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Tips and Ideas for Your Classroom Elf

Having an elf has gained more popularity every Christmas season! And with good reason! Having an elf in your classroom allows for all kinds of fun to be had and a teacher can use it to his/her advantage! Wink! This time of year can be so magical for our students, and you can be a part of that joy and excitement! With these tips and ideas for a classroom elf, planning for an elf will be a breeze!

Christmas Elf holding a note for students to read

For the last four years, I've had an elf in my classroom.  I place an elf in the classroom and read to them the story, Elf on a Shelf by Carol V. Aebersold and Chanda A. Bell. Then we talk about how we are going to have a special elf in our room until Christmas time and how the elf will report back to Santa every night.

Christmas elf freebie, elf on the shelf

I tell you, it is the best thing ever! My students are saints All. Month. Long. ‘Cause who would want to be on Santa's naughty list?!  The students have an amazingly fun time and I am in Teacher Heaven because my students are well-behaved. It's a win-win!

Classroom Elf Tip #1: Have your elf leave notes!

My number one Classroom Elf Tip is for the elf to leave daily notes for the students. Students will love this!! When I did this with my class, they couldn't wait every morning to read their note from the elf!

If leaving a note every time seems stressful, then choose to only do it a couple of times. Making it more of a surprise. If you'd rather not have to think of what an elf note would say, use the Elf Notes I've created! Bonus: they are available in digital and print!

Christmas elf freebie, elf on the shelf

Classroom Elf Tip #2: Don't let your elf do silly or mischievous things right away!

I like to wait until the last week before Christmas Break before the elf starts getting a little mischievous. Here's why! If the elf starts acting silly, the kids will love it, but then they will keep expecting this to happen! Then you'll have to think of some great clever ideas for weeks.

So here's my Classroom Elf Tip – plan for the last week before break for you elf to be a bit mischievous. Here are some easy things you can do:

  • Have the elf sit in the tissue box. (Maybe spread some around as if he's used them.)
  • Do you have a candy jar? Have the elf sit with some empty candy wrappers around her!
  • Got any Christmas themed stories? Your elf can sit with a book on his lap!
  • Have the elf get all wrapped up with anything on your desk!
  • Your elf can hang on your bulletin boards, whiteboard, or ceiling!

Classroom Elf Tip #3: Have your students write about their elf!

One last Classroom Elf Tips have your students write about their elf! One of the reasons I've loved having an elf is that I can easily get  my students to write about it! For example, students can start an elf journal and track where their elf moves each day. The kids will love it + it's a great way to get in extra writing!
Want them to write even more?  They can make up elf stories!
Here are some title ideas:
  • Training the Reindeer
  • Elf Troubles
  • Elves Love Cookies
  • The Naughtiest/Happiest/Bravest/ Funniest Elf that Ever Lived
  • Elf Adventures in the Toy Shop/North Pole/Mrs. Claus' Kitchen

Elf Journals Made Easy

One resource I use with my class is an Elf Writing Prompts. Each day the kids get to learn a little about the elf and then they get a new prompt to write to!

The elf prompt resource also includes an elf craftivity! Use to have your students create their own elf!

 Classroom Elf Tip #4: Move Your Elf Before Heading Home

I cannot tell you how many times I used to rush into the classroom on cold December morning, thinking of a place to quickly move the elf before my students got to class! It's a rooky mistake… and it can easily be avoided.

Have your purse or backpack be your trigger! As soon as you grab your purse or backpack to head home for the day, think, “Oh… I've got to move the elf!” By moving the elf before heading home for the day, you save yourself the worry of having to do it first thing in the morning or worse, gasp, forgetting to move it!

Need some ideas on where to place your elf? Here are a few of my favorites:

  • In the classroom library
  • On a shelf
  • Near the candy jar
  • With other stuffed animals
  • In a bin
  • Hanging from Lights
  • Reading a Book
  • By the Flag
  • On your desk

Definitely keep it away from high traffic areas where students might accidentally bump it or touch it!

Classroom Elf Tip #5: What to do if students touch the Classroom Elf?

It might happen!

In the worst possible scenario, someone touches the elf!

If this happens, have your students write a letter to Santa asking for help. Turn it into a persuasive writing piece…hehehe! They need to convince Santa on why he should give them another chance with their elf.

All you need is a little bit or glitter, a Hershey kiss, a peppermint candy, or some hot cocoa… bascially anything that an elf might like to help it get its magic back!

Classroom Elf Idea: Have the students create S”elf”IES

Your students can take s”elf”ies or, in other words, a picture of the himself/herself as an elf! In this Classroom Elf Freebie, I've included a pennant so that you can create a classroom banner using each students' S”elf”IE!

Click here for a Classroom Elf Freebie

If you have an elf in your room, then this Classroom Elf FREEBIE is perfect for you!  I've included samples of the resources mentioned above!

I hope that these Classroom Elf Tips make for a magical Christmas with your class! Make sure to check out Classroom Elf Notes for a stress-free December!

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