This adorable build an elf printable activity is the perfect Christmas craft to celebrate the holiday season! Your students will have so much fun building their own elf and it's a great way to spread a little holiday cheer at the same time.
Christmas is one of the best times to be a teacher! The kids are all so excited about the holidays, and it's a great way to build community in your classroom.
I have tons of great Christmas printables to help you transform your classroom into a holiday oasis, including this free printable template to make an adorable paper elf craft! Let's get into the details about how to implement this great activity in your own classroom this year.
This free elf template is the perfect way for kids of all ages to let out their creativity, and it's also wonderful for practising those fine motor skills!
How to Use the Free Build an Elf Printable Template
The goal of this activity is to construct your own custom Christmas elf using different printable body parts and a photo of your own face! It's so much fun, and you'll be amazed at the different designs your students will make. Here's how this fun elf activity works.
1. Gather supplies
- Get the template: Download the free printable elf template as a PDF file. Decide if you want your students to colour their elves or if you want to the elves in colour. Print a set of activity sheets for each student.
- Student photos: Take photos of all of your students and print them off. Cut out the faces and pass them out to each student. Alternatively you can also give them an oval-shaped piece of paper and have them make their own face instead, OR you can use the optional elf faces which are included in the download file.
- Collect supplies: Gather scissors, gluesticks, colouring supplies, red and green pom poms, and cardstock or construction paper.
- Extra Christmas decorations for your display: If constructing a holiday bulletin board, you may also want to purchase some red and white striped ribbon or make your own holiday decorations, like a Christmas tree, string lights, candy canes, etc.
2. Construct the elves
- Have your students colour in their elves, then cut out each body part.
- Use a glue stick to glue each piece together. You can either have them glue the elf to a separate piece of paper or glue the pieces together (great for hanging on a bulletin board). Attach the photo last so the chin fits in front of the vest.
Watch how to construct your elf here:
3. Display the Elves
There are lots of creative ways to display these free elf printables, but these are my favourite options.
Option 1: Glue the elf pieces together to hang on a bulletin board. They'll really pop against a solid colour background!
Option 2: Give your students a large piece of construction paper and have them create their own holiday scene. Ask them to include their elf in the scene as well. If you offer this, consider supplying cotton balls and glitter pens to take things to the next level!
Tips for Using The Free Printable Elf Template
- Budget some time. These little elves don't take a ton of time, but there is a lot of colouring, cutting, and gluing, so you'll need a nice afternoon or two work sessions.
- Set the scene. I love to put on some Christmas music while they work.
- Make it a contest. If your class is competitive, consider having a contest to see who can make the best elf! Let your class determine the voting criteria and the prize.
- Invite kids to work together. I love to have kids decide if they want to work on their Christmas elves together or separately. You can even have kids break off into groups to design whole scenes that include all their elves. Bring the other classes around to show off their creative ideas!
- Skim the edges: Some of the fine details on the shoes and such can be hard to cut precisely. Instead of cutting each detail perfectly, have your kids slide the scissors around the edge. It will leave a little bit of a white background, but that's okay!
- Cut in advance: Some kids will not have the patience or fine motor skills to cut out their little elf. It's helpful to cut a few different parts ahead of time or be prepared to cut with your students while they're working.
- Pair it with learning: Paper crafts are great on their own, but they're also a fun way to get kids excited about writing or learning! I love to tie these fun crafts to my lessons. You can have your students apply to become an elf or have them write a creative story about what they would do as an elf with the free template in my set of Elf on the Shelf printables.
- Make it a Christmas tradition. After your first year implementing this easy elf activity, all of your future students will want to make them! Make it a grade-wide challenge or a special class tradition.
You'll also LOVE the matching Digital Build An Elf app in The Hive! You can try today with a 7 day free trial!
More Christmas Activities for the Classroom
There are plenty more fun activities to help you celebrate the Christmas season in my shop, like these great options:
- Creative Elf on the Shelf Ideas for the Classroom
- Free Printable Letters to Santa
- Kindergarten Christmas Phonics & Writing Worksheets
- Christmas Board Game Templates
Plus, do you have a classroom elf? Watch The Hive's live Elf Cam and get all our holiday activities with a free 7-day trial