Elf on the Shelf Ideas: Naughty to Nice Elf Shenanigans for a Memorable Christmas

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Are you ready to sprinkle a little extra holiday magic this Christmas? We sure are! The holiday season is here, and there’s no better way to make it unforgettable than with our mischievous little friends, the Elf on the Shelf. The countdown to Christmas has never been this thrilling! Fasten your jingle bells and prepare for a fun winter adventure with your Elfie, because I’ve gathered a list of 101+ Elf on the Shelf ideas: from hilarious pranks to heartwarming gestures, you’ve got it all!

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Let’s explore them together and make this Christmas unforgettable!

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Create unforgettable memories this Christmas with 101+ Elf on the Shelf ideas for fun and naughty surprises with your mischievous scout elf!

The Tradition of Elf on the Shelf

What is Elf on the Shelf?

“Elf on the Shelf” – you’ve probably heard of it, but what’s the story behind this fun holiday tradition? In a nutshell, Elf on the Shelf is a beloved Christmas tradition, all about adding a sprinkle of enchantment to your winter holidays. It’s like having your very own Santa’s helper right at home, keeping an eye on who’s naughty and nice.

The History and Origins of Elf on the Shelf 

If you truly understand the history and origins of the Elf on the Shelf tradition, it will help you appreciate it better.

The elf on the shelf a christmas traition book

It started with the charming children’s book, “The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition.” Written by Carol Aebersold and Chanda Bell, this book, first published in 2005, introduced the world to the magical tale of scout elves who visit homes during the holiday season.

But the story goes back even further, back to the 1970s, when Carol Aebersold’s family had a special tradition of their own. It involved an elf who flew to the North Pole each night to report to Santa Claus. Years later, Chanda Bell co-authored the book and shared her family’s treasured tradition with a people worldwide. 

Since then, families from all over the world have started their own Elf on the Shelf tradition, creating unforgettable moments for their children, that will last a lifetime. Become a part of this tradition, too! Order your set of a book and an elf now by clicking the image below.

Elf on the Shelf: A Christm...Shop on Amazon

What Do You Need for A Memorable Elf On The Shelf Visit?

Choose Your Elf on the Shelf

One of the first steps in your Elf on the Shelf journey is choosing the perfect scout elf. These delightful elves come in various options, allowing you to personalize the experience to your family. 

You can choose the: 

  • Eye color
  • Skin color
  • A boy or a girl elf

This makes it easy to add a unique and special touch to your own personal family tradition.

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2. When To Start Doing Elf On The Shelf?

Wondering what’s the best age to introduce your kiddos to this magical tradition? It’s generally recommended to start Elf on the Shelf when your kids are at an age where they can fully grasp the concept and eagerly anticipate the daily surprises your scout elf has in store for them.

Many families find that starting around the age of three or four is perfect. At this age, children are old enough to understand the concept and take part in their elf’s daily adventures. 

3. Pick a Name for Your Elf

Naming your Elf on the Shelf is a special moment, and you can actually involve everyone. Many families sit down together to brainstorm and decide on the ideal name. The choice is entirely up to your preferences and the character you want your elf to become.

If you need some inspiration, here is a list of Elf name ideas:

Elf on the Shelf Names

4. What Does Elf On The Shelf Do?

Elf on the Shelf is no ordinary guest in your home during the holiday season. This mischievous little scout elf has an important mission – to watch over your kids and report their behavior to Santa Claus himself! Every morning, children wake up excited to discover where their elf has hidden and what fun surprises and mischief he’s prepared.

Elf on the Shelf brings the magic of Christmas to life with fun daily adventures that encourage good behavior and create unforgettable memories.

Rules for Elf on the Shelf

5. Rules For Elf On The Shelf

While Elf on the Shelf is all about fun and imagination, there are some rules to follow.

What are the 3 elf rules?

1. No Touching

The first and most important one is to never touch your elf because this makes their magic disappear. You can talk to your elf and share your holiday wishes, but never touch them. 

2. Move Every Day

Your elf should be hiding in a new spot every night, so children wake up to new surprises.

3. Leave on Christmas Eve

Finally, remember that your elf’s last day is Christmas Eve; that’s when they return to the North Pole with Santa Claus.

6. When Does Elf On The Shelf Begin?

Elf on the Shelf usually makes its spectacular arrival on either: 

  • After 24 November
  • The first day of December

This date also marks the official start of the holiday season in many households. The daily surprises continue throughout the month, culminating in Christmas Eve. 

I’d recommend you start planning your Elf shenanigans at the beginning of November at the latest and always make sure you sneak in a few extra quick ones, so you’re prepared for any busy morning in December.

7. When Does Elf on the Shelf Leave?

Elf on the Shelf’s mission comes to an end on Christmas Eve. On this special night, your elf leaves for the North Pole for their final report to Santa.

Now that you know your elf is not just a part of the Christmas decorations, it’s time to dive into the creative and mischievous Elf on the Shelf ideas list!

Planning your Elf on the Shelf Shenanigans

8. Planning your Elf on the Shelf Shenanigans

Are you ready to take your Elf on the Shelf game to the next level this Christmas season? Get ready to plan some epic shenanigans that will leave your kids in awe and create memories they’ll cherish forever. Here are some tips to help you plan your Elf on the Shelf adventures:

1. Set a Theme: Think about a theme or storyline that you want to follow throughout the month. It could be a winter wonderland theme, a North Pole expedition, or even a superhero adventure. Having a theme will make it easier to come up with ideas and keep things exciting for your little ones.

2. Create a Schedule: Plan out when and where your elf will appear each day. Be sure to mix it up and choose different locations in your home. You can have your elf hanging from the chandelier one day and sitting on top of the Christmas tree the next. The key is to keep it unpredictable and fun.

