106 easy & funny Elf on the Shelf ideas you HAVE to try (2024)

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From peeing in the snow to hiding in the cutlery drawer, there are lots of easy funny things to do with Elf on the Shelf that will make your kids LOL.

Scroll down past all of our Elf on the Shelf ideas to find out more about this fun and modern Christmas tradition – including where it came from, what kids' ages it's suitable for, tips, rules and answers to some of your questions!

1. Elf having a picnic

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Flying back to the North Pole each night is hungry work.

Give your Elf a picnic – like this mini hot dog – to enjoy. Use a mini co*cktail sausage or any of your child's play food if you have it.

2. Elf with a piñata

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It's piñata time! Just make sure your Elf doesn't eat all the sweets ...

Want to check if your kids are being naughty or nice this Christmas? Scatter some of the treats from the piñata around the elf for your kids to steal.

Don't forget to tell them the elf is always watching - and that there might be a a tasty surprise in the evening if they've been good and the treats are still there.

Try one of our Christmas baking recipes for a yummy treat to enjoy with a hot chocolate drink.

3. Elf yoga

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All that flying back and forth to the North Pole is tiring work. Help your Elf relax with some yoga.

Get the kids involved! Practicing yoga and breathing exercises are a great way to relieve some of their pent-up excitement from the build-up to Christmas. Plus, it's fun to try and replicate some of the yoga poses and will keep the kids occupied for a while.

See our fun and easy mindfulness activities for kids too!

4. Taco time

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Anyone fancy Tacos for dinner? Wrap your Elf on a Shelf up in a tortilla for this cute taco hiding place.

Just make sure to point them out before anyone takes a bite!

We've got some delicious Taco recipes for both meat-eating and veggie families. Don't worry – none of the recipes have "elves' in the ingredients list.

5. Toothbrush Elf

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Watch out for your toothbrush. You never know WHERE it might have been!

Make sure you have spare toothbrushes for this one, or your kids may use it as an excuse to skip brushing their pearly whites.

We suggest getting some fun Christmas-themed toothbrushes as replacements.

Don't forget to remind the kids that the Elf is always watching to see if they're being naughty or nice, so they had better be good and brush their teeth well!

6. Spiderman Elf

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Make a tiny Spiderman mask, stick it on your upside-down Elf and voilà.

This is a fun one for any fans of Spiderman and other superheroes. You can get creative about where you hang your Elf too...

Here are some ideas:
– above your kids' beds
– on the back of the toilet door
– Inside the fridge
– dangling from the car mirror
– Inside the kids' wardrobe

7. Fun in the ball pit

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That box of Christmas decorations makes a fabulous Elf ball pool.

Make it even more fun by telling the kids to pass you the baubles one-by-one – WITHOUT touching the Elf – while you decorate the Christmas tree!

We all know that Elves lose their magic if you touch them. If one of your kids accidentally does touch the Elf, don't worry... at the end of this article you'll find a few sneaky tricks to restore your Elf's magic so that they can fly back to the North Pole and continue to report to Santa!

Check out our ideas for homemade Christmas tree decorations if you're feeling creative this year.

8. Elf in trouble

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Watch out, not all your kid's toys might be quite so friendly to Santa's Little Helper!

You can have loads of fun throughout the month of December setting up hilarious scenarios with your kids' toys.

It's the perfect opportunity for your kids to get to know their toys better, sparking their imaginations for new games and breathing life into old toys they may have forgotten about!

9. Mistletoe Elf

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Everyone loves a bit of mistletoe at Christmas, and your Elf on the Shelf is no exception.

Set up your Elf with another toy under a bundle of mistletoe to spread the love this Xmas.

You could even make this one a bit of a running theme, and let your kids catch the Elf out as he dates every single one of their Barbies... What a Christmas scandal!

10. Elf in the cutlery drawer

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If your Elf has gone missing, make sure to check your cutlery drawer. He may be hiding in there.

For even more fun and drama, spread your Elf out over all the cutlery and make your kids eat dinner with their fingers for an evening!

We suggest making sure that you prepare a finger-food friendly supper. We've got some finger food ideas for toddlers.

Here are some ideas and recipes for your older kids:
homemade pizza for kids
spicy sweet potato wedges
nachos
toasted sandwiches
curries for kids (eat with pittas)

11. Arty Elf

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Your Elf is just as bad with marker pens as your child. Note to self: never leave him alone with a pen, ever again.

If you've got glass-framed photos of family and friends displayed all around your house, then using wipeable markers to Draw funny faces on them all will have your kids in hysterics.

You could even have a Christmas theme...
– elves
– santas
– reindeers
– snowmen
– the grinch

12. Fun in the hot tub

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If your Elf has got themselves a couple of Barbie or Action Man friends, why not make them a little hot tub?

