Elf on the Shelf Cheat Sheet


An elf hanging on a wreath with text saying elf on a shelf cheat sheet

As December 1st approaches each year, there may be a little elf that appears every day! With the hustle and bustle of the holidays, you’re probably pretty tired. Enter: the Elf on the Shelf cheat sheet, a calendar of ideas for your Elf to keep himself busy throughout the month. Your kids will be happy!

The Elf on the Shelf can be a wonderful family Christmas tradition, if you make it easy on yourself. That’s why I’m here to help! Scroll to the end of this post for the downloadable cheat sheet.

Free printable elf on the shelf cheat sheets

What is Elf on the Shelf?

the Elf on the shelf He’s a little elf who visits a child’s home from the North Pole every night, starting on December 1, to check on your family, cause a little mischief and let Santa know of any Christmas wishes he hears. They love to have a good time, and children love to find the joy they have every morning when they wake up.

The goblins must not be touched, otherwise they will lose their magic!

Elf on the Shelf is a really fun way to add some excitement to every day of December, and even more anticipation for the arrival of Santa Claus himself, when the elf takes a ride back to the North Pole on his sleigh until next year!

Elf on the Shelf sits in a bowl of ornaments on a shelf

Tips for a smooth elf on the shelf experience

  • Of course, keep your Elf on the Shelf cheat sheet nearby, print it out or save it to your phone. Keep scrolling to learn how to print or save it!
  • Set an alarm every night after the kids are in bed to make sure the goblin moves on to his next activity or hiding place before everyone wakes up in the morning!
  • If you work a regular work week, keep things simple on weekdays and let your elf have more fun on the weekends.
  • If you want to write notes for your elf, I’ve heard that they like to write upside down so their handwriting looks a little different than yours! Wink wink.
  • If your elf fell asleep and forgot to move one night, you might find a message hidden somewhere that said he was too tired from all his fun that day to make it back to the North Pole that night.
  • If your child touches your elf, it has been said that having your elf do a silly trick, such as spinning around 3 times and hopping on one foot, will help ensure the elf maintains its magic.
Elf on the shelf hanging on an old telephone

Easy Elf on Shelf Ideas

Here are easy ideas that will take you through every day of December this year with your Elf visitor! We have provided multiple ideas for each day so you can choose which one is best for your family or a different idea for each year! Keep scrolling for a downloadable version containing an idea for each day!

Elf on the shelf door

Day 1

  • dwarf Leaves a welcome note About how excited they are to be there and cause some trouble!
  • A dwarf enters through a dwarf door!

the second day

  • The goblin is Tangled in toilet paper in the bathroom.
  • The goblin is Hanging from the ribbonfrom the ceiling, a cloak or a wreath!
Elf on the shelf in a cup of hot cocoa

Day 3

  • The goblin is sitting in a cup under a bunch of marshmallows with a box of them hot chocolate And a cup for every child next to him!
  • The goblin is Roasting mini marshmallows on a candle.

the fourth day

  • dwarf Leaves a holiday bucket list To fill it with family. He fills the first line with something ridiculous.
  • The goblin is Read a Christmas book!
Elf on the shelf swings from the chandelier

Day 5

  • The goblin is Swinging from the chandelier Or any other lighting unit in the house!
  • The imp has com. sleepover! He has his own sleeping bag with socks, plus other toys in his sleeping bags as well.

the sixth day

  • The goblin gets Frozen in the refrigerator! It was somehow frozen in a plastic bag immersed in a container and frozen. If there’s an Elsa doll in your house, she’s probably to blame!
  • The goblin is running Snow nose rejection centerP and grate the carrot (with a scared face drawn on it!) through a cheese grater.
Elf on the Shelf frozen in ice with Elsa doll

the seventh day

  • The goblin is Block construction. He can build Christmas presents from LEGO or a castle from Magnatiles.
  • Elf digs through the sofa to find all kinds of loose change, wrappers and lost toys. He created a Lost and found!

Day 8

  • The goblin is He buckled in the car Ready to go to school, daycare, or on errands with you!
  • The goblin stuck in the box, Take pills And clarify the message with additions!
The goblin bucked in the car

Day nine

  • The goblin is Playing with Christmas decorMaybe you’re trying to get inside a Christmas village or running through a brushwood forest.
  • The goblin is Take a trip in the dryer. Maybe it’s stuck to the side with a Barbie doll riding like a ride, or stuck in a door with a distress sign on it.

