Lori Pickens

Elf on the Shelf tied up to a chair in underwear

Elf on the Shelf Ideas

Elf on the Shelf Ideas

As the holiday season approaches, one of our beloved customs that we eagerly anticipate is the tradition of Elf on the Shelf. For those not yet familiar with this joyous tradition, let me introduce you to it. Every year, Santa dispatches a Scout Elf to each family home. This elf’s mission? To keep an eye on the children’s behavior and report back to Santa. Each elf comes with a sweet book that explains its purpose to the children and allows them to bestow a name on their special visitor. In our household, our elf goes by the name of Elfie.

Now, let’s clear a common misconception: not all elves are mischievous or messy. As a busy mom, I certainly don’t need another little character adding to my cleaning duties. Our Elfie, in contrast, prefers to engage in delightful, fun activities or bring amusing surprises for the children, steering clear of any havoc-wreaking antics.

This year, I’m sharing a myriad of creative Elf on the Shelf ideas to help you keep the tradition fresh and exciting. From arranging an array of tree-shaped items for a mini Christmas tree farm, conducting a fun scavenger hunt with maps (and candy canes), to creating a humorous scene in the bathroom – the possibilities are endless! By keeping our Elf on the Shelf ideas fun, easy, and mess-free, we ensure that this tradition continues to add a little magic to our holiday season, without adding to the workload of busy parents. So, if you’re on the hunt for Elf on the Shelf ideas in 2023, remember: the key is to keep it simple, keep it fun, and most importantly, keep it festive!

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When Does Elf on the Shelf Arrive?

You can decide for yourself when your elf arrives. We usually do the Friday after Thanksgiving, because that is when we put up our tree and really start to go into the holiday mode. It’s also an easy milestone to give younger kids who want to frequently ask “When is our elf coming?”. I also know lots of people that basically plan for December 1st. Some parents that might want to participate, but don’t want the pressure of having a whole month’s worth of ideas, will even just have him/her come the week before Christmas. This is totally up to you! Do what works best for you and your family.

Make Planning Your Elf on the Shelf Easy

I usually try to plan out my month of Elf on the Shelf ideas ahead of time, but allow for flexibility. To do this, I keep a short list of “quick and easy ideas” that I can go to on night’s that I am extra worn out. I usually try to keep any elaborate or time consuming ideas for weekends or during Christmas break, so they kids aren’t rushing through them while also trying to get ready for school. Another option to consider if you are short on time and supplies is an Elf on the Shelf Activity set.

Elf on the Shelf Ideas

Looking for some creative Elf on the Shelf ideas to make your holiday season more festive? You’re in the right place! From cute and cuddly to hilariously ornery, here’s a categorized rundown of my top picks for Elf on the Shelf escapades, ensuring you find the perfect fit for your family. Whether Elfie is making snow angels in flour or hiding in a stocking, these ideas are sure to bring joy and laughter into your home. So, grab a cup of hot cocoa, get cozy, and delve into this treasure trove of Elf on the Shelf inspiration. Remember, the goal is to keep the holiday spirit alive and make lasting memories with your loved ones.

Elf Arrival Ideas

Welcome your magical holiday visitor with these unforgettable Elf on the Shelf arrival ideas! Whether Elfie arrives in a gift box from the North Pole, soaring from the lights on a paper airplane, or surprising your kids by appearing inside a giant ornament balloon, these creative entrances will kick off your festive season with a spark. Each scenario is designed to delight and surprise, creating lasting memories for your family. Don’t forget to capture the joy-filled reactions on camera!

Quick and Easy Elf on the Shelf Ideas

Get ready to make more magic with these easy and quick Elf on the Shelf ideas. Watch as Elfie turns your crockpot into a marshmallow bath, slides down the railing on a candy cane sled, or plays the classic game of Floor is Lava. From cooking Skittles on a skillet to crafting a message of “BE GOOD” with colorful candies, Elfie’s antics are sure to delight. Whether he’s lounging on a window sill in a Mega Blocks chair, engaging in a tic-tac-toe match with a stuffed bear, or sitting in a bucket full of pom poms, these creative scenarios will fill your home with laughter and joy this holiday season.