This is another great idea for involving some of your kids' forgotten old toys. You can also use small teddies or figurines.

We recommend setting the scene up in the bathroom for your kids to discover when they go for a shower or brush their teeth in the morning!

13. Farting Elf

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Whatever you do, don't open the lid. Ewww.

For a giggle get the kids to guess what an Elf's farts smell like... Ho ho ho!

Here are some ideas:

– smelly Christmas stockings
– reindeer poop
– Santa's morning breath
– Elves' armpits
– rotten mince pies

14. Party time

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Because even Elves love to party ... especially at Christmas.

Have your elf host a party and invite all your kids' toys. It's the perfect excuse to play dress-up with the dolls while the kids are sleeping. (We know you don't need an excuse normally!)

15. Tabasco Elf

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If you notice a slight orange tinge to your toothbrush, we suggest you avoid it. Those Elves love a bit of Tabasco ...

This could be a naughty trick one elf plays on the other in order to get the kids into fits of giggles and ho ho ho's!

Any condiment your Elf can carry will do. And if you're feeling kind, or want to trick the kids, go for something yummy like Nutella, peanut butter, honey or jam (just be sure to have a spare toothbrush ready when it's time to actually clean their teeth)!

16. Wrecking Ball Elf

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Inspired by the one and only Miley Cyrus. Simply cover a bauble in tin foil and you've got your very own wrecking ball.

Where to hang it:
– On the tree
– on a door knob
– in the car
– from the light
– in the window

17. Peeing Elf

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You can make your Elf pee in the snow with a little bit of yellow string and a yellow pen.

Totally gross, but your kids will find it VERY funny ...

Nobody will ever be able to look at those cute little Elves in the same way again!

18. Makeover Elf

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Look at those lashes! It's amazing what a little bit of mascara can do for an Elf ...

The Elves may have to steal a mascara from your teen daughter's makeup kit for this one. Her highly rehearsed objections will leave the little ones squealing in delight in the morning!

If there's no teen in your household, you may have to sacrifice your own makeup. Or to make it even funnier, do the grown-ups eyelashes and prop the Elf up on your bedside table. The kids will be in hysterics at the breakfast table.

19. Bookshelf Elf

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A spot of Christmas reading perhaps? Or is he picking a good Christmas book for the children to read?

Elves know all the best Christmas stories, so whichever book your Elf is pointing at must be the best choice for a bedtime story!

20. Snoozy Elf

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After a busy day of mischief, your Elf will want to snuggle up somewhere cosy with a bedtime toy. Zzzzzz!

Make sure you position your Elf at the other end of your kid's bed though, to make sure there's no touching! Don't forget that when a child touches an Elf they lose their magic!

Luckily we have those tips on how to get your Elf's magic back, because accidents always happens, and we don't want any tears at Christmas.

Brush up on all the other important Elf on a shelf rules

21. Peek-a-boo Elf

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Some days you might just find your Elf hiding among the other toys ...

Elves can be mischievous little devils, it's true, but they're also tiny kids at heart, and they love to play with toys.

Get your kids to tidy their room and set up their toys neatly so that it's easier to see which toys the Elf played with in the night. (It's a great way to get them to keep their room tidy over Christmas! Ho ho ho)

Like that idea? Discover this mum's cunning trick to get her kids to tidy the house!

22. S'more fun

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Spot the Elf hanging out having marshmallow snacks with the Christmas angels.

Elves love to make friends. They also love to snack and make a bit of a mess!

Get your kids to 'tidy up' these marshmallows (yes they can eat them!) But NO TOUCHING THE ELF!!

23. Tinder Elf

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You might even catch your cheeky little Elf swiping through Tinder. Everybody needs someone to love!

There are loads of other things you can catch your Elf doing on someone's phone...

– posting a 'sELFie" to instagram
– chatting to other Elves online
– shopping on Amazon for baubles
– browsing Ebay for Christmas crackers
– messaging Santa with updates on how naughty or nice the kids are being...

24. Ready, set, go!

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It's fun to play races with the toy Santas and reindeer.

Remind the kids that everything with a face comes alive at night. Yes, even Henry the Hoover and your kid's Hello Kitty mug!

What else will they find interacting with your sociable little Elf?

25. Elf's been wonder-webbed

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Spiderman's just showing off ...

Your kids may want to save the Elf... But they can't! NO TOUCHING – it's the rules!

Explain that Spiderman's the good guy, and that the Elf must have been doing something terrible for the superhero to go to such extreme measures to calm him down.

26. A spot of exercise

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Pole dance, anyone?

Your Elf has some moves!

27. Masterchef Elf

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What's for tea, Elf on the Shelf? Carbonara, stew, or perhaps reindeer food? Needs to be something Elfy!

Have your Elf point out a yummy recipe to inspire a festive dinner for the kids after school...

