Ultimate Guide to Elf on the Shelf + Elf Planner

by Katrina - The Organised Housewife

Bring the Christmas magic home to your family this year with the adorable and mischievous Elf on the Shelf + Elf Planner, antic ideas, and heaps more!

The Elf on the Shelf is a fun tradition to start with your kids from the 1st of December. Do you participate in Elf on the Shelf? It’s a little bit of magic that fills the home with laughter and playful mischief over Christmas. For those that are new to The Elf on the Shelf, I have put together a little guide for you below, plus details about my Elf Planner to help you throughout December.

We introduced ‘Elf on the Shelf’ to my kids when they were 6, 8 and 8 (I have twins). Knowing now how much fun our Elf is I really wish I had started this super enjoyable tradition when they were much younger. Now sadly, all my kids are non-believers who know that Elf isn’t real. An era has passed. We still however do the occasional Elf antics just to continue the laughs. We are going to see if we can out-do each other in the funny antic games this year!

What Is Elf On The Shelf?

Elf on the Shelf is an Elf sent by Santa to spend a few weeks with the family. Elf returns to the North Pole each night to visit Santa and report on the kid’s behaviour, telling him who has been naughty and/or nice. When the Elf returns he is doing something new and mischievous. The kids have so much fun trying to find where he is hiding each day. Elf does not speak, only listens, and he cannot be touched otherwise his magic will disappear.

What I Love About Our Elf

I love the fun and excitement our Elf brings each morning and the magic of the kids knowing that he visits and talks to Santa about their behaviour. It’s a great way to get kids to improve their behaviour and attitude if they are playing up because Elf can acknowledge that he notices they are being ‘naughty’, ‘helpful’ or ‘caring’.

Where To Purchase An Elf On The Shelf

You can purchase Elf on the Shelf from most bookshops these days, but remember you don’t want the kids to see you buy it. The Elf on the Shelf can be purchased at bookstores, newsagencies and online here.  I recommend to order it online and get your Elf discreetly delivered – they are reasonably priced, have loads of stock, and dispatch your order very quickly.


What Are Elf Antics?

Each night when the Elf returns from the ‘North Pole’ he is hiding in a different place in the home, and sometimes is up to mischief. Possibly spilling coconut all over the table and creating snow angels, or Lego men have tied Elf up with dental floss. Elf antics are whatever you want them to be. There are nights that we just have our Elf sitting on a tabletop next to a Christmas ornament or in the fridge, very basic, but the kids still have a lot of fun trying to find him.

I have created The Elf Planner which includes one month of fun Elf antics plus a list of over 50 more ideas I have used throughout the years, read more details below. I include these antic ideas calendar page in The Elf Planner because when my kids were young and I fell into bed after a long day and then remembered I forgot to put the Elf out. Trying to come up with a fun idea while super tired wasn’t ideal, so I’ve taken the thinking out of it for you! Plus I have also included a template for the above ‘do you want to build a snowman’ antic idea.

How To Make Elf On The Shelf Posable?

Elf on the Shelf has soft and floppy arms and legs, so I made a few modifications to our Elf to allow him to bend his arms, knees and feet. You can read more about it here.

The Elf Planner

The Elf Planner This planner will help you create a plan of fun antics for your Elf, there are pages to encourage the kids to write and draw about their Elf’s stay, 30+ notes from Santa and Elf to be left alongside Elf each night, letters from Santa and Elf, a list of suggested Elf names, plus pages to help improve and acknowledge good and bad behaviours. Remember, Elf returns to the North Pole each night and let’s Santa know if they are being naughty or nice!! Some pages within this planner are editable, where you can add your child’s and Elf’s name.


December blank calendars to plan your antics, plus a December calendar filled with suggested antic ideas, which is really helpful for planning ahead on those nights when you’ve gone to bed then frantically remember you forgot to put the Elf out. I’ve got you covered with some fun and easy Elf on the Shelf Antic Ideas all planned out for you!

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Antic Ideas

Included are some suggested antic ideas with pictures and a page so you can write down fun ideas as you think of them.

Letters About Elf From Santa And A Letter From Elf

Editable, simply type in your child’s name

I’ve included 3 different letters, one from Santa explaining to the kids about their new Elf, another from Santa welcoming the return of their Elf (this is if you have had an Elf visit last year), and a letter from Elf to be given to the kids on Christmas Eve. Each of these letters are editable, so you can add in your kid’s and Elf’s names.

Writing Pages For Kids

These are great activities for the kids to do and record what Elf has been up to each day. They can draw a picture with a few words, or write a longer story.

Official Naughty And Nice Acknowledgements

Use the editable (add in your child’s name, behaviour and Elf’s name) ‘official warning’ to acknowledge that Santa has heard about some bad behaviour. Use the ‘official letter’ to make it known Santa is happy with their good behaviour.

Elf Notes

Included is over 30 little notes that can be left next to Elf each night. Notes vary from jokes, noticing behaviour with siblings, noticing whether a room needs tidying, praise for helping mummy, Santa noticing you are being very nice, Elf noticing you cleaned your teeth really well and many more. I have included an editable note that you can personalise unlimited times with your own message.

Elf Report

Use this special little Elf to your full advantage and try to get the kids to keep their room tidy and improve some behaviours. Elf will tick off the chart each night acknowledging which tasks were completed that day and will report back to Santa.

GET ORGANISED this Christmas with The Organised Housewife Christmas Planner which puts you back in control of gift giving, budgeting, meal prep, Christmas events, and SO MUCH MORE!

What is your most favourite Elf on the Shelf antic to do?

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