What is Elf on the Shelf?
Scout Elves help Santa take care of his Naughty or Nice List by watching over families in their homes to ensure that everyone is on their best behaviour! Every night, the Elf reports back to the North Pole to keep Santa updated - and each morning, the Elf returns to the family home that they're monitoring, hiding in a new spot and awaiting the kids to find them
How do you play Elf on the Shelf?
If you're starting Elf on the Shelf for the first time, you can either read the book or explain the concept to your children. Once you've introduced your Elf to the family, the hide and seek begins. Pick a new place to "hide" the Elf every day. Each morning, the games reset and kids will look around the house to find your Elf - but it's important that they leave the Elf where he is without disturbing him because he's hard at work spying on Santa's behalf.
Depending on the age of your children, the Elf doesn't have to be well concealed in high bookshelves or places that will be hard to spot. The older your children are, the more you can make it more of a challenge.
What are the rules of Elf on a Shelf?
There are only three rules that are essential to playing Elf on the Shelf:
- Do not, under any circumstances, touch your Elf. If you do touch your Elf, it will lose all of its magic!
- Scout Elves cannot talk, but they are great at listening. If you have a Christmas wish list, it may be wise to tell your Elf about it so he can pass on the information to Santa
- All Scout Elves must return to the North Pole on Christmas Eve, and will not be back until next year.
What is an Elf on the Shelf for?
The concept of an Elf on a Shelf is that your elf is a spy or scout for Santa, and each night will fly back to the North Pole to tell him whether you've been naughty or nice that day. It's a great was to keep the spirit of Santa alive in the house and encourage good behaviour in children throughout the holiday period.
How do you summon the Elf on the Shelf?
Summoning your Elf to come back early for the Christmas season can be a great activity for you and your children to take part in. Some ideas to bring them back from the North Pole include:
- Write your Scout Elf a note.
- Host a beginning of Christmas celebration.
- Create a welcome area for your Elf - this could include Christmas cookies or a small home for the Elf to come back to.
- Leaving out lollies, chocolates or your Elf's favourite snack.
What gifts can Elf on the Shelf bring?
If your child has been especially good or 'nice' during Christmas, their Elf may come back one morning bearing gifts. This is a great way to incentivise good behaviour or bring specific Christmas decor into the house, like an advent calendar.
25 ideas on where to hide your Elf:
- Hanging off a branch on your Christmas Tree
- On top of your fireplace near your other Christmas decor
- Camouflaged in a glass cabinet or cupboard
- Concealed within your Christmas wreath, or hanging upside down performing as a gymnast
- On top of a dresser, or in a drawer that your kids frequently open
- Wrapped in a toilet roll and rolling down the stairs
- Fill your bathroom sink with cotton balls for Elf to have a little bath
- Have a spare phone? Get Elf taking some selfies
- Up to mischief and wedged in between the blinds
- When you set up your breakfast table, have Elf armed with a knife and fork ready to tuck in
- Take the labels off some cans and have Elf playing a makeshift drum set
- To tempt your kids to eat their lunch, have Elf hanging out of their lunchbox
- Keep Elf warm and toasty by wedging Elf in between two pieces of toast
- Gather dolls and plushies and have Elf busking in your home
- Have Elf walking the dogs by making a few yarn leashes around your favourite paw patrol figurines
- Open a few books and have Elf reading to the kids
- Build a play pen with Lego and throw in some plastic balls for Elf's own ball pit
- Give your Elf a job as a mechanic. Using a toy car that's around Elf's size, have Elf take a look under the car
- Set up a few bowl of popcorn, chips and lollies and have Elf hosting a movie night
- Throw some flour onto your kitchen counter and have Elf making a snow angel
- Set up a mini beach scene with a towel, sunscreen and sunnies
- Pop elf between the juice and milk in your fridge to surprise the kids at breakfast
- A cutlery drawer is the perfect size for Elf to lie down in
- Utilise the shower curtains in the bathroom and have Elf hooked onto the top
- Who doesn't love a cuppa? Have Elf enjoying a cup of tea through a straw
Where you can buy your own Elf on the Shelf:
This bendy Elf is perfect for your little girl who loves to see her Scout Elf in ballet positions each morning!
This classic Elf is a great option as it comes with a book for bedtime stories!
For a pair of siblings, these twin boy and girl elves are sure to do the best spying for Santa! After all, they have two pairs of eyes.
We'd love to see where your hiding your elf, share your pics with us using #bhgaus on instagram.
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