Or prop the Elf up with your laptop open on a Netmums Recipe page like this one –The best Christmas baking recipes to try this year!

28. Anyone for pudding?

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This Elf has a very sweet tooth!

With the Elf guarding the maple syrup you might have to negotiate some healthy breakfast toppings for your kids' porridge this morning!

It's the perfect opportunity to introduce the kids to something new for breakfast. Stuck for ideas? No problem, because we've got loads:

breakfast smoothies - so many flavours
overnight oats - check out all the optionseggy breakfast recipes - eggy bread is a great one!
veggie and vegan breakfast ideas
other healthy breakfast recipes for kids

29. Nearly time for bed ...

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Brush your teeth, little Elf.

Elves seem to love toothbrushes – whether it's playing naughty tricks or leaving cute messages in toothpaste.

Here are some message ideas:
– Be good!
– Love you
– Ho ho ho!
– Be nice
– 5 more sleeps...

30. Cheeky Elf

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This little Elf is playing Scrooge! Or maybe he's protecting the kids from temptation... those gold coins do look very tempting...

Tip: You could sneak a few chocolate coins into your kids' lunch boxes or pockets with a note from the Elf rewarding them for their good behaviour and reassuring them that he's reporting the good news back to Santa!

So cute.

31. Music Elf

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Can't find your headphones? Make sure your Elf hasn't stolen them.

These pesky Elves do love to kick back and listen to some festive tunes as Christmas gets nearer. Why not play some Christmas songs in the house? You might get your headphones back!

We have the lyrics to the most popular Christmas sing-along songs for kids – they can put on a show for your little Elf to stop him getting bored during the day.

32. Toilet roll hammock

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If your Elf is feeling sleepy, build them their very own hammock using just loo roll.

Position him near the window so he can watch the world go by and also look out for the kids when they return home from school.

Don't forget to constantly remind your kids that these little Elves are always on the lookout making sure they are behaving themselves!

33. Flower pot fun

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Disguise your little Elf as a flower by putting a piece of cardboard around their neck and sitting them in a plant pot.

This is a super cute idea that'll delight the little ones.

A fun way to start off your Elf on the shelf shenanigans could be to "plant" a seed in the pot the night before in order to "grow" an Elf overnight!

Discover more Elf on the Shelf arrival ideas.

34. Photo time

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CHEESE! Who knew your Elf was a budding photographer?

Well, Elves do have many talents.

Amp up the fun-factor by creating your own Elf on the Shelf instagram account and posting all their random pics throughout December.

Yes, it'll take some extra time and effort on your part, but your kids will have so much fun seeing what the Elf posts next. We suggest taking all the pics in a batch ahead of time and then scheduling them for posting to make your life easier.

35. Tight squeeze

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Squeeze your little Elf into a glass and turn it upside down to make it look like they're trapped.

Your kids won't know whether to laugh or panic when they see the 'HELP' sign. But remember...

NO TOUCHING THE ELF!

36. Climbing Elf

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Christmas bows really are multi-purpose. Use them as 'rocks' for your climbing Elf.

Well, Elves need to find ways to entertain themselves while the kids are at school, after all!

37. Photocopier Elf

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Got a home office? If you have a cheeky little Elf on your hands, stick them in the photocopier and let them make a few copies.

Put them in different positions to make it even funnier, and stick the copies all over the house to remind the kids that the Elf sees all!

38. Time for tea

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Your Elf on the Shelf can even fit into a teapot.

Maybe avoid popping him in the main kettle though?

39. Selfie Elfie

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Don't forget to post on Instagram using the hashtag #Elfontheshelf.

Here are some awesome sELFie ideas:
– causing mischief
– looking adorable
– being a cutie
– acting suspicious
– chilling out
– looking cool
– sleeping on the job

40. Mmmm, Nutella

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For all the Nutella lovers out there, watch your Elf doesn't make his way to your jar!

(Try to avoid getting Nutella on the fabric, as it can be a pain to clean off – or just get a back-up Elf in case of a chocolatey disaster.)

41. Shaving Elf

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Well, your Elf wants to look their best for all those trips back to see Santa at the North Pole – not to mention all the dates with Barbie!

42. Playing in the Christmas tree

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Elves are big fans of hiding in Christmas trees.

This particular Elf has decided he likes to swing on the baubles!

Here are some other fun ways you can hide your Elf in the tree:
– Give him a piggy-back ride on the Angel at the top of the tree
– Make him hold on to a branch with one hand for dear life!
– Give him a cinnamon stick to ring the bells with
– Have him ride a star
– Hide him in a mini fort made of prezzies under the tree
– Get him all tangled up in Christmas lights
– Position him so it looks like he landed in the tree head first!

The last is a great one for his arrival on the 1st December Here are some more Elf on the Shelf arrival ideas

43. Advent Elf

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Cheeky Elf – he's only gone and opened the Advent calendar early!

