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50 Elf on the Shelf ideas

’Tis the season for the Elf on the Shelf! But what on earth do you do with the little red toy every day until Christmas?

Check out these 50 fun Elf on the Shelf ideas! Many can be done with just items you already have, plus the elf of course, but some may need props. 

Elf on the Shelf

Hopefully these ideas will give you inspiration for creating your own Elf on the Shelf scenarios!

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Elf on the Shelf ideas

Fun Elf on the Shelf ideas

1. Elf has arrived! On the first day you could write a cute poem from the elf to your kids. Elf on the Shelf official packs come with a book, so you could just pop the elf somewhere visible with the book to keep it simple on day one. If this isn’t your elf’s first year then check out this post featuring a free downloadable welcome back letter from your elf.

2. Elf has made a snow angel in flour on the kitchen counter. 

3. Elf has one or more eggs (depending on how many kids you have) on the kitchen counter plus a little dish with glitter or sprinkles inside. Note says children must sprinkle the magical confetti on the eggs and tomorrow there will be a big surprise. The next day put out two Kinder Eggs, or similar egg-shaped treat, instead of the real eggs. This one gives you two days of ideas!

Elf on the Shelf magical eggs

4. Elf is riding on a sleigh. This works even better if you attach some of your child’s favourite action figures to the sleigh with wool or string as if they are pulling it! You could make it look like elf has crashed into the tree!

Elf on the Shelf in a sleigh

5. Elf is having a campout! Tuck him under a small blanket or in a doll’s sleeping bag if you have one. Add some tiny marshmallows, with one on a little twig, and make a little fire from sticks next to his sleeping bag. 

6. Elf has rolled down the stairs inside a toilet roll, leaving toilet paper trailing down the steps!

Elf on the Shelf ideas - Elf has rolled down the stairs in a toilet roll!

7. Elf is stuck inside stacked toilet rolls. You can make this even more fun by using pen to drawer lumps of coal on the toilet rolls, plus add a little cloth to make it look like a scarf, to make them look like a snowman!

Elf on the shelf snowman toilet rolls
Via Mummy of Four
Elf on the Shelf snowman
Image via Unique Young Mum

8. Your elf has raided the chocolate stash! Elf is sat in the middle of a box of chocolates with empty wrappers surrounding him and chocolate smeared around his mouth!

9. Elf has made mini pancakes! Mix up some pancake batter and drop tiny amounts into a hot pan with butter to make tiny pancakes. Stack them next to elf with a tiny drizzle of maple syrup! You can make this even more fun by making full-size pancakes for your kids on a plate next to it, with a note from elf saying “I’ve made us breakfast!”. 

10. The elf is climbing up the wall using Christmas gift ribbons stuck to the wall as climbing points to grip on to. 

Elf on the shelf climbing
Credit Coffee and Cwtches

11. Elf has made an aerial slide using a piece of string or ribbon strung across your room! He’s got a candy cane and hooked it over the string and it hanging on for dear life!

12. Cheeky elf has done chocolate poos! Your child follows the trail of poos to find elf. 

Elf on the Shelf chocolate poo
Credit Slice of my life in Wales

13. Elf has drawn a smiley face on the bananas, or even better if your child is a minions fan, elf has drawn minion faces on the bananas!

Via Coffee and Cwtches

14. Elf has covered himself in stickers. 

15. Elf has got creative a made a picture using your child’s craft supplies. 

16. Elf has made a smiley face using Cheerios. 

17. If you have Paw Patrol toys, this is a great one! Elf has tied string around the necks of the Paw Patrol to put them all on a lead and is walking them!

18. Elf brings Santa’s “nice” list to show your child, with their names on it! You can just do this on your computer and print it off in a nice font, or try handwriting it if you have good handwriting! Idea from Growing Clan

Elf on the Shelf nice list

19. Ask your child to do a drawing for the elf. The next day have the elf holding a drawing in return for your child’s drawing. 