3. Get Creative: Think outside of the box when it comes to your elf’s activities. You can have your elf baking miniature cookies in the kitchen, setting up a marshmallow hot tub in the bathroom, or even having a dance party with other toys. The more creative you get, the more magical and exciting it will be for your kids.

4. Involve the Family: Get everyone in on the fun by allowing each family member to come up with their own elf on the shelf idea. This will not only take some of the planning pressure off of you but will also create a sense of ownership and excitement for everyone involved.

5. Document the Adventures: Don’t forget to capture the magical moments by taking pictures or videos of your elf’s adventures. You can create a scrapbook or even a digital album to look back on in the future. This will be a cherished keepsake for your family.

Remember, the goal is to create lasting memories and bring joy to your children during the holiday season. Let your creativity soar and have fun planning your Elf on the Shelf shenanigans. Happy planning!

9. How to get started with Elf on the Shelf

9. How to get started with Elf on the Shelf

Getting started with Elf on the Shelf is an exciting adventure for the whole family! Here are some easy steps to help you begin:

1. Purchase your Elf on the Shelf set: Get your own scout elf by purchasing the Elf on the Shelf book and elf set. You can find it online or in stores.

2. Read the book: Begin by reading “The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition” together as a family. This will introduce everyone to the magical world of the scout elves.

3. Choose a name: Sit down with your family and choose a name for your scout elf. Get creative and come up with a name that everyone loves!

4. Set the scene: Find a special spot in your home where your elf will be placed each night. This could be a shelf, a mantle, or any other cozy spot. Sprinkle some holiday magic around the area to make it extra special.

5. Introduce your elf: On the chosen date, have your elf make their grand entrance into your home. You can place them in their designated spot and let your children discover them in the morning.

6. Enjoy the adventures: Each day, your elf will bring a new surprise or mischief to your home. Get creative with different ideas and have fun with your elf’s antics. Remember to move them to a new spot each night while the children are sleeping.

7. Follow the rules: Remember the three important rules of Elf on the Shelf: no touching, your elf moves every day, and your elf leaves on Christmas Eve. Make sure to remind your children of these rules as well.

8. Share the magic: Document your elf’s adventures with photos or videos and share them with friends and family. It’s a fun way to spread the holiday cheer and create lasting memories.

Enjoy the journey of Elf on the Shelf and make this Christmas season unforgettable!

10. Tips for successful Elf on the Shelf planning

10. Tips for successful Elf on the Shelf planning

1. Start Early: Begin planning your Elf on the Shelf ideas well in advance to ensure you have enough time to gather supplies and come up with creative scenarios.

2. Get Organized: Keep a notebook or digital document to jot down your ideas for each day. This will help you stay organized and ensure you don’t repeat any ideas.

3. Mix it Up: Variety is key when it comes to Elf on the Shelf. Incorporate a mix of funny, mischievous, and heartwarming ideas to keep the excitement alive throughout the holiday season.

4. Consider Your Child’s Interests: Tailor the Elf on the Shelf ideas to your child’s interests and hobbies. This will make the experience more engaging and meaningful for them.

5. Involve the Whole Family: Get the whole family involved in brainstorming and executing Elf on the Shelf ideas. This will make it a collaborative and fun activity for everyone.

6. Use Props and Accessories: Utilize props and accessories to enhance the Elf on the Shelf experience. This can include mini props, printable decorations, and even costumes for the elf.

7. Create a Storyline: Develop a storyline or theme for your Elf on the Shelf adventures. This will create continuity and make each day’s surprise more exciting for your child.

8. Document the Moments: Take photos or videos of your Elf on the Shelf in action. This will not only create lasting memories for your family but can also be shared with friends and relatives.

9. Stay Flexible: Be prepared to adapt your plans if needed. Sometimes things may not go as planned, but that’s part of the fun and spontaneity of Elf on the Shelf.

10. Have Fun!: Remember, the most important aspect of Elf on the Shelf is to have fun and create magical memories for your child. Embrace the joy and excitement of the holiday season!

11. Setting up the Elf and keeping the tradition alive

11. Setting up the Elf and keeping the tradition alive

Setting up the Elf and keeping the tradition alive is all about creating magical moments and keeping the excitement alive throughout the holiday season. Here are a few creative and practical tips to help you set up your Elf and maintain the enchantment:

1. Create a Grand Entrance: Welcome your Elf with a special arrival. You can create a winter wonderland scene at your front door or have them appear in a festive box with a note. This sets the tone for the magical adventure ahead.

2. Get the Kids Involved: Let your children participate in setting up the Elf’s daily activities. This not only increases their excitement but also allows them to be creative and share in the magic of the tradition.

3. Plan Ahead: Take some time before the holiday season to brainstorm and plan a variety of Elf on the Shelf ideas. Having a list of ideas ready will save you time and keep the surprises coming every morning.

4. Mix it Up: Keep the tradition fresh by incorporating a mix of funny, heartwarming, and mischievous ideas for your Elf. This will keep the kids guessing and looking forward to what their Elf will do next.

5. Capture the Moments: Document your Elf’s adventures through photos or videos. Not only will this create lasting memories for your family, but it can also be shared with friends and relatives to spread the holiday joy.

6. Keep the Magic Alive: Remind your children that the Elf is always watching and reporting back to Santa. Use this as a gentle motivator for good behavior during the holiday season.

7. Maintain Consistency: Stick to the Elf’s rules, such as not touching them and moving them to a new spot every night. Consistency will keep the magic alive and the tradition intact.

8. Reflect on the Tradition: Take some time to reflect on the joy and excitement that Elf on the Shelf brings to your family. Share stories and memories from past years to keep the tradition alive and maintain its significance.

