Looking for some fun Elf on The Shelf Ideas for kids this holiday season? We have a list of 25 with FREE PRINTABLE that we are sure the kids will love!
These fun ideas will give you an idea each day to get you through to Christmas day! We've put together a fun little advent calendar printable that you can download at the bottom.
It's a great way to have fun with our little friends from the north pole all the while taking the guesswork out of thinking of cute ideas. Have fun with these elf on the shelf ideas for kids throughout the month of December!
What is Elf on the Shelf
It is a fun tradition that welcomes Santa’s Scout Elves in your home each year. Each Scout Elf has a book that tells the story of the magical elves that help Santa each year manage his naughty and nice list.
Each elf that is adopted by a family watches the family each day leading up to Christmas and reports back each night as the family goes to bed. The elves tell Santa about the family's adventures that day, secrets that each family member might whisper to them, and whether the kids have been naughty or nice!
The children then wake up each morning in search of their elves and see what adventures they got into each night!
If you are looking to make an elf yourself, we have a fun Paper Elf Craft.
Elf On The Shelf Tradition
When my oldest was little, my husband and I did all we could to avoid the elf on the shelf. It wasn't till our second was born did we realize all the fun it was not only for the little kids but for us as a whole family!
The first year with our own elf was all kinds of fun learning whether we had a funny elf, a mischievous elf, or a naughty elf. Finding a new spot each night either in the Christmas tree, or making a snow angel on the counter. The kids were little so it was easy ideas and places where they could find the elf.
It is also a learning curve for the parents to remember each night! 🙂 P.S. I set an alarm on my phone right before I would head off to bed to move the elf! .
Remember a cute idea can be a simple idea. If you are looking for creative ways to stage your elf each night, I commend you and can't wait to see what you do. If you are just looking for easy elf ideas, you are in a great place as we are here to provide a little help. Don't make it any harder on yourself than it needs to be.
It has now become, like many of you, a Christmas tradition for our family Christmas. For those that haven't started and are looking to get a new elf, I highly recommend it.
The Elf On The Shelf
What we have learned over the years is the rules of the elf vary from house to house! Generally, the Elf comes down from the North Pole at Christmas Time. For some, it is Thanksgiving Night, for others, it's December 1st. Hey... sometimes the elf’s arrival is December 4th, when last minute realize that they haven't come! They then leave on Christmas Eve!
One of the rules from the book is that no one is to touch the elf. If they do, they do not necessarily move the next morning. I actually have a really funny story about this.
A few years ago we had two young boys come from China and stay with us as part of an exchange program right after Thanksgiving for two weeks. They did not speak any English, nor do we speak any Mandarin.
Our best elf came to visit during this time and would change locations each night as they do every year. These sweet little boys most likely had no idea what the heck was going on.
One day the elf was on a bookshelf near the kitchen and both my kids and the exchange students were with me near this location. Something happened, not sure if a backpack hit it, or roughhousing, but regardless the elf fell off the bookshelf. The moment went into slow motion.:)
At the same moment, one of the exchange students started to reach down to pick up our little elf. My son at the same moment saw that the exchange student was about to pick it up and starts to scream.
And trying to combat the situation, I realize what is about to happen, grab the cooking tongs nearby. I motion to the exchange student to not pick it up and slowly with the tongs pick up the elf and place it back onto the bookshelf. The look of confusion on those sweet boys' faces was something my husband and I laugh about to this day!
Elf On The Shelf Ideas
If you are anything like me, then each year you're looking for new ideas in a fun way for your elf. As the kids get older, our elf has become a hilarious elf and creative elf. They get themselves into situations that are so much fun but also make us all laugh each morning! Here are a few of the daily elf ideas that are a lot of fun.
- The naughty elf gives each face of your family photos a Rudolph Nose either with red construction paper or a red dry-erase marker.
- Have your elf bring back donuts from the north pole.
- Remind your kids about the Naughty and Nice list and write out Be Good in Cheerios or on your refrigerator magnets.
- Use candy canes to make a fun sled for your elf or turn them into a heart for a sweet love note. P.S. I love this idea! <3
- Have your elf deliver a few Christmas books to get ready for Christmas!
- Your elf could be looking for a little relaxation from the elf-stress in a bubble bath in a marshmallow bath!
- Have your elf leave a fun family Christmas movie and popcorn for a fun family movie night.
- There is a good chance your elf got into a snowball fight or make a snowman using marshmallows.
Elf on the Shelf Idea Kit
I love the idea of putting together a fun little kit each year before the elf comes out to play. It helps when putting together some fun Elf on the Shelf Ideas each night to not have to kick yourself for not having this or that.
It definitely doesn't have to be super extensive, but running to the store right before the arrival might be a great idea. Here are some of the items I recommend grabbing beforehand.
- Candy Canes
- Marshmallows (both standard-size and mini marshmallows)
- Roll of toilet paper
- Hot Chocolate or Hot Cocoa
- Chocolate chips
- Sugar and or flour
- Gingerbread House
If you are going to get really creative then I would add some toy cars, a little gift, and some elf on the shelf clothes.
Remember the goal is to have fun! We hope you enjoy this fun family tradition as much as we do! Merry Christmas!
Other Christmas Fun You'll Enjoy
- Kids' Ugly Christmas Sweater Craft
- Christmas Stocking Coloring Page
- Free Printable Christmas Coloring Pages
- Mickey Mouse Ornaments
- Rainbow Nutcrackers
Download Free Printable Elf on the Shelf Ideas
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