Best Collection of Fun Elf on the Shelf Ideas

It’s elf season. And boy do we have some easy elf on the shelf 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!

Best Collection of Elf on the Shelf Ideas

Elf on the Shelf 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.

ULTIMATE ELF IDEAS COLLECTION PIN 1

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!

elf on the shelf calendars

2020 Quarantine Elf

We have a feeling that this is going to be our most-downloaded elf printable all season. Because… 2020!  Grab our Elf Quarantine Printables and oh yeah – enjoy not moving your elf for 14 ENTIRE DAYS while he sits in quarantine!

isolation elf hero

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.

elf on shelf zoom meeting

Arrival Idea to Introduce Your Elf Pet!

Get our elf pet adoption certificate printable.

Elf Pet Adoption Certificate

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!

Naughty and Nice List Free Printable

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!

A Christmas Toy Challenge

DID SOMEONE TOUCH THE ELF?!  You might need some MAGIC ELF DUST… made even easier with our FREE PRINTABLE!!

Elf with Magic Elf Dust

Need a free printable Santa Cam?

Santa Cam FEATURE

Even elves need a vacation!  Your elf can stay in touch with these printable elf beach vacation postcards!

Elf Fridge Postcards (1)

Send your elf on an archeological dig! Grab our ancient Egypt printables.

elf archaeologist overhead

VSCO Girl elf?  Totally possible with our VSCO girl elf printable pack!

VSCO Elf on the Shelf

Maybe your elf feels like a car race! Get our free printable checkered racing flags!

Elf Race Car Checkered Flag

Do you want to build a snowman?  Your elf does!  Get our free printable snowman signs!

Elf Build Snowman

How about a DIY Lego Zipline for your elf?  See exactly how our elf made this one here.

diy LEGO zipline

Zipline lego pieces

Elves LOVE doing the magic egg trick!  Use our free printable!

Elf Egg Magic Trick FB

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

Elf Christmas Tree Farm

Fun activity!  Hide candy canes or ornaments around the house! Elf Scavenger Hunt Printable Cards

Elf Hidden Object Cards

How about some art time? Artist Elf on the Shelf Idea + Printables

Artist Elf on the Shelf

North Pole Elf Spy Cam + Printable Labels – when Santa needs some extra eyes!

North Pole Surveillance Spy Camera

This one is perfect for letting the kids carry the elf around! Snow Globe Elf Tutorial + Printables

Elf in Snow Globe Scene

Time for some elf mermaid training! (Or mer-MAN training!)

Elf Mermaid Training

Elf Arrives by Balloons!  See our tutorial and get the printable banner here.

Fan of the movie Elf? Then this cotton headed ninny muggins elf idea is for you!

Elf Movie Inspired Elf Shelf

Love space? Astronaut Elf on the Shelf Ideas + Printables

astronaut elf ideas

Need a spooky and/or Halloween elf idea? Headless Horseman Elf on the Shelf!

headless horseman elf

HP fans!  Check out this super easy Harry Potter Elf Hack!

Harry Potter Elf on Shelf

See how we made an INDOOR SNOWBALL FIGHT KIT!

Indoor Snowball Fight

Our elf loves the beach!

Elf on Beach HERO

elf steals chocolate

Elf Melted Snowman

Golfing Elf Oboe Harry Potter Funko Advent Calendar
Harry Potter Elf on Shelf Elf TP Trees
Elf TP Trees Welcome Tree Elf in Stocks
Snowglobe Elf Elf Netflix Red Carpet

Elf Brings New Pajamas Elf in Fridge on Marshmallows

Elf leaves photocopies of himself alllllllllllll over! 

Elf Hangs up Pictures All Over

Elf Upside Down Tree

Elf TP Tree 1 Elf TPs tree 2

Accidental elf touching and no more magic elf dust… ELF IS IN QUARANTINE!!!

