Do you have an elf? If you are like most of us, it’s easy to forget about it or not know what to do. Here’s some good news- I have 20 easy elf on the shelf ideas below that will help you out!
Skip the planning and the searching, these fun elf on the shelf ideas are sure to help you.
We’ve had our beloved Elf (Chippy) for 9 years now. Since my kids are 5 years apart he’s seen it all for the last 9 years. I used to spend hours trying to come up with ideas and sometimes would forget to even move him! (eek)
Mom Tip: Set an alarm to go off on your phone around 9-9:30 pm every day to help remind you!
Mom Tip #2: If you do forget to move the Elf there are a few things you can do. Don’t fret or lose your cool Mom! You can either say “Oh someone must have touched him. He can’t go back to the North Pole if someone touches him!” or you can say “Oh man, someone must have been naughty. He will not move if you are acting up!” These work every time. It’s disappointing the kids for sure but at least you have some backup!
Below is a list of fun and easy ideas that I have personally done myself. I have also included some new ideas for you to try.
Easy Elf on the Shelf Ideas
I always have our Elf start out on our tree. Once we put our tree up he comes pretty soon after and just sits inside the branches. This is super easy and helps get everyone excited.
Shortly after, our Elf will bring the kids matching pj’s. This is easy to set out and have the elf around the gifts. Some people have him return with a letter or a fun message too.
Set out a “Magic Glove” with the Elf. This lets your kids put on the magic glove and carry around the Elf to show them your Christmas decor. This was our first time doing it this year and my youngest was SO EXCITED!
Book Time: Set out a Christmas book with the Elf. Leave a note requesting your child read the book to the Elf at bedtime.
Bring a message back from Santa. Set up a cookie tray and spell out “Santa Says Hi” (M&M’s work great!) This is fun and sweet.
Set up a board game and have the Elf be playing with other stuffed animals.
Sack Races: Put some small animals in brown lunch sacks. Set them up like they are in a race!
Advent Calendars: I always have our Elf bring the kids advent calenders to start on December 1st! You can get super cheap ones at Trader Joes or even Aldi.
Block Out: Use some painter’s tape and “X” out your kids in their rooms at the doorway. (Make sure they are really asleep before doing this!)
Banana Messages: Have the Elf sit by some bananas and a marker. Draw some silly things on the bananas or leave some silly messages pretending the Elf wrote them.
Oopsie-Poopies: Stick some chocolate chips at the bottom of a small glass jar. Make a sign saying “Oopsie, I made a poopsie!”
Bathroom Humor: Leave some sticky notes or even toothpaste marks saying silly things on the mirror. The Elf is sure being naughty!
Mom Tip #3: You do NOT have to have the Elf do something silly or naughty every single night!! When I as working full time outside the home we did silly things on weekends only. Make it easy on yourself!
Hide the Undies: This is a silly one the kids always love. Take some clean laundry like the kid’s undies and either hang them on the tree or on the stockings.
Stand Tall: Have the elf be on stilts on some wrapping paper. This is super easy and good when you need a quick one!
Green Milk: Put some food coloring in your milk and have the Elf leave a message or clues to find him.
Candy Cane Search: Set out some candy canes around the house. Leave the empty box with the Elf. Leave a message from him telling your kids to go find all the candy canes!
This secret message from Santa printable is such a fun activity for your elf to bring. It’s free and easy to download. (from Two Pink Peonies)
Elf Craft: Your kids will love this easy elf on the shelf craft idea for kids. It’s always fun to make Christmas crafts and this super fun Christmas paper plate craft is bound to get the kids in the Christmas spirit. (from The Inspiration Edit)
Build the Tallest Shelf for the Elf: The Elf has lost his Shelf! Build him a new one with this adorable STEM challenge! (via Mom Brite)
Magic Trick: Leave out some skittles on a circular plate. Have your Elf leave a message to add some water and watch what happens. This makes a fun rainbow in the water- easy and kids love it!
TP: Make your Elf TP a room or area with toilet paper. This is always a fun one but not so fun to clean up!
Treat Time: During the holidays the stores will start selling lots of holiday treats. Have your Elf bring a special treat from the North Pole. One year I found Elf on the Shelf cereal! It was a hit.
Captured: Tie up your Elf and have some other characters around him looking as if they tied him up or had a battle.
Frozen: This trick takes some time! Place your elf in a jar with water and freeze him over night. Set him up with Elsa trying to defrost him. (Mom Tip #4. This was fun but my youngest DID NOT like it! He was so worried about our poor Elf)
Do the Floss: Tie up your Elf dental floss. Leave a note and have your child teach the Elf how to do the floss!
I know there are tons of more ideas but these are my easy Elf on the Shelf Ideas! I hope you find something you like. Share with me your favorite!