Do you do Elf on the Shelf?
We did it for the first time last year and it was SO much fun! Harrison (my youngest) absolutely loved running downstairs each morning to see what mischief his Elf (who he named Buddy) had been up to during the night. Each morning he’d be somewhere different and it was Harrison’s job to hunt him down. With only a couple of weeks until the start of December, it’s not long until Buddy arrives again. Realising I need to get my thinking cap on, I thought I’d share the quick and easy Elf on the Shelf ideas we came up with last year. Need some new ideas of what to do with your Elf? Keep scrolling!
New to Elf on the Shelf?
If you’ve never done it before, Elf on the Shelf is a great way to have some fun in the run up to Christmas Eve. Not only does it make the build up even more exciting, it’s something the whole family can get involved in too. PLUS, there’s an added bonus….it really helps with getting your kids to do what you’ve asked! It takes the “Santa’s watching you” to a whole new level because now you have a ‘spy’ in the home!
The idea is pretty simple really. Sent by Santa, your Elf arrives at the beginning of December (or earlier if you want). Staying until Christmas Eve, each night he flies back to the North Pole to report on your kids’ behaviour. Each morning he has a new hiding place and will have got up to some kind of mischief. What kind of mischief? It’s our job to decide!
So do you want to know what quick and easy Elf on the Shelf ideas we came up with last year?! Here they are:
- Arriving from the North Pole by special courier. The doorbell rang and there was Elf, sitting on the doormat holding a welcome letter from Santa!
- Hiding in the Christmas tree. Sitting on one of the branches, Elf held a note that said “let’s read together every night before bed”. Under the tree was a Christmas-themed chapter book waiting to be unwrapped.
- Playing hide and seek in the cutlery drawer.
- Elf sitting with pens, envelopes and a stamp. The note next to him said “it’s time to write your letter to Santa!”.
- Elf with paper chains and a note saying “let’s make some together”.
- Gym Elf. We put giant marshmallows on either end of a cocktail stick and had Elf ‘working out’!
- Elf captured! Elf was tied up and surrounded by Harrison’s army men.
- Spiderman Elf. We hung Buddy upside down wearing a homemade Spiderman mask.
- Elf went for a spin. Harrison found him sitting in his RC Rover holding the remote control.
- Toasting marshmallows. Sitting by the fire with a marshmallow (toasted the night before) on a bamboo stick.
- Mechanic Elf. Buddy put Harrison’s RC Rover up on Lego blocks and lay underneath it and surrounded by Daddy’s mini tool kit.
- A mini Christmas tree. Harrison wanted his own Christmas tree for his bedroom. So we had Buddy bring him a miniature one all the way back from Lapland!
- Elf spelt out “good morning” on the kitchen floor with chocolate Cheerios from the cupboard.
- Learning to fly. We sat Elf on the eldest’s desk, arms around the joystick of his flight sim.
- Swinging on the baubles. We had baubles hanging from the bannister, so we sat Elf on one of them!
- Letter from Santa. Harrison came down to find Elf sitting on the doormat holding a reply from Santa.
- Don’t forget to pack me! We were going away for the weekend so we sat Elf on Harrison’s suitcase holding a toothbrush. The note next to him said “take me with you!”.
- Elf spelt out “Santa says hi!” with Scrabble tiles.
- Attacked by T-Rex! We lay Elf on the floor, his foot in the mouth of one of Harrison’s dinosaurs.
- Lego Elf. Elf built a sleigh out of Lego and sat our Christmas reindeer in it!
- Raiding the cookbooks. Elf got the cookbooks off the shelf, chose one and sat on the sofa to read it.
- Battleships. Harrison came down to find Elf playing his Battleships game on the floor of the lounge.
- Let’s make chocolates! We sat Elf on the worktop with some chocolate and our chocolate-making moulds.
- Time to say goodbye. A note saying goodbye with a Christmas Eve box to open as a parting gift.
There you have it….24 quick and easy Elf on the Shelf ideas! That’s one for each day from December 1st right up until Christmas Eve. So if you’re stuck for ideas, simply pick a few of these!
Making Elf on the Shelf easy…
Want to make Elf on the Shelf even easier? Here’s a few things we learnt from our first year:
- Have a list of ideas at the ready. Not every day has to be set in stone, but having a few ideas to choose from will really help.
- Prepare what you can in advance. A box of ‘props’ stashed away can literally save you hours.
- Keep things simple. Not all of my ideas last year turned out to be as easy or practical as I’d hoped. Try to pick things that are quick to set up and use items you already have around the home. It’s SO much easier!
- Set everything up before you go to bed. Put a reminder on your phone for the same time each evening so you don’t forget.
- If you do forget, just hide Elf and write a sick note! Something along the lines of; “I ate far too much candy last night! I’m not feeling very well so I’m staying at Santa’s today…I’ll be back tomorrow morning” will do the trick. Your kids will be non-the-wiser!
Want more ideas?
The best place to find quick and easy Elf on the Shelf ideas? Pinterest! Check out my Elf on the Shelf Pinterest board here… On it you’ll find lots of awesome quick and easy Elf on the Shelf ideas from all over the web. There’s all the activity sheets and printables that I used last year too. You can find the Elf Adoption Certificate and report cards I used here… Here’s some of my favourite Elf on the Shelf ideas and activities:
- Elf on the Shelf Welcome Letter Printable from Crystal and Co.
- 25 Elf on the Shelf Quick and Easy Ideas that take Under 5 Mins from Over the Big Moon
- 70 Elf on the Shelf Ideas from The Diary of a Frugal Family
- 100 Elf on the Shelf Name Ideas from Dear Crissy
- Candy Cane Scavenger Hunt from East Coast Mommy
- Elf on the Shelf Activity Wordsearch from Pretty My Party
- 18 Printables to Seriously Up Your Elf on the Shelf Game from Buzzfeed.com
Quick and easy Elf on the Shelf ideas…
Elf on the Shelf really is a lot of fun. Child or adult, it’s guaranteed to put smiles on the faces of everyone in your family. The younger ones will enjoy discovering what Elf has been up to each night and the adults get to come up with the ideas. If you have older children who won’t be fooled by the idea, let them in on the secret too. Have them come up with some ways for Elf to get up to mischief and get them to help set things up. For us, it was mainly my Hubby and the eldest that did all the setting up each night – it became the highlight of their evening!
What will your Elf get up to this year? With a little bit of imagination….and maybe a bit of help from Pinterest….the possibilities are endless!
That’s it for this post! If you like what you’ve read be sure to subscribe so you never miss a post! Join my tribe and kick-start creating a family life you love right now by filling in your details below. Receive my FREE Daily Planner as a thank-you!
Do you do Elf on the Shelf? What are your favourite ways for Elf to get into ‘mischief’? Let me know in the comments below!
Until next time…
P.S. Before you go…
Have you read my A Christmas Less Stressed series yet? Designed to make your Christmas less stressful and more enjoyable, make sure you don’t miss a post! Here’s the series so far…
- A Christmas Less Stressed: Your Guide to a Happy Christmas
- 30 Days to a Happy Christmas
- A Christmas Less Stressed: How to Plan a Happy and Stress-Free Christmas
- A Christmas Less Stressed: How to Get Your Christmas Shopping Done