65 Easy Elf on the Shelf Ideas

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Get ready to sprinkle a dash of holiday magic into your home with the best Elf on the Shelf ideas! As the festive season approaches, many families eagerly anticipate the mischievous antics and heartwarming surprises that their mischievous elf brings each day. If you’re on the lookout for creative and entertaining Elf on the Shelf ideas to delight your children, you’ve come to the right place. In this roundup, we’ve compiled a merry mix of whimsical, playful, and downright hilarious ideas that will make your Elf’s visit one to remember. So, grab your Elf, let your imagination run wild, and get ready for a season filled with laughter, wonder, and holiday spirit!

Elfin’ Around

Elf on the Shelf has become a beloved holiday tradition in many households, and it’s easy to see why! The anticipation of discovering where the elf will be each morning adds an extra layer of excitement to the holiday season. Our roundup of the best Elf on the Shelf ideas is here to help you keep the magic alive and create unforgettable memories with your family. From ziplining across the living room to indulging in late-night cookie escapades, these ideas are sure to keep your children entertained and filled with holiday cheer. So, dust off your Elf and let the elfin’ adventures begin!

When to Introduce the Elf on the Shelf Magic

Introducing the Elf on the Shelf into your home is like sprinkling a little extra magic onto the holiday season. But the question is, when’s the right time to let this mischievous little visitor join in the festivities? The answer is wonderfully flexible! While some families start as early as December 1st, others prefer to bring out their Elf a bit later. The key is to choose a time that works best for your family’s traditions and schedules.

One popular approach is to have the Elf make its grand entrance after Thanksgiving, marking the official start of the holiday season. This allows for a month of delightful Elf antics leading up to Christmas day. However, you can adjust the timing to suit your family’s preferences. After all, the Elf on the Shelf is all about adding joy and wonder to your holiday celebrations, so there’s no one-size-fits-all answer.

Remember, it’s not just about when the Elf arrives but also about the magical journey it takes your children on throughout December. So, whether you kick things off with a grand parade or a simple “Hello” note, the Elf’s arrival is a joyful moment that signals the beginning of a season filled with creativity, imagination, and holiday spirit. It’s all about making cherished memories and spreading a little extra holiday cheer with your little ones!

Where to get an Elf on the Shelf

You can find your very own Elf on the Shelf at a variety of places, making it easy to invite this mischievous holiday visitor into your home. Many major retailers, both in-store and online, stock Elf on the Shelf kits that typically include the adorable elf figurine and a beautifully illustrated storybook that introduces your family to the Elf’s magical mission. From well-known brick-and-mortar stores to e-commerce giants, you’ll discover a host of options to choose from. Whether you prefer the convenience of online shopping or the excitement of picking one up in person, finding your Elf on the Shelf is a breeze, and the enchantment it brings to your holiday season is truly priceless

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Easy Elf on the Shelf Ideas

Hot Chocolate Sensory Bin

Make a cup of steam hot cocoa with your Elf with this fun hot chocolate sensory bin.

Elf’s Snowball Fight

Set up a miniature snowball fight scene in your living room or even your child’s doll house or play set with mini marshmallows as snowballs. Position your Elf and a few favorite toys on opposing sides for an adorable wintery battle.

Paper Towel Snowman

Hide your Elf in paper towel rolls decorated like a snowman.

Elf’s Art Studio

Place your Elf at a tiny art studio complete with mini paintbrushes, an easel, and a small canvas. The Elf can be caught creating a masterpiece, bringing out your child’s inner artist. Get your mini easel and canvas here.


Stickers Anyone?

Cover your Elf in stickers and leave a fresh sheet for your little one to play with.

Take a ride on the Polar Express

Have your Elf arrive at your home in your child’s favorite car and take a ride on the Polar Express.

Tangled in a Whisk

While trying to bake cookies, Elf got all tangled in a whisk.

Baby Its Cold Outside

An elf on the shelf mischievously hides inside a cozy knit mitt, peeking out with twinkling eyes and a playful grin.

