60 Easy Ideas for Your Elf on the Shelf


60 Easy Ideas for Your Elf on the Shelf

I know every adult cringes when they hear the words “Elf on the Shelf.” I have a love/hate relationship with our two. Yes…we have two. Pal and Snowflake are a lot of work, but every year I tell myself my boys are only going to be little for so long, so I make the magic happen again. They absolutely love racing to find our elves every morning.

I’m a planner at heart, so every year I find an editable calendar online sometime in October, and I sit down and plan out every day for our elves. Ours arrive on Black Friday, so I want to make sure I’m not scrambling for ideas two weeks in. This has helped me immensely. It takes all the guesswork and late night panicking out of the equation. I also keep their activities REALLY simple. You’ll never find me making snow angels in flour…momma doesn’t have time for that mess.

If you’re anything like me and prefer simplicity, take a look at the 60 ideas I’ve used in my Elf on the Shelf tenure. Lots of these ideas get reused each year!

  1. A welcome back scavenger hunt to find elf

  2. Hiding in an Amazon box on the front porch

  3. Bundled up in a “blanket” in the fridge

  4. Trapped under a glass in the cabinet

  5. Leaving silly notes in the lunchboxes

  6. Selfies with sleeping kids

  7. Crockpot/sink bathtub

  8. Snowball fight with wadded up paper

  9. Emailing Santa

  10. Writing on the bathroom mirror

  11. Drawing on family portraits

  12. Under the coffee maker

  13. Silly message on letter board/chalkboard/whiteboard

  14. Christmas ornament hide and seek

  15. Army man attack

  16. Vehicle parade through the hallway

  17. Tied up in dental floss with a note from the tooth fairy

  18. Drawing on the chalkboard

  19. Making copies in the printer

  20. Working on toy car with tools

  21. Reading all the Christmas books under the tree

  22. Stuck in blender asking for help

  23. Delivering little gifts from the Dollar Tree

  24. Returning letters from Santa

  25. Stuck in the China cabinet

  26. Making a snowman from toilet paper rolls

  27. Repelling down the stairs

  28. Hanging out on the rear view mirror of the car

  29. Putting out ingredients for a Christmas dessert

  30. Toilet paper the Christmas tree

  31. Stuck to the fridge with magnets

  32. Cover a doorway with streamers

  33. Making a mess with wrapping paper and tape

  34. Reading the nativity story

  35. Building Legos

  36. Playing in a fire station/castle toy

  37. Hanging out in the Christmas tree/mantle decorations

  38. Swinging from the ceiling fan

  39. Hiding in the stockings

  40. Sick day with bandaids and thermometer

  41. Watching a Christmas movie on a laptop/iPad

  42. Making “Elf Yourself” videos of the children

  43. Putting food coloring in the toilet

  44. Playing board games

  45. Rolling down the stairs in toilet paper

  46. Hiding in the pantry

  47. Hanging underwear on stocking hangers/Christmas tree

  48. Giving Alexa commands

  49. Playing cards with superheroes/Barbies/stuffed animals

  50. Coloring a Christmas picture

  51. Hanging out in the nativity scene

  52. Goodbye letters on the last day and living magic (letting the kids carry him/her around)

  53. Checking Santa’s naughty and nice list

  54. Hiding in the dog’s crate

  55. Stuck in the blinds

  56. Putting a puzzle together

  57. Baking cookies

  58. Tucked in a mason jar so the kids can carry him/her around

  59. Playing doctor with stuffed animals

  60. Hanging up Christmas cards

I definitely don’t think an Elf on the Shelf is a vital part to a magical Christmas, but if you want to dip your feet into elf madness, I hope this list helps you ease your way in!


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