It’s elf season. And boy do we have some easy elf ideas for you!
We all know the feeling of climbing into bed, only to remember that the elf still needs to move. Put your elf’s adventures on total cruise control with our master list of elf ideas. Our family has been at this elf thing for more than a decade now and while we don’t like to brag, our elf has some pretty great ideas. We have photographed just about every elf antic over the last decade and you will find pictures of that fun below.
Have a suggestion for a fun elf idea or printable that we should add to our collection? Drop us a line and let us know!
Elf Ideas – the best collection of ideas!
We started the Elf on the Shelf tradition with our daughter in 2009 when she was 1. Our elf’s name is Oboe and he arrives at our house each year after Thanksgiving. The first year that Oboe spent with us, we constantly forgot to hide him in new places every night. Fortunately Lily was too young to notice if the elf stayed in the same spot 3 days in a row.
Now we have two kiddos and they would absolutely notice if the elf didn’t move and basically the you-know-what would hit the fan. So over the years we have snapped pics and collected our ideas into one place: this post. We have this post on our site not just for our readers looking for new ideas, but for ourselves. It helps us to not only remember what our elf has done in the past, but also gives us ideas that, after a long enough period, can totally be recycled and used again.
We definitely could have used the help of a printable Elf on the Shelf Calendar to help us think of new hiding spots. Live and learn!
Barbie Movie Elf Printable Pack (new for ’23!)
Are you…. Kenough? We certainly think so! Inspired by the summer blockbuster Barbie, we have created a really fun (FREE!) printable pack for your elf to enjoy. Grab this Barbie movie themed elf printable and have fun setting up your very own elf-dom.
Elf-Sized Breakfast Foods (new for ’23!)
Grab our printable elf-sized breakfast props for your elf to serve up a delicious feast!
Elf Snack Stand
Our printable elf-sized snack stand pack is SO darn cute AND comes with 24 different snack themes and 3 different designs. This snack stand can keep an elf busy for quite awhile!
Printable Elf-Sized Paper Games
Another printable pack that could keep your elf occupied for several days! Get our elf-sized printable paper games for some good old fashioned fun.
Printable Elf-Sized Cornhole Game
This one is over on our camping blog! Get our elf-sized cornhole game printable for lots of laughs!
We had a feeling that this is going to be our most-downloaded elf printable in 2020… and it was!! Our Elf Quarantine Printables allow you to enjoy not moving your elf for 14 ENTIRE DAYS while he sits in quarantine!
Zoom Meeting Elf
Why should humans be the only ones to ZOOM? Grab our printable Zoom Elf Meeting scene so your elf can easily stay in touch with friends and of course, Santa.
Arrival Idea to Introduce Your Elf Pet!
Lily and our son Landon LOVE the elf. They bound out of bed each morning and race to see what he’s been up to overnight. The elf is also a good threat when bad behavior looms – because he’s always “watching.” ;) Their excited reactions are our motivation on the nights that we just can’t. think. of. one. more. spot. for. the. damn. elf.
Grab our Naughty and Nice List Free Printable because, well? The holidays!
Check out our Christmas Toy Challenge from Your Elf + FREE Printable Poem! Teach your kiddos to pay it forward while recycling… AND alleviate some clutter in the play room before Santa brings a new delivery!
Need a free printable Santa Cam?
Set up a holiday themed horse barn elf scene with our printable barn background!
Even elves need a vacation! Your elf can stay in touch with these printable elf beach vacation postcards!
Send your elf on an archeological dig! Grab our ancient Egypt printables.
Print out an elf-sized Taco Truck for the next Taco Tuesday!
VSCO Girl elf? Totally possible with our VSCO girl elf printable pack!
Maybe your elf feels like a car race! Get our free printable checkered racing flags!
Do you want to build a snowman? Your elf does! Get our free printable snowman signs!
Elves LOVE doing the magic egg trick! Use our free printable!
Play a game or two with your elf. It’s easy with this printable Tic Tac Toe board!
How about a donut treat? Grab this printable “donut forget how awesome you are” sign!
Boy, those reindeer make a mess! Reindeer Poop Elf Idea + Printable Signs
Even the elf has a side hustle! Elf Christmas Tree Farm + Printable Signs
Fun activity! Hide candy canes or ornaments around the house! Elf Scavenger Hunt Printable Cards
How about some art time? Artist Elf on the Shelf Idea + Printables
North Pole Elf Spy Cam + Printable Labels – when Santa needs some extra eyes!
This one is perfect for letting the kids carry the elf around! Snow Globe Elf Tutorial + Printables
Time for some elf mermaid training! (Or mer-MAN training!)
Fan of the movie Elf? Then this cotton headed ninny muggins elf idea is for you!
Love space? Astronaut Elf on the Shelf Ideas + Printables
Need a spooky and/or Halloween elf idea? Headless Horseman Elf on the Shelf!
HP fans! Check out this super easy Harry Potter Elf Hack!
See how we made an INDOOR SNOWBALL FIGHT KIT!
Our elf loves the beach!
He enjoys long walks on the beach and collecting seashells!
Elf leaves photocopies of himself alllllllllllll over!
Accidental elf touching and no more magic elf dust… ELF IS IN QUARANTINE!!!
See what happens when you ask Alexa to fart! LOL
Elf brings a toy advent calendar to count down the days until Christmas!
Elf arrives buy mailing himself to the kids!
Elf flies in an airplane, suspended by the ceiling fan! This plane was made out of very very light foam board, so there was no chance of it breaking the fan.
Here is video of the elf airplane in action!
Our elf has used many ziplines over the years! For this one, he hung fishing line across the kitchen and then decorated the line with Christmas balls and other decorations. We found him stuck in an ornament, hanging upside down from the line.
The elf can use clay or play dough to make hand and footholds on a window, door, or wall for a little rock climbing and rappelling!
I see London, I see France, I’m flying in your underpants! Turn a pair (clean, please!) of undies into the “basket” of a hot air balloon for some hilarious, high-flying fun!
Our elf always brings a toy advent calendar!
Learn how to make these easy DIY Elf Kisses Ornaments!!
Grab this fake snow – SNOW many possibilities!
Candy canes… an essential elf tool!
Hopefully your cookies turn out less scary than our Pinterest-fail attempt! HA!
Elsa freezes the elf!
Grow candy canes from peppermints!
You may have reached the end of our list, but make sure you come back and check for new additions – ESPECIALLY during the month of December every year. We typically add a few new ideas each week during December to this list. I also put up new ideas daily between Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve on my Instagram page, so follow me over there if you aren’t already!
Drop me a line and let me know what your family elf has been up to! Our elf is always looking for new ideas and inspiration. Remember – having an elf does not mean hours of nightly prep time. No one has time for that! Hopefully our list has shown you that the elf tradition can be as simple or as complicated as your elf wants. Don’t compare your elf to other elves!! LOL!!
I’d love to know more about how your family enjoys this tradition!
- How many elves does your family have? Any pets?
- Does your elf have a special way of returning or does he/she just randomly show up one day?
- What is your elf’s name? Did the kids name the elf or did he/she arrive already having a name?
- When does your elf return each year?
- Does your elf ever check in during the year (aside from the holiday season)?
- What is the best/funniest/craziest thing that your elf has ever done?
- Does your elf move to a new location every day?
Thanks for checking out our collection Elf on the Shelf Ideas!