Elf on the Shelf Plant Idea

An elf on the shelf, mischievously peeking out from the lush green leaves of a house plant, creates a playful hide-and-seek scene for the family to discover.

Elf’s Movie Night

Create a cozy movie night for your Elf with popcorn, a tiny TV (made from cardboard). Your Elf can be found enjoying a holiday classic.

Take A Shower

A playful elf on the shelf idea is to tuck it neatly behind a bathroom shower head, creating a surprise for the next person who goes in for a shower.

Butt Brush or Tooth Brush

An elf on the shelf, in a humorous and lighthearted twist, decides to use a toothbrush, not for its usual purpose, but as a tool to clean her behind, showcasing her mischievous and playful nature.

Elf on the Shelf Banana Minions

Turn ordinary bananas into cute minions with a little help from your Elf, who’s armed with a marker to draw faces and overalls – a fun and fruity art project!

Elf’s Cookie Decorating

Set up a miniature cookie decorating station with tiny cookies, frosting, sprinkles, and mini decorating tools. Your Elf can be caught in the act of making sugary creations.

Elf on the Shelf On a Shoe Train

All Aboard the Shoe-Shoe Train. Sprinkle of magic to your morning routine with this playful Elf on the Shelf idea, where your cheeky elf takes the role of a train conductor, leading a train made of shoes, chugging along a track right through the living room – it’s a charming scene that’s sure to delight and surprise the kids when they discover it!

Elf on the Shelf Gingerbread House

Place your elf beside a bottle of ginger, inside a house made of bread, with a sign that quips ‘Do you like my gingerbread house?’ – it’s a creative and yummy way to incorporate a classic holiday treat into your elf’s adventures.

Elf’s Science Experiment

Set up a small science lab with colorful liquids (use food coloring), beakers, and test tubes. Your Elf can be caught in the middle of a fun and “scientific” experiment.

Elf on the Shelf In the Cold

An inventive elf on the shelf idea is to place the elf in the fridge, snugly wrapped in a blanket or white washcloth, as if it’s trying to stay warm among the chilly surroundings.

Elf’s Midnight Feast

Set up a tiny midnight feast with the Elf surrounded by small snacks like Cheerios, raisins, or bits of fruit. It looks like the Elf got a little hungry!

Elf on the Shelf Going for A ride in the Dryer

Place your Elf inside the dryer (turned off, of course) as if they’re on a thrilling amusement ride.

Elf as a Superhero

Dress your Elf in a tiny cape and mask, posing as a superhero. You can use paper or fabric to craft the costume.

Elf on the Shelf Pom Pom Ball Pit

Let’s dive into a sea of color and fun by creating a Pom Pom Ball Pit for your Elf on the Shelf, where they can swim in a rainbow of soft, fluffy pom poms – it’s a simple yet joyful way to add a splash of cheer to your holiday decor and a great opportunity for kids to learn about colors and textures!

Elf Playing a Musical Instrument

Create a scene where the Elf is playing a tiny instrument, like a paper guitar.

Elf’s Workout Session

Position your Elf doing a workout, like lifting a marshmallow dumbbell or doing a yoga pose.

Elf on the Shelf in the Silverware Drawer

Where is Elf today? Hiding out in the silverware drawer.

Elf On The Shelf Gardening Day

Have your Elf planting lolly pops in a small pot or cup. You could use a toothpick as a tiny gardening tool.

Elf Rides the Stairs

Oh no, Elf are you OK?! Trap your Elf in a roll of Toilet Paper. and fling her down the stairs. Elf is a daredevil!

Elf on the Shelf Rides a Dinosaur

Have him ride your child’s biggest dinosaur toy.

Elf gets into trouble with tape

Crafting mishap. Elf gets into trouble with tape with the washi tape. If you don’t have a second Elf on the Shelf you a favorite doll or stuffy.

