It’s that time of year when everyone is looking for fresh ideas for Elf on the Shelf – it can be REALLY tricky trying to think of new ideas each day that delight and inspire children – it’s ANOTHER thing to do at this time of year. But – it’s also amazing to see the look on children’s faces as they come into the classroom each morning and see what the little elf has been up to. Read this blog post to find out more about ‘Elf on the Shelf’ and get tried and tested Elf on the Shelf classroom ideas to save you time this Christmas. If you’re looking to save time, you can also browse the rest of our time-saving and unique Christmas resources to keep children learning whilst preparing for the big day!
What is Elf on the Shelf?
Have you ever seen an “Elf on the Shelf”? Did you wonder why it’s there? “Elf on the Shelf” is a fairly recent Christmas tradition inspired by a book written by Carol Aebersold and her daughters who had their own elf when they were little, called Fisbee.
The idea is that the elf sits on a shelf to watch children’s behaviour and reports back to Santa. The elf reports both good and naughty deeds every night by visiting the North Pole, and can even tell Santa what children would like for their presents. Once the elf returns after each trip to the North Pole, he or she sometimes gets into mischief, or has a mishap.
Once children have their own elf, they have to decide on a name. After that, the elf becomes part of the family and can be brought out every Christmas as part of the family’s Christmas traditions. Elves can get up to all sorts of antics including: knocking over flour and leaving footprints, getting stuck in jars, spilling things and sometimes even helping themselves to chocolates!
What is a Kindness Elf?
Some people prefer to have Kindness Elves, who do lots of good and nice things for other people. Kindness Elves can set a good example for children to also do nice things for others, for example: helping with the washing up, baking a cake for a neighbour, giving toys to someone in need or just saying something kind to a friend.
Since Christmas is the season of goodwill, we should all do our best to be kind to others and spread some Christmas cheer!
Elf on the Shelf Classroom Ideas
If you do decide to bring an Elf on the Shelf into your classroom here are our top ideas for each day – remember to set these up before the children arrive at school to retain the magic!
- Create a zip line in your classroom using some twine, and a candy cane for the elf to hold on to. Secure with tape!
- Sit the elf on a pile of ‘design your own snowman cards‘ for the children to complete.
- Ask children to create a tie for the elf to wear.
- The next day, choose one of the ties for the elf to wear.
- Bring in a half eaten/unwrapped chocolate bar and put it next to the elf.
- Sit the elf next to a half completed Winter Hunt, and ask the children to complete it.
- Put a sorting hat on the elf for him to decide which Harry Potter house he belongs to.
- Build an igloo out of marshmallows and put the elf inside.
- Wrap the elf in wrapping tape – have a present next to him to make it look like he was trying to wrap a present.
- Make a drive in theatre using toy cars, and line the elf up in a car alongside other toys.
- Make a little ‘prison’ out of candy canes and put the elf inside.
- Make a book into a tent like structure and put the elf inside, later on, read the book!
- Sit the elf on the your classroom Christmas tree, and cover it in toilet paper.
- Freeze the elf in a block of ice, and put an Elsa doll next to him.
- Put the elf in a brown paper bag and put it alongside other toys, also in brown paper bags, to make it look like they’re having a sack race.
- Balance the elf on a tower of tins to reach a box of sweets.
- Tape up the elf and put him on a toy train track
- Create an elf golf course with candy canes and marshmallows.
- Make an elf snow angel using flour.
- Make an elf swing using a toilet roll and string.
- Use gift bows to make an elf climbing wall.
- Write a goodbye message from the elf in toothpaste.
Explore a whole range of Elf on the Shelf resources including;