By following these tips, you can set up your Elf on the Shelf in a memorable way and keep the tradition alive year after year. Embrace the magic, let your creativity shine, and enjoy the holiday season with your mischievous little friend.

12. Elf on the Shelf Photography Tips

12. Elf on the Shelf Photography Tips

Capturing the mischievous antics of your Elf on the Shelf can be a fun and memorable experience. Here are some photography tips to help you capture the magic:

1. Lighting is key: Use natural light whenever possible to create a warm and festive atmosphere. Avoid using flash, as it can be harsh and wash out the details.

2. Get down to their level: To truly capture your elf’s perspective, get on their level. This will make your photos more engaging and immersive.

3. Play with perspective: Experiment with different angles and perspectives to add depth and interest to your photos. Get up close and focus on the elf’s facial expressions or step back and show the full scene.

4. Create a story: Use your photos to tell a story or showcase a series of adventures. Plan out the scenes and add props or other toys to enhance the narrative.

5. Use props and backdrops: Incorporate festive props and backdrops to enhance the holiday theme. This could include miniature presents, holiday decorations, or even a tiny Christmas tree.

6. Capture the details: Pay attention to the small details that make your elf’s antics special. Zoom in on their tiny hands or capture their mischievous grins.

7. Use props creatively: Think outside the box and use everyday objects in unexpected ways. For example, a roll of toilet paper can become a sled or a cereal box can become a stage for a mini concert.

8. Play with depth of field: Experiment with the depth of field to draw attention to your elf. Use a wide aperture to create a shallow depth of field and blur the background, making your elf the main focus.

9. Edit for extra magic: After capturing your photos, edit them using photo editing software or apps to enhance the colors, contrast, and overall mood. Consider adding a touch of holiday magic with filters or overlays.

Remember, the most important thing is to have fun and let your creativity shine. Let your Elf on the Shelf inspire you and create photos that will become cherished memories for years to come. Happy photographing!

Simple and Kid-Friendly Elf on the Shelf Ideas

*Click on the images to take you to the idea

1. Elf on the Shelf Free Printable Welcome Letter

Elf on the Shelf Free Printable Welcome Letter

A downloadable letter template that helps introduce the Elf on the Shelf tradition to children, making the arrival of their festive scout elf even more exciting.

2. Elf on the Shelf Ideas: Welcome Letter From Santa

Elf on the Shelf Ideas Welcome Letter From Santa

A creative Elf on the Shelf idea involving a special letter from Santa Claus to officially welcome the scout elf into the home, adding a magical touch to the holiday tradition.

3. Elf on the Shelf Airplane Welcome

Elf on the Shelf Airplane Welcome

A playful Elf on the Shelf scene where the scout elf arrives in a tiny airplane, delighting children with the anticipation of the holiday season.

4. Welcome Elf on a Shelf Cocoa Party & Printables

Welcome Elf on a Shelf Cocoa Party

Take out your favorite holiday mug and prepare a ton of hot cocoa and chocolate because your Elf on the Shelf is having a welcome cocoa party! Don’t forget the marshmallows, too!

5. The Elf on the Shelf Glide and Go Accessory Pack

The Elf on the Shelf Glide and Go Accessory Pack

A set of accessories that can be used to enhance the Elf on the Shelf experience, allowing the elf to glide and zip around the house, adding an extra layer of enchantment to the tradition.

Order a set HERE

6. Elf On The Shelf Ideas: Christmas Paper Plate Paper Chain Countdown

Elf On The Shelf Ideas Christmas Paper Plate Paper Chain Countdown

A creative holiday activity involving crafting paper plate paper chains with daily surprises or countdown messages, giving children a fun way to anticipate Christmas with their Elf on the Shelf.

7. Message From Your Elf on the Shelf with Cereal

Message From Your Elf on the Shelf with Cereal

An inventive Elf on the Shelf setup where the scout elf communicates with children through a cereal box message, fostering excitement and interaction during the holiday season.

8. Elf on The Shelf Candy Cane Ziplining

Elf on The Shelf Candy Cane Ziplining

A whimsical scene featuring the Elf on the Shelf using a candy cane as a zipline, adding an element of adventure and wonder to the tradition.

9. Elf on The Shelf Swinging Around on a Zipline

Elf on The Shelf Swinging Around on a Zipline

Another imaginative Elf on the Shelf scenario where the scout elf is seen swinging around the house on a zipline, engaging children’s imaginations and sparking joy.

10. Marshmallow Bath for Your Elf on the Shelf

Marshmallow Bath for Your Elf on the Shelf

A delightful setup where the Elf on the Shelf enjoys a “bath” in a marshmallow tub, bringing a sense of humor and enchantment to the tradition.

11. Elf Indoor Scavenger Hunt

Elf Indoor Scavenger Hunt
  1. An engaging activity where the Elf on the Shelf leaves clues and challenges for children to follow, creating an exciting indoor scavenger hunt during the holiday season.

12. The Elf on the Shelf Plastic Scooter Prop

The Elf on the Shelf Plastic Scooter Prop

A miniature scooter accessory designed for the Elf on the Shelf, adding a playful element to the elf’s adventures around the house.

Get it from Amazon today!

13. Scavenger Hunt for Your Elf on the Shelf

Scavenger Hunt for Your Elf on the Shelf

An entertaining Elf on the Shelf activity where the scout elf leaves clues and challenges, guiding children on an exciting scavenger hunt to find hidden treasures or messages.

14. Elf on the Shelf Tic-Tac-Toe

Elf on the Shelf Tic-Tac-Toe

A creative twist on the classic game, featuring an Elf on the Shelf-themed tic-tac-toe set that encourages kids to play and engage with their scout elf.

