Need some Christmas inspiration? We’ve got THIRTY different Elf on the Shelf ideas to help you survive December!
There are few worse feelings in December than climbing into bed, finding yourself about to drift off into delicious sleep, before being jolted awake by the sick realisation that your Elf on the goddam Shelf is still in the same spot as it was that morning.
Now, I love Christmas and I love Christmas traditions, especially having kids at home, and, in truth, I do love the fun of Elf on the Shelf – but A WHOLE MONTH is a long time to figure out new and fun things to do with it AND remember to do it every night before you go to bed.
Well, this year, we have a baby in the house and these days, once my head finally hits the pillow, the only thing I’m moving for is a crying baby or the sound of the smoke alarm. So, I’ve been a geek and planned out my 24 days already. And, to make things a little bit easier for you, I’m sharing them here in the hopes it might give YOU some inspiration (and less of those, ‘Oh sweet Jesus, I haven’t moved the elf’ moments). Plus, I’ve added in an extra six to give you extra options!
I highly recommend putting on some Mariah Carey or Michael Bublé (or The Pogues, if you’re one of those people) and doing all your Christmas crafting at once, to avoid those late night mad dashes to find something clever to do with your elf. Good luck!
1: The Advent Calendar Delivery
Yay! Dec 1 has arrived! It’s perfect timing to allow the elves to do the delivery of the advent calendar! Although, perhaps don’t have them touching the calendar like I have done in this photo, so you don’t have to run the risk of breaking one of the major elf rules (touching the elf) on day dot. I picked up this Pokemon Advent Calendar at Kmart for $21.
Also, if you’re getting the kids advent calendars, have you thought about getting your own? Here are some insane ones just for you!
2: The Toilet Roll Snowman
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow. If you want a stress-free set-up that takes very little prep, but is a total hit, this one is perfect. Just grab three toilet paper rolls, and 2 felts – one in orange, one in black, and you have this SUPER easy, SUPER fast set up done!
3: Elf Plays Headbanz
One of our favourite board games is Headbanz, so I’ve crafter our elf his own headband and clue. If you have a favourite boardgame, pull it out and have the elf join in too!
4: The Christmas Campout
I found this website – My Magical Moments – which makes little elf supplies! Here, we have the fire-pit ($4) to create a camping scene, with a toasted marshmallow ($3) and a sleeping bag. You can easily draw your own fire-pit though!
5: The Candy Cane Hunt
Okay, for this one you just need six candy canes (or however many you want to hide) then stash them around the house and make a little sign. I completed this look with accessories I bought last Christmas – The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition Scout Elves at Play Tools and Tips Kit, $45 from Kmart – which included this chair, little novelty signs, climbing boots, a grappling hook and a whole bunch of stuff! You definitely don’t need all this hoopla for a treasure hunt though!
6: Elf Borrows Santa’s Sleigh
I found this one at Kmart – it’s technically a serving plate, but it’s perfect for the Elves to ride in and a bargain at $4.50. And, can totally reuse all Christmas (and hopefully for many more to come!)
7: Elf Goes Sledding
This one is surprisingly easy, but very cute! I just took two candy canes and affixed them (with clear tape) to a piece of cardboard, and voila, we have a sled. Perfect for sticking to a handrail or any fun slope you have in your house.
8: Up, Up & Away…
Can you tell I’ve been to Kmart? That’s where I picked up this letter balloon, for a steal of $1. I mean, you could go get it filled with helium, but it works well just blown up and stuck to the wall. I decorated mine with ribbon and a decoration to make it a bit more festive.
9: They’ll Ketchup With You Later
Try hiding your elf (or elves) in your pantry or fridge by disguising them in these little costumes, available to download free from the official Elf on the Shelf website.
10: Elf and His Minions
Sure, it may not be a Christmas movie, but we’ve watched ALL the Despicable Me movies in this house, so I didn’t need to look up a pic of the minions as a reference to draw these. It’s a super easy, super fast one for when you need Elfing done and dusted ASAP
11: Elf in Disguise
Now, I saw these novelty bottle decorations at Kmart for $2 a pop – and, turns out, they make a great disguise for your elf! The also come in a Santa Suit, Gingerbread Man and green Elf.
12: Elf Goes Bowling
Here’s another one from the folks at My Magical Moments – it’s $7 for the pins and bowling ball.
13. Elf on the Shelf Underwater!
Head to the official Elf on the Shelf website and download these free printables! There’s loads of different underwater costumes to choose from, and little images to include. Try sticking them to your bathroom mirror!
