All You Need to Know for Elf on the Shelf + FREE Printables

So you have a new house guest for the month of December… Let’s go over the Elf on the Shelf Rules, Directions, and share loads…

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So you have a new house guest for the month of December… Let’s go over the Elf on the Shelf Rules, Directions, and share loads of FREE Printables to make sure kids, parents, Santa, and elves are all on the same page and ready to enjoy this fun family tradition.

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All You Need to Know for Elf on the Shelf + FREE Printables

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ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW: Elf on the Shelf + FREE Printables

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All You Need to Know for Elf on the Shelf + FREE Printables

Welcome the Elf on the Shelf to your Home

Whether you are new to Elf on the Shelf or a seasoned Elf on the Shelf-er, you can use these printable Welcome Letters to invite your Elf into your home. Each letter teaches your children the rules to keep the magic of Elf on the Shelf working.

Elf on the Shelf Arrival Letter or the Elf on the Shelf I’m Back Letter.

Elf on the Shelf ARRIVAL LETTER: Free Printable for Christmas
Elf on the Shelf I'M BACK LETTER: Free Printable for Christmas

What is the Elf on the Shelf?

Elf on the Shelf started to be a fun Christmas tradition. Basically, Santa’s scout elves are sent to the homes of children who celebrate Christmas, through the month of December. 

The Elf on the Shelf will observe what your children are doing and report back to Santa at the North Pole each night. They are looking for naughty or nice behavior, and want kiddos to be kind. 

All You Need to Know for Elf on the Shelf + FREE Printables

What Does the Elf on the Shelf Do?

Each day the Elf on the Shelf will be found in a new location and positioned differently… there may even be proof of some “elf mischief” with toys out of place, humourous scenes with elf-sized props, or notes and letters left by your elf. 

Grab these Elf sized notecards to use all month long.

Elf on the Shelf NOTE CARDS: Free Printable for Christmas

Does the Elf on the Shelf only Sit on Shelves?

No, basically your elf can be found in all sorts of places including shelves, fireplace mantels, fridges, freezers, and wherever your clever little elf has found a humorous place to wait for you to find him.

What If the Elf Doesn’t Move?

If your elf is found in the same position from the night before here are some reasons:

  • The Elf is in its favorite place, and wants to spend a bit more time there doing its seasonal surveillance for Santa.
  • The Elf needed to rest to save up its magic.
  • The Elf saw one of the Elf on the Shelf rules being broken and is in time out until it can move again.

You Have to Name Your Elf on the Shelf

To begin, your kid(s) need to give your Elf on the Shelf scout a name. This is the beginning when your elf will receive its Christmas magic so he can make his North Pole updates, allowing him to begin his mission and report back to Santa. Some popular elf names are:

  • Candycane
  • Dobby
  • Eve
  • Frosty
  • Ginger
  • Mistletoe
  • Peppermint
  • Snowflake
  • Star
  • Tinsel

Make your elf’s name official with this Adoption Certificate

Elf on the Shelf ADOPTION CERTIFICATE: Free Printable for Christmas

What are the Elf on the Shelf Rules?

  • Don’t Touch the Elf. This is soo important because if you do, your elf will lose some of its magic and have to rest before being able to move again.
  • The Elf Can Listen and Observe: Try and be on your best behavior because your elf returns to Santa and reports his observations every night.
  • The Elf Can Only Move When No One is Watching: Just like most Christmas magic, it can only happen when you are asleep or away from the house. This way your Elf’s Christmas magic can be a surprise! 
  • Be Kind To Others: Christmas magic is fueled by kindness, so be sure to keep trying to be kind to others by being nice and showing others you care. 

Don’t forget, print these Elf on the Shelf Rules to keep everyone on track.

Elf on the Shelf RULES: Free Printable for Christmas

Why Should I Do Elf on the Shelf?

Elf on the shelf is a fun way to make family memories. Kids look forward to finding the elf each day, giving them a fun activity to pass the time. It also helps them focus on kindness and good deeds.

Originally I thought Elf on the Shelf would take a lot of effort during a month that is already busy (including 2 of my kiddos birthdays!), but your elf and Santa can keep it simple. Some elves do elaborate things and some of Santa’s scout elves are too busy helping Santa they keep things simple. There are also Elf on the Shelf Costume Kits and Pop Up Elf Backgrounds to give your Elf some fun things to try.

Here is an Elf on the Shelf calendar to keep track of your elves movements.

This can help parents and elves plan 24 days of movement or kids can use it to track their elf…maybe there is a pattern to their movements and they can guess the next spot their elf will show up in.

Elf on the Shelf CALENDAR: Free Printable for Christmas

On Day 24, Say Goodbye to Your Elf

Santa needs your elf to return to the North Pole to help him get ready for Christmas. Before he goes, he can leave a Goodbye Letter.

Elf on the Shelf GOODBYE LETTER: Free Printable for Christmas