When it comes to the Christmas season, kids enjoy it more than anyone, especially if they still believe in Santa. If you have little ones in your home, you may participate in the tradition of Elf on the Shelf. If you do, you may be in search of Elf on the Shelf ideas. There are a lot of examples out there, from super easy to super elaborate.
For those of you not familiar with it, the Elf on the Shelf is Santa’s helper that is sent to your home during the Christmas season (a.k.a. bought at your local Target, Walmart, or other popular store). He watches your kids and flies back to the North Pole every night to tell Santa if they are naughty or nice. In the morning, your kids have fun finding where he is hiding, and what the Elf may have gotten himself into.
Of course, you have to help the little guy out and move him around at night, to give your kids the illusion of him leaving at night and coming back in the morning. The one caveat is that the Elf is not supposed to be touched or else he will lose his magic, so if you have really young kids you might want to stick to the out-of-reach options. I’ve complied a list of 10 of the best Elf on the Shelf ideas I could find, so you can get some inspiration!
10 Creative Elf on the Shelf Ideas
- The Elf draws faces on a framed picture with a dry erase marker, and is found nearby on a table (or sitting on top of the frame) holding the marker.
- The elf sleeps in the tissue box, all bundled up for a long winter’s nap. This one’s especially fun if you make the tissue box into a little bed as pictured.
- The elf is locked outside. He couldn’t get back in before mom locked the door! (This is best if you have a glass door, like a slider.)
- The elf freezes mid-zipline! Tie a string between two high points and use a bread twist-tie to attach the Elf. Homemade zipline!
- The elf hides in the Christmas tree, or is found sitting on an ornament.
- The elf makes an “Elf Angel” on the counter with flour, sugar, or for easier cleanup, rice.
- The elf gets bundled up and hides in the freezer. It reminds him of the North Pole!
- The elf is found putting together the kids’ lunch with all the wrong things. A+ for effort! With this one, be sure to send your kids with a different lunch box. Remember, he’s not supposed to be touched.
- The elf is found hiding in the toy box, or with Legos or blocks. If you’re really creative you could build something simple!
- The elf gets caught drawing a simple picture, like a Christmas tree, and put the elf next to it with crayons. You can also include a note to your kids.
The Elf on the Shelf can be great fun — especially if you come up with really good Elf on the Shelf ideas. This game also works really well for some families when it comes to getting kids to be on their best behavior.
You do want to be aware of the fact that you have to be committed to this, though. Remembering to move the Elf every night can be difficult for some people, especially if you already have a night time routine in place. If you forget, you’ll be on the spot to tell a story as to why the Elf forgot to go to the North Pole! Some parents on the other blogs commented that they found ways to remind themselves – one mom set an alarm on her phone every night at 10pm so she could covertly move the Elf after all the kids had gone to bed. If you can fit it into your schedule, this can be a cute, fun and frugal way to get your kids excited for Christmas!
Do you have an Elf on the Shelf? What ideas do you have to share? Leave a comment with your easiest or most creative idea and help other parents out!