Quarantined Elf Quarantined Elf from Accidental Touching

See what happens when you ask Alexa to fart!  LOL 

Elf Tell Alexa to Fart

Elf Shelf Tire Swing Lighthouse Elf

Elf Farts

Elf Farts inside lantern

Elf brings a toy advent calendar to count down the days until Christmas!

Elf Advent Calendars

Elf arrives buy mailing himself to the kids!  

Oboe Welcome 2017

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.

Elf on the Shelf flying in airplane

Here is video of the elf airplane in action!

lily watching elf on the shelf in plane

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.

Elf Decorates Kitchen

Elf Goes Glamping

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! 

elf-goes-rock-climbing rock-climbing-elf-on-shelf

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!

Elf Hot Air Balloon

Elf Tire Swing Elf Writes on Picture
Elf Decorates Mini Tree Elf Drinks Coffee

Elf Puts Mustaches on Kids Picture

Elf Dollar Tree

Elf Sits on the Shelf

Star Wars Elf on SHelf

Star Wars Christmas Inflatables

Elf Tangled in Lights

Elf in Christmas Lights

Elf Wraps Cabinets in Wrapping Paper

Elf Puts Snowman on Door

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elf-on-the-shelf-plays-jenga

Our elf always brings a toy advent calendar!  

Elf with Tsum Tsum Advent Calendar

Learn how to make these easy DIY Elf Kisses Ornaments!!

Elf on Shelf Hersheys Kisses Ornament

elf with marshmallows Elf on Shelf Arrives with Advent Calendar

Elf on Ski Lift

Catapult Elf on the Shelf

bullseye wreath

Elf and Buzz Lightyear Make a Mess

Elf and Tink Fly

Elf Brings Home Alone

Elf Flies Above Kitchen

Superhero Cape

Super Hero Elf
Flying Elf on the Shelf Super Hero

Elf with Santa Hats

Elf ont the Shelf

ELF on the SHELF North Pole Communicator

Elf on Hang Glider

Elf on Christmas Tree

Elf Nice List

Elf in Wreath

Elf Hides in Dishes

Elf Flies Plane

Elf Drives Firetruck

Elf Drinks KCup Coffee

Elf Draws on Picture

Elf Decorates Tree

Elf Christmas Countdown

Elf Carving Butter

Elf Brings Santa Presents

elf on the shelf pirate scene elf shelf pirate

elf on shelf selfie

Grab this fake snow – SNOW many possibilities!

elf on shelf horse sleigh

elf on shelf nativity


Candy canes… an essential elf tool!

elf shelf candy canes

elf on the shelf candy canes

Elf on the Shelf toilet paper snowman

elf on the shelf shopping

elf on the shelf sick day movie

elf on the shelf beach

elf on the shelf touched

elf on the shelf countdown chain

elf on the shelf crafts

Hopefully your cookies turn out less scary than our Pinterest-fail attempt! HA!

elf on the shelf cookies

elf on the shelf camping trip

elf on shelf writes on mirror

elf on shelf dog walking

elf in refrigerator

elf in christmas tree

elf fishing

elf on the shelf farewell

elf on the shelf in stockings

Elsa freezes the elf!

elf on the shelf frozen elsa

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elf on the shelf frozen

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Grow candy canes from peppermints!

Plant a magic candy cane garden!!  Get details and a free printable poem.

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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!

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Elf on the Shelf Master List Updated Daily

Best Elf on the Shelf Ideas and Printables!

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11 thoughts on “Best Collection of Fun Elf on the Shelf Ideas”

  1. I loved all your ideas they are all great. My favorite was the elf leaving his footprints to the door and writing “I love Christmas”

    Reply
  2. Pingback: Elf Pirat! Dies ist die ULTIMATIVE Liste von Ideen für elf on the shelf !! www.mamac … – Elf on the Shelf
    • It’s a plastic ornament from the craft store (AC Moore). It has a big opening in the back. :) I put kisses into that opening and stuffed the back with tissue paper to keep them from dumping out!

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