All You Need to Know About The Elf on the Shelf Traditions (+ Free Printable)

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The Elf on the Shelf was first introduced to me 4 years ago and instantly I loved the idea. I am a bit mad about Christmas! Freddie was just 3 when we started the tradition and not only was it a hit for me he absolutely loved it. Carry on reading to find out what our Elf on the Shelf traditions are.

We started with just one elf and we are currently on 4 elves plus Uncle Si plus a reindeer (Elf Pet)! If you are not familiar with this concept I will explain it below.

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Elf on the Shelf Traditions

At the North Pole, Santa has many helpers who make the Christmas season special! His scout elves serve as his eyes and ears in homes around the world.

The Elf Pets play special roles in creating the Christmas spirit that will help Santa complete all of his Christmas duties. They traditionally come on the 1st of December and watch the children’s behavior before flying back to Santa every night to report back. They reappear in the morning in a different place so the kids have to go and find them.

Elf on the Shelf Arrival Ideas

As I am a bit super crazy for Christmas we start the festivities around mid-November!! In fact, the Elf actually makes an appearance for Halloween too!!

Elf on the Shelf Construction Zone Free printables

We create an elf construction site where there are workers getting the elf door ready! Below is last year’s effort! As you can see we take it fairly seriously!!

The Elf on the Shelf door then magically appears on the 1st of December with the arrival of the Elf for Christmas. I have added a FREE printable for these construction signs, I hope you find them useful.

If you are looking for an Elf on the Shelf arrival letter check out my recent post where you can grab four free printables.

I think you are also going to love 20 of the best free Elf on the Shelf printables

Also, why not grab one or two of these awesome books about elves to get kids in the Christmas spirit.

For an easy day print out our 27 free Elf on the Shelf Notes and leave them for the kids to find in the morning with their Elf.

Elf on the Shelf printable games and Elf on the Shelf hat printables are another great way to add fun to your Elf antics this year.

If you are looking for even more Elf on the Shelf printables I highly recommend these too. The set includes the Official Nice List Certificate; Department of Elf Surveillance Notice; North Pole Mailing Labels; 24 Good Deed/Act of Kindness Cards; 20 Joke Cards; Coloring Pages; Elf Kissing Booth; Magic Recovery Kit (in case your elf is touched)

Elf on the Shelf Construction Site

You could have a scavenger hunt for Christmas either to find the elf or that the elf has done for you. Check out my recent post and grab the free printable.

Names Elf on the Shelf

The first year your elf on the shelf arrives you ask your child to name the Elf.

We have a number of different elves and we also have a traditional Elf on the Shelf. On their website, they have created a list of top 20 Elf Names as below.

Top 20 names elf on the shelf

Freddie decided on Twinkletoes for his first main Elf. But we also have Sparkles, Snowflake and the others we have are not named! Thank God as it is so hard to keep on top of remembering all of the names of his invisible friends and teddy bears as it is!!!  

Certificate of Adoption for Elf on the Shelf

What is the North Pole Breakfast?

With the arrival of the Elf for Christmas, we have a big celebration called a North Pole Breakfast. This is where the elf creates a magical little party with lots of naughty Christmassy food.

He also invites some of Freddie’s friends to join in the party! Before Freddie started school we would do this on December 1st but now he is at school we do it on the nearest weekend before the 1st. We use special straws and create lots of unhealthy and healthy treats.

Elf Behaviour Cards

With the arrival of the Elf for Christmas, we use Elf Report Cards. Each night we leave one of these notes by Freddie’s bedside saying whether the Elf thought he had been a good boy or a naughty boy that day.

Elf Behaviour Cards

This works really well. The thought of Santa thinking he had been naughty in the run-up to Christmas works really well! We believe that this daily reminder encourages great behavior and reminds Freddie to be kind every day. If he has been super good we might leave a little present from the elf such as a little chocolate bar.

All you need to know about the Elf on the shelf

Elf on the Shelf Ideas for Kids

Our Elf for Christmas is a good elf and as such isn’t naughty. We have lots of friends though who have a naughty elf who wraps the television up in wrapping paper, or rolls down the stairs in a toilet roll!!

On the last day of November while Freddie is sleeping we change his bedding to a Christmas duvet. We also change ours. So when he gets into our bed in the morning his little face lights up as he knows it is time for the fun to begin!

Check out my latest post on the best elf accessories, and the best free elf antics.

When does the Elf on the Shelf leave?

The elves last day is Christmas Eve. On Christmas Eve night they fly off with Santa to help distribute the presents to all the boys and girls. 

Elf on the shelf going home to santa

Do you have an Elf on the Shelf? Please share with us your favorite antics below.

Elf on the Shelf Construction Zone Printables

Make sure you choose the correct paper size and then click on the shrink to fit button. With all of our printables, they work better when printed on cardstock (this is the one we use and love.)

Last Updated on 6 June 2022 by homeschoolof1

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