24 Easy Elf on the Shelf Ideas



So if you’re anything like me, you have a love-hate relationship with your Elf. If you’ve decided to do this tradition in your home – here are some EASY ideas that you can execute at 2:00 am when you get up in the middle of the night and realize, “ I FORGOT TO MOVE THE ELF!!”. 


General Elf Tips: 


-Set a recurring timer on your phone for 9 or 10 pm each night to remind you to move the Elf before bed.

-You don’t have to move the Elf every day, especially if you are new to this – set the bar low. 

-Don’t feel like you have to create an elaborate Elf story to have fun with it – we don’t tie ours to behavior, etc. Our Elf just helps us celebrate the month of December until Santa comes. 

-Choose Elf antics that are high up from the ground – this prevents the littlest kids from touching/moving the Elf. 

-Involve your older kids and spouse to come up with funny ideas! 

-I love to have the Elf give my kids little holiday treats, crafts, or a preview to a holiday outing we have planned. That fills in quite a few days of the calendar.


Here are 24 Elf ideas I plan on using this year:


  1. Dec. 1st – I’m BACK or “I’m your Elf” message written on the family chalkboard/whiteboard, with a note to check under the tree for their advent calendar. 
  2. Elf holds a birthday candle with a Post-it note that says, “Happy Birthday Grandpa” if you have a December birthday in your family.
  3. Elf shoved in a drinking glass in the kitchen cabinet.
  4. Elf delivers holiday activity/coloring books with one page/pic colored in with crayon and signed with your Elf’s name.
  5. Elf delivers paper or printable so kids can write their wish list for Santa. (can add in holiday stickers and stick some on the Elf for dramatic effect). 
  6. Elf lays around in a hammock made from a mask on the Christmas tree.
  7. Elf is sick – surround with crumpled Kleenex, cough drops, add a band-aid.
  8. Elf writes a message, ie.“15 more days ’til Santa!” on windows with dry-erase markers.
  9. Elf plays tic tac toe with marshmallows (mark with X and O) (add doll playing with him if you want!).
  10. Elf writes message with toothpaste on shower wall.
  11. Elf delivers family Christmas jammies (the 1st day we are planning to wear them at Polar Express
  12. Elf headfirst in stocking with feet sticking out.
  13. Elf riding on toy car – wishing us a fun road trip with a Post-it that says, “Have a great trip-see you when you get back!” 
  14. Elf decorates kids’ bedroom doors with any holiday decor –  red & green crepe paper, balloons. 
  15. Elf hanging in freezer with washcloth wrapped around like a blanket.
  16. Elf plays with kids’ toys – all cars lined up, barbies in row, hugging dolls, etc. 
  17. Elf sits on top of curtain rod or hangs from curtain rod. 
  18. Elf tangled up in string lights (plugged in).
  19. Elf hanging on chandelier or light fixture in dining room. 
  20. Elf delivers holiday treat – cookies/Christmas Tree Cakes, etc. 
  21. Elf gorges on chocolate – use unwrapped Hershey kisses leave some wrapped for kids. 
  22. Elf wraps Christmas tree in toilet paper. 
  23. Elf writes a message in sidewalk chalk on porch/patio – “Two more days until Santa!” 
  24. Elf stacks tower of candy, oranges, Legos, holiday books, etc. 

Have fun creating magic for your families & Happy Holidays!

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Jennedy grew up in West County, attended Mizzou and now works as a full-time School Counselor. At home, her life moves along at quick pace to a lovely soundtrack of music provided by her husband, Kyle, who is a classical musician and two young sons. When time allows, Jennedy loves a project- whether it be tiling a bathroom, decorating, gardening, meal planning, learning to sew or finding new and efficient ways to manage her household. Jennedy is hoping to figure out the magic formula of work, life and self-care balance. She’ll be sure to write about it right here when she does.


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