It’s the most wonderful time of the year and the Elf is making its way back to your home. So, today I am providing you with 25 fun and easy Elf on the Shelf ideas that will delight your child and be simple for mom!
For some Elf on the Shelf has become a yearly tradition and for others this year may be their first time! Typically, most families start this tradition on December 1st, but some start earlier, and the Elf returns to the north pole on Christmas eve until next year!
What is Elf on the Shelf?
Elf on the shelf has become a beloved Christmas tradition in many homes after the Elf on the Shelf book was published in 2005. The elf is a scout for Santa helping manage his nice list by observing the children and reporting to the North pole each night. Each morning the elf returns and is in a new spot waiting for the children to locate them.
That’s when the fun starts for the children – they are eager to see where their little elf friend will be next! For mom and dad, we need to get creative, and most importantly – don’t forget to move the elf!
- Set an alarm on your phone after the kids’ bedtime labeled “Move the Elf” – thank me later! 😉
- Don’t feel pressured to be over the top! Easy but fun Elf on the shelf ideas still brings smiles to your little one’s faces and sparks their curiosity – use household items to create scenarios
- Purchase an Elf the Shelf kit for assistance if needed! – yes they exist!
- Have a welcome and farewell letter for Elf’s arrival and return for extra fun! (coming soon on MomChat)
- Take 10 mins and write out /fill in the below easy Elf on the Shelf ideas on this calendar to make the process even smoother!
Where to purchase Elf on the Shelf?
Retailers like Amazon, Target, and Bed Bath and Beyond sell the Elf along with the book. What I love about the elf now is you can purchase a boy or a girl, and different shades. Representation matters!
25 Fun and Easy Elf on the Shelf Ideas
#1 Make Hot Chocolate ☕
Have the elf set up with a cup of hot chocolate ready for your little one to drink in the morning!
#2 Put in barbie car or remote-controlled car 🚗
Place the elf in one of your child’s toy cars going for a joyride!
#3 Bake in the play kitchen 🍽️
Set the elf in your child’s play kitchen and pretend it prepared a treat!
#4 Hang from ceiling fan or light on garland💡
Grab some floss or garland and have the elf hanging from a light fixture!
#5 Ball pit of ornaments 🎅🏽
The kids will giggle when they see their elf in a tiny-sized “ball pit.” Use ornaments in a vase or glass bowl!
#6 Lift weights 🏋🏽♂️
Grab a q-tip and stick marshmallows on either end. Set up the elf as if it was lifting weights!
#7 Build a snowman ⛄
Build a snowman with 3 rolls of toilet paper. You can draw on the buttons with a sharpie or cut out construction paper.
#8 Zip Line ➡️
Create a zip line with a piece of garland from one end of the room to another. Have the elf hanging from it with a ribbon.
#9 Hang in Tree 🎄
Easy Peasy! Have the elf hanging on the Christmas tree. For more giggles have it hanging upside down.
#10 Christmas Crafts 🖼️
Set your elf up with Christmas-themed DIY crafts, paint kits, or coloring books!
#11 Sleigh Ride 🛷
Have a sleigh decoration at home? Place the elf in the sleigh along with some other stuffed animals, barbies, or figurines if they can fit!
#12 Snow Angels ❄️
Have the elf make snow angels in flour, sugar, or rice which is the best mess-free option!
#13 Bring a treat 🍬
Have the elf bring the kids their favorite treat from Dunkin Donuts. Purchase the night before and have it ready in the morning!
#14 Movie night ready 🍿
Place your elf with packs of microwave popcorn and their favorite movie snacks! Leave a little note saying “Tonight is movie night.”
#15 Tools 🪛
Need something set up before Christmas? Place the Elf on the box with little tools for your helpers to help you!
#16 Campout ⛺
Place the elf under the tree in a cozy tiny blanket or fuzzy sock!
#17 Breakfast cereal smile 🥣
Set up a cereal box, bowls, and have the elf next to a smiley face made out of the cereal!
#18 Bubble Bath 🛁
Grab a clear bowl, place the elf sitting in it, fill it with cotton balls and pretend the elf is having a bubble bath!
#19 Hiding in a houseplant 🪴
Another easy one! Have the elf sitting in one of your house plants. For extra giggles put a tiny cup of water next to the elf!
#20 Elf cooks breakfast 🍳
Place the elf next to prepared breakfast plates with a note that says “Enjoy.” If your child has barbie cooking utensils you can place those next to the elf!
#21 Snacking 🍘
Surround the elf with snacks and one treat in its lap! You can have the elf doing this in the cabinet or your kitchen counter/table.
#22 TP the Christmas tree 🧻
Super fun and easy! TP your Xmas tree and have the elf caught red-handed with toilet paper wrapped around it!
#23 Reading 📚
Stack some of your favorite and/or new Christmas storybooks on your child’s nightstand or dresser! Read one with them each night.
#24 Gold-fishing 🐟
Pour goldfish into a bowl and place the elf next to the bowl with a string or floss in hand so it looks like it’s fishing!
#25 Baking cookies prep 🍪
This is my favorite idea for the elf’s last day! Having all the ingredients ready to bake cookies for Santa.
The best part of Elf on the shelf is seeing your little one’s excitement each morning! To minimize the holiday stress, I hope these 25 easy Elf on the Shelf ideas make way for a lot less effort and much more fun!
[*Huge shoutout to my big sis for sharing some of her Elf on the shelf pictures she saved from years ago!]
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