25 days of Elf on a Shelf – Part 1
Elf on the Shelf is a family tradition that helps young kids to get more excited and involved in the Christmas spirit than ever before. By hiding an Elf around your home every evening, your kids can wake up to an exploration adventure as they try and find where the – usually naughty – Elf has hidden that night! You can use the Elf to get your kids to behave throughout the month with notes from Santa, and even reward them for good behaviour with the arrival of treats wherever they find him.
But keeping this up for 25 days can be a bit exhausting for parents – thinking of 25 different places, and ways to hide a toy Elf can leave your mind a little blank! So, get ahead and prepare now by taking a look at the 25 days of Elf of the Shelf ideas that we have for you here!
The 1st of December is a big day on the Christmas calendar! Most people put their tree up and take the time to do something festive with their family, so why not start with the first arrival of the Elf! A perfect place to hide the Elf on this day is amongst the Christmas decorations. If you have a fake tree, bring the box down the night before as well as the boxes of ornaments, lights and tinsel and place the Elf in the centre of it all with a little treat like a bag of chocolates, sweets or a new colouring pad. Not only are you prepared for decorating later that day, but you also get your kids excited for Christmas and introduce them to a character that will be with them for the next 25 days!
Elf on the Shelf is a bit notorious for being mischievous throughout the night. Creating a little scene of Christmas chaos is perfect for getting giggles out of your children and putting a bit of fun into your Elf on the Shelf. A common scene to create is covering the Christmas tree in toilet paper! Not only can this be fun for all the family to see, but it also gets your children to do a good deed if they help you to clean it all up. This means you can reward them and set the tone of good behaviour for the upcoming month.
If you have younger children who still play with action figures or dolls, getting them involved can be hilarious. Take a Barbie, Bratz, Action Man or similar toy and place them in the sink with your Elf. Instead of filling it with water (and ruining them!) cover the lower half of their bodies with marshmallows to replicate bubbles! When your kids go to brush their teeth first thing in the morning, they will get a fun surprise as well as a cheeky snack (as long as you clean the sink beforehand!).
On day four you might need to get up early and do this before the kids wake up. Snap some glow sticks and place them around the neck and body of your Elf. You can’t do this the night before as the glow will disappear before your children even wake up! Place your Elf in a dark room so when your kids come down for breakfast all they need to do is follow the light! You can even take this to the next level by placing a mini disco ball next to him and some sweets to create a party scene like no other.
On the nights where you are too tired and can’t find the energy to create a little Christmas scene, you can still be effective with just a tissue box! Take a couple of tissues out and fold them to look like pillows before placing your elf on top of the box with the pillow, and cover him with an unfolded tissue which will be his blanket. This little napping scene gives you a break from the discos and mischief but still gives your kids the enjoyment of finding their Elf.
Kids love Lego and sets with vehicles often come with tyres – like the ones we stock in our Northwich branch. Take one of these tyres and tie a string around it then attach it to the light fixture or a branch of the tree. You can then place your Elf on the Shelf on it and have him dangle down for your kids to find. With such a fun scene created, you could use this on a day where you plan to surprise your kids with a festive day out so they can have their own fun!
On a night when you have a bit more time and energy to place into your scene making, grab a roll of wrapping paper and wrap up an item in your home. Popular choices include the toilet, the microwave and kettle or even some of the kids own toys or books. When they wake up in the morning, they will find their Elf sat proudly next to his creations. This is a great way to get the kids excited for the big day when the real presents will arrive!
Elves can get hungry with all this fun, mischief and magic to create. If they stole a glass of milk or a cookie in the night, it wouldn’t be a surprise. So why not have him do this? Sit the Elf down on the kitchen counter or table and have him ‘drinking’ from a straw and with a half-eaten biscuit next to him. Once your kids have found him, there could even be their own plate of cookies hiding behind him as a special gift to them for being so good!
With such a big cookie eaten, the Elf could have fallen sick! Having overeaten, he’s a bit too tired and full to move around and create an exciting scene this morning. Place him down with a small napkin or tea towel as a blanket with a thermometer or packet of medicine nearby. When your kids wake up and see him sick, they can help to move him back to the mantlepiece and be rewarded with some chocolate – magically placed into their stocking as a thank you from their Elf.
Have your Elf write a message on the bathroom mirror for your kids when they wake up. Many parents have done this by using lipstick as it can be cleaned off with face wipes. Plus if you use an old lipstick, you have a fabulous excuse to buy a new one! You could write a note telling them how good they’ve been, or if they have been particularly difficult, then it could be a gentle reminder that if they don’t help their parents, they might not make the nice list!
Yankee Candles have a gorgeous Christmas range – there is something for everyone to enjoy and you can use the Elf as a reason to pick up a new one! Create a really cute scene by having your Elf “roast” marshmallows over the candle. Pick up a large Yankee Candle and lean your Elf over the side then place a toothpick with mini marshmallows on the end in his hands. You can set this up the night before and light it just minutes before your kids come tumbling down the stairs to create a festive scene and fill your home with lovely smells at the same time.
It’s basically halfway to the big day now, but the Elf has been up to mischief in the night again. He’s taped wrapping paper and ribbons across the doorway so he can keep all the chocolate Santa sent for the kids to himself. Your children will be surprised by the ‘kid trapping’ Elf scene and have fun ripping it all down to find the Elf and get their treats! This shouldn’t take too long either and is suitable for a night where you only have five minutes to spare.
The Elf on the Shelf can bring so much laughter to the holiday season and bring some magic into December. Sadly children grow up so quickly in this modern age, and this is a fantastic way to spark their inner child (and yours). For the younger children, you can use the Elf to help teach good manners and reward excellent behaviour. They are a popular addition to many people’s festive traditions, so if you don’t have one, pick one up from our Northwich branch before they sell out!