For many families, the Christmas season is full of traditions. Elf on the Shelf is one classic tradition that is fun for parents and children alike! The children’s book ‘The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition” by Carol Aebersold and her daughter Chanda Bell comes with an elf doll. Children get to name their elf, and parents spent the Christmas season hiding it around the house. Now that you have your elf, it’s time to come up with lots of Elf on the shelf ideas!
Your kids will awake to find their elf friend suddenly in your home, source unknown. It is the Christmas magic that will help the elf move around the house when your kids are good, so this is a great idea to help with behavior.
The Elf on the Shelf is a very creative tradition to uphold, so here is the scoop on some fun ideas you can try in your home this holiday season! Enjoy all of these free elf on the shelf ideas!
1. A Christmas Countdown
This Elf on the Shelf Christmas countdown is super simple. All you need is toilet paper and a marker! Use the toilet paper and marker to make a banner and write the number of days left until Christmas. Set the elf on top and place the marker in their hands.
This is a super great way to kick off this Christmas tradition for the season on December 1st! If you have multiple elves, you can also have one Scout elf carry on this countdown the entire month in fun new creative places!
2. Card Game
To set this cute scene you will need playing cards, and some of your kids’ toys like a stuffed animal or a doll. Then you simply set up the toys like they are in the middle of playing cards! With so many easy ideas your choices are endless!
3. A Sneaky Tree Topper
This super cute idea is a fun spin on the traditional tree topper! Instead of just a star of angel, you can also place the elf atop your Christmas tree. This will be a fun surprise for kids because it will be unexpected! Keep reading for more funny elf ideas for this holiday season!
4. Construction Zone
This super cute idea is quick to set up! All that you need is some toy construction vehicles, some other toys to join your elf on the shelf doll, and some candy! Then you set the scene like the elf is helping out the other little guys at a construction site. So cute!
5. Elf Hospital
Moving your elf to a different place every night can be tough, but we are here to help! This next idea is both cute and also creative!
Making an elf hospital at home is super easy, all you need is a stuffed animal, bandaids, a play doctor set, face masks, and paper to make a sign! Also, a small desk organizer makes a great hospital bed!
6. Winter Wonderland
Creating an elf winter wonderland is super easy! All you need to do is make paper snowflakes, decorate the house with them, and then set up your elf with their own tiny scissors, snowflake, and paper scraps. This doll hair salon kit will have small scissors and a chair if you want to recreate the photos!
Even busy kids have time to make snowflakes!
7. Beach Day
8. The Elf Did It
For this idea, you will need some tape, toy cars and a toy city. Use the tape to create roads for the town and also parking spaces for the cars. Then, sit the elf somewhere nearby, holding the tape so it looks like they made the town. This idea is so creative and fun!
9. Elf Spa Day
For this simple idea, you will can use things like a hand towel, doll robe, toy bath accessories, marshmallows, and also a bowl to create a fun elf spa! Place the marshmallows and elf in the bowl so that it looks like the elf is in a bubble bath!
10. Snowball Fight!
This super cute idea is lots of fun because you can set up your very own North Pole in your house! You can add some new ideas to this style and arrange your elf and sugar cubes so that they are making snow angels!
11. Elf Workshop
Creating this adorable elf workshop is super easy! Just grab some fun holiday wrapping paper and then set up the elf at a small table with tiny scissors and a mini tape dispenser. This workshop is so cute!
12. Elf Concert
This easy elf can go to a super fun concert in no time! You can have your elf playing a guitar and singing into a microphone for their very own concert! Also, their adoring fans can hold signs made of sticky notes. This easy scene is so creative and fun.
13. Gingerbread Houses
This adorable Elf on the Shelf idea involves another fun holiday tradition! Make a gingerbread house with your kids, so the next morning they find their elf made one too! This gingerbread house 2-pack will be perfect! Add some festive decorations with delicious icing and holiday sprinkles.
This idea is sure to be a hit with your new elf and kids!
14. Christmas Workshop
Another cute countdown idea for the Elf on the Shelf! You just need some nails, wood, and a hammer. Use the nails and wood to write out how many days left until Christmas, and then pose your elf with the hammer!
Here Max the elf is working hard on making toys for everyone on the nice list and your elf can do the same!
