boundaries, and this Elf on the Shelf Rules list is a great way to help your child remember the rules.
ELF ON THE SHELF DOT PRINTABLE
This Elf on a Shelf artsy printable is a six page packet that is a great coloring exercise that can help your littles improve their fine motor skills.
ELF ON THE SHELF LETTERHEAD
If your elf needs to send a few letters to communicate with your family this year, this adorable Elf on the Shelf Letterhead is perfect.
ELF ON THE SHELF PRINTABLE CALENDAR
If you are a busy mom that doesn’t have time to come up with your own Elf on the Shelf ideas, this Elf on the Shelf printable calendar lays it all out for you!
ELF ON THE SHELF DUNK TANK
I thought this Elf on a Shelf dunk tank printable was super adorable. It’s definitely a unique idea that will entertain your kids, and it’s super easy to make (a requirement for ANY project I do!)
ELF ON THE SHELF MASKS
These Elf on the Shelf masks are really creative. I loved that she included a Frankenstein at Christmas time!
ELF ON THE SHELF REPORT CARD
This Elf on the Shelf report card can help your kiddo be more aware of their behavior. As long as you don’t take it too seriously (Elf on the Shelf should be fun!), this will be a good addition to your Elf on the Shelf plans.
ELF ON THE SHELF PHOTO BOOTH
This Elf on the Shelf photo booth was a cute idea. I think my favorite part is the little photo strip that comes with this printable. If you are always taking pictures of your elf’s antics, this makes a lot of sense!
ELF ON THE SHELF CALENDAR
If this is your first year doing Elf on the Shelf or if you just want to take it easy this year, this funny Elf on the Shelf Calendar for slackers would be a great fit for you. This blogger also has an “over-achiever” option if you think that’s a better fit.
What was your favorite Elf on the Shelf activity or printable?