If you’ve been following along with us for a few years now, you know how much we love the Elf on the Shelf tradition in the Newton household. This tradition brings all of the littles so much joy and adds in that extra hint of belief from a young age. As an adult, the best part of the holidays is seeing your kids believe and giving them the experiences you had! This tradition can be as easy or complicated as you’d like and I have put together an entire guide from start to finish. To participate in this traditions you will ‘adopt’ a scout elf, name it, and then it will take on the personality of your family. This Elf on the Shelf comes and stays in your house until Christmas eve and reports back to Santa each night if the kids have been naughty or nice. Every morning when your kids wake up, the elf will be in a different area of the house with props to give it a personality. I have included everything you need to know and 24 ideas for each night!
Where Can I Buy?
You can adopt an Elf on the Shelf at Walmart or Amazon. You can also find the nearest adoption center on the Elf on the Shelf website. When you adopt an elf you will get
A Scout Elf
An Artfully Illustrated Storybook
Keepsake Storage Box
An Official Adoption Certificate
How Does It Work?
There are only 3 steps to get started!
Adopt an elf
Read the book as a family to learn about your elf and the rules.
Scout Elves can’t talk, but they are great listeners. Little ones can share secrets and wishes with their elf as often as they’d like.
Scout Elves must return to the North Pole on Christmas Eve to help Santa prepare for the next Christmas!
Let The Fun Begin
How Do I Start?
Create an ‘Elf Arrival Plan’ and let the fun begin. When Scout Elves return from the North Pole each night, they land in a different spot in your home. I’ve listed fun ideas below for weeks of staging!
Step 1: Arrival
Find Scout: Place your Elf into a cup and cover with another cup on top. Stage 15-20 of these sets in the living room. Place a note saying ‘I’m back, find me!’ Have the children look in the cups to find him!
Zip Lining In: Tie ribbon to the ceiling and tape the Elf’s hands to a candy cane. Place the candy cane on ribbon with the illusion that the Elf will land into the Christmas tree.
In From The North Pole: Create a trail of sugar/flour, add in footprints, and lead the trail to the room the elf is in. Have the children run to find them in the room!
Step 2: YourElf Daily North Pole Check In
Elf On The Go: Place your Elf inside a clear container (like this) with a note placed beside saying ‘I climbed into this container so you could carry me around today. I can’t wait to see everything we will do!’
Elf Re-fuel Station: Sitting with a Keurig pod in it’s lap with a note ‘Elf Re-Fuel Station’
Do Not Disturb Mode: Sitting with legs crossed & Airpods in it’s ears
Hope You Don’t Mind: Add green food dye to water, add water to the toilet. Place the Elf on the back of the toilet seat with a note ‘I had to go!’
Get Nerdy: Tape a nerds rope from the sink and fill the bottom of the sink with sprinkles. Place the Elf on the faucet with a note ‘Who needs water when you have sprinkles?’
Smooch The Elf: Place Hershey Kisses on the counter next to your Elf and write a sign saying ‘Free Kisses’
Jenga Time: Place your Jenga game on the floor with the Elf playing the game!
Can I Get A Coke?: Pop open a Coke (or any soda) and place a straw into it. Stage your Elf to be taking a drink from the straw!
Out Of This World: Wrap in tinfoil (like an astronaut), cut out stars + moon. Stage with note ‘I love you to the moon & back’
Quack of Dawn: Place facing into wall with toilet paper pulled down a little. Place melted chocolate on the paper pulled down to resemble him going #2.
Just Hanging Around: Create a seat/swing out of an empty toilet paper roll (cut out a half circle), tie festive string through the ends, hang it from your ceiling, and place your elf inside!
Elf Climbsalot: Create a ‘rock wall’ out of bows on your kitchen cabinets. Stage your elf climbing the bows with tape!
Floor Is Lava: Tape your Elf to your wall with bows on top of the tape. Write a note saying ‘The floor is lava!’
Get To Brushin’: Place tape over the faucet of your sink with a little room for the water to escape. Place the Elf behind the sink with a note ‘Get to Brushin’! When the kids turn on the water, it should shoot out at different angles!
Oops they did it AGAIN: Download a broken screen image from google. Set it as the background of your TV in the living room. Place the Elf hanging onto the side of the TV with a note saying ‘The operation did not go as planned! Oops!’
No Clean Bowls: Take 1 shoe from each child, fill the shoe with cereal and stage with a spoon! Place your Elf sitting on the cereal box next to the bowls with a note saying ‘I made breakfast! Couldn’t find the bowls, hope you don’t mind?’
Elf Scissor Hands: Making little cuts in your kids clothes while they’re sleeping. Stage Elf with scissors.
Scout Is An Artist: Write on your child’s face while they’re sleeping and have them wake up to their Elf sitting there holding the marker on their bedside table.
Carnival Elf: Create a seat/swing out of an empty toilet paper roll (cut out a half circle), tie festive string through the ends, hang it from your ceiling fan. Turn. your fan on low and watch them ride around!
Rudolph Lookalikes: Place these red pom pom’s on the nose of your children (like Rudolf) in pictures around the house. While your child is sleeping, draw a red dot on their nose. When they wake up, they will find the Elf placed on the wall next to these pictures!
Paint It Red: Paint your husbands (or anyone’s) toenails with any color nailpolish. Place your Elf on the countertop with a note saying ‘I left (person) a little treat! Go find him now & look at his feet!’
Gone Fishin’: Pour your blue toilet cleaner into the toilet water with goldfish. Stage your Elf on top of the toilet seat with a makeshift fishing pole into the bowl. Write a note saying ‘Gone fishin’!’
Step 3: Exit
See You Next Year: Take a polaroid picture of the Elf with everyone sleeping. Place the developed polaroids on the counter with a goodbye note! ‘See you next year!’
These are some of my favorite Elf props to help make your elf’s stay magical.
Elf Staging Ideas
These are some of my go to props for our elf.
Other Cute Accessories
Your elf doesn’t have to have all the fun. Check out these cute Elf on the Shelf accessories.