15. In a One-Horse Open Sleigh
This great idea is so festive and fun!
16. Hanging Around
Even if you enjoy frugal coupon living you can easily add your elf to your Christmas tree without spending lots of money on props!
17. Flying Through the Sky
18. A New Hero
19. Camp Out
For cute outdoor scene, set up your elf for camp out! With a tent set and some outdoor seating, your elf can have a nice camp fire with their elf pets! If you have a sleeping bag for dolls you can also add it to the party!
20. Motorcycle Ride
21. Army Elf
22. Do You Want to Build A Snowman?
23. Don’t Feed the Dinosaurs
Take Christmas to the Jurassic period! With some toy dinosaurs and marshmallows, your sneaky little elf will be up to mischief in no time! Make a sign saying, “Pleas don’t feed the dinosaurs” but also have your elf tossing them food!
24. Snow Friends
This cute elf idea is easy and delicious, so your children can enjoy a holiday treat! You’ll need some small donuts, mints, pretzel sticks, marshmallows, mini chocolate chips, fruit rolls, and also gum drops. Build your snowmen and sit your scout elves between their new friends. So cute!
25. Art Time
Your elf can create beautiful artwork in this cute idea! Use a doll paint set for props, and then make use your own creativity to make the elf’s art. This idea can be fun for parents also!
26. Fun on the Farm
To create this adorable scene, have your Elf on the Shelf ride horses with Barbie. They can ride around the toy farm and also check on their animals. If you have little kids you can easily customize this idea to fit with their favorite playset!
27. High Sea Adventure
Ahoy! If you want your elf to be a real pirate sailing the seas, they will need a pirate ship! You can also hide your kids’ favorite Christmas movies in a treasure chest, along with some gold coins. Everyone will love finding this holiday treasure!
29. Candy Creativity
30. Kissing Booth
Get in line! This adorable elf kissing booth is so sweet and also simple! With this printable elf kissing booth, you can set up in no time. Add some Barbie dolls and also Hershey’s Kisses to complete this fun idea!
The printable is from Living Locurto and you can find more ideas fromHome Stories A to Z
31. PEZ Pals
Many of us have accumulated quite a collection of PEZ over the years, so now is the time to use them! Get out all of your PEZ dispensers and also some extra PEZ candy so you can create this super tasty countdown! Write out how many days until Christmas with the candy, and then sit your elf in the middle!
Kids will love the candy around time of year!
32. Christmas Cookies
33. Christmas Egg Hunt
This next idea is also so fun and interactive! Grab some eggs, candy, and baskets and set up an egg hunt around your house! You can also use craft felt to make bunny ears and a tail for your Elf on the Shelf.
34. Sushi Bar
35. Magic Kitchen
This extra magical idea is so sweet and so fun! It will also take some time. Set up your elf in a toy kitchen. Set up a bowl and spoon, and also a watering can with water dyed with food coloring. Also set out sugar and mints in a small bag labeled “Magic Seeds.” Leave the directions telling your kids to mix the sugar and water in a bowl and then plant the magic seeds,
Also, if you want to use homemade cookies, yummy kinds like a peanut blossom or chocolate chip will be great!
Dunk your cookies in hot coco like in this Elf mug from picklehead soup!
36. Lego Party
Another simple idea, you can easily set up some Legos and make a place for your elf to sit. You can also be as creative as you want, so you could use the Legos to spell out the elf’s name!
37. Up and Away
Your mischievous elf will have so much fun! With this balloon kit, you can easily make this fun idea come to life. Put your elf on the Shelf in a cute box, tie the balloons to it, and up it goes!
38. Decorating For Christmas
Have your elf decorate for Christmas with their very own tree and ornaments! You can also use craft felt to make little stockings like the ones in the photo! There are so many creative ideas but this is one of our favorites!
39. On the Runway
40. One Big Snowman
Make an entire door into one big snowman! You can do this using construction paper, and then give your elf scissors and place them nearby so they look sneaky. This is also a fun decoration that can stay up all season!
41. Hanging Out
42. Photo Booth
Capture some fun holiday memories with an elf photo booth! Set up your elf and friends in a box with photo props and a camera. You can also add some Christmas lights to make the booth more festive! Your elf can pretend they work for Nelly Cole Photography and take lots of pictures!