(We think the chocolate around his mouth is a giveaway.)

To avoid disappointment and tears, it might be a good idea to have an alternative chocolate treat ready in the cupboard to replace the stolen one.

And maybe try to explain to the kids that he must have been starving to do something that naughty! Otherwise, they might wonder what kind of example he's setting whilst watching out for whether they are being naughty or nice leading up to Christmas Day! (Kids sniff out injustice, like they can sniff out chocolate!)

If your kids dealt with stolen calendar chocolates last year, they might be worried about it happening again this year. So here are some non-food kids' advent calendars – just in case you want to avoid the drama.

44. Time for presents

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Look who's opened a Christmas gift early. Forget about the children, it's your Elf on the Shelf who REALLY can't wait to open presents.

If the kids are worried the Elf might open one of their Christmas presents get them to sprinkle a tiny bit of biodegradable glitter over them – it's the only way to prevent Elf-related theft.

Okay, we might have made that one up, but they don't know that! Check out the more official Elf on the Shelf rules.

45. Check your shoes

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If you're missing a pair of shoes, they might now belong to an Elf.

We think this would make a great sELFie to post on Instagram too!

For added fun factor put talc on the bottom of the shoes and walk around the house to make footprints so your kids can see where the Elf has been.

Evidence of Elf activity is truly exciting for the little ones! You can even get them to help hoover up the mess.

46. Snow angel Elf

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Scatter some sugar or salt on a surface and let your little Elf create their own snow angel.

It makes the cutest sELFie for Instagram.

47. Train driver

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Use any toy cars you may have lying around and attach the Elf as if they're driving.

Maybe they can pick up other toys along the way? Position in in different places around the house and add Teddie and dolls throughout the day to amp-up the magical vibes.

The kids will love discovering where the Elf has been while they are at school, going to the loo, having a bath etc.

48. Coffee time

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It's thirsty work being an Elf, so watch out for your coffee machine.

And remember – an Elf on caffeine is even more crazy and mischievous – so you might have to come up with some really cheeky set-ups for the next day!

Ideas for a hyper Elf:
– abseiling down walls
– hanging upside down in doorways
– throwing raves with all the Barbies
– Setting up a 'Fight Club" with the Action Men
– Raiding the fridge at night

49. Ready for an Elf close-up

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You may just wake up one morning to your little Elf friend checking themselves out in your mirror.

Maybe they have a crush on someone and they're trying to make a good impression?

Or maybe they're feeling lonely and missing Santa, and they thought talking to their own reflection would keep them company? Get the kids to tell the Elf a Christmas story tonight to cheer him up!

50. Sticker fun

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We all know how dangerous kids can be with a pack of stickers. Elves are just as bad, clearly! They can't resist stickers, especially Christmas-themed ones!

In fact, your kids might have to go searching the house to find out where else the Elf has been having fun with stickers!

Tell them to look for stickers as clues to find out where the Elf has been hanging out throughout the night. They might find stickers in some random places, like...

– on the fridge door and all over the milk bottle
– on their toy box and all over their toys
– all over their school bag and on their pencil case
– all around the hamster cage
– on the TV and the TV remote

51. Bedtime Elf

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Tuck your little Elf into bed in their very own sock sleeping bag – complete with a teeny-tiny little eye mask.

This is the sign of a very pooped Elf! Because causing trouble AND keeping an eye on the kids' behaviour to report back to Santa is hard work!

Maybe your Elf is taking the weekend off? It's a good opportunity for the adults to have a break from all the Elf drama too!

52. Make an Elf swing

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Swing into December with this super-easy loo roll Elf swing. This makes for a great Elf arrival on 1 December.

Where to hang your Elf swing:
– in the doorway to the kids' room
– hanging from the front door letterbox
– In the fireplace (when it's not lit of course)
– In the window
– on the Christmas tree

53. Cereal messages

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Use your child's cereal to spell out a message from your Elf on the Shelf. Reminders to be good are always useful, especially if the kids are being challenging..

Here are some more ideas:
– Santa's watching
– be nice
– be kind
– have fun
– enjoy your day

You can also make hearts, stars and smiley faces instead.

54. Elf on an apple caterpillar

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Does your child love The Very Hungry Caterpillar? Recreate your own at home by lining up some apples for your Elf to ride on.

We love this idea, and think you should definitely capture a sELFie for Instagram! It's a great reminder for your kids to get in their 5-a-day!

Other round fruits work well too – clementines, kiwi fruit etc.

55. Toilet roll tree

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Santa's little helper gets up to all sorts of mischief ... even 'decorating' your Christmas tree with toilet roll!

Fun extra laughs, replace the toilet paper on the roll in the bathroom with tinsel – Ho ho ho!

56. Elf arrival

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Make your Elf's arrival at the start of Advent go with a bang with these cute 'I'm back' balloons.

