How to do an Elf on the Shelf for the first time. This fun Christmas tradition has been around for over a decade bringing kids joy each year. We’ll walk you through the 5 steps for how it works so you can get started with your elf this season!
How To Do an Elf on the Shelf for the First Time
The magical season of Christmas is upon us, and it’s time to start planning for the big day. One tradition that many families start this time of year is Elf on the Shelf®!
Moms, dads and grandparents, you’re in luck! I am here to show you how to do Elf on the Shelf for the first time. It’s super easy and will be so much fun for your little one.
This fun Christmas elf tradition has been around for over a decade and every family has their own way of doing it.
Our elf Peter has been visiting us for nearly 10 years now and he loves bringing cute ideas for other elves to use too. See them all here!
THE ELF ON THE SHELF® is a trademark of CCA and B, LLC. These printable prop designs, illustrations and ideas to use with an Elf on the Shelf doll are in no way associated with the company.
5 Steps for How to Do an Elf on the Shelf
Here are 5 quick tips and rules on how to do the Elf on the Shelf tradition for your first time! An Elf on the Shelf is a fun way to get your kids in the Christmas spirit. We’ll walk you through how it works with tips for making this tradition successful.
1. Get an Elf
You can get the Elf on the Shelf or any other type of plush elf doll. Once you purchase a doll, Santa will know! If your kids see you buying the doll, make sure they know this is all pure North Pole magic!
2. Pick a Day the Elf on the Shelf Arrives from the North Pole
Find some fun Elf Arrival Ideas here.
When Does the Elf Arrive?
If you’re wondering when the elf arrives? It’s usually after Thanksgiving or the first week of December. Your elf will stay until Christmas Eve when the elf returns back home to the North Pole with Santa Claus.
3. Name Your Elf
Kids will have a blast naming their elf! There are many different names for the elf, such as “Elfie” or “Elfy,” Other popular elf names include Twinkle or Sparkles. Whatever name you choose for your elf, it will be sure to put a smile on your child’s face every holiday season!
4. The Elf Moves on its Own
After your kids are in bed and asleep, your elf will return to the North Pole to give a report on how good or bad your child was that day.
Then your elf will return early the next morning and magically appear somewhere else in your home!
How Does the Elf move?
Wondering how the Elf on the Shelf moves? Some kids think the parents pick up the elf and move him around. We know that is totally NOT TRUE!
If a human touches the elf, there would be no more magic. From our testing and research, we have found that Santa’s North Pole magic is what makes the elf move and come alive after kids go to sleep.
With a hidden camera, we got video of our elf Peter moving on his own. Watch the video below to see him move! Click Here for the –> Elf Kissing Booth.
Why Didn’t Your Elf Move?
The most asked question we get is “why didn’t my elf move?” Because this is a complicated answer, we have all of the details here in this article “Top 10 Reasons Why Your Elf on the Shelf Did Not Move”. Read about it all here.
5. Enjoy a Few Weeks of Elf Antics
Create some fun games or activities for your elf to do throughout December. (Examples are below)
Make sure your child will see him or her every day (this is important) like on top of their toy chest, next to their bed at night or even tucked away under the couch cushions during the day.
Kids can write letters to Santa and tell him what they want for Christmas and why. Send those back with your elf.
Your elf keeps track of all that the kids do until Christmas Eve when the elf returns back home with Santa Claus into his sleigh.
What are the Elf rules?
There is one very important rule you need to tell your kids about the elf. Humans are not allowed to touch the elf.
If you do touch one, the magic disappears. Don’t worry if you accidentally have to touch your elf. We have a solution for that here.
Here are some more elf rules that you might recognize from the movie Elf…
- Treat every day like it’s Christmas.
- There’s room for everyone on the nice list.
- The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.
More Elf Ideas:
- 7 Best Elf on the Shelf Arrival Ideas
- Magic Seeds Elf on the Shelf Idea
- Funny Elf Letter Board Signs
- 25 BEST Elf On The Shelf Ideas
- Elf Free Printable Coloring Sheets
- Elf on the Shelf Gift Wrapped Room
- Elf Hair Bow Craft
- Elf Doctor’s Note
- Random Acts of Kindness Elf Arrival Letter
We hope you have fun doing your Elf on the Shelf for the first time this year.
Let us know what you name your elf in the comments below!
How to do The Elf on the Shelf
- Get an Elf – You can get the Elf on the Shelf or any other type of plush elf doll. Once you purchase a doll, Santa will know!
- Pick a Day the Elf on the Shelf Arrives from the North Pole
- Name Your Elf
- The Elf Moves on its Own – After your kids are in bed and asleep, your elf will return to the North Pole to give a report on how good or bad your child was that day.
- Enjoy a Few Weeks of Elf Antics. – Create some fun games or activities for your elf to do throughout December.