Day 10

  • The goblin is Acting out a scene from a favorite show or movie. Play with toys from a Disney movie or recreate a scene from the show kids go to!
  • The goblin is Polish your shoes By wrapping it in foil!
The goblin in the Aladdin scene

Day 11

  • The goblin is play cards Or a game from the game closet!
  • The goblin leaves his country Grocery list With the ingredients to make hot chocolate (or birthday cookies)…and maybe a little money too!

Day 12

  • The goblin is Hiding in the Christmas treeor maybe replace the tree cover!
  • The goblin is Hiding in the utensils drawer Instead of spoons or forks!

Day 13

  • The goblin is Snow angel made in flour On the counter, or maybe he wants a break from the snow and enjoy the sun at Brown Sugar Beach!
  • The goblin has raided the pantry and is standing on snack boxes or soup cans trying to get to the most delicious food!
An elf is reading a book on a shelf

Day 14

  • The goblin is Read a Christmas book On the bookshelf.
  • The goblin is golf With candy canes as a club and marbles or mini marshmallows as golf balls.

Day 15

  • The goblin is Buried in a laundry basket!
  • The imp has Pack the items in your lunch box With Christmas wrapping paper!

Day 16

  • The goblin is Dye something green. Maybe the milk in the cereal bowl dies, or the water in the toilet!
  • The imp has Hidden ornaments Go around the house and leave a note saying how many people you can find.
Dwarf hunting in the kitchen

Day 17

  • The goblin is Candy hunting Or encouragement at the table, or for bath toys in the bathroom. He made a fishing bowl out of a stick and string!
  • The goblin added Google eyes For all products at home!

Day 18

  • The goblin is coloring In a coloring book, Christmas coloring page, or even homework for kids. Oh oh!
  • The goblin is Draw a self-portrait And he wants to know if you can draw one too!
A dwarf hanging from a hoop

Day 19

  • The goblin is Hanging from a wreath Or a strand of Christmas lights.
  • Elf has replaced Excellent tree…with himself!

Day 20

  • The goblin is Writing on the mirror“5 days until Christmas,” using a dry erase marker or lipstick.
  • The goblin is Swinging on a swing Made from toilet paper roll and tape!
A dwarf sits on the jar with crumbs on his face

Day 21

  • The goblin is Eating treatslike birthday cookies upside down in a cookie jar or holiday candy with crumbs on top!
  • The goblin is Hiding among stuffed animals. Can you see it?

Day 22

  • The goblin is Cleaning his teethAnd it looks like he got some toothpaste foam on his face too. Crumb wash, perhaps?
  • The goblin is Mountaineeringbut with Christmas bows (his arms slide perfectly through those bows) or candy!
A dwarf brushes his teeth and sits in a tree

Day 23

  • The goblin is Peeking out of the stockingMake sure it is ready to fill!
  • The goblin interrupts Toilet paper into snowflakes!

Day 24

  • Elf says goodbye with Farewell noteHe’s on a ride with Santa to the North Pole!

How to save or print your elf on the shelf cheat sheet

Every year we add a new cheat sheet so you always have new ideas to come back to! You can download the cheat sheets for each year below.

Elf on the shelf cheat sheet

There are two ways to make sure you have your Elf on the Shelf cheat sheet nearby: you can print it out and keep it in a safe place, or you can download it to your phone and keep it in your camera roll.

To download the Elf on the Shelf cheat sheet, tap and hold your finger on the image above until the “Save” option appears. Save it in your photos!

To print the cheat sheet for Elf on the Shelf, Year 1 (above):

Elf on the shelf cheat sheet

To print the cheat sheet for Elf on the Shelf, Year 2 (above):

Print on computer paper using a regular InkJet or Laser printer.

A dwarf on a shelf hangs on a sconce in a blue bathroom

When does the goblin leave the shelf?

Your elf will hitch a ride with Santa Claus on Christmas Eve back to the North Pole until next December 1st!

Sometimes he leaves a note or a small gift behind, but of course the big excitement is that Santa has come this Christmas morning after a month of elf fun!

I hope this Elf on the Shelf cheat sheet will make your December Elf experience go smoothly and, more importantly, create magical memories for your family!


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