43. Back to School
44. Christmas at the Beach
Check out this super fun beach idea! With a surf board, some starfish, some beach toys, and a pineapple you have everything you need for a fun beach setting! You can also use construction paper to make the ocean waves. You can take your beach day to the next level with a Barbie pool too!
45. Candy Trail Countdown
This idea is another cute countdown to Christmas day! With some candy, you can lead a trail so when your kids follow it they will find the elf moving the candy with a bulldozer! Also use the candy to write out how many days are left until Christmas.
46. Out Shopping
Your Elf on the Shelf can have a fun day out shopping! With a store toy set your elf can pose with other dolls and look like they’re shopping!
47. A Little Angel
If you have family photos around, your elf can also join! Take a photo of your elf dressed as a Christmas angel like in New Mercies and frame it so they can pose with their photo. So cute!
48. Christmas Bakery
To set up this cute holiday baking scene, you can get delicious mini cupcakes! Also, you can have the elf hold a small whisk and bowl full of powdered sugar for decoration. This Elf on the Shelf idea is such a sweet treat!
The promise of cupcakes is sure to keep your kids on their best behavior.
49. Rainbow Loom Workshop
This next idea is pretty simple! Have your Elf on the Shelf sit at a table with Rainbow Loom supplies. Have a partially made bracelet in his hands and also place some rubber bands around so it looks like the elf is making jewelry!
50. Elfie Selfie
This next idea is so fun and so cute! Have your Elf on the Shelf take selfies with different toys or even pets, and then frame the selfies. You can also make a sign advertising a “Selfie With Your Favorite Elfie!” so you can take more photos and make more holiday memories!
51. Elf Mechanic
52. Fun On Skates
This Elf on the Shelf idea is fun and also festive! To make an elf-sized ice skating rink, lay down a mirror and decorate with some fake snow. You can use sparkling snow or pillow stuffing so cleanup is easy! Also, add some snowmen friends and paper snowflakes. Put some skates on your elf and use fishing line to help them stay up. Your holiday ice rink is complete!
53. Limbo Contest
54. Holiday Magic
It’s show time! For this magical idea, your elf will be a magician! Create a cape and hat out of craft felt, and use black tape to turn a pencil into a wand. You can also make Barbie levitate using fishing line!
55. Donation Station
This sweet idea is very cute and also a chance to teach children about giving back. With some wooden dowels, red paint, and a tiny bucket and bell you can recreate a the Salvation Army donation buckets. This will be fun for kids and also inspire them to help others.
56. A Day at the Zoo
This idea is so cute and so easy! Grab a few stuffed animals that might go in a zoo like a tiger, monkey, and elephant. Then, use storage baskets to make the zoo enclosures and have your Elf on the Shelf peeking out from inside the book, “Put Me in the Zoo” Not only is this idea cute, but it is also a change to read your kid a fun story!
58. Candy Countdown
With some red and green M&Ms you can make this fun countdown to Christmas Eve! Hide your elf on the red half so that it blends in and looks sneaky!
59. Holiday Hospital
60. Elf Olympics
Add some gymnastics to your Elf on the Shelf ideas. This is another idea that is easy and so cute! With some wooden dowels, make a set of elf-sized uneven bars so your elf can be a gymnast. Use some holiday wrapping paper to make it even more festive!
61. Elf Golf
With just a few materials you can recreate this adorable golf scene! Use craft felt for the green, mini candy canes as golf clubs, wooden dowels and gum drops as the flag, and also wrapping paper as the gold club bag. This idea is so cute!
This simple elf on the shelf game is a fun way to reward good behavior.
62. Hitting the Gym
63. Out of This World
Celebrate the festive season by sending your elf into orbit! Use construction paper, building blocks, geodes, and spaceship toys to make a cool outer space scene. You can also use fishing line to make your spaceships fly!
64. Tightrope Walker
65. Star Wars
You can make an entire months work of Elf on the Shelf ideas recreating Star Wars scenes!
66. Elf Drive-In
67. Snowman Party
You can also have your elf join many snowman friends! Use toilet paper and construction paper to make your elf into a snowman, then also include other snowman friends. Holiday wrapping paper will make a festive background and a cozy blanket and cotton balls will be perfect extra snow!