15. Elf on the Shelf Heavy Lifting

Elf on the Shelf Heavy Lifting

A whimsical setup in which the Elf on the Shelf appears to be performing feats of strength and “heavy lifting,” bringing laughter and surprise to the holiday tradition.

16. Elf on the Shelf Plays the Guitar

Elf on the Shelf Plays the Guitar

An endearing scene where the Elf on the Shelf is depicted as a tiny musician, playing a miniature guitar and entertaining the household with sweet melodies.

17. The Elf on the Shelf 20+ Polar Props

The Elf on the Shelf 20+ Polar Props

A collection of over 20 polar-themed props and accessories to enhance the Elf on the Shelf tradition, allowing for creative and enchanting holiday scenes.

Order your set HERE and have tons of fun baking chocolate chips cookies!

18. Elf on the Shelf Ideas: Slipper Sled

Elf on the Shelf Ideas Slipper Sled

A fun Elf on the Shelf concept where the scout elf takes a thrilling ride on a sled made from a slipper, bringing a sense of winter adventure to the tradition.

Easy Elf on the Shelf Ideas

19. The Paw Patrol Pups Rescuing Elf on the Shelf’s Sled

Paw Patrol pups Rescuing Elf on the Shelf’s Sled

A delightful holiday scenario where popular Paw Patrol characters come to the rescue of the Elf on the Shelf’s sled, creating an engaging crossover scene for children.

20. Elf on the Shelf Dinosaur Sled

Elf on the Shelf Dinosaur Sled

An imaginative setup featuring the Elf on the Shelf using a dinosaur figurine as a sled, infusing a sense of playfulness and wonder into the holiday tradition.

21. Baby Yoda Elf on the Shelf Costume

Baby Yoda Elf on the Shelf Costume

A charming Elf on the Shelf outfit that transforms the scout elf into Baby Yoda, the beloved character from the Star Wars universe, adding a fun and galactic twist to the holiday tradition.

22. Elf on the Shelf Doing His Laundry

Elf on the Shelf Doing His Laundry

An amusing Elf on the Shelf scenario where the scout elf is “doing laundry,” often with mini-sized clothing and a tiny washing machine, showcasing the elf’s playful spirit.

23. Elf on the Shelf Getting Married

Elf on the Shelf Getting Married

A whimsical setup where the Elf on the Shelf appears to be tying the knot with another doll or elf, introducing a touch of romance and laughter to the holiday tradition.

24. Elf on the Shelf Driving Around With Barbie

Elf on the Shelf Driving Around With Barbie

An imaginative scene featuring the Elf on the Shelf chauffeuring Barbie around in a tiny vehicle, sparking children’s creativity and wonder.

25. Elf on the Shelf Aladdin Flying Carpet

Elf on the Shelf Aladdin Flying Carpet

A magical setup where the Elf on the Shelf is depicted riding a miniature Aladdin-style flying carpet, bringing a sense of enchantment to the holiday season.

26. Elf on the Shelf Gets Slimy

Elf on the Shelf Gets Slimy

A humorous Elf on the Shelf setup where the scout elf appears to have gotten into a mess or is playing with slime, adding a lighthearted and messy element to the tradition.

27. Elf on the Shelf Activity: St. Bernard Puppy Cupcakes

Elf on the Shelf Activity St. Bernard Puppy Cupcakes

An engaging Elf on the Shelf activity that involves creating adorable St. Bernard puppy cupcakes, allowing children to enjoy a fun baking project with their scout elf.

28. Elf on the Shelf Practices Playing the Piano

Elf on the Shelf Practices Playing the Piano

A delightful scene where the Elf on the Shelf is seen practicing playing a piano, showcasing the elf’s musical talents and entertaining the household.

Funny Elf on the Shelf Ideas

29. Egocentric Elf Messing With The Family Photos

Egocentric Elf Replacing The Family Photos

A comical Elf on the Shelf scenario where the scout elf playfully interacts with family photos, adding a touch of mischief and humor to the tradition.

30. The Elf Plays Angry Birds

The Elf Plays Angry Birds

An entertaining scene where the Elf on the Shelf is engaged in a game of Angry Birds, demonstrating the elf’s playful and contemporary side.

31. Elf on the Shelf Elf Scout Carrier Tube

Elf on the Shelf Elf Scout Carrier Tube

Want to make sure your kids behave all the time? Get an Elf on the Shelf elf scout carrier tube and they will be under surveillance at all times!

32. Elf on the Shelf Washing Machine Rollercoaster

Elf on the Shelf Washing Machine Rollercoaster

A creative setup where the Elf on the Shelf appears to be riding a washing machine turned into a rollercoaster, offering an imaginative and whimsical scene.

33. Elf on the Shelf Tied Up by Lego Figurines

Elf on the Shelf Tied Up by Lego Figurines

A playful Elf on the Shelf scenario where Lego figurines are depicted “capturing” the scout elf, adding a sense of adventure and interaction with children’s toys.

34. Elf on the Shelf Planking on the Christmas Tree Star

Elf on the Shelf Planking on the Christmas Tree Star

An amusing setup where the Elf on the Shelf is shown planking on top of the Christmas tree star, demonstrating the elf’s sense of humor.

35. Elf on the Shelf Ideas: Under Quarantine

Elf on the Shelf Ideas Under Quarantine

A topical and creative Elf on the Shelf idea where the scout elf is depicted in quarantine or isolation, reflecting the current times and adding a humorous twist to the tradition.

36. Elf on the Shelf Bathing in a Mini Marshmallow Bath

Elf on the Shelf Bathing in a Mini Marshmallow Bath

A whimsical scene where the Elf on the Shelf takes a bath in a mini marshmallow-filled tub, creating a playful and sweet setup.

