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 V. Aebersold and Chanda A. Bell comes with an elf doll. Children get to name their elf, and parents spent the Christmas season hiding it around the house.
If you want to start this fun tradition in your own house, you can shop here for boy and girl elves!
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!
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.
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!
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!
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 the elf, and some candy! Then you set the scene like the elf is helping out at a construction site. So cute!
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!
7. Beach Day
For a fun day at the beach, set the elf up with some beach toys. They can also join Barbie for a swim!
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!
This super fun concert can be set up 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!
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!
15. In a One-Horse Open Sleigh
To create this adorable idea you can simply place the elf in a toy sleigh. You can also decorate the area however you want like with Christmas trees or presents!
16. Hanging Around
Your Elf on the Shelf will look so cute dressed as an angel and hanging on the tree! All you will need is a wooden heart for the wings, and a doily for the outfit. It’s so simple and cute!
For some extra winter fun, make your elf build a snowman! You can make the snowman with some toilet paper, craft paper, and also a ribbon! This idea is so cute and so easy!
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!
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!
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
For this cute idea, you can set up your elf at a doll table with some delicious sushi! You can also make a fun little sign, and maybe even add your elf’s name, for example “Max’s 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,
The next day, use pastry sticks and some tasty holiday cookies to create the treat. You will stand the cookies on sticks up in the sugar mixture, so it looks as though the magic seeds grew overnight!
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 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!
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
This little swing is so cute! With some twine and some candy canes, you can make a fun swing for your elf to sit on with their friends!
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!
43. Back to School
You can set up an adorable classroom so your Elf on the Shelf can teach! With a cute classroom set and some animal students, your elf can teach all about how to spread Christmas cheer!
This idea is another cute countdown to Christmas! 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 and frame it so they can pose with their photo. So cute! You can use a foam heart for the wings and white fabric for the gown.
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!
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!
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
To create this fun Elf on the Shelf limbo contest, use building toys or Legos to create a limbo bar. You can also have other toys join in on the fun!
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!
For another fun army scenario, use place your Elf on the Shelf in an army play set. Dress them up like a soldier and use brown paper bags to create the mountains like in the photo!
58. Candy Countdown
With some red and green M&Ms you can make this fun countdown to Christmas! Hide your elf on the red half so that it blends in and looks sneaky!
59. Holiday Hospital
For a more Christmas-themed elf hospital, you can add a reindeer and elf hospital workers. Also give your elf a teddy bear to keep them company while they get better.
60. Elf Olympics
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!
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!
71. A Festive Greeting
Your Elf on the Shelf is so sweet! Use write-on wipe-off markers 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!
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!
Using delicious Rolos and Hershey’s Kisses, make some fun holiday shapes! Your elf and reindeer can also use the candy to write how many days are left until Christmas!
82. Under the Sea
Take Christmas underwater this year! With some fishing line, construction paper, fish, and fish tank decorations you can create an underwater fantasy for your Elf on the Shelf!
83. Caught Green-Handed!
The Elf on the Shelf is a Christmas hero! 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!
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
It’s time for an Elf on the Shelf slumber party! It looks like the elf is having a sleepover with soda, popcorn, candy, and a Christmas movie, so your kids can join also!
Dressing up your Elf on the Shelf in your favorite sports jersey is so cute! Add a ball and Santa can join also! This another idea that is so simple but so fun!
93. Secret Mission
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
Have your little elf sit in a chair made of Legos while holding a video game controller. Then use little toys to spell out their name. The result is so adorable!
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 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
Decorate your kids rooms with red and green streamers. Then, put the elf somewhere, like in this basketball hoop, where it will be obvious that the Elf on the Shelf is the decorator!
Set up your elf at a little table so they have a place to work with their cute tiny tools! They are very busy making Christmas presents!
This quick craft is so cute! Use construction paper to make a red and green chain that your elf can hang on! To make it extra sweet, have your elf hold some Dum Dums!
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!
Your Elf on the Shelf has some super friends! 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!
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! Put some false lashes on your elf and then have them sit with some eyeshadow and mascara. Since the holidays are a fun time to get dressed up, let your elf join in too!
114. Dog Walking
Your Elf on the Shelf is keeping so busy this season! With some pipe-cleaners for leashes and some puppy pals, your elf will make a great dog-walker!
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 few (or maybe a lot) of our favorites. Do you have any favorite Elf on the Shelf ideas? Let us know!