20. Elf is hiding in a houseplant. Try draping him over a branch, or have him hanging upside down!

21. Naughty elf is riding down the stair’s bannister in one of the family’s slippers! Try adding some string so elf can hold on and make it look like a sleigh. 

22. Do you have a sewing machine? Get elf making something on the machine with Christmassy fabric, and drape a tape measure over their shoulders too! You could do something similar with a knitting set. 

23. Bath time! Elf is in the sink, which is filled with cotton wool balls to look like a bubble bath!

24. Elf is hanging from the light fitting on the ceiling. 

25. Elf is eating chocolate spread or Nutella straight from the jar with a spoon and has some smeared on his mouth!

26. Elf is hiding in the Christmas tree!

Elf hiding in Christmas tree

27. Naughty elf has used tins and packets from the kitchen to create steps up to the kitchen counter, where he has opened a bag of crisps!

28. Elf has tipped over the fruit bowl and fruit is scattered all over the kitchen counter. 

29. Elf is on mummy or daddy’s computer or iPad surfing the internet for toys. 

30. Riding on a parachute! Get a cheap plastic mini toy parachute and attach it to the elf, then make it look like the parachute is tangled in the tree or on one of your ceiling lights. 

31. Elf has taken a stuffed Santa toy hostage at the top of the tree! Idea and photo from Life with Lianne.

Santa kidnapped by the Elf on the Shelf

32. Creative elf has lined up his friends and is taking a picture of them underneath the Christmas tree!

Elf on the shelf takes a photo
Credit Simplify Create Inspire

33. Elf has created a kissing booth!

Elf on the Shelf ideas
Via Simplify Create Inspire

34. This one is a challenging one so good luck! Pop Elf into a balloon and blow it up. Kids will be amazed to see him trapped inside!

Via Simplify Create Inspire

35. Naughty elf has stolen all the candy canes!

36. Elf is having a sack race with some other toys! Get some little brown paper bags, like you put sweets into, and put the toys inside as if they are racing toward a finish line!

Elf on the Shelf sack race

37. Elf has stolen your family’s underwear and used them to decorate the tree!

38. Elf is making paper chains!

Via Me Becoming Mum

39. Cowboy elf is riding on a toy horse.

Via Me Becoming Mum

40. Elf has been outside in the mud! Make muddy footprints from the back door to the elf. Try to smear a bit of mud on his cheeks too!

41. Elf is wearing your child’s hat, scarf and shoes.

Via Me Becoming Mum

42. Elf has used a polaroid camera to take selfies, or “elfies”!

43. Make sleepy elf a bed out of a box of tissues, using some folded up tissues as a pillow and a tissue as a duvet. 

44. Use a toilet roll and some string to make a swing and hang from the ceiling and pop the elf on it!

45. Thirsty Elf is getting a drink of water from your fridge/freezer’s water dispenser. 

46. Elf has used toothpaste to write “2 days until Christmas” on tiles in the bathroom. 

47. Elf has all of the ingredients ready for a cup of hot chocolate including marshmallows!

48. Naughty elf has put a red nose on every family member in a family photograph, plus is wearing one himself! You can use mini red pom poms for this idea.

49. Elf is playing chess with your child’s favourite toy.

50. Elf is in a marshmallow avalanche. Get a packet of marshmallows and stack them into an avalanche shape coming out of the pack with elf on the top!

51. Get some chocolate coins and leave a note saying elf found them at the end of the rainbow!

Elf on the Shelf finds gold chocolate at the end of the rainbow

52. Elf is hanging out on some tinsel! This tinsel is just draped over a small decorative shelf in our living room. It works great for a last-minute idea.

Elf on the Shelf dangles from a piece of tinsel

53. On Christmas Day have elf on top of the presents with a note saying merry Christmas!

50 Elf on the Shelf ideas
50 creative elf on the shelf ideas
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