FREE Elf on the Shelf Scavenger Hunt Printable

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Have fun with the kids with these fun Elf on the Shelf scavenger hunt clues.

This is one of our family’s favorite Elf on the Shelf activities.

Not only do we love the Elf on the Shelf but we also love treasure hunts (or scavenger hunts, I never know what the right term is).

Like all of our treasure hunts, I do not label the clues by number. So you can choose in which order the kids find them.

For older children, you could get them upstairs for one, then back downstairs for two, and then up and down!! But for younger children, it might be easier to find them in order of where you start.


**There may be affiliate links in this post. You can read my full disclosure at the bottom of the page.**

Elf Scavenger Hunt Clues

There are 12 rhyming treasure hunt clues included in the FREE download.

This Elf on the Shelf scavenger hunt printable is free to print but is for personal use only. Scroll to the bottom of the page to get the pdf file.

You can use or ignore as many as you want, but I have tried to include clues that most people will have in their homes.

  • The Elf on the Shelf is here to stay, the next clue is where you lay
  • The Elf on the Shelf will move later, make sure you check the refrigerator
  • Santa’s elves are full of glee, your next clue is hiding in the Christmas tree.
  • The North Pole is far away your next clue is where you play.
  • The Elf is hanging out on his shelf, the next clue is where you would see yourself
  • The Elf on the Shelf has been, your next clue is where you clean
  • Santa Claus likes a nice wreath, the next clue is hiding where you brush your teeth
  • The elf came with a treat, the next clue is where you eat
  • There is snow in the air, the next clue is hiding on your chair
  • The reindeer are in the stable, the next clue is under the table
  • The elves are hiding go and look, but the next clue is in your favorite book
  • The elves’ favorite subject is math, the next clue is hiding in the bath!

You will also enjoy the Christmas treasure hunt

How to play the Elf on the Shelf scavenger hunt game

There isn’t really much else required to have fun with these FREE printables, well apart from a printer.

  • Download the free printable below
  • Print out the clues – just make sure you print to either A4 or Letter and click on shrink to fit. I have tried so they should print on both sized paper.
  • Paper or Card – the printables work better on cardstock (this is the one we use), however, normal printer paper will work perfectly.
  • Scissors – to cut the clues, I have purposely kept the clues big, but of course, you can fold them if they need to fit in somewhere small.
  • Get a pen (to remind you where you have put the clues and in what order. Trust me, this really helps!!)
  • Most importantly remember the gifts at the end of the hunt.

Have fun with our free Christmas elf name generator printable!

Elf on the Shelf Gifts

We always like to find alternatives for candy, however, a candy cane or chocolate coins would work as a perfect treasure hunt gift. Please see the best Elf on the Shelf gifts below:

If your children can’t touch the actual Elf, this Elf on the Shelf Plushee Doll is a perfect alternative. It allows them to interact with the Elf’s spirit without disturbing the magical tradition.

The Elf on the Shelf Festive Family Night. This comprehensive set includes the Plushee Doll mentioned earlier, along with a DVD, 2 popcorn buckets, and more. It’s a fantastic gift that promises a memorable family night filled with holiday fun.

-if you don’t allow your children to touch the actual elf, these make a perfect treat.

The Elf on the Shelf Festive Family Night is a great set, that includes the plushee doll above, it also comes with a DVD, 2 x popcorn buckets, and more. It really is a super gift.

An Elfs Story DVD. Based on the original book, this enchanting movie captures the essence of the Elf on the Shelf tradition. Check if it’s available on Netflix or other streaming platforms for a magical movie night.

This adorable The Elf on the Shelf Pet toy comes with its own storybook, adding a new dimension to your Elf’s adventures and providing a cuddly companion for your little ones.

These adorable Elf on the Shelf pajama set, complete with a Santa hat, are perfect for getting the whole family into the festive spirit. They make cozy and cute additions to your holiday traditions.

Explore a collection of the best Christmas elf books that make perfect gifts. These heartwarming stories will captivate young readers and add a touch of magic to the holiday season.

Have fun with our Santa scavenger hunt printable too!

elf on the shelf activities bundle


Other free Elf on the Shelf printables

Have even more fun with the Elf this December with these free Elf on the Shelf printables:

  1. Have the elves hide 12 candy canes with our free Elf on the Shelf candy cane hunt.
  2. Enhance the magic of your Elf’s visit with free Elf on the Shelf arrival letters, welcoming them into your home with excitement and wonder.
  3. Keep the enchantment alive throughout December by using free printable Elf on the Shelf notes to create daily surprises and smiles for your little ones.
  4. Prepare for your Elf’s grand entrance with an Elf door under construction printable, turning your home into a whimsical wonderland.
  5. Make family nights memorable with Elf on the Shelf printable games, offering hours of festive fun and laughter.
  6. Challenge your family’s memory skills with an entertaining Elf memory game printable, featuring your mischievous Elf’s adventures.
  7. Add a touch of style to your family photos by adding an Elf on the Shelf hat printable to everyone’s head!
  8. Bid a heartfelt farewell to your Elf with Elf on the Shelf goodbye letters, expressing gratitude for the holiday joy they brought.
  9. Explore creative Elf on the Shelf leaving ideas to create lasting memories and anticipation for their return next year.
elf candy cane hunt printable

Tips for downloading the free files

Below you will see a large sign-up box where you need to add your name and email address, and press I NEED THIS NOW!

Within minutes you will be sent the free PDF directly to your email address, so you can print it out and start using it immediately.

Sometimes emails get a little wonky, so if you can’t see it, please check your spam folder where I am sure it is hiding.

Download the Free Elf on the Shelf Scavenger Hunt Printable

If you are looking for even more Elf treasure hunts check out these on Etsy.

Make sure you choose the correct paper size and click on the shrink to fit button. All of our free printables for kids work better when printed on cardstock (this is the one we use and love.)

Last Updated on 25 November 2023 by Clare


  1. Hi i have subscribed to be able to download elf on the shelf printables but haven’t yet received the email? thanks

    1. Hey Lauren, it can take about 5 minutes before the email arrives and I have just looked and it has now been sent. If it is not in your inbox please check the spam folder.

    1. Hi

      The email takes a few minutes to arrive and I see it has now been sent. Can you please let me know if you still can’t see it 🙂

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