37. Darth Vader Using “The Force” on Elf on the Shelf

Darth Vader Using The Force on Elf on the Shelf

An imaginative crossover scene where Darth Vader, a character from Star Wars, appears to use “The Force” on the Elf on the Shelf, combining two beloved franchises in a creative way.

38. Elf on the Shelf Got Frozen by Elsa

Elf on the Shelf Got Frozen by Elsa

A humorous scenario where the Elf on the Shelf appears to have been “frozen” by Elsa, the Snow Queen from Disney’s Frozen, adding a touch of magic and humor to the holiday tradition.

39. Elf on the Shelf Climbing Gummy Bear Rock Wall

Elf on the Shelf Climbing Gummy Bear Rock Wall

An adventurous setup featuring the Elf on the Shelf scaling a rock wall made of gummy bears, sparking children’s imaginations and adding an element of fun and challenge to the tradition.

40. Elf on the Shelf Playing Soccer

Elf on the Shelf Playing Soccer

A lively scene where the Elf on the Shelf is depicted playing a miniature game of soccer, showcasing the elf’s athleticism and entertaining children with a sporty twist.

41. Game of Thrones Throne for Elf on the Shelf

Game of Thrones Throne for Elf on the Shelf

A creative twist on the Elf on the Shelf tradition where the scout elf is placed on a miniature replica of the Iron Throne from the Game of Thrones series, blending fantasy worlds in a fun and captivating manner.

42. Elf on the Shelf In a Pickle with Bread Idea

Elf on the Shelf In a Pickle with Bread Idea

A whimsical Elf on the Shelf scenario featuring the scout elf getting “in a pickle” by being surrounded by tiny slices of bread, offering a humorous and unexpected scene.

43. Elf on the Shelf Making S’mores on a Candle

Elf on the Shelf Making Smores on a Candle

An imaginative setup where the Elf on the Shelf is seen making s’mores using a miniature candle flame, adding a delightful touch of camping and sweetness to the holiday tradition.

44. Put Elf on the Shelf in a Balloon

Put Elf on the Shelf in a Balloon

An inventive idea where the Elf on the Shelf is placed inside a transparent balloon, creating an eye-catching and playful display that engages children’s curiosity.

45. Elf on the Shelf Hiding With the Silverware

Elf on the Shelf Hiding With the Silverware

A fun Elf on the Shelf setup where the scout elf hides among the kitchen silverware, surprising and entertaining children with a clever hide-and-seek game.

46. Elf on the Shelf Putt Putt Golf

Elf on the Shelf Putt Putt Golf

An entertaining and creative Elf on the Shelf scene that features the scout elf enjoying a game of miniature putt-putt golf, adding an element of fun and skill to the holiday tradition.

Elf on the Shelf Ideas with Printable Props and Accessories

47. Elf on the Shelf Sleeping Bag Tutorial + Free Pattern

Elf on the Shelf Sleeping Bag Tutorial and Free Pattern

A heartwarming idea that includes a tutorial and free pattern to create a tiny sleeping bag for the scout elf, ensuring a cozy and snug night’s rest.

48. Elf Kisses Free Printable

Elf Kisses Free Printable

A lovely gesture for children, providing a free printable featuring “Elf Kisses” to add a sweet touch to the Elf on the Shelf tradition.

49. Elf Kissing Booth Printable

Elf Kissing Booth Printable

An adorable printable idea that creates an “Elf Kissing Booth,” allowing the scout elf to interact with other dolls or toys in a charming and heartwarming way.

50. Elf on the Shelf Twister

Elf on the Shelf Twister

A playful and interactive Elf on the Shelf setup where the scout elf engages in a game of Twister, encouraging physical activity and laughter during the holiday season.

51. Elf on the Shelf Frozen Photo Shoot Backdrops

Elf on the Shelf Frozen Photo Shoot Backdrops

A creative idea that includes printable backdrops inspired by the movie Frozen, enabling the Elf on the Shelf to have an enchanting photo shoot.

52. Elf Photo Props

Elf Photo Props

A collection of printable props that can be used to create entertaining and memorable photo opportunities with the Elf on the Shelf.

53. Printable Elf Donut Shop Props

Printable Elf Donut Shop Props

An endearing setup that includes printable props to transform the Elf on the Shelf into the proprietor of a charming donut shop, adding a touch of sweetness to the tradition.

54. Minecraft Elf on The Shelf

Minecraft Elf on The Shelf

A clever crossover where the Elf on the Shelf is transformed to resemble a character from the popular game Minecraft, allowing children to enjoy the fusion of two beloved worlds.

55. Elf on the Shelf Apron Pattern

Elf on the Shelf Apron Pattern

A delightful pattern for creating a tiny apron for the scout elf, adding a touch of whimsy and playfulness to the Elf on the Shelf tradition.

56. Elf Doctor’s Note

Elf Doctors Note

A thoughtful note from the Elf on the Shelf, explaining their temporary absence due to a fictional “elf doctor’s appointment,” allowing for a heartwarming way to maintain the tradition during a brief break.

57. Elf on the Shelf Printable Suitcase

Elf on the Shelf Printable Suitcase

A printable accessory that lets the scout elf appear to be ready for an adventure by “packing” a tiny suitcase, adding an element of wanderlust and excitement to the tradition.

Heartwarming Elf on the Shelf Ideas

58. Elf on the Shelf Surprises Kids With Mini Christmas Trees

Elf on the Shelf Surprises Kids With Mini Christmas Trees

A heartwarming Elf on the Shelf idea where the scout elf presents children with miniature Christmas trees, creating a delightful holiday surprise and spreading festive cheer.

