The 25 Best Elf on the Shelf Ideas of All Time

Clipart image of a happy little Christmas elf.

Over the past few years, a new Christmas tradition has taken a stronghold in the homes of many Americans. A tradition that is as fun as it is crazy and stressful. It is something that must not be forgotten, and if done right, it can give parents the upper hand during the holidays. It must be respected. It must be tended to nightly. But most importantly, it MUST NOT BE TOUCHED! I am talking about the infamous Elf on the Shelf. This phenomenon has swept the nation, winning over the hearts of children time and time again. Bringing Santa’s elves into the homes of every child, the elf on the shelf watches over children to ensure they are behaving. They report back to Santa nightly and reappear in a different location each morning, sending children on a hunt to find them. Some of Santa’s elves leave treats for the children, while others get themselves into precarious situations. It has become a game of who can devise the best elf on the shelf ideas. What will your elf do this year that is bigger and better than last year? Feed your imagination with the 25 best elf on the shelf ideas of all time. Reuse one of these ideas or add a twist to them to make your own new creation.

Clipart image of a happy little Christmas elf.

The Top 25 Elf on the Shelf Ideas – In No Particular Order

  1. The Artist – If you can draw then so can your elf on the shelf. Doodle away and then set your elf on the shelf up with a sketchpad and a pencil.
  2. The Baker – If you love to bake, then whip up some holiday treats and let Santa’s elves serve them. Plop an apron on your elf on the shelf and your assistant baker is ready to go!
  3. The Sack Race – Line your elf on the shelf and other dolls up in lunch bags and display them in a classic potato sack race. All bets are on the elf on the shelf winning this one!
  4. Prisoner Elf – If your kids are into battle games or soldiers, then line up your best fighting figures and tape your elf to the wall as a prisoner. Your kids are surely to get a laugh out of this one!
  5. A Night on the Town – Set your elf on the shelf up with Barbie (or Ken if you have a female elf) for a date night. They can hang out in the Barbie Dreamhouse together or take a ride in Barbie’s pink car.
  6. Sugar High – Leave your elf on the shelf caught in the act of candy stealing. Simply place your elf inside an opened bag of candies and sprinkle some extras on the counter to perfect the pose.
  7. The Snow Angel – Sprinkle some flour down and then fan out your elves arms and legs to make the perfect snow angel.
  8. The Super Hero – Attach a cape to your elf and grab some clear string to leave him mid-air for your kids’ delight come morning.
  9. Nap time – Nothing says nap time like a bed of marshmallows on which your elf on the shelf can rest his head.
  10. Late Night Snack – Leftover pizza? No problem! Prop open that box and let your elf on the shelf devour the remnants of last night’s quick dinner.
  11. Frozen Elf – We know there are tons of Frozen fanatics out there. If you’re really committed to these elf on the shelf ideas, then freeze your elf overnight and display Anna the Ice Queen next to him in the morning. This is a tough one so hats off to whoever tackles it!
  12. Ziplining – All you need is a string and your elf on the shelf can go ziplining across any room in your house!
  13. The Acrobat – Use red ribbon and a candy cane to make a trapeze bar from which your elf on the shelf can dangle by his legs.
  14. Scavenger Hunt – Hide some holiday treats such as candy canes around the room and leave your elf with a sign telling your kids to go find them.
  15. Sleigh Riding – Repurpose any lid or plastic plate into a sled for your elf on the shelf and send them sledding down the banister.
  16. Tangled Up – Let your elf on the shelf help put up the Christmas lights.
  17. A Clean Shave – Slap some shaving cream on your elf on the shelf and help spruce up Santa’s elves.elf2
  18. Pass the Sugar – If you have seen the movie Elf, then you know elves love sugar. All you need is a straw and some maple syrup. Or take it a step further and recreate Buddy the Elf’s famous spaghetti dish with syrup and candy piled high.
  19. Baby It’s Cold Outside – Daring elves can spend a day outside peeking in through a window to watch over the kids. Just be sure to put a blanket or scarf on your elf first!
  20. Bungee Jumping – Simply tie a jump rope to the top of the banister or a curtain rod and then secure your elf on the shelf on the other end and you have a bungee jumping elf!
  21. Hiding Among the Ornaments – Squeeze your elf on the shelf in an open branch on the Christmas tree and see how long it takes the kids to find him.
  22. Making Snowflakes – Santa’s elves love to make paper snowflakes. Show your artistic side by cutting out a few and then have your elf hold the scissors (childproof scissors of course – safety first!) mid-snowflake.
  23. Campfire – Have your elf on the shelf roast some mini marshmallows over a candle.
  24. The Musician – Recycle some empty tin cans and lids to create a drum set for your elf to play.
  25. The Gym Rat – Use a straw with a large marshmallow on each end to make a barbell for your elf on the shelf to work on his muscles all day long.

This last covers the span from simple to complex, as well as naughty and nice. So have fun this Christmas season and deliver some extra cheer courtesy of Santa’s elves. The elf on the shelf phenomenon is not going away, so embrace it and let it fill your season with some extra fun and laughter.