Family,  Free Printables

50 Ways To Announce The Elf on the Shelf is Back

It’s that magical time of year again, and the Elf On The Shelf Is Back! If your Elf is getting ready to sprinkle joy and mischief all over your home, you’re probably thinking about how to mark its return. Whether this is your first Elfventure or you’re a seasoned North Pole navigator, we’ve got 50 enchanting ways to announce the return of your mischievous friend. Let the Elfstravaganza begin!

The Elf On The Shelf Is Back

So the Elf On The Shelf is back, and the first day of December marks its return. There are lots of exciting ways to mark your Elf’s return, but here are some sweet and simple reveal ideas to kick-start you and your family’s 24 days of festive fun. 

0-10 Elf On The Shelf Arrivals: Notes & Letters

Announcing that the Elf on the Shelf, is back, with its delightful and mischievous presence, becomes even more magical with the addition of enchanting letters and notes. These handwritten (or printed) gems create a heartwarming atmosphere, full of anticipation and wonder, as families witness the mischievous adventures that lie ahead for their beloved holiday visitor.

1. Elf Arrival Letter: Leave a handwritten note from the Elf announcing their return.

2. Cookie Surprise: Place Elf-shaped cookies in the kitchen with a note saying, “I’m back for more sweet adventures!”

3. Bedroom Door Greeting: Stick a festive “I’m Back!” sign on your child’s bedroom door.

4. Balloon Bonanza: Tie a bunch of balloons to your Elf with a note saying, “Popped in to say ‘hello’ – let the Christmas fun begin!”

5. Template Letter: Download our The Elf On The Shelf Is Back template letter to announce your Elf’s return.

6. Magical Mirror Message: Write a welcome message on the bathroom mirror using washable markers or lipstick.

7. Message in a Bottle: Place a tiny message in a bottle by the Elf, saying, “Back from the North Pole with a message for you!”

8. Elf Telegram: Craft a tiny envelope and letter, pretending it’s a special delivery from the North Pole.

9. Festive Fortune: Slip a note into a fortune cookie, declaring the Elf’s return and predicting a season of joy.

10. Miniature Welcome Banner: Hang a tiny banner that says, “Welcome Back, Elf!”

11-18 The Elf On The Shelf Is Back: Set The Scene

The Elf On The Shelf is back, and it’s time to set the scene! Here are some fun, exciting ways for your little elf to mark their return in style.

11. Snowball Fight: Set up your Elf and some other toys and grab yourself some cotton wool balls. Add a few piles of cotton wall balls to look like snowballs and then pose your Elf and toys so that they look like they’re having a snowball fight.

12. Footprint Trail: Create a trail of flour ‘footprints’ leading to where the Elf is hiding.

13. Toy Parade: Line up miniature toys to create a welcoming parade for the returning Elf.

14. Tiny Elf Tent: Set up a mini camping scene with a tiny tent, sleeping bag, and a note saying, “Camping out for the holidays!”

15. Dollhouse Dazzle: Arrange a scene in the dollhouse with the Elf having a tiny party with other toys.

16. Breakfast Table Meeting: Set up your Elf and some other of your children’s favourite toys around the breakfast table and set the scene with breakfast.

17. Candy Cane Lane: Create a path of candy canes leading to the Elf’s hiding spot.

18. Lego Land Adventure: Construct a mini Lego scene with the Elf partaking in holiday festivities.

18-22 The Elf On The Shelf Is Back: The Sneaky Elf Is Hiding!

The Elf On The Shelf is back…or is he? Has anyone seen him, or is he being sneaky and hiding? Here are some whimsical ways to reintroduce your Elf into your home.

19. Hanging Around: Suspend the Elf from the ceiling with a fishing line or string, accompanied by a note saying, “I’m hanging around for the season!”

20. Tucked in a Stocking: Nestle the Elf inside a stocking with a peeking note saying, “Surprise! I’m snug as a bug!”

21. Mini Mitten Hideaway: Place the Elf inside a tiny mitten with a note saying, “Hiding from the cold—found me!”

22. Book Nook Surprise: Tuck the Elf into a favourite book with a note inviting your child to read together.

23. Sneaky Shelf Spot: Position the Elf on a high shelf, accompanied by a note saying, “Up high where mischief meets the sky!”

24-26 Musical Adventures With The Elf On The Shelf

Looking for an impressive way to say that the Elf On The Shelf is back? How about taking a musical route with these exciting Elf returns?

24. Elf Jingle Jam: Attach tiny jingle bells to the Elf and leave a note saying, “Listen for the magic jingle—I’m back!”

25. Melodic Note: Place a tiny musical instrument next to the Elf with a note saying, “I’m back, and I brought some musical magic!”