14: Hidden Banana Elves
This one is one of my faves – it’s a little banana suit ($5 from My Magical Moments). They also have a cute watermelon suit, but that looked like it could get pretty messy if I replicated this set-up!
15: Elf Spa Pamper Day
Elves are busy creatures – they deserve a break! Create a makeshift bath (maybe using your sink?) and fill it with cotton balls. Then let your elves relax – we printed out our elf a little magazine to read (it’s amazing – it has lots of different stories and a fashion shoot inside!0 – print yours’ out here from the official Elf on the Shelf website. And, what better to have a soak with than Elf Shake bubble bath available from Lush, made with fresh grapes, kiwi, apples and the scent of tart, citrus sweets ($14.90 for 120ml) – the perfect treat for them to leave behind!
16: Elves Bake Cookies
I went all out and got my Elf his own miniature baking set (My Magical Moments, $17), but you could let your elf loose in your kitchen with regular sized appliances!
17: Elf Reads a Bedtime Story
This one is pretty quick. I made my elf some rather dodgy reading glasses by cutting them out of paper then colouring them in with a vivid and taping them in place. Grab a book – bonus points for a little one – and you’re done!
18: It’s Taco Tuesday!
If your family does taco Tuesdays, why not get your Elf in on the act too! You can download this free printable from the official Elf on the Shelf website. You just need to cut out the shapes (and either glue the truck to card, or print it onto card paper!). Taco about cute!
19: Elf Collects Blocks (And Eats Them!)
If your family shops at Countdown, you no doubt have a fair few Blocks at home, so why not make an Elf set-up with them!
20: Counting Down!
This little sign and chair is from that crazy set I bought – but you can easily craft your own countdown, reminding your little ones how many sleeps are left to go!
21: Elves go Fishing
I live in a household full of fishermen and budding fisherman, so this one is a surefire hit. This fishing reel with a fish hooked to the end of it, is not only cute, but it works – you can reel that fish in! (My Magical Moments, $4). Otherwise, just grab a stick and some cotton and you’re done!
22: Elf Borrows Rudolph!
This reindeer is HUGE – and just one in a set of 2 reindeers and Santa on his sleigh (Kmart, $11). They make for excellent Christmas decorations around the house – just grab some ribbon for reins, and let your elf have a ride!
23: Elf Steals the Candy Canes
Ok, I’ve used my grappling hook and the suction boots from the kit, but you can just suspend your elf with ribbon or thread. Lower him down so it looks like he’s trying to sneak off with something – maybe grapes from your fruit bowl? A decoration from the tree? A little stash of candy canes?
24: Elves in a Twist
Set up your elf (or elves!) for a game of Twister! I printed this design off from The Gingerbread House!
25: Elves go to space
This ridiculously cute rocketship is from My Magical Moments ($6) – if you have multiple elves they also have an astronaut and an alien. I’ve also seen some pretty great astronaut suits crafted just out of tinfoil, so no pressure to go large here!
26: Elf Lights Up Your Name
These cute little lights are $4.50 a pop at Kmart and include a battery! They make a cute little nightlight too.
27: Perform Some Elf Magic!
Ok, this is an easy one AND better still it will take care of TWO days for you! So, step one: your elf informs your child it’s time to do some elf magic. You can either draw a candy cane, which will later by magic turn into a real candy cane – or use a small candy cane on the first day, which will then turn into a giant candy cane for the next day.
Start with your first candy cane (either drawn, or mini), get some magic elf dust (i.e. glitter, or better still, Fairy Dust from Lush) and add the instructions that your child needs to sprinkle the glitter to help the elf perform some magic – the results of which they will see the next morning.
The next morning… voila! Replace out the drawn or mini candy cane with a real life candy cane!
28: A Treat from Mrs Claus
This is another of those little signs from the kit I bought, but heck, you can easily just write your own sign. Then, add a bit of baking, or a treat and you’re done. I can’t find it online to send you a link sorry, but I picked up this official Elf on the Shelf lollipop at the checkout at The Warehouse!
29: Elves Start a Band
Got some musical instruments in your home? You’ve got everything you need to help your elves to start a band!
30: Get a Good Sleep!
This is a great one for Christmas Eve – It’s show-time! Our little elf is getting some zzzzz’s for the big day and reminding the little people in our house to do the same. Barbie beds or doll beds you have at home can do the trick, or I got this one at My Magical Moments ($15, complete with a Santa duvet and pillows)