5 Free Printables That Will Up Your Elf on the Shelf Game

No more scrambling to hide the Elf at the last minute!

One of our favorite pre-Christmas traditions is hiding the beloved Elf on the Shelf. If you're not familiar with how it works, the idea is simple: The Elf comes from the North Pole and supervises children so he can report back to Santa about who belongs on the nice list. But since the Elf is magical, he or she ends up in a new spot in your home each day (usually after causing some sort of chaos). When the kids wake up in the morning, they'll find out what kind of mischief their Elf got up to during the night.

You can find the Elf doll and a book ($25, Amazon) explaining his mission at most major stores, and then it's time to brainstorm different ways to get the Elf into mischief around the house. Admittedly, we find ourselves running out of ideas at the end of the month, so we've rounded up 12 creative Elf on the Shelf ideas to try.

We've also created some free printables to help you focus your energy elsewhere this Christmas. Download adorable notes 'from the Elf' that you can quickly fill in, along with fun activity sheets the Elf can leave for your kids. Plus, our daily planner makes preparation a breeze—and you'll never find yourself scrambling for an idea at the last minute.

Daily Elf Planner
Carson Downing

Elf on the Shelf Planner

Start this holiday season with our helpful elf planner to keep the magic going all the way through Christmas. There are 25 days on our planner, so you can start on December 1 (or just print the first page and do the twelve days of Christmas instead). Pencil in ideas for each day so you'll know what materials you need to set out for the next day. And, you won't have to worry about accidentally repeating an item!

elf notes
Carson Downing

Naughty or Nice Cards

One of the Elf's primary purposes is to report back to Santa about who should be on the nice list this year. Set out reminders and encouragement with these adorable naughty or nice cards. Set out a 'naughty' or 'nice' verdict at the end of each day, or write in your own words of encouragement on the blank cards.

Elf Bingo cards
Carson Downing

Elf Bingo

We love the mission of the Elf: Keeping your kids on the nice list all season. Our Elf bingo turns daily chores and good deeds into a fun game for the family. Preparation is easy! Simply print our set of bingo cards with a color printer ($85, Target) and help your child check off each square as tasks are completed throughout the day. The first one to check off a whole row wins! Consider adding a bonus prize for bingo cards with every space checked off.

Note from the Elf
Carson Downing

Notes From the Elf

Our printable stationery adds a festive element to the mischief you have planned. Notes from the Elf can give instructions about activities (like finding hidden candy canes) or give reminders that Santa is watching to make sure the kids stay on the nice list. Print several sheets and write them all at once (with disguised handwriting!) to keep the Elf's notes consistent throughout the season.

winter trees and elf on shelf
Carson Downing

Elf Accessories

Make a set of extra accessories for your Elf with our easy clothing template. Use pretty felt to make a fringed scarf or a scalloped skirt with a pocket; simply cut out the pattern and use a dot of glue to attach the skirt pieces. This is a great way to customize the Elf for your family. We love the idea of using felt or fabric in the colors of a favorite sports team or your kids' favorite colors.

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