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Elf-Themed Party Games


Santa's reindeer aren’t the only North Pole residents who play games. When they aren’t busy making toys, the elves kick back with fun activities like elf dancing and gumdrop relay races. And now the kids at your holiday party can play some of these elf-themed games, too!

Helping Hands Gift Wrapping

Everyone knows elves love to lend a helping hand. It’s a good thing, too, since in this game, their hands are tied and they must work together to wrap the gifts.

Divide your party guests into teams of two and provide each team with an empty box and gift wrapping supplies. The empty boxes should all be the same size, so teams are evenly challenged. Have the teammates stand side-by-side, and hold hands. Then tie those hands together. Once all of your elves’ hands are tied, signal the start of the race. Partners must work together, using only their free hands, to wrap the gift in front of them. Reward the first team to successfully wrap their gift with a prize.

Elf Costume Relay Race

Divide your players into two teams. Have the teams form lines behind a designated starting point. Mark a finish line several feet away from the start line. Place two laundry baskets at the finish line, and fill each with an elf hat and a pair of elf shoes for each player. When you call out the word, “Go!” the first player in line must race to the basket and put on the elf garb. That player must then race back to her team and tag the second player in line, who then runs to put on his own elf garb. The relay race continues in this manner until all of the players are wearing their elf hats and shoes. The first team to have all of its members dressed like an elf and back behind the starting line wins the race.

Fill the Sleigh

It’s Christmas Eve and Santa is ready to set out on his journey when the elves discover a batch of gifts they forgot to load in the sleigh. The race is on to get them loaded before the reindeer take off!

To prepare for this game you will need a sleigh and several wrapped boxes or gift bags (stuffed with tissue paper). You can use a toy sled or make your own sleigh by decorating a large cardboard box. Place the sleigh on one side of the party space and pile the gifts on the opposite side of the room. Play a popular holiday song, such as Santa Claus is Comin' to Town or Sleigh Ride,and tell the elves to hurry up and get all of the gifts into the sleigh before the song ends.

You can make this game more challenging for older kids by scattering the gifts around the room, or creating an obstacle course that they must navigate in order to deliver the gifts to the sled.

Gumdrop Relay Race

Is there anything elves love more than gumdrops? This game challenges them to fill a bowl without dropping a single piece of the precious candy.

Start by dividing guests into two teams. Place a bowl full of gumdrops with each team at the starting line. Place two empty bowls at the finish line. Give each team a spoon. Teams must race, relay style, to fill their empty bowl with the gumdrops from the full bowl, carrying the gumdrops with the spoon. If a player drops a gumdrop in the process, he must start over from the starting line. The first team to transport all of their gumdrops into their bowl wins the race.

Elf Scavenger Hunt

Before guests arrive, wrap several presents and hide them around the party space. All of the gifts can be empty, wrapped boxes, except for one that contains enough trinket prizes for each guest. Print a list of the gifts you have hidden. During the party, announce that the presents have gone missing and it’s up to the elves to find them. Provide your little elves with the list of gifts that must be found (one large red box, two small white boxes with red bows, etc.). Once the elves have retrieved all of the missing presents, let them open the one that is filled to claim their reward.

Elf Mittens

To prepare for this game, you will need to have several varying sizes of boxes. Fill the smallest box with miniature candy canes. Then wrap that box and place it inside of a slightly larger box. Wrap that box and place it inside of the next larger box. Continue this process with as many boxes as you wish.

Give each of your elves a pair of mittens. Set a timer, and have them rush to unwrap all of the boxes, while wearing their mittens, before the timer rings. If they manage to unwrap the box of candy canes before time is up, they get to keep the treats.

Find the Elf

Hide a plush elf somewhere around the party space. When kids arrive, let them know an elf is looking over them, and the first kid to spot him will win a prize. When the elf is found, award the prize and, when the kids are occupied, move the elf to a new spot. Each time a child discovers the elf, a small prize is awarded.

Elf Command Dance

This game puts a fun, holiday, elf-inspired twist on the classic game of freeze dance. Have kids dance along to some holiday tunes. When you stop the music, instead of freezing in place, call out a command that the elves must perform. Ideas for commands include: wrap a gift, eat cookies, ride a reindeer and trim the tree. After players act out their task, start the music again to resume dancing. Repeat this several times, using new commands each time. You can even get sillier with the ideas as the game progresses. There is no elimination of players in this game, so that all participants may share in the laughs.
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