Our elf is such a special part of our Christmas traditions. My kids wake up excited every day of the month and run to find our elf in the house. The excitement every morning has created amazing memories and builds the excitement of the season.
However, on the other hand, life is busy and there are other nights that there is just not time for an extravagant display. I hope that this collection gives you elf on the shelf ideas, both quick and easy. #8 is my favourite and perfect for a special outing over the holidays!
The very first thing you need in order to join in the Elf on the Shelf fun, is an Elf on the Shelf doll. There are various designs for the elves that you can choose from. For your convenience, if you are looking to purchase an Elf on the Shelf, or other elf materials, below is a link to purchase.
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24 Elf on the Shelf Ideas
- Our elf likes to start off with a grand entrance. She usually comes on December 1st right after we put up our Christmas tree. I found an inexpensive backdrop at a party store and added a few cut outs of presents. Our elf also brings the advent calendars my kids open each day as they countdown. It was a beautiful way to start our elf visits.
2. If you have really young children in your house that don’t fully understand that they cannot touch the elf, this worked wonders at our house when my youngest was just over a year. Our special magic spray helped avoid many tears! (For printable note and magic spray idea click here.)
3. This is such a cute idea! We had done some baking during the day and made chocolate chip cookies. My kids woke up in the morning to find that their elf had painted the chocolate chips in some of their cookies to be white chocolate.
4. Our elf continued on with some baking at night. She baked, and tasted a few gingerbread men. I don’t think my kids have ever enjoyed cookies as much as ones made by their elf.
5. Our elf was pretty hungry during the night! So, she made herself a little snack.
6. Elf had some fun with friends around a campfire (a candle) last night.
7. Enjoying a bubble (marshmallow) bath.
8. We make sure to do this one every year! My kids woke up to find their elf had secured herself in a glass jar. A note was left saying that she wanted to be able to join us today. (We were going on a special day trip.) Since she was in the jar she was safe to move and touch. My kids were so careful with her when we were out and they kept her somewhat hidden in a bag/purse. It was priceless to watch them constantly check on and say ‘hi’ to her.
9. My kids were excited to find a small tree in their room in the morning all decorated with their elf on top waiting for them to wake up.
10. I guess all magical creatures would know each other! Our elf set out some of our Easter decorations and even hid some eggs for my kids to find. It led to a great morning.
11. I found some small stocking decorations and clothes pins. I strung string across our laundry room – even elves have to do laundry.
12. Vrooommm! Some tape on the floor for a start and finish line made for a great race.
13. A few drops of blue food colouring and some goldfish crackers caused a lot of laughter this morning.
14. A few snacks and some video games made it look like our elf had a great night!
15. My kids enjoyed finishing the puzzle in the morning for their elf.
16. This one is a bit messy, but my kids loved it. I quickly cut out an elf snow angel from construction paper and laid it on the ground. I then sprinkled fake snow all around to look like our elf had been playing in the snow (on the carpet in their room.)
17. My kids really enjoy rock climbing, so our elf decided to try it out. I used painters tape and hot glued a few rocks onto the tape on the wall. I attached a string from the ceiling and secured the elf to the string.
18. One of my children has their birthday in December, so we wanted to do something special for her. However, this would be memorable for any special day. Our elf brought her best friend to come and visit for her party. She entered through a special door in order to come. It was such a special treat for a special day.
The door has become a very special part of our tradition. My kids play by the door with their other toys for hours. A link to an elf door is provided below.
19. This one always gets lots of laughs and is so easy! Upside down or even in the fridge our elf enjoyed a late night snack.
20. We found a beautiful display of snowflakes hanging from our ceiling in the morning and our elf looked responsible for the decorations.
21. Can you find the elf? Our elf did a quick round-up of every stuffed animal she could find. We have way too many, but my kids loved the look of it.
22. Using a small mirror from a doll house, our elf had a little fashion show as she collected all of the tutus in the house.
23. I love this one because it got my kids reading with their elf. They chose one of the Christmas books and sat right by their elf and read.
24. My kids loved this idea of colouring for their elf. It kept them busy for quite some time. Our elf brought them each a colouring book and asked if they could colour a photo for her. It was a nice gift to leave behind on Christmas Eve.
There is a lot of fun that the elf bring and it fills the whole month of December with magic! I will be adding more elf on the shelf ideas as our elf visits this year!
I hope that you have found some Elf on the Shelf ideas that you can use. Make sure to have fun with your Elf on the Shelf. Use materials that you have on hand. It is okay some nights to simply move your elf from one spot to another. Your kids will just love the fact that their elf is there and visiting them. Happy holidays!
For More Hands-on Activities
If you are looking for more activities to do with your kids at home during the holiday season, below are some of our favourites.