More ideas this way!

57. Elf in a marshmallow bath

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Fill your bathroom sink with marshmallows ready for your Elf on the Shelf to take a bath.

(Although make sure your child doesn't eat any if they're under the age of five, as marshmallows can be a choking hazard.)

58. Bubblegum Elf

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Attach a balloon to your Elf's face and pretend they're blowing bubblegum bubbles.

It's another awesome sELFie for Instagram!

59. Duplo house

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Get creative with your child's Duplo and build your Elf on the Shelf their very own house – how cute!

Maybe it'll spark your kids' imaginations and they'll spend the weekend making other things for your Elf to enjoy, rather than complaining that they're bored? Win!

60. Attack of the Grinch

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Uh oh, the Grinch has arrived to take any Christmas cheer.

Maybe after today the Grinch and the Elf team up to create more havoc leading up to Christmas? Double trouble...

Suddenly find yourself in the mood for a Christmassy family movie night? Check our the best Christmas family films for 2022

61. Dinner time

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Get your Elf to lend a hand around the house by helping to cook dinner.

Just be careful you don't put them too close to any naked flames or other heat sources as they could catch fire.

62. Scary Elf

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This Elf clearly doesn't like carrots!

Christmas could turn into a horror movie... Did your kids name the Elf 'Chucky" this year?

Big mistake!

63. Elf on a mission

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Create a zipwire for your Elf ready for their Christmas mission ... This could be another great Elf on the Shelf arrival idea!

64. Find the hidden treat

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Get your kids to find the mini prize hidden by your Elf under one of the cups.

Ideas for mini prizes:
– yoghurt-coated raisins (for toddlers over 1 year)
– popcorn (not for under-fives)
– grapes (cut lengthways for under-fives, and be careful about pets)
– chocolates from the chocolate box
– Babybel cheese
– mini flapjack

65. Toilet roll snowman

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Your Elf has been busy making a toilet roll snowman.

It's sELFie time!

66. Walkies

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All you need is some pipe cleaners or ribbon and a few toy dogs or other animals for this cute Elf on the Shelf idea.

How thoughtful of your Elf to take all the pets for a walk!

67. Elf mail

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Pop your Elf in an envelope ready for their magical elf mail arrival on 1 December.

Check out more Elf on the Shelf arrival ideas.

68. Busy bakers

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Got more than one Elf? Why not let them bake some festive mince pies?

Two Elves are always better than one... but don't forget that you'll also get twice as much mess and mischief!

69. Jenga Elf

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This Elf has been busy building a Jenga tower.

Who wants to play?

Other games your Elf might like to play:
– Operation - Eek!
– Chess (play an ongoing game between the Elf and the kids and see who wins before Christmas arrives!)
– Mini bowling
– A Christmassy jigsaw puzzle
– Scrabble (with Christmassy words only!)

70. Boo

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Does your child refuse to get dressed in the morning? They might change their mind if Elf on the Shelf is hiding in their wardrobe and taking notes!

Elves are the best way to get your kids to behave well leading up to Christmas, so take advantage of the opportunities!

Get your kids to:
– brush their teeth well
–shower thoroughly
– eat all their dinner
– stop bickering over the remote
– go to bed without complaining

71. Banana swing

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All you need is some string, a banana ... and an Elf with good balance!

If you have two Elves they might even be great trapeze artists, so get adventurous with your swinging poses!

72. Snowball fight

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This cheeky Elf is ready for a snowball fight. Who will win?

(Bonus points if it actually snows and you try this in the garden!)

Obviously the Elf will win because nobody is allowed touch the Elf or it'll lose it's magic! What a little cheater.

73. Break time

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Phew, it's thirsty work being one of Santa's Little Helpers.

Invite the kids to join in with a plate of Christmas cookies and they can tell the Elves all about their day at school. The Elves are great listeners!

74. Elf with the remote

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No chance of watching your programmes today: your Elf on the Shelf has picked the Christmas channel ... which may not be the worst thing to happen.

Who doesn't love a good old Christmas movie?

75. Joker Elf

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Elves love joking around, and this one is no exception!

This'll be a popular one for the kids who love anything a bit rude and naughty.

76. Making magical dust

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Does your child ask how Santa's reindeer fly or how the Elf gets back to the North Pole? Have your Elf make some magical dust to prove that magic IS real ...

(All you need are oats and edible glitter.)

77. Crafty Elf

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This Elf has been busy with the Hama beads to create an elf portrait ... Elves are VERY artistic, didn't you know?

Just a little something for the kids to remember him by!

You can make it into a Christmas tree decoration and hang it on the tree as a memory.

Find more homemade Christmas tree decoration ideas.

78. Funny eggs

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Your kids will love the funny faces your Elf has drawn on these eggs.

They might not want you to crack them for breakfast though...

