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Elf On The Shelf Candy Cane Hunt Printable Game

When elf season comes around and our sweet little elf rejoins our family for the holiday season the fun really begins.  

Once the end of November hits, I’m constantly on the hunt for easy and fun elf on the shelf ideas and am always looking for ones that are quick and take little to no prep. 

I am totally the parent that realizes I need to do something with our Elf on the Shelf at 9 pm and start frantically googling ideas and usually settle on just moving our little elf (named Mocha) to another part of our house, swearing that I will have a better idea the next day. 

Candy cane hunt supplies: printable, Elf on the Shelf, scissors and candy canes

That is why I love this Elf on the Shelf candy cane hunt; it’s low prep, I can easily have it ready to go and it makes for an exciting morning!  

There is nothing better than a scavenger hunt and this candy cane hunt scavenger hunt is even more special because not only are the candy canes “hidden” by your child’s elf, but your child gets a special treat all the way from the North Pole!  

My son gets SO excited when his elf brings him anything from the North Pole and treasures any item for weeks after it’s delivered. The best part about this candy cane scavenger hunt is that it is a great activity for the whole family!  

I love Elf on the Shelf activities that involve all of us and give us fun activities in the morning, especially on the weekend! Get ready for a super easy Elf on the Shelf with this candy cane hunt! 

Elf on the Shelf Candy Cane Hunt

This free printable Elf on the Shelf candy cane scavenger hunt is such a fun activity and and a great way to kick off elf season! 

Elf on the Shelf scavenger hunts are so much fun and I love that they give our family something fun to do in the morning.  

My son gets so excited when his elf has left him an activity to do or something special from the North Pole and I love easy Elf on the Shelf ideas so this candy cane hunt is the perfect combination for us both! The printable is super easy to use and the only supplies needed are candy canes so the set up for this is simple and is a fun way to kick off elf season. 

Elf posing with candy cane hunt prompt

I also love that I get to hide candy canes all over the house! I find it super fun to find really clever, funny hiding places and watch my son hunt around finding them. I plan on using this the first weekend we have our Elf Mocha and look forward to watching my little guy hunt for candy canes in his pajamas with so much excitement and a huge smile on his face while I sip my coffee following along.  

I’m also thrilled to already have some ideas that I can easily print off and have ready so that our elf season is low stress and I can enjoy all the joy and fun my son experiences from each morning visit! 

How To Use This Candy Cane Hunt

This Elf on the Shelf candy cane hunt is super easy to use and the best part is that you only need the free printables and candy canes! The free printables come with 12 candy cane tags and a little note that will go by your elf.  

To get this candy cane hunt ready, follow these easy steps:

1. Print out all the free printables and buy your candy canes

2. Cut out the tags and the elf note and attach all of the candy cane tags to the candy canes 

Mom attaching candy cane tags to candy canes

3. Decide where you will hide the candy canes. For younger children, you might pick one special room and hide them all there. For older kids or to make this a whole family event, you may decide to hide them all around the entire house or even take the hunt outside! Whatever you decide with hiding, make sure you keep track of how many candy canes you hid.

Candy canes with tags attached

4. Once all of your candy canes are hidden, set up your elf and note.  Make sure to fill in the printable with the number of candy canes you hid and the location of where you hid them.  

5. Watch your kids wake up the next morning to this awesome hunt and enjoy! 

Elf on the Shelf sitting in the toaster with a candy cane

Here are some suggestions to make this candy cane hunt even easier!

  • Print more tags if you want to use more candy canes. This might be useful if the whole family is going to do this hunt or if you are spreading it out in a large space. 
  • Keep your empty box of candy canes and set it next to your elf with the candy cane hunt note for your child to fun. My son always finds it funny when there is items like this next to the elf. 
  • Stuck on places to hide the candy canes?  Hide them on the Christmas tree, hanging from Christmas lights, hiding in their slippers, hanging from lamps, in the fridge, hanging on a house plant.  Remember your elf is the one who “hid” them so have fun with your places! 
Candy cane with tag in utensil canister
  • Save this hunt for a weekend when you don’t have to leave the house right away so your child can spend time finding all the candy canes.  You might even be able to finish a hot cup of coffee during this time which is a win-win for you and your child!
  • After your child or family finds all the candy canes, maybe make some yummy hot chocolate and dip those candy canes in it for a special treat!

Downloading Your Free Printable

Elf hiding next to coffee maker

To download your Elf on the Shelf candy cane hunt digital files, simple subscribe below with your email address.  After you subscribe you will receive more fun activities and printables like this one! 

If you are looking for more Elf on the shelf ideas, check out this welcome letter to kick off elf season or this goodbye letter to help your little one say goodbye to their favorite little elf. If you’re like me and are frantically trying to figure out what to do with your elf late at night, print out these super easy Elf on the Shelf printables and give your self a break the rest of the elf season with these fun simple ideas! 

If you have any fun stories about your candy cane scavenger hunt or any great places you found to hide your candy canes, please share in the comment box below! 

We love hearing of how the printables are used and as a parent, I’m always on the hunt for a great hiding spot! Enjoy your candy cane scavenger hunt! 

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Saturday 25th of November 2023

I love this so much!! Thanks for the great idea with such little prep!

Brenda Kosciuk

Saturday 25th of November 2023

You're so welcome! We're very much about little prep over here!


Saturday 25th of November 2023

I LOVE Elf on the Shelf ideas. Thank you for this great idea!

Brenda Kosciuk

Saturday 25th of November 2023

You're welcome!

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