Elf on the Shelf Sports ideas

Bring the spirit of competition and fun to your holiday season with these sporty Elf on the Shelf ideas. Elfie, my family’s favorite elf, came ready to join in on the fun and games. My boys were filled with delight when they found him holding a soccer ball, leaving an inspiring note to encourage them to do their best at their game. It’s not just about the mischief and fun – it’s also about connecting with their interests and making the holiday experience more personal. So let the games begin and make your holiday season an exciting tournament of joy!

Elf on the Shelf ideas with Toilet Paper

Splash a dash of humor to your holiday season with these fantastic Elf on the Shelf toilet paper ideas. Witness the creativity as Elfie, your family’s festive companion, transforms ordinary toilet paper into extraordinary fun. From crafting delicate snowflakes to creating a comfy hammock, Elfie knows how to turn the mundane into magical. And who could forget the pyramid of TP, each roll adorned with hilarious, kid-friendly bathroom jokes? These ideas are not only easy to set up but also guaranteed to bring chuckles and smiles.

Elf on the Shelf Superhero Ideas

Unleash the power of imagination this holiday season with these exciting Elf on the Shelf superhero ideas. Watch as our Elf on the Shelf, Elfie, dons the persona of Spiderman, swinging from the chandelier in true hero fashion. The fun doesn’t stop there – Elfie also engages in a hilarious conversation with Batman, their banter written on the window for all to see. These creative scenarios not only bring a superhero twist to your holiday traditions but also infuse your home with laughter and joy.

Elf on the Shelf hanging from light fixture as Spiderman

Elf on the Shelf Ideas with Candy Canes

Add a sweet twist to your holiday season with these delightful Elf on the Shelf candy cane ideas. Watch as Elfie, my family’s cherished elf, turns our home into a festive treasure hunt, hiding candy canes for the kids to find. Every year, he changes his location and his note, adding an element of surprise and excitement. And don’t be surprised if you find extra candy canes hidden around – Elfie loves to keep things interesting! Don’t forget to check out his candy cane sled – it’s a fun and easy idea that perfectly captures the magic of Elf on the Shelf.

Elf on the Shelf Candy Cane Hunt note - time for the annual candy cane hunt.  12 candy canes, 60 seconds.  Ready, GO
Elf on the Shelf Candy Cane Hunt.  Note reads. who's up for a candy cane hunt?  This year I have hidden 18.  Kitchen or family room, all in plain sight.  Happy Hunting.

Elf on the Shelf Donut Ideas

This set brings the sweetness of the holiday season with these delightful Elf on the Shelf donut ideas. Watch in awe as Elfie indulges his sweet tooth and turns ordinary donuts into extraordinary displays of festive fun. From crafting adorable snowmen donuts to building towering stacks of sugary goodness, Elfie knows how to create a donut wonderland. And let’s not forget the chocolate treats, artfully arranged in the shape of a Christmas tree – a sweet surprise that’s sure to delight! With Elfie around, there’s always a sprinkle of joy and a dash of creativity in every corner. So, dough-nut wait to make this holiday season the sweetest one yet!

  • elf on the shelf Christmas donut snowman
  • elf on the shelf Hershey kiss Christmas trees
  • Elf on the Shelf Donut piles with Hershey kisses
  • little girl looking at her elf on the shelf and donuts
  • Elf on the shelf with donut snowmen and Hershey kisses Christmas trees

Elf on the Shelf Educational ideas

Put a dose of fun learning into your holiday festivities with these innovative Elf on the Shelf educational ideas. Witness as Elfie, transforms my home into an interactive classroom. One standout activity was when he orchestrated a captivating scavenger hunt. The children had the task of cutting out clues and piecing them together to locate their hidden treasure. This engaging exercise not only stimulated their problem-solving skills but also kept them entertained for hours on end.

