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**Please note that while this calendar was created for 2015, the ideas are great to use for any year! Make sure to check out my 2016 printable calendar with Elf on the Shelf ideas for a 3 year old!
This is the first year an Elf on the Shelf will be visiting our family. Brielle is only 2 so she might be a little young to understand the concept of why he’s watching over her and making sure she behaves for this mysterious Santa guy, but she loves a good routine, a good “project” (what she calls arts and crafts) and doing things all around our house so I think she’ll enjoy it!
Since I tend to have mommy brain these days, I put together a schedule ahead of time so I wouldn’t have to think the night before! Some days she just has to find the elf and others will include a fun activity to entertain. Click the image above to download our 2015 Elf On the Shelf Schedule and follow along if you want some quick and easy ideas for your toddler! See the list below which includes some links for all you visual learners!
Follow me on Instagram to see some of these ideas in play in our house!
- NOVEMBER 27 – FIND THE ELF! Elf arrives with his book! We’ll read the story together and introduce her to the elf. This book will be added to the pile of those read nightly to reiterate the story/concept.
- NOVEMBER 28 – ACTIVITY! Make a paper chain garland. I purchased a little pink tree for Brielle’s room two years ago but it was decorated with little breakable ornaments. This year I’ll have her color a piece of paper with red and green crayons and we’ll cut it into strips and make a paper chain to decorate the mini tree together! UPDATE: She loved it! Here’s the result!
- NOVEMBER 29 – FIND THE ELF! “Snow” angel in flour on the kitchen counter. It’s Derek’s birthday and we’ll for sure be baking him something together anyway so why not keep the baking theme going?!
- NOVEMBER 30 – FIND THE ELF! Holding onto the soap in the bathroom. A great tie in as a reminder to wash your hands!
- DECEMBER 1 – FIND THE ELF! Hanging on the wall clock.
- DECEMBER 2 – ACTIVITY! Christmas themed pom pom drop! I’ve been collecting paper tubes for a few months now and plan to put them into good use with this activity that I’m sure will be up for a while! UPDATE: She was in awe of this activity! See it here!
- DECEMBER 3 – FIND THE ELF! Popping out of a stocking.
- DECEMBER 4 – FIND THE ELF! Amongst picture frames on a shelf. Temporary adhesive will be perfect to add red Santa hats on those in the frames.
- DECEMBER 5 – FIND THE ELF! Ribbon wrapping a piece of wall décor. We have a large letter N in our living room which I can wrap in ribbon and have the elf lay on top.
- DECEMBER 6 – FIND THE ELF! Holding onto the laundry detergent.
- DECEMBER 7 – ACTIVITY! Build a Snowman on our basement door. Elf will be sitting with a pile of precut construction paper shapes and we’ll build a snowman on the door together. Update: This was a HUGE hit
- DECEMBER 8 – FIND THE ELF! Riding in a toy car.
- DECEMBER 9 – FIND THE ELF! Reading books in the bedroom. Will probably read a small book on the bookshelf in her room
- DECEMBER 10 – FIND THE ELF! Hiding in the fridge. I’ve seen cute ideas where he’s holding on a juice box or some sort of special snack in the fridge so I’ll figure out a cute way to prop him up when I know what groceries will be stocked in there!
- DECEMBER 11 – ACTIVITY! Make Rice Krispies treats decorated with Christmas sprinkles. Elf will be holding a bottle of sprinkles with all the supplies on the counter.
- DECEMBER 12 – FIND THE ELF! Holding the remote. An extra remote that we don’t normally use, of course!
- DECEMBER 13 – FIND THE ELF! In the office writing Brielle a note at the desk!
- DECEMBER 14 – ACTIVITY! Tissue paper sun catcher craft. We love us some contact paper crafts! Here’s what we made!
- DECEMBER 15 – FIND THE ELF! Toilet paper snowman.
- DECEMBER 16 – ACTIVITY! Painting with corks. We have a container of corks from previous parties that would make for some fun red and green polka dot painting!
- DECEMBER 17 – FIND THE ELF! In the pantry, holding a pack of fruit snacks. Because she’s allowed to have a special treat!
- DECEMBER 18 – ACTIVITY! Create ornaments by threading cereal loops on a pipe cleaner. If I think of it in time, she’ll get Fruit Loops or Apple Jacks. Otherwise there are always Cheerios in our house!
- DECEMBER 19 – FIND THE ELF! On the key rack. Holding a set of keys we won’t be using that day (since we’re not allowed to touch the elf!
- DECEMBER 20 – ACTIVITY! Coloring holiday printables. There are tons of them online but I personally know of some cute ones from my days working with ALEX Toys.
- DECEMBER 21 – FIND THE ELF! Welcoming guests on the entryway mirror.
- DECEMBER 22 – FIND THE ELF! Hanging from the chandelier.
- DECEMBER 23 – ACTIVITY! Going on a Color Hunt! All you need is a piece of red and green construction paper. See what she found
- DECEMBER 24 – FIND THE ELF! Gifting new Christmas pajamas as a goodbye gift. The elf will be found in her room holding a new pair of Christmas PJs that we’ll bring with us to Grandma and Grandpa’s house that evening! We’ll also explain how he will be going away tonight!
UPDATE: My 2016 printable calendar with Elf on the Shelf ideas for a 3 year old is NOW AVAILABLE!
Looking for gift ideas for a 18 month – 3 year old? Check out this post for my daughter’s favorites toddler items at this age!