Cereal anyone?

Check out the best Christmas breakfast ideas and recipes in preparation for the big day!

79. Eww, reindeer poo

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Totally gross, but your kids are guaranteed to love it!

A glass of orange juice might make a convincing bucket of reindeer pee if you want to go all the way!

The things you'll do for the kids eh?

80. Elf melting a snowman

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This Elf has been up to no good and has melted a snowman with your hairdryer!

Fans of 'The Snowman' might find this to be quite devastating though, so this could make or break the relationship between this year's Elf and the kids.

81. Painting Elf

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Looking for snow day ideas with your kids? This Elf has got you covered with a craft activity.

What fun!

Discover more Christmas craft ideas to make with your kids...

82. Pin the nose on the snowman

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Everyone loves Christmas party games ... including your Elf on the Shelf.

Other Christmassy 'Pin the nose on the..." ideas:
– Pin the antlers on the reindeer
– Pin the beard on the Santa
– Pin the fairy on top of the Christmas tree
– Pin the wreath on the door
– Pin the bow on the present

83. Fun in the sun

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After all that flying back and forth to the North Pole, your Elf will love a day relaxing on a (home-made) beach.

Everyone deserves a holiday!

84. Spa Elf

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A day at the spa is just what every Elf needs after a hard year of work.

Don't forget to give your Elf two little cucumber pieces for their eyes.

85. Chilly Elf

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Make sure you check the inside of your fridge for a sleeping Elf. They really can get into any tiny space ...

Also check:
– the freezer (Elves feel most at home in icy surroundings)
– inside tupperwear (Elves are quite greedy)
– in the crisper (They'll be checking you've got enough carrots for Rudolf!)

86. Ketchup Elf

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Just when you thought no one could possibly like tomato ketchup more than your kids ...

Clearly ketchup is more fun to make a mess with than to eat – Your Elf has been observing your toddler, no doubt!

87. Pizza Fridays

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Yep, Elves like pizza just as much as we do ...

Especially cheesy crusts – get your kids to eat their crusts before the Elf gets hold of them with these healthy dip recipes!

88. Toilet prank

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Hmmm, Santa's little helper isn't being QUITE so helpful after covering this toilet in Christmas wrapping paper.

(Or try the sink if you're worried about your child having an accident.)

89. Poker Elf

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The stakes are high in this Elf poker game ... look how many chocolate coins the toys are betting!

90. Fun with fruit

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All you need is a bowl of fruit, a marker pen and a creative Elf.

For added fun use sticky notes cut into speech bubbles and write funny quotes like:
– Don't eat me!
– I'm rotten to the core
– Beware the maggots
– Be my friend
– Eat the others first!

91. Weightlifting Elf

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This Elf loves squeezing in some gym sessions.

Elves have to be super-fit because it takes a lot of strength and muscle to stay still for long periods of time.

Kids don't believe you? Get them to test it! How long can they stand really still for? Try different poses for the over-confident kids.

92. Scary spiderman

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Something tells us Spiderman isn't a big fan of Elves ...

This means war! What will your Elf do tomorrow to get back at Spiderman?

We see this competitiveness lasting all month!

93. Sledging Elf

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Make a mini sledge and attach it to your bannister for this Elf sledging fun.

The kids might think the Elf has double standards seeing as they're not allowed to slide down the bannister, and the Elf is meant to be keeping check on their good behaviour.

If your kids are concerned the Elf isn't fulfilling his duties, they can write a letter to Santa to complain, and he might send another Elf to keep an eye on the first one!

94. Christmas scratchcards

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Is your Elf a winner? Or is this scratch card an early Christmas gift from Santa to to the family?

If the card hasn't been scratched yet you might have a challenge trying to prise it away from the Elf without touching him!

95. Elf and friends

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Awww, a hug for Papa Smurf!

Elves love to catch up with old friends, so dig out any gnomes, fairies, pixies and other fairytale soft toys your kids have in their toy box and set up a reunion.

96. Washing up Elf

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Now this Elf is SUPER helpful. He can definitely come back next year!

Yes, Elves can be handy as well as mischievous. maybe you should have a word with your Elf about all the other chores you need help with in the house.

And tell the kids that if the Elf sees them helping out with chores too, he'll probably put a good word in with Santa.

You gotta work every angle!

97. Toy Story snowball fight

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Line up some sugar cubes or marshmallows and let your Elf and Toy Story's Woody (or any other toys you have) battle it out.

If you've got a big family and it's snowing, spilt the family into 'Team Elf' and 'Team Woody' for the ultimate snow-war and take it outside!

98. Rice Krispies Elf

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Such a genius idea — will your kids spot your Elf on the Shelf?

This is a sneaky one! They might not find the Elf until they pour their breakfast cereal! Be careful – no touching!

99. Shoe train

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All aboard the 'shoe-shoe' train, driven by your Elf of course.