  • elf on the shelf scavenger hunt with kids participating
  • kids cutting up the pieces for the elf on the shelf scavenger hunt
  • elf on the shelf note
  • elf on the shelf scavenger hunt
  • elf on the shelf scavenger hunt instructions for the Christmas treasure hunt

Elf on the Shelf Christmas Tradition Ideas

Cherish the spirit of the season with these heartwarming Elf on the Shelf Christmas tradition ideas. In our family, making fudge and crafting Christmas Countdown Chains are integral parts of our festive celebrations. So when Elfie, our treasured Elf on the Shelf, incorporated these traditions, it grew our holiday joy. In this featured set, you’ll see Elfie perched on a vase, surrounded by all the ingredients for our special fudge recipe. Then, find him playfully posed with the countdown chain adorning the mantle.

Elf on the Shelf Bringing Things and Gifts Ideas

Did you know that your family’s Elf on the Shelf, can also bring gifts? Here Elfie, showcases his knack for picking the perfect presents. From enchanting ornaments and engaging crafts to sweet treats and captivating books, he knows how to spread holiday cheer. He even brought along a gingerbread house kit and fun grow-a-bug packets for an added touch of whimsy.

Funny Elf on the Shelf Ideas

In our joke-loving household, it’s only fitting that Elfie, our Elf on the Shelf, would engage in some hilarious hijinks. In this featured set, witness as Elfie turns the house into a comedy club. He scribbles jokes in the kids’ notebooks, transforms mirrors into Santa-themed art pieces, and even dares to give dad a surprise pedicure! From placing a pooping reindeer to wrapping up everyone’s backpacks and preparing their lunches, Elfie knows how to keep us chuckling. He even spices up the fridge decor and introduces bathroom pranks (ICUP, anyone?). And let’s not forget about his own misadventures, which once got him hanging upside down!

  • Elf on the Shelf sitting with a pooping reindeer
  • Elf on the Shelf hanging upside down from banister
  • Eld on the Shelf tied to a vase
  • Elf on the Shelf sitting on the back of the toilet ICUP
  • Elf onthe Shelf decorated everything in the fridge with google eyes
  • Elf on the Shelf serving breakfast

Interest Specific Elf on the Shelf Ideas

Our family’s playful Elf, Elfie, knows just how to tap into our kids’ favorite themes. From nursery rhymes and Paw Patrol adventures to the world of Pokemon, Elfie has crafted some truly imaginative scenarios. In this featured set, discover Elfie acting as the king’s men, putting Humpty Dumpty back together again. See him taking on the role of a Paw Patrol dog walker, and marvel at his creativity as he transforms ordinary bananas into adorable Pikachus!

Magical Elf on the Shelf Ideas

Our family’s beloved Elf, Elfie, knows just how to sprinkle a touch of magic into our Christmas celebrations. This time, he brought along a platter of eggs and instructed the kids to sprinkle some special ‘elf dust’ on them before going to bed. Imagine their surprise when they woke up the next day to find that the eggs had magically transformed into Kinder Eggs! But that’s not all – Elfie also brought magic trees and water beads, adding an extra sprinkle of enchantment to our festive decor.

Elf on the Shelf Picture Pranks

Elf on the Shelf Departure Ideas

Our Elf on the Shelf makes his journey back to the North Pole around Christmas Eve, creating room for Santa’s gift-laden sleigh. Elfie has bid farewell with a creative twist. He has left behind a silhouette of himself flying away, coupled with a heartfelt goodbye message etched on the window. These memorable departure ideas not only mark the end of Elfie’s stay but also leave behind a warm glow of holiday magic, making the countdown to his return next year even more exciting.

I trust that these Elf on the Shelf ideas have ignited your imagination and provided an abundance of fun activities for you and your family. If you’re yet to adopt an Elf Scout, don’t delay any longer! Visit my Amazon store to select your perfect festive companion.But the magic doesn’t stop here. If you have any other brilliant Elf on the Shelf ideas, I’d love to hear them! Your creativity could inspire others and keep the holiday spirit alive. Don’t hesitate to share your thoughts with me.Remember to stay connected for more holiday fun and inspiration. Follow me on Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook to ensure you don’t miss out on any new ideas or updates.Here’s to a magical holiday season filled with laughter, joy, and a little elf mischief. Happy Holidays!

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