Elf on the Shelf Just Hanging Around

Get ready for a giggle-filled morning when your kids find their Elf on the Shelf performing an impromptu circus act, swinging merrily from the hangers in the closet, showing off some clever tricks that would make even a seasoned acrobat raise an eyebrow!

Elf on the Shelf Taco Tuesday

Spice up Taco Tuesday by wrapping your Elf on the Shelf in a soft taco shell for a hilarious and adorable kitchen surprise that the whole family will love – it’s a simple and playful way to add some extra giggles to your mealtime!

Elf on the Shelf Hiding in A Cereal Box

Let’s turn breakfast into a game of hide-and-seek by cleverly hiding your Elf on the Shelf in a cereal box, creating a delightful surprise that will make the kids giggle as they pour out their morning cereal!

Elf’s Balloon Ride

Hang balloons from the ceiling and attach your Elf to one of them with a tiny basket. It will look like the Elf is taking a thrilling balloon ride.

Elf on the Shelf Playing LEGO

Imagine the delight on your little ones’ faces when they discover their Elf on the Shelf building a LEGO masterpiece – it’s a fantastic way to spark creativity and storytelling in your home!

Elf on the Shelf Climbing stairs

Turn your staircase into a playful scene where the Elf on the Shelf becomes the leader of a toy expedition, guiding stuffed animals and other toys in a charming climb – it’s a delightful and easy way to bring a storybook scene to life right in your home!”

Elf on the Shelf Toy Parade

Start a tiny toy parade with your Elf on the Shelf leading the way, using small vehicles and dolls to create a festive march right in your living room!

Elf on the Shelf Snow Angel

Create a winter wonderland indoors by having your Elf make ‘snow angels’ in a tray of flour or salt – it’s a mess-free way to bring a bit of snowy fun inside!

Elf on the Shelf Trapped in A Jar

Capture a humorous moment by placing your Elf inside a clear jar, creating a scene where it looks like they’ve gotten themselves a little stuck – don’t forget to ‘rescue’ them later!

Elf on the Shelf started a puzzle

Set up your Elf next to an unfinished puzzle, with a note asking for your child’s help to complete the picture – it’s a great way to encourage teamwork and problem-solving skills.

Elf on the Shelf Coloring

Have your Elf start coloring in a coloring book, leaving a note inviting your child to join in on the fun and add their artistic touch to the pages.

Elf on the Shelf Builds a Snowflake

Craft a delicate snowflake using Q-tips and have your Elf proudly display it, showing off their ‘handiwork’ and inspiring your kids to make their own.

Elf on the Shelf Duct Tape for Toilet Paper

Create a playful prank by having your Elf swap out the toilet paper roll with duct tape, and watch the surprise and giggles unfold in the morning.

Elf on the Shelf Cookie Stealer

Create a clever scene where your Elf uses cans of food to build a staircase, reaching high on the counter to sneak a cookie – a mischievous yet adorable setup.

Elf on the Shelf Floor is Bubbles

Transform your floor into a sea of bubbles by laying down bubble wrap, and place a sign saying ‘The floor is bubbles!’ for a poppable, interactive twist on the classic lava game.

Elf on the Shelf Flossing

Wrap your Elf on the Shelf in dental floss and add a cheeky sign that says ‘Is this how you do the floss?’ – a hilarious twist that combines a popular dance with a clever play on words, sure to bring a smile to everyone’s face.

Elf on the Shelf Bow Climbing Wall

Set up an adventurous bow climbing wall for your Elf on the Shelf, using colorful ribbons as ‘ropes’ – it’s a creative way to add a pop of festive fun and a splash of color to your holiday decor.

Elf on the Shelf Making A Candy Breakfast

For a sweet and playful breakfast surprise, arrange your Elf on the Shelf with a mini M&M breakfast set-up, using the candies to create a colorful, tiny breakfast plate.

Elf on the Shelf Nose Rejection Center

Set up a ‘Snowman Nose Rejection Center’ where the Elf is busily grating carrots, deciding which one is perfect for their snowman’s nose.