59. Elf on the Shelf Reads a Christmas Book

Elf on the Shelf Reads a Christmas Book

A charming setup where the Elf on the Shelf is depicted reading a Christmas-themed book, encouraging children’s love for reading and holiday stories.

60. Elf on the Shelf Breaks a Leg

Elf on the Shelf Breaks a Leg

Accidents happen, especially during winter. That’s why I love this Elf on the shelf idea for a cast and crutches! The fun Christmas-themed bandages are a great bonus, too! Buy yours now

61. Elf on the Shelf Ideas | Thanksgiving Pilgrim Elf

Elf on the Shelf Ideas Thanksgiving Pilgrim Elf

An imaginative twist on the Elf on the Shelf tradition with the scout elf appearing as a Thanksgiving Pilgrim, engaging children in holiday-themed scenarios and storytelling.

62. Elf on the Shelf Cutting Paper Snowflakes

Elf on the Shelf Cutting Paper Snowflakes

A creative setup featuring the scout elf crafting paper snowflakes, encouraging children to engage in a festive arts and crafts activity during the holiday season.

63. Elf on the Shelf “Feel Better” Cup of Tea

Elf on the Shelf Feel Better Tea Cup

A caring and nurturing Elf on the Shelf scene where the scout elf prepares a “feel better” cup of tea, showing compassion and comfort for children during illness or tough times.

64. Elf on the Shelf Breakfast

Elf on the Shelf Breakfast

An endearing setup where the Elf on the Shelf prepares breakfast for children, showcasing their culinary skills and adding a delightful touch to the morning routine.

65. Easy Elf On The Shelf Christmas Breakfast Idea

Easy Elf On The Shelf Christmas Breakfast Idea

A simple and charming Elf on the Shelf idea for a special Christmas breakfast setup, making the holiday morning even more memorable and joyful.

66. Elf on the Shelf Wraps Gifts

Elf on the Shelf Wraps Gifts

A creative scenario where the scout elf is busy wrapping holiday gifts, adding a sense of excitement and anticipation to the upcoming celebrations.

67. Elf on the Shelf Cardboard Fort

Elf on the Shelf Cardboard Fort

An inventive Elf on the Shelf scene where the scout elf constructs a tiny cardboard fort, encouraging children’s imaginative play and creativity.

Naughty Elf on the Shelf Ideas

68. Elf on the Shelf Dunk Tank

Elf on the Shelf Dunk Tank

A playful and interactive setup featuring a miniature dunk tank, allowing children to take aim and “dunk” the scout elf for fun and entertainment.

69. Hanging from the Chandelier

Hanging from the Chandelier

A whimsical Elf on the Shelf setup where the scout elf is seen hanging from a chandelier, creating a visually captivating and amusing display.

70. Elves Got Christmas Pox

Elves Got Christmas Pox

An amusing and lighthearted scenario where the scout elf is “infected” with “Christmas Pox,” showcasing a humorous twist on the tradition and sparking laughter during the holiday season.

71. Hanging Using a Candy Cane

Hanging Using a Candy Cane

A playful Elf on the Shelf scenario where the scout elf is suspended from a candy cane, creating a whimsical and visually engaging display that adds sweetness to the tradition.

72. Hot Tub Party for Elves

Hot Tub Party for Elves

An entertaining setup where multiple scout elves gather for a “hot tub party,” using a miniature tub or container to enjoy a fun and festive relaxation scene.

73. Elf on the Shelf Ruins a Birthday Cake

Elf on the Shelf Ruins a Birthday Cake

A humorous and cheeky scenario where the scout elf appears to have gotten into the birthday cake, leaving behind a delightful mess and adding laughter to the holiday tradition.

74. Elf on the Shelf Has a Snack Break

Elf on the Shelf Has a Snack Break

A simple and relatable Elf on the Shelf scene where the scout elf takes a break to enjoy a miniature snack, showcasing a moment of everyday life and playfulness.

75. Elf on the Shelf Toilet Bowl Fishing

Elf on the Shelf Toilet Bowl Fishing

A whimsical and unexpected scenario where the scout elf appears to be “fishing” in the toilet bowl, surprising children with a touch of silliness.

76. Elf on the Shelf Reminder To Change the Toilet Paper Roll

Elf on the Shelf Reminder To Change the Toilet Paper Roll

An amusing Elf on the Shelf idea where the scout elf leaves a note as a friendly reminder for the household to change the toilet paper roll, adding a humorous and practical touch to the tradition.

77. Elf on the Shelf “Making” Lemonade

Elf on the Shelf Making Lemonade

A creative scene where the scout elf appears to be “making” lemonade, often using doll-sized props, offering an engaging and refreshing setup.

78. Elf on the Shelf Held Hostage by a Shooting Squad

Elf on the Shelf Held Hostage by a Shooting Squad

A playful and imaginative scenario where toy figures or dolls assemble as a “shooting squad” to hold the scout elf “hostage,” creating an adventurous and humorous scene.

Little Elf And a Big Toilet Paper Mess

79. Elf on the Shelf Builds a Toilet Paper Snowman

Elf on the Shelf Builds a Toilet Paper Snowman

A whimsical setup featuring the scout elf constructing a miniature snowman out of toilet paper rolls, bringing a touch of winter fun to the tradition.

80. Swing From a Roll of Toilet Paper

Swing From a Roll of Toilet Paper

An inventive Elf on the Shelf scene where the scout elf is depicted swinging from a roll of toilet paper, introducing an element of playfulness and creativity into the tradition.

81. Elf on the Shelf Caught Toilet Papering the Tree

Elf on the Shelf Caught Toilet Papering the Tree

A mischievous Elf on the Shelf scenario where the scout elf is “caught” decorating the Christmas tree with toilet paper, adding an element of surprise and whimsy to the tradition.