26. Karaoke Night: Set up a mini karaoke scene with the Elf holding a tiny microphone, inviting your child to join in the festive singing.

27-31 The Elf On The Shelf Is Back: Playful Announcements!

Don’t want to beat around the bush? Go big and go bold with a big announcement that tells the whole family that the Elf On The Shelf is back!

27. Elf Selfie: Have your Elf take a selfie and leave it for the family to find.

28. Holiday Countdown Clock: Set up a countdown clock with a note saying, “Tick-tock, the Elf is on the clock!”

29. Elf on the Shelf Arrival Kit: Prepare a special arrival kit with mini props and a note saying, “Let the adventures begin!”

30. Elf’s Magic Dust: Sprinkle glitter around the house with a note, “Follow the sparkles to find me!”

31. Jingle Bell Jamboree: Scatter jingle bells around the Elf with a note saying, “Ring-a-ling, the Elf is here to bring joy!”

32-36 The Elf On The Shelf Is Back: Puzzles!

How about announcing your Elf’s return with a bit of a puzzle? Try out one of these clever scenes and let your children figure out where their little Elf is waiting for them.

32. Crossword Countdown: Craft a crossword puzzle with clues leading to the Elf’s hiding spot.

33. Puzzle Perfection: Arrange puzzle pieces in the shape of your Elf, inviting your child to complete the picture.

34. Sudoku Surprise: Create a mini Sudoku puzzle with numbers leading to the Elf’s location.

35. Maze of Magic: Design a tiny maze leading to the Elf, challenging your child to navigate the twists and turns.

36. Elf Hunt: Leave a hand drawn map to announce that the Elf On The Shelf Is Back and challenge your children to hunt it down – just like a treasure map.

37-41 The Elf On The Shelf Is Back: Movie Magic!

Bring a little bit of magic from the movies into your home this season by announcing the return of your family’s Elf with some of these fantastic film ideas.

37. Elf Film Premiere: Set up a mini movie night scene with the Elf as the star, surrounded by tiny popcorn and tickets.

38. North Pole Newsreel: Craft a newspaper featuring headlines about the Elf’s return, leaving it for your child to discover.

39. Toy Theater: Transform a shoebox into a puppet theatre, with the Elf as the main character in a festive play.

40. Holiday Reel: Roll out a mini film reel with frames of the Elf’s past adventures.

41. Popcorn Party: Sprinkle popcorn around the Elf with a note saying, “Pop in for a season of popcorn and fun!”

42-46 The Elf On The Shelf: Game Night

There’s nothing more fun than a nice family game during the Christmas season, so why not use this as a method of introducing your Elf to your home?

42. Dicey Display: Position the Elf surrounded by miniature dice, signalling the start of a season full of games.

43. Board Game Bonanza: Set up a mini board game with the Elf as a player, ready for a game night invitation.

44. Card Trick Magic: Arrange a deck of mini cards in a magical display, hinting at the Elf’s playful antics.

45. Puzzle Piece Pizzazz: Scatter puzzle pieces around the Elf, forming a message or picture.

46. Lego Land Challenge: Present a Lego challenge with the Elf building a festive masterpiece.

47-50 Elf On The Shelf Is Back: An Out-of-this-World Adventure

Make it extra special by your Elf On The Shelf is back with one of these out-of-this-world scenes!

47. Space Explorer: Dress the Elf in an astronaut costume with a note saying, “Blast off into a season of out-of-this-world fun!”

48. Galactic Glow: Place the Elf near a constellation of glow-in-the-dark stars with a note, “Follow the stars to find your Elf friend!”

49. Rocket Ride: Create a mini rocket ship with the Elf as the captain, ready for intergalactic adventures.

50. Cosmic Countdown: Set up a countdown to launch, indicating the Elf’s arrival from the North Pole.

Bonus: Elf Arrival Letter Template

We’ve included a special “Elf Arrival Letter” template for you to print out at home. The Elf Arrival Leet has room for you to add your Elf’s name, as well as a little family pledge to spread kindness and joy throughout the holiday season. No matter if your Elf is returning, or if it is their first time visiting, your little ones will love having an official Elf family member!

Download Your Elf Arrival Letter Template

Remember, the most important thing is to have fun and create lasting memories with your family. Feel free to mix and match these ideas to suit your household, and let the Elfstravaganza bring laughter and joy to your home this holiday season!

Share your creative Elf on the Shelf announcements with me on Instagram by tagging @gloryiscalling – I can’t wait to see the festive fun in your homes!

Wishing you all a season filled with magic, mischief, and lots of Elf-tastic adventures!

Rachael is a 31 year old mum to 10 year old Luke and 5 year old Oscar. She lives in England and writes about family life, crafts, recipes, parenting wins(and fails), as well as travel, days out, fashion and living the frugal lifestyle.

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