The kids' toys have been on a trip in the night all the way to the North Pole to see Santa – don't forget to spray some fake snow on the boots to prove it!

100. Pop star Elf

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Create a stage from an old cardboard box and let your Elf have their moment to shine...

That little Elf has talent! What a fun Christmas Eve finale.

101. Elf trapped in the TV

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Oh no! Your Elf's trapped in the TV! If only they'd stay there, eh?

Find out how to create this genius Elf on the Shelf idea here.

102. Loo roll Elf

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That pesky elf has swapped your loo roll for Christmas wrapping paper – Ouch!

If you saw one of our earlier slides you might know where he put the toilet paper...

(Hint: Check the Christmas tree!)

103. Bestie elves

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If you're a multi-elf household, create them a 'best friends' necklace so they can wear half each.

How adorable!

104. Fishing Elf

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What else would an Elf fish with but a candy cane with a mini (non-sharp) hook attached?

Don't forget to remind the kiddies that the Elf is always watching to 'catch' them out when they misbehave! Geddit?

105. Picture Elf

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It might take the kids a while to spot this one, but the Elf has only gone and turned all the pictures on the wall upside-down.

What a cheeky little Elf he is!

Whenever the Elf does something naughty say to the kids:
– "What is he?'
and get them to repeat as loudly as they can:
– 'He's a CHEEEEEEEKY little ELF, but we LOVE him!'

Awwww

106. Sweet delivery

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Overnight your Elf has replaced all the cutlery in the cutlery drawer with sweets. Candy for breakfast it is then!

Save this one till close to Christmas Eve or the kids'll expect sweets every day.

Have a magical Christmas!

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Looking for more ways to make the run-up to Christmas fun for your little one?

- Get even more Elf on the Shelf idea with these genius celeb masterpieces

- No December would be complete without an advent calendar! Check out our top picks for chocolate advent calendars and non-food advent calendars, or find out how to create a book advent calendar.

- Get Christmas Eve sorted with our Christmas Eve box ideas, or these fun family Christmas Eve traditions.

Ah, that naughty little elf! With 24 days of December before Christmas, it can be tricky to come up with a unique idea every single day. Never fear, we're here to help with more than 100 funny ideas to bring a smile to your kids' faces.

Not got an elf yet? We like this one that comes with a story book too! See more details at Amazon.

You can also buy cute props and clothes for your elf here at Etsy.

Whatever kind of vibe you're going for this year, we have ideas to match. Here are just a few examples:

Elf on the Shelf arrival ideas

  • An easy way to have your elf arrive is to pop them in an envelope, as if they've been mailed straight from the North Pole.
  • Or go all out and buy a helium balloon with the words 'I'm back!', for your Elf to drift in on.
  • Some Elves even bring an Advent calendar with them, to kick off all the festive celebrations on the first of December.

Naughty and rude Elf on the Shelf ideas

  • Pose your elf as if they're taking a bath... with your child's toothbrush as a scrubbing brush! Is that cheeky elf cleaning his bum?!
  • Oh no! Your Elf has somehow got hold of a washable marker and drawn moustaches, beards and devil horns on the glass fronts of framed family photos!
  • Tuck your Elf away in a large glass jar, along with a sign reading 'I farted in here! Wanna smell?'

Funny Elf on the Shelf ideas

  • Give your Elf on the Shelf a microphone and let them star in The Voice, with fellow toys to judge them.
  • Create a 'wrecking ball' by wrapping a Christmas bauble in tin foil and attaching a ribbon; then have your Elf come in like Miley Cyrus.
  • Have your Elf create an 'elf-portrait' – worth it for the pun alone!

Quick and easy Elf on the Shelf ideas

  • Wrap your Elf in a tortilla, with a little hole for their cheeky face to pop through.
  • Put all your Christmas baubles in one big box, et voila! A ball pit for your Elf to play in.
  • Recruit your other toys to create a fun tableau; they could be playing cards together, having a 'snowball' (marshmallow) fight, or even kissing under the mistletoe!

These are just the tip of the festive iceberg – scroll through our gallery above for a whopping 100+ ideas. That's more than four ideas for every day of Advent!

You can find even more ideas in this handy Elf on the Shelf chart, too. You'll be spoilt for choice!

Elf on the Shelf tips

What even is Elf on the Shelf?

This Christmas craze has been taking the nation by storm since the mid-2000s.

It all started with a story book written by mum-and-daughter team Carol Aebersold and Chanda Bell in 2004. The book described the adventures of a special 'scout' elf, who visits your home in December to keep an eye on kids and make sure they're being good for Santa.

You can find out more about Elf on the Shelf's backstory here.

Since then, it's gone on to be a real family favourite tradition, both in the UK and across the globe. The idea is that the Elf reports back to Santa every night (to tell him if your child has been naughty or nice), then comes back and sits in a new place each morning.