82. Elf on the Shelf Toilet Paper Trail

Elf on the Shelf Toilet Paper Trail

An imaginative setup featuring the scout elf creating a trail of toilet paper throughout the house, leading to a surprise or message, sparking children’s curiosity and exploration.

83. Elf on the Shelf Ideas: Toilet Paper Mummy

Elf on the Shelf Ideas Toilet Paper Mummy

A creative and playful Elf on the Shelf concept where the scout elf is transformed into a “mummy” using toilet paper, adding a touch of Halloween fun to the holiday tradition.

84. Rolling Down The Stairs In A Toilet Paper Roll

Rolling Down The Stairs In A Toilet Paper Roll

An adventurous Elf on the Shelf scene where the scout elf is depicted “rolling” down the stairs inside a toilet paper roll, engaging children in a playful and daring display.

85. Decorate the Christmas Tree With Toilet Paper and Underwear

Decorate the Christmas Tree With Toilet Paper and Underwear

An amusing Elf on the Shelf idea that involves the scout elf “decorating” the Christmas tree with toilet paper and miniature doll-sized underwear, introducing a comical and lighthearted touch.

Last-Minute Elf on the Shelf Ideas

86. Elf on the Shelf Hides in the Car

A surprising scenario where the scout elf is found hiding inside a toy car, adding an element of hide-and-seek fun to the Elf on the Shelf tradition.

87. Elf on the Shelf Drinking Orange Juice

Elf on the Shelf Drinking Orange Juice

A charming scene featuring the scout elf enjoying a “drink” of orange juice, showcasing the elf’s everyday activities and creating relatable moments for children.

88. Elf on the Shelf Cutting the Christmas Tree

Elf on the Shelf Cutting the Christmas Tree

A creative Elf on the Shelf setup where the scout elf appears to be “cutting” the Christmas tree with scissors or tools, adding an element of holiday preparations and whimsy.

89. Elf on the Shelf Ideas: Floor is Lava Game

Elf on the Shelf Ideas Floor is Lava Game

A fun and engaging Elf on the Shelf idea that involves setting up a “Floor is Lava” game for the scout elf, encouraging children to play and use their imaginations.

90. Elf on the Shelf Finds a Hidden Treat

Elf on the Shelf Finds a Hidden Treat

An exciting scenario where the scout elf discovers a hidden treat or surprise, creating a sense of anticipation and delight for children during the holiday season.

91. Elf on the Shelf Sack Race

Elf on the Shelf Sack Race

An entertaining Elf on the Shelf scenario where the scout elf is engaged in a sack race with other toys or figures, bringing a sense of playfulness and competition to the holiday tradition.

92. Elf on the Shelf Brushing His Teeth

Elf on the Shelf Brushing His Teeth

This is a classic last-minute Elf on the Shelf idea you can always use to get away with! Just get the Elf, a toothbrush, a bit of toothpaste here and there (or everywhere!) and you’re all set. Your kids are going to love the surprise waiting in the bathroom!

93. Elf on the Shelf Shopping for Black Friday

Elf on the Shelf Shopping for Black Friday

A humorous Elf on the Shelf setup featuring the scout elf as a Black Friday shopper, often using tiny shopping bags and deals, adding a contemporary and amusing twist to the tradition.

94. Elf on the Shelf Snow Angel in Salt

Elf on the Shelf Snow Angel in Salt

An enchanting display where the scout elf creates a “snow angel” in a bed of salt, evoking a sense of winter wonder and holiday magic.

95. Elf on the Shelf Snow Angel in Sprinkles

Elf on the Shelf Snow Angel in Sprinkles

A delightful and colorful Elf on the Shelf setup where the scout elf makes a “snow angel” in sprinkles, adding a sweet and whimsical touch to the tradition.

96. Elf on the Shelf Snow Angel in Flour

Elf on the Shelf Snow Angel in Flour

An enchanting and snowy scene where the scout elf forms a “snow angel” in a bed of flour, creating a wintery and imaginative display.

97. Elf on the Shelf Builds a Gingerbread House

Elf on the Shelf Builds a Gingerbread House

A creative Elf on the Shelf scenario where the scout elf is seen constructing a miniature gingerbread house, showcasing the elf’s crafting skills and holiday spirit.

98. Elf on the Shelf Invites You to Build a Gingerbread House

Elf on the Shelf Invites You to Build a Gingerbread House

An engaging and interactive idea where the scout elf leaves materials for children to join in and build a gingerbread house, promoting creativity and festive bonding.

Get your gingerbread house on Amazon

Goodbye Elf on the Shelf Ideas

99. Goodbye Letter from the Elf on a Shelf

Goodbye Letter from the Elf on a Shelf

A heartwarming letter from the Elf on the Shelf, bidding farewell and expressing gratitude for the holiday season, providing closure for children.

100. Free Printable Letter From Santa

Free Printable Letter From Santa

A free printable letter from Santa Claus, offering a delightful way to keep the holiday magic alive as children say goodbye to the Elf on the Shelf.

101. Elf on the Shelf Goodbye Letter

Elf on the Shelf Goodbye Letter

A thoughtful and personalized letter from the Elf on the Shelf, saying goodbye and promising to return next year, leaving children with cherished memories and anticipation for the future.

102. Packed up and Heading Back to The North Pole

Packed up and Heading Back to The North Pole

An imaginative Elf on the Shelf scene where the scout elf is shown packing up for their return journey to the North Pole, marking the end of the holiday season.