Fill this holiday season with Christmas magic by having your very own elf snowball fight!
68. Elf Treehouse
69. Pokemon Go
70. One Small Step for Elves
Elf on the Shelf lands on the moon! With some construction paper and an astronaut costume, your elf can also travel to space. You can also add a flag so the elf is just like Neil Armstrong! Make a big moon out of paper and you are all set!
71. A Festive Greeting
Your Elf on the Shelf is so sweet! Use a dry erase marker to leave your kids a sweet message on the bathroom mirror. You can also make a fun holiday costume out of construction paper so their reflection is in the holiday spirit!
72. Tasty Holiday Treat
Get ready for the big day with some yummy snacks. With help from your elf, this idea is sure to be delicious!
Make some treats from Rice Krispies and top them off with some Christmas decorations. You can also invite your favorite characters from “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and then make it a movie-night!
73. Rock Climbing
This idea is so much fun! With construction paper and sugar cubes, create a rock-wall and footholds for your elf to climb. Then use red yarn as a rope so that your elf is safe. They can even have a reindeer friend waiting for them at the top!
74. Pool Party!
It’s time for some summer fun, but make it Christmas! Build a diving board from from building blocks and have your elf jumping off! You can also fill a bowl with water and color it blue to make the pool. Suspend your elf mid-air with some fishing line to make it look extra neat! You can also invite Barbie and other friends to the pool party!
75. Candy Cane Flower
For this festive floral creation, use large green candy canes to form the stem and leaves of your flower. Then, use mini red candy canes to create the petals and sit your elf in the middle. This fun idea is so cute and so simple!
76. Christmas Vacation
Recreating your favorite holiday movies for your Elf on the Shelf ideas is a super fun way to bring in holiday cheer!
77. Hang Gliding
Who know elves can fly? Cut some cardboard into a triangle, cover it with Christmas wrapping paper and attach some wooden dowels to create a hang glider just for your elf so they can fly! Hang them from the ceiling with fishing line to add some extra magic!
78. Skate Park
79. Putting Up Some Lights
80. Oh So Magical
This idea is not only magical but also delicious! Make a cape and hat out of craft felt, and use black tape to make wand. Then, wrap a box in holiday paper, and use cardboard to make a ramp on either end. One side will have Fudge Stripes and the other will have Fudge Stripes Minis, so it is a magical shrinking machine!
Involving holiday treats is sure to make your Elf on the Shelf ideas a success!
81. Candy Creations
82. Under the Sea
83. Caught Green-Handed!
This is one of the most heroic Elf on the Shelf ideas on the list! With some white yarn, your little hero elf can catch the Grinch before he gets a chance to take your Christmas decoration. So much for the Grinch stealing Christmas!
Fine a good place for this mission impossible elf idea and your kids will love it a whole lot.
84. Dashing Through the Snow
Here is another idea that is so cute and also so delicious! With bottles of root beer, Mardi Gras beads, pom poms, pipe cleaners, and googly eyes make some reindeer! Also your elf can ride in a sleigh made of construction paper and craft sticks.
85. Christmas Workshop
86. In the Lab
87. Sundae Fun Day
This sundae idea is so sweet! Have your elf set out everyone’s favorite sundae dishes and toppings. Add toppings like whipped cream, caramel, hot fudge, and peanuts to make your favorite sundae. For a Christmas twist you can also add crushed candy cane!
88. Sewing Station
Next on the list of Elf on the Shelf ideas is this SEW adorable sewing scene! Have your elf sit at a mini sewing machine with a tape measure and some pins. You can also get tiny Christmas stockings so your elf has something to sew!
89. Pancake Party
Another delicious idea is to make pancakes! Have the elf sit with all of your children’s favorite pancake toppings like syrup, M&Ms, or chocolate chips so they know it’s going to be a tasty and festive morning!
90. Slumber Party
91. Ugly Sweater Party
92. Elf Basketball
93. Secret Mission
Next on the list of fun Elf on the Shelf ideas is this super cool spy idea. Have your elf drop-in like a secret agent! Use a carabiner clip hanging from fishing line to make this clever little repelling rope for your elf. It’s so cute!