As the tradition grows, parents are always looking for funny ways to pose their Elf, for the kids to find each day.

These days, not only can you 'adopt' your very own Elf on the Shelf (in a range of skin colours, eye colours and genders), there are also hundreds of accessories to help you create the most inventive scenes.

Different parents have different approaches. Some like their Elf to be angelic, keeping an eye on the kids without getting into mischief themselves. To be fair, this might be the best way to get your Elf to encourage good behaviour in December. But it's not nearly as fun as helping your Elf get into all kinds of mischief!

What age is Elf on the Shelf for?

Officially, Elf on the Shelf products are for kids from 3 to 15. But in many homes, it starts earlier than this, and toddlers often love it from about the age of two.

How to do Elf on the Shelf

The idea is simple: on the last day of November, after the kids have gone to sleep, you pose the Elf somewhere in your home for the kids to find the next day.

When they ask about it, explain that this is one of Santa's little helpers, who's going to be hanging out with the family during December to make sure the kids are being good.

Each night, after the kids have gone to bed, simply move the Elf into a new position. The kids will be absolutely delighted to see what he's been up to (and you'll get some cracking Insta pics while you're at it!)

Elf on the Shelf rules

You may find it helpful to set some ground rules with your kids, to help your Elf on the Shelf fun go more smoothly. Here are the official rules:

  • No touching: If your child touches the Elf on the Shelf, he'll lose all his magic! If your child touches them by accident, the official site recommends that your child writes a note to Santa to say sorry, sprinkles a little cinnamon near them, and sings a Christmas carol; that should help them get their magic back! If the Elf falls down or gets in the way during the day, it's best to use tongs or gloves to move them, to be on the safe side.
  • No talking: Elves can't talk, but they make great listeners! Your child can share their secrets and wishes with the Elf whenever they like.
  • Time to go: The Elf has to go back to the North Pole on Christmas Eve to help Santa get ready for next Christmas.

Other 'rules' some parents like to include are:

  • The Elf only moves at night: that'll explain why your child never catches them in the act during the day, then! To avoid your child creeping down in the night to try to catch the Elf in the act, let them know that the Elf only moves when everyone's asleep.
  • Who doesn't like a welcome party? Kick things off in style and persuade the Elf to show up each year by throwing a mini party for them.
  • On very special occasions, such as your child's birthday, Santa might give the Elf special permission to come and visit for a day. Perhaps only if your child writes a very nice note, though!

Elf on the Shelf accessories

As you can see in our ideas above, you don't necessarily need any fancy accessories to create awesome scenes that your kids will love. But if you really want to go all out, there are plenty of Elf on the Shelf accessories available online, such as:

  • Dress-up sets: you could let your Elf be a mermaid, footballer or ballerina for the day.
  • Stencils and stickers: 'I'm back' stickers are a fun way to announce your Elf's arrival each year, while tiny footprints can show where your Elf has been each day.
  • Pets: getting your Elf their very own pet can only increase the mischief they can get into!
  • Games: from an inflatable unicorn to a candy-cane themed football goal and a mini four-in-a-row set, these Elf-sized games can be as fun for your kids as they are for the Elf!

There are loads of other random accessories too, from sleeping bags to shopping carts and sledges. And of course you can repurpose accessories designed for other toys, too.

Arrival and goodbye letters

A great way to kick things off at the start of December – or wind them down at the end – is with a short letter from the Elf to your child. There are loads of templates online that you can simply print off, or handwrite something yourself.

For an arrival letter, the Elf can explain how they're here to keep an eye on your little one and report back to Santa each night, with a little note about how much fun they're going to have together.

For a goodbye letter, the Elf can thank your child for all the fun they've had, reassure them that presents are on their way, and that the Elf will see them next year. Perhaps include a note about how it pays to be good all year long!

Elf on the Shelf name ideas

If you don't want to refer to your new buddy as 'Elf on the Shelf' every time, you might want to give them a name. Popular options include:

  • Snowie
  • Sugarplum
  • Buddy
  • Twinkle
  • Jingles
  • Trixie
  • Boots
  • Frosty
  • Pickles
  • Buttercup

Help! Our Elf forgot to move!

Ah, those naughty Elves! It's not always easy for them to remember to move into a new place every single night, and sometimes, they don't quite manage it. If your child's asking why your Elf hasn't moved, it could be one of these reasons:

  • they've found their favourite spot and didn't want to move
  • they can see you really well from that spot, so they stayed an extra day to check up on you
  • they're working on a super surprise and need more thinking time
  • they ate too many cookies and can't move
  • they thought it would be a funny trick to pick the same spot again

Will you be doing Elf on the Shelf this year? Why not share your creations and get inspired in our Coffeehouse forum? Or check out our articles below for even more tips:

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