Elf on the Shelf Ideas for Adults: Fun and Mischief for Grown-Ups: Elf on the Shelf Ideas

Elf on the Shelf is a popular holiday tradition primarily meant for children, but there’s no reason adults can’t join in on the fun as well. Here are some Elf on the Shelf ideas for adults to add a touch of whimsy and mischief to your holiday season:

  1. Elf Parodies: Create funny scenes where the Elf on the Shelf parodies popular movies, TV shows, or internet memes. For example, you can have your elf dressed as a famous movie character or reenact a memorable scene from a film.
  2. Adult Elf Adventures: Come up with creative scenarios that only adults would appreciate. Have your elf sipping “hot cocoa” (whiskey) in a mini lounge chair, or reading a tiny newspaper at a tiny coffee table.
  3. Elf Workout: Set up a miniature gym with tiny weights, a yoga mat, and exercise equipment. Your elf can be shown doing yoga poses or lifting small weights to inspire you to stay active during the holiday season.
  4. Baking Elf: Place your Elf on the Shelf in a mini kitchen, busy at work baking tiny cookies or gingerbread men. You can even leave out a tiny apron and chef’s hat.
  5. Elf Spa Day: Create a spa scene with your elf relaxing in a mini bathtub with a bubble bath, wearing a tiny robe and a cucumber mask. This can be a humorous take on self-care during the holidays.
  6. Elf Movie Night: Set up a mini movie theater with a tiny screen, popcorn, and drinks. Your elf can be the “usher” or enjoying a film with tiny tickets in hand.
  7. Elf Travel Adventures: Create scenes where your elf “travels” to different countries by setting up tiny landmarks, flags, and souvenirs. This can be a fun way to explore different cultures.
  8. Elf as an Artist: Place your elf at a mini easel with tiny paintbrushes and a canvas. You can even add a little beret to give your elf an artistic flair.
  9. Elf as a DJ: Create a small DJ setup with your elf spinning some tiny records. You can even have a dance party with other dolls or figurines.
  10. Elf Game Night: Organize a miniature board game night with your elf playing games like Scrabble, Monopoly, or chess with other toys.
  11. Elf’s DIY Workshop: Set up a tiny workbench with tools, and have your elf pretend to be a handyman, fixing or building something small.
  12. Elf Fashion Show: Organize a fashion show for your elf with tiny outfits and accessories. You can even make a tiny runway for them to strut their stuff.
  13. Elf’s Mini Office: Arrange a tiny office desk complete with a computer, office supplies, and a desk chair. Your elf can be “hard at work” on a tiny laptop.
  14. Elf Sports Fan: If you’re a sports enthusiast, have your elf cheering on your favorite team with a mini pennant and foam finger.
  15. Elf Pranks: Just like the child-friendly version, adults can enjoy some light-hearted pranks like toilet papering the Christmas tree, making a mess in the kitchen, or rearranging holiday decorations.

Remember, the key is to have fun and let your creativity shine. Elf on the Shelf is all about adding a bit of magic and whimsy to the holiday season, so feel free to customize these ideas to suit your sense of humor and style.

Create unforgettable memories this Christmas with 101+ Elf on the Shelf ideas for fun and naughty surprises with your mischievous scout elf!

Elf on the Shelf Ideas FAQs

What is the number 1 rule for Elf on the Shelf?

The number one rule for Elf on the Shelf is quite simple: Do not touch the elf. Ever. This rule is crucial because touching your elf could make their magic disappear. 

Why can only parents touch the Elf on the Shelf?

A part of the tradition of Elf on the Shelf is the idea that only parents can touch the elf. It’s believed that Santa Claus grants this privilege to parents himself, as a way to keep the elf’s magical powers. By allowing only parents to touch the elf, the: 

  • Mystery is preserved
  • Children are kept in awe of their elf’s magic abilities
  • Makes the whole experience more captivating and magical for kids

What to do if Elf on the Shelf is touched?

If, by chance, your Elf on the Shelf is touched, don’t worry; it’s a common accident. The best way to handle it is to:

1. Remind your child the importance of not touching the elf, and 

2. Assure them that Santa understands it was an accident

Your elf’s magic is resilient, so you can explain that a simple apology (an apology note or a letter) and a sprinkle of cinnamon or a visit to a special “recharging” spot can help your elf regain their magic. 

Then, continue the tradition and enjoy the rest of the Christmas season.

What are some Elf on the Shelf ideas?

Elf on the Shelf ideas are limited only by your creativity and imagination! Your scout elf can get into all sorts of fun shenanigans! You can find 101+ Elf on the shelf ideas above in this post. Some popular ideas include having your elf:

  • Baking tiny cookies
  • Host miniature tea parties
  • Create interesting elf-sized artwork
  • Stage a snowball fight with other toys and stuffed animals
  • Zip line across the living room
  • Leave hidden messages

The key is to make each morning an enchanting and joyful experience that your children can barely wait for. The list with ideas in this post will help you achieve exactly this.

How does the Elf on the Shelf leave?

The departure of the Elf on the Shelf is just as magical as their arrival. On Christmas Eve, after your children are tucked into bed, your scout elf will make their way back to the North Pole. They travel with Santa Claus to provide a final report on your children’s behavior. 

I have prepared a section with Goodbye Elf on the Shelf Ideas above in the post that will help you with this emotional moment.

Planning Your Elf Shenanigans:

Final Words

There you have it, folks! 101+ Elf on the Shelf ideas, so your Christmas season is all set to be filled with laughter, magic, and unforgettable memories. I hope this list sparks your imagination and helps you design the most fascinating Elf on the Shelf adventures for your family!

As we wrap up this Christmas-inspired journey, I encourage you to take these ideas and make them your own. Feel free to mix, match, and create your unique Elf on the Shelf tradition that reflects your family’s personality and holiday spirit. 

Have you tried any of these ideas? Which one surprised you the most? I can’t wait to read in the comment section below!

Merry Christmas and Happy Elf on the Shelf adventures!

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