Last year was our first attempt at Elf on the Shelf. I opted to buy a cute elf soft toy rather than the official quite creepy looking elf. Wilko did a friendly alternative and they even stocked gift tags that could be used as little note cards. I know Poundland also do their own elf with matching accessories too. Picking up an elf is the easy bit though. After that you’ve then got to come up with loads of creative elf antics to fill December.
I’ve learnt some lessons from last year. The first being that if I want to do it, I do need to actually plan it. My 10 or so ideas jotted down last year go me so far but then I totally ran out of steam and found it a chore. This year, I’ve got organised and hopefully taken some of the hassle out of Elf on the Shelf for you too.
If you want to join in this relatively new holiday tradition, why not print out my free planner. There is the one I’m doing or a blank one for you to write your own ideas. For our family, I like to mix up a selection of elf antics, festive treats and christmassy activities. In a way, I use the elf on the shelf tradition to plan my entire festive month. All the outing, crafts and baking I want to do get incorporated.
Free Printables – Click the Images Below
By planning elf on the shelf this way, instead of it being an additional task, it’s actually our family festive season sorted. It also encourages me to get everything written down rather than winging it in December. If like me you’ve already booked in a few festive days such as a visit to the big man or a budget friendly stroll round the garden centre, pop these on your planner first.
Mix up the easy with the elaborate
Next, choose how you want to welcome the elf. We just have elf bring the advent calendars and be sat on the table ready for breakfast. If you want to go all out, there are loads of great ideas for a North Pole breakfast over on Pinterest. This is where I get all my inspiration and it’s amazing for elf on the shelf ideas. You’ll find everything from the simple to elaborate to down right crazy.
For some of the days, you might want to print off a template. I’ve created these for you and I intend to print everything in one go so it’s ready to grab each night when I relocate the cheeky fella. On day 2, the elf will bring the letter template so they can write to Santa. I like to do this early in case they throw up any surprise requests that I hadn’t thought of. At the bottom, you’ll also find the address to post you letter to. If you post it by the 8th December, you should even get a reply.
On the fourth, I’ve picked up some fun inflatables. A blow up snowman and reindeer from the pound shop will be a gift from the elf. and he’ll write them a little note. On the fifth, we will be having a toy clear out and the elf will ask them to donate a few toys each. This helps the girls understand about those less fortunate and and also makes space for the influx of new toys come Christmas day.
I’ve tried to alternate between elf mischief and activities. The crafts and activities I’ve added in are just some ideas I’ve either done before or again found on Pinterest. Search Christmas crafts for kids or Christmas baking for kids and you’ll be inundated with ideas. On the 17th, the Elf will leave them £1 each to by each other a gift from the pound shop. I’ve intentionally done this on a Monday when I know we’ll be near one.
For the indoor snowball fight on the 21st, we’ll just scrunch up white paper for our snowballs. Don’t forget to take some festive photos too. By adding this to the planner, hopefully we can get some in with the tree before the big day. On the 23rd, we’ll be donating our reverse advent calendar parcel to a local foodbank or shelter. I’ll be doing a facebook post on this soon so go follow my Mummy2twindividuals page to find out more.
Hopefully, I’ve given you a few ideas and a way to make December magical without the daily stress of thinking up new elf mayhem. For quick reference her are all the printable in one place.