Do you want to have the Elf on the Shelf tradition be part of your familys holiday fun? Need ideas on how to use Elf on the Shelf? Have no fear! Weve got some easy Elf on the Shelf ideas that you can get started with now!
**UPDATED DAILY FOR ELF ON THE SHELF 2019**
With help from our friend Ashley at Lillard Love on YouTube, weve got some of the best Elf on the Shelf ideas you can find online today! From cute ideas to funny ideas, theres something for everyone!
And you know me, none of them are too complicated! Weve got to keep it simple but fun! If you need some help getting started with easy ideas, check out our favorite Elf on the Shelf accessories! Theyre a HUGE help!
(Be sure to check out the Lillards on YouTube! Theyre such a great family to count as our friends!)
50+ EASY ELF ON THE SHELF IDEAS
One thing that always had me hesitating when it came to elf ideas is just figuring out where to start!
If you have a favorite Elf idea, please leave a comment on this post!We love to hear about everyone elses elves!
If you need some easy ideas for the arrival of your Elf on the Shelf, weve got you covered! Check out these two posts for our favorite ideas and some FREE printables:
Once youve got the first day planned, youre going to be good to go. I promise! All of you have to do is snag some of the Elf ideas and youll be having as much fun as your kids!
BEST ELF OF THE SHELF IDEAS FOR 2019
**SCROLL DOWN FOR BRAND NEW IDEAS UPDATED AS WE DO THEM!**
Both Ashley and I are dealing with balancing elf ideas for our boys who are a little bit older (3rd grade) and the younger kids. These ideas should work well for kids of all ages!
DAY 1 THE ARRIVAL OF THE ELVES
Keep the arrival of your Elf easy by starting the tradition of them arriving with advent calendars for the kids! Its simple to plan! Print out an arrival letter(or write your own) and pick up your calendars! Day one is done!
Do you have more than one child and are thinking of having more than one elf? Adding a new Elf on the Shelf doll to the tradition is easy to do! Ashleysimply had their original Elf bring his brother and sister along once the younger kids were old enough for an elf. It wasnt a big deal and it seems to have worked well!
DAY 2 SNOWBALL FIGHT!
You can use cotton balls as tiny snowballs for the elves. Then think about ordering Indoor Snowballs that your kids can play with for extra fun!
When it comes to cute Elf on the Shelf ideas, this is one of my favorites!
DAY 3 CHRISTMAS COOKIES
Warning! This can be one of the messiest elf ideas weve got. But its so cute and its so fun that you might want to consider it! Clean up is really easy too since youre not actually baking or anything.
Ashley got some personalized Elf cookies this year, but Ive found that the kids pretty much like waking up to any kind of cookies made by the elves (especially if you let them have one for breakfast)!
If youre worried about leaving the elves like this all day, Ashley recommends you move them using tongs (you cant touch the Elf on the Shelf) and then clean up the mess.
DAY 4 NAME STRAWS
The key to easy Elf ideas is balance. Not every day has to be something involved. Having the elves bring a cute little goodie for your kids is a great way to handle things.
You can order personalized name straws on KrazyStraws.com and use them all year long!
DAY 5 ELVES IN A SNOWGLOBE
If you have a chalkboard door or wall in your house this is one of the most adorable ideas Ive seen!
The trick to getting the elves to stick isnt tape Ashley actually used black string to hang them so they dont just fall on the floor. We wouldnt want them to end up on the floor, right?
DAY 6 ELF SLEEPOVER
Okay, how cute and EASY is this Elf on the Shelf idea?
Find a drawer in your home (or even show boxes) and have your elves hang out with some of your kids favorite dolls and action figures! They can have a sleepover and watch Christmas movies!
This is a great idea to use on a morning when you plan to have a family movie night to watch your favorite Christmas movie!
DAY 7 ICE CREAM PARTY
Plan an ice cream party with the elves! This could just be a cute setup or you could actually make ice cream sundaes with the kids or take them out to get ice cream!
DAY 8 DINOSAUR DIG
One of the best ways to use your Elf on the Shelf is to pull from things your kids love and their interests. Rock and dinosaur kits are fun gifts your elves can bring that are easy Elf on the Shelf ideas for boys (and girls too)!
I love elf ideas where they bring an activity for the kids to do because it keeps the kids busy and engaged during a time of year when that can feel challenging!
DAY 9 ELVES GET CRAFTY
I love what Ashley did with this idea. Having the kids make paper snowflakes is always a fun thing to do with them in December. Its a great way to disconnect and spend time with the family during the holidays.
Having the elves hang the snowflakes and then bring another craft activity is the way to keep everyone busy all month long! You dont have to spend a lot on getting supplies. Use the paint, glue, glitter, etc. that you have around the house. Pick up some wooden snowflakes or ornaments at your local craft store and make memories together!
DAY 10 WHAT HAPPENS WHEN AN ELF FARTS?
If you need more Elf on the Shelf ideas for boys, here is one you HAVE to plan for your kids!
Both of my kids are obsessed with everything having to do with bodily functions! You can get all of the fart supplies for this one on Amazon so its super easy to do!