Elf on the Shelf Reading Christmas Story

Create a cozy Christmas scene by setting up your Elf on the Shelf with a miniature book, maybe even a classic Christmas story, surrounded by tiny lights and comfy cotton snow, to inspire your little ones with the love of festive tales and reading!

Elf on the Shelf Going for a Sled ride

Craft a mini sled from a toilet paper roll, string, and cardboard, and stage a thrilling sled ride for your Elf, complete with snowy cotton ball trails.

Elf on the Shelf Feeding the ducks

Imagine the giggles when your kids find their Elf on the Shelf having a mini bath-time adventure, playfully feeding tiny rubber ducks with breadcrumb, creating a delightful and easy-to-set-up scene that’s perfect for a morning surprise!

Elf on the Shelf on a Ship

Float your Elf on a DIY pirate ship or boat in the bath, creating an adventurous sea voyage right in your bathroom.

Elf on the Shelf Shiny Shoes

Give your kids a sparkling surprise by wrapping their shoes in aluminum foil with a note from the Elf saying, ‘I shined your shoes!’ for a shiny morning find.

Elf Fishing in the Sink

Place your Elf near the sink with a small stick and a string, pretending to fish. You can add goldfish crackers or small toy fish to enhance the scene.

Elf on the Shelf Milk Gone Bad

Create a mischievous scene by putting a mean face on a milk carton and a sign with your elf saying ‘The milk went bad’ – a playful reminder for the kids about checking the milk’s expiration date!

Elf on the Shelf Getting Washed

Set up your elf in the washing machine with a sign saying ‘Help me’ for a humorous take on laundry day that will have the whole family laughing at the unexpected helper.

Elf on the Shelf Camping

Arrange a miniature camping scene with your elf using a book as a tent, a small candle as a campfire, and a cozy setup that’s both creative and educational, showing kids how fun reading and imaginative play can be.

Elf on the Shelf Handing Around in Underpants

Hang your elf in a pair of underwear taped to the wall for a silly and surprising morning find, proving that even elves can have a little too much fun with the laundry.

Elf on the Shelf Sleepover

Organize a charming sleepover scene with your elf and other toys sleeping in socks turned into sleeping bags, creating a snug and adorable setting that illustrates the joy of friendship and cozy nights.

Elf on the Shelf Pool Party with Barbie

Create a mini pool party scene where your Elf on the Shelf and Barbie are the stars, complete with a shallow dish of water and tiny paper umbrellas, for a splashy, fun-filled holiday display.

Elf on the Shelf Taking a Ride with Barbie

Let your Elf on the Shelf hitch a ride with Barbie in her convertible for a cool cruising adventure – position them together with a mini roadmap and it’s like they’re off on a festive road trip.

Elf on the Shelf Unwrapping Present

Capture the excitement of Christmas morning by setting your Elf on the Shelf amidst unwrapping a tiny present, complete with miniature wrapping paper and a bow, for a charming holiday scene.This is great one for Christmas Eve especially if you let your kids open up one present that night.

Elf on the Shelf Hiding in Toilet Paper Igloo

Hide your Elf on the Shelf inside a toilet paper roll igloo, a creative and hilarious hideout that’s sure to delight and surprise everyone who discovers it.

Elf on the Shelf Melts a Snowman

Alright, picture this: Your mischievous Elf on the Shelf has decided to go full mad scientist mode and concoct an experiment that would make any snowman shiver with excitement! Grab a glass of water, some googly eyes, a carrot, and a couple of sticks because today, we’re about to show you how to turn your ordinary snowman into a hilarious puddle of personality

Elf on the Shelf Makes a Smarties Rainbow

Elf goes all STEAM today. Create a vibrant display with your Elf on the Shelf making a Smarties rainbow, arranging the candies in a colorful arch that adds a burst of fun and color to your festive decorations.

Looking for more Fun Christmas Crafts & Activities? Check out these fun ideas:


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