Scout Elf Return Week, Welcome Back Ideas for Elf on the Shelf – 20 Ideas!


Scout Elf Return Week is slowly coming up on us! Yes, it’s a thing. Have you started your planning yet? I have, but I have also ran across so many cute ideas that I thought it would be a great post to share. I’m so very excited!

We traditionally do the North Pole Breakfast on December 1st every year, so I come up with a theme every year to keep it entertaining and exciting, but I don’t have to plan anything for our elves “to do.” They are just kinda…there. So that part is easy.

Last year I dressed our elves up in some gingerbread costumes I made out of felt. I really enjoyed it and hope to make some new costumes this year. Who knows, maybe I’ll get fancy one of these days and use material instead, lol. Not this year…:D

So, without further ado, here are the ideas I would be doing if I didn’t do a North Pole Breakfast (see previous years if you are wondering what a NPB is or if you haven’t seen my themes).

  1. Elf and an advent calendar. It doesn’t have to be “EotS” brand, but they do make them! If you want to do a countdown type calendar, but aren’t spending out the money for a pre-made, you can look at a post of mine from this season about a 2016 Elf Calendar. I love calendars!


2. An alternative to an advent calendar, is a chain countdown or chalkboard countdown.


3. Elf with a note to decorate the tree! You can have the tree set up and the supplies gathered to decorate together on Scout’s arrival. For an even bigger surprise, you could put together the faux tree while the children sleep or enlist hubby to sneak in a real tree after bedtime!


4. Crepe paper the doorway! Simple, last minute, and very low cost.


5. Want to have a tad more “wow factor?” Make it a balloon avalanche!!


6. Maybe with all the practice flying with “Santa,” flying is second nature to a Scout Elf…he could show up in a hot air balloon, parachute, plane, sleigh in the air


7. This is one I really think is cute, so we will probably do it on another day when it’s slower…a Naughty Nice Meter. I have 2 children, so I will make 2 clothespin clips with their names and put one on each side of the frame just like the photo. I will not be adding the little note at the top (just a personal preference). And I think instead of “danger” I will make one that says, “uh-oh.”  So cute! I have the free printable in my blog.


8. Maybe North Pole Breakfast isn’t your thing…this dinner and movie night idea is a great way to welcome back the Scout Elf. Probably my fave! 😉 If I didn’t do a breakfast, I would be doing dinner, hot cocoa, and a movie! I have multiple themes if you want to search my previous years.

Grinch theme:


Polar Express theme:


9. A wonderfully, thoughtful idea to ring in the season with Scout Elf is to present him with a box for the children to donate their unwanted toys.

And here is a free printable if you would like to print out a cute little poem:

Print this Elf Returns Letter With Instructions to Donate Toys

Or if you have a sack/bag for the toys:



10. Have you made an elf door or house, yet? We use our Barbie house and decorate it up on one of the second weeks or so, but Elf should have his own way to and from the NP! On our first year, before collecting totes of supplies, I had a mini key and poem that was for elf to use our door. It was a big hit!


11. RAOK – Random Acts of Kindness. I love them! Something about December intensifies the feeling of giving and helping. And I really want to instill in my little ones that giving is better than receiving. They’ll get there after they have their own littles,lol. You can use free printables I have on a previous post with Elf Random Acts of Kindness Printables or you can make goodie bags…or do something you’ve had on your own bucket list to help out strangers this season.


12. Something similar…Scout Elf with supplies to Elf the neighbors (or friends’ homes). That would be such a surprise and fun, too!


13. If you don’t already do a pj tradition, it’s a great time to start! We don’t do the tradition on Christmas Eve (my Mom did) because I want my little ones to wear their special Christmas jammies all season! So, I usually wrap them up on day 2, 3, or 4 along with the usual tradition we do on those days. But this year, I am incorporating it with our NPB (or maybe the night before so they can wake up in them – haven’t decided!…wait, just did! lol. I will give them the night before with a cute little note “from” their elves about how excited they are to be seeing them soon). Back on track- pjs!


14. A “Top Secret” letter for just the children. I do a note from our elves to the children with their NPB, but you could do something similar for Scouts return.


15. Something my little ones would absolutely LOVE…a scavenger hunt. Make sure Scout Elf is hidden, but where they will find/see him and leave clues to his whereabouts for when they wake up. We do the candy cane hunt every year (previous post ;)) and it’s one of their favorites!


16. Our annual tradition is to write out the wish list on Day 3, every year. But this would make an adorable way for Scout Elf to come back for the season!


17. Room full of balloons…who doesn’t love waking up to a party first thing in the morning without getting out of bed? Haha


18. Popping out of a box from the North Pole! You can make it more authentic by putting the box in the freezer overnight.


19. Maybe another “Special delivery” way to welcome Scout back:


20. Last, but the cliche not least, wrapped books! We do this annually on Day 2, but it’s a great way to Welcome Back Scout Elf. I don’t have a full 24 Christmas books, so we have about 6 movies, one puzzle, and one game wrapped with the mix. It’s mostly about making those memories each night and spending time together, so it’s such a sweet tradition.


Hope you’ve enjoyed these Return Ideas. I’m looking forward to the Elves this year and to seeing the ideas all you brilliant Mommas come up with!

#ScoutElfReturnWeek #2016




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