DAY 11 DECORATING THE TREE
Let your elves get involved in your other holiday traditions!
Its so easy to let them have helped by adding some extra ornaments to your Christmas tree!
DAY 12 LETTERS TO SANTA
Writing letters to Santa is one of our holiday traditions. Having your Elf on the Shelf write one too is a great way to introduce it! If you want to get fancy, have your elf bring cute stationery and a new pen for your child to write with!
DAY 13 UGLY SWEATER PARTY
This is one of my favorite Elf on the Shelf ideas ever! You know you have dolls and action figures laying around the house. Well, there are some fun doll clothes out there this time of year! Plan your own Elf Ugly Sweater Party!
You could gift your kids their own ugly sweaters or just have fun setting the scene!
Amazon has some sweaters to get you started:
- Elf on the Shelf Boy Sweater Set
- Elf on the Shelf Tacky Sweater
- Hip Holiday Wear
- Scout Elf Superhero Girl
Ashley also used a Santa wine bottle cover for Iron Mans costume. Many of the other sweaters were actually ornaments she found! They fit the dolls and figures wonderfully so watch for these when youre shopping the after Christmas sales!
I will continue updating Ashleys great ideas as she finishes up her Elf on the Shelf Ideas for 2018! So be sure to come back tomorrow!
But Ive got plenty of our ideas to share with you! If you like your elf just a little naughty, scroll on! (Trust me, nothing too crazy here! We only do family friendly Elf on the Shelf ideas!)
FUNNY ELF ON THE SHELF IDEAS
No matter how good-natured, sometimes that Christmas Elf gets himself into a little bit of trouble!
Have your Elf show up disguised as Santa! Cotton balls are all you need!
If you have some Mistletoe hung around your house, its the perfect place to find your elf getting a little smooch. My kids love the song, I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus, so they get a big kick out of our Elf getting a kiss too!
If your child wants to carry your Elf on the Shelf around with them, a jar (especially if you can find the plastic ones) is a perfect solution! Then your elf can go wherever you go this holiday season!
But the jar is also a good place to find your elf getting into some shenanigans!
You can fill the jar with marshmallows (just make sure they arent sticky) or with cotton balls to represent snowballs! This is another idea that works great with the snowball fight theme.
Having our elf swing in on some yarn or string is one of my favorite arrival ideas. You can have him hang down on the fireplace, by the front door, or just by a window in your house.
Or if you just need some easy to plan antics, he can be rappelling down the window frame! This one is easy to set up and easy to clean up!
All you need is some yarn or string and a craft stick to make your own DIY Elf Swing! Then he can swing from any place you can hang him. You could even do an entire month of Elf on the Shelf ideas with him swinging from different places in your home!
Talk about easy Elf on the Shelf ideas!
Maybe your Elf missing the North Pole or maybe hes bringing your kids a sweet treat (peppermint ice cream, anyone?). Either way, the kids are also entertained when the elf somehow gets himself trapped in the freezer!
Its one of the last places my kids think to look and it always has them laughing!
The bathroom seems to be a favorite place for those naughty elves. Ive seen some elaborate set ups from parents who are far more detailed than I am! But let me tell you a secret.
All you have to do is have your elf anywhere near the toilet seat and the kids will be hysterical. Theres just something about toilets, I guess.
If youre looking to let your Christmas Elf make a bit of a mess but also want it to be easy to clean up, let him roll a spool of ribbon down the stairs!
Stock up on a cheap spool of ribbon after Christmas and youll be ready for next year! Plus you can use it to wrap gifts once your elf is done playing!
If you live in the South as we do, there are days where it doesnt quite feel like winter. Its the perfect excuse to take your Elf on the Shelf outside!
Grab some chalk (we always have a bucket in the garage) and have him invite the kids to play a little hopscotch!
One of the easiest Elf on the Shelf ideas came to me once when I had forgotten to move the elf.
It happens to the best of us.
If you forget to move the elf, there are tons of things you can do. But I found that one of the easiest was to tell the kids that I think he was trying to trick them and had a surprise up his sleeve.
When they got home from school, our elf had a treat for them! Milkshakes for all!
The kids werent disappointed at all!
Were lucky enough that Westons GT teacher at school was willing to share some her fun ideas with us too! How cute (and how easy) is this fun idea. If you have a shower and an umbrella, youve got one day of your elf antics covered!
What happens when your elf comes to visit and its Tuesday?
TACO TUESDAY, of course!
This is a fun idea for any Tuesday during December. We suggest that you have tacos for dinner on this night!
Heres another take on the Elf on the Shelf in the bathroom. The kids love it every single time.
Come on, its kind of cute, isnt it?
Another easy bathroom related Elf on the Shelf idea is to have your elf take a shower while the kids sleep.
All you need is a little washcloth or another piece of fabric to turn into a turban or a towel! Its another very simple idea!
Heres an idea that always brings some giggles out.
Tucked into bed?
I thought they said tucked into BREAD!
If youve got a loaf of bread, this elf idea is a great one to keep in mind!
If your kids are into science then this Elf Magic experiment is one they should enjoy!
All you need