94. Video Games
95. Volleyball Game
Set up a little volleyball net on a table so that your elf and their friends can have a game! Suspend a volleyball in the air with fishing line so it looks like they’re really playing! You can also build a stand out of Legos so that Polly Pockets can come and watch the game!
96. Matching Pajamas
Get your children some adorable Elf on the Shelf pajamas for boys and girls, but get an extra pair so you can make some accessories for your elf! For more info on how to make this idea come to life check out DIY Elf On The Shelf Matching Pajamas!
97. Climbing Around
Build a simple ladder out of Legos and have your elf of the shelf climb up it. This is another idea that is so simple but also super cute!
98. Cereal Surprise
Cut a hole in a box of Rice Krispies where one of the elves’ faces are. Then have your elf’s face popping out in its place. This idea is so cute and so clever, but it may take a minute for your kids to notice!
99. Streamer Surprise
Hiding your elf in this fun new spot will be exciting for you and your kids!
101. Elf Art Studio
Have your Elf on the Shelf sit atop an art easel so that they can show off all of their artwork! You can use pages from an Elf on the Shelf coloring book or printable elf notes but you can also make your own art!
There are lots of places to find free printables and free printable elf ideas to make your job easy! This is one of the cutest Elf on the Shelf ideas around!
102. Rudolph and Friends
103. Part of the Set
If you have a silverware tray, this elf idea is so easy! Lay your elf in one of the compartments of your tray, so when your kids open the drawer they will get a fun Christmas surprise!
104. Splashing Aroung
With so many creative ways to hide your elf, your kids will love it. Happy kids mean a happy mom!
105. All Bandaged Up
Oh no, looks like the Elf on the Shelf is hurt! To make them feel better, give them some bandages. The best part is that you can also add some extra holiday fun by using these holiday bandages!
For one of the more silly elves on the shelf ideas, give your elf their very own bathroom! Sit your elf in a stemless wine glass that will be their toilet and put a Hershey’s Kiss at the bottom. You can also have them reading a tiny book and holding toilet paper!
107. Hanging Around
108. Christmas Tree Decorating
Here is another super fun idea that is also delicious! Set up a tree decorating place for your kids and have your Elf on the Shelf join too! Use sugar cones and green icing to make Christmas trees and then decorate them with M&Ms and holiday sprinkles. Use baking cups to hold your ingredients and keep everything tidy!
109. Christmas Caroling
Here is another fun idea that is simple and so cute! With some empty soda cans, googly eyes, and a can of corn. Use construction paper to make the Santa hat and song book. This way your elf can sing with their friends!
110. On Dasher, on Dancer!
This idea is so easy and so cute! With a doll-sized chair and craft string, make a Santa Claus sleigh for your elf and reigns for a reindeer. You can also add a bag of toys by making one out of holiday wrapping paper! To complete the scene, use craft felt and some craft snow to make the perfect winter wonderland!
111. Heroes in a Half-Shell
Next on the list of Elf on the Shelf ideas is this cool idea.
Your Elf on the Shelf has some super friends! With a little bit of creativity, you can create an adorable scene for your elf!
This is another idea that is so easy and so fun! All you need is some green apples, some googly eyes, and also some balloons! Wrap the balloons around the apples and stick on googly eyes to create the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!
112. Reading is Fun!
Gather together all of your children’s favorite stuffed animals and then use pipe-cleaners to make them all reading glasses! You can also have them read your kids favorite story, or if you try this idea on December 24th they can ready “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.”
This is one of the more funny elf ideas for the holiday season!
113. Rainbow Magic
This elf idea is so fun and so delicious! All you need is a plate and some Skittles. Arrange the Skittles in rainbow order and then leave a note for your kids instructing them to just add warm water, and then they can watch a rainbow appear!
113. Holiday Glam
It’s makeover time! Your naughty elf got into the makeup with this fun Elf on the Shelf idea!
114. Dog Walking
115. Will Play For Tips
Let your elf show off their musical talent by giving them a toy guitar to play. For an extra cute element, you can also put some money into a glasses case with a sign saying, “Will play for tips.” This idea is so easy and so creative!
There are so many fun and cute Elf on the Shelf ideas! There were just a small snippet (or maybe a lot) of our favorites. Do you have any favorite Elf on the Shelf ideas? Let us know!
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