20 Elf on the Shelf Ideas

elf on the shelf ideas

My kids aren’t even old enough for Elf on the Shelf yet and I am already TOTALLY obsessed. The elves are a bit creepy, and coming up with ideas for something new every night and every year is a bit of a commitment, but what’s more precious than seeing the look on your child’s face when they truly believe in the magic of Christmas?

You can get everything you need for this tradition here, as well as more ideas, and lots of extras!

There are so many good ideas out there, it was SO hard to choose just twenty.

elf 1

Taking a shower! I love that they used toilet paper for the towels!

Photo source: Toilet Paper World
Photo source: Toilet Paper World

TP’ing the tree! Naughty little elf! I know a few children who would get an absolute kick out of this! Fast and easy, it’d be perfect for a night you don’t have time to do much!

Photo Source: Your Modern Family
Photo Source: Your Modern Family

Flying Elf! Not only will your kids love this idea, but you can keep the pictures forever and bring it out every Christmas to retell the tale of the year the elf flew! (Or maybe this could be the grand entrance or exit of the elf!)


Olaf and Elfie! Oh boy, I love Frozen just as much as the next mom, and this post got me! You can click the link to get a print out for Olaf!

goodbye elf

Elf saying bye. I just love that they used spray on snow to get the outline of the elf.


Trading stockings for undies…I’ll admit it, this one made me giggle. A lot. I can’t imagine the look on your kid’s faces coming out to see that their stockings are now their undies!

Photo source: Living Locurto
Photo source: Living Locurto

Trapping the kids! This one would be fun to do! They would be so excited to go look for the elf just to find out that the elf had in fact trapped them!!!


Magic seeds from Santa! The link for this one explains everything you need for this one. Though this “grows” gingerbread men, you could also grow candy canes from peppermint candies too!


Your elf makes breakfast. How cute are those tiny pancakes!? This would be nice to do after a night where your elf had been especially naughty, maybe as an apology?


Elf in an igloo! Made from an empty milk jug and glued packing peanuts around it for the “ice.”


Mini count down chain. I have seen larger chains made, but I think it is more believable if it is”elf size.”


Rudolph noses! Made from mini pom poms. Or if you don’t have the pom poms, you can always draw a classic mustache with a dry erase marker!


Bows on the mirrors! Quick and easy, plus you can use the bows that were surplus from last year!


Good elf gives back. If your elf is especially good, you can “give back” with the cans your elf will set up for you. Take them to your nearest food drive!


Eating dog biscuits…Whoops! Looks like Elf got into the wrong cookies! I love the note making sure you don’t leave them out for Santa!


Decorates window with cotton balls. Not only is this a good idea for toddlers, but it’s a nice decoration as well!


Mini golf. So easy to put together! You just need construction paper, mini marshmallows, and a candy cane!


Cereal Friends. Okay, this one is kind of creepy, but no doubt about it, your kids will love seeing the cereal mess!


Writing on Dad. Ha Ha Dad! Shouldn’t have fallen asleep so early…or maybe you should sleep with one eye open!


“Snowball” fight. I love when you get the other toys involved too. This is the best snowball fight I’ve seen. Lego walls and mini marshmallows for the snowballs!

What was your favorite idea? Which one will you be trying this year? Let us know below!

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Lauren is a stay at home mom of 2 boys under 2 out of Michigan. She is learning day by day that raising boys is definitely not for the faint of heart. Lauren loves anything baby, crafting, baking, and talking…to anyone who will listen. She also loves spending her husband’s money. Following family tradition, she can’t wait to take her boys for their first fishing trip “up north.”

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4 Comments on "20 Elf on the Shelf Ideas"

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Love them!! I will definitely be trying the igloo and dog biscuits ones lol.

Sarah P

I love the cans, golf and rice krispies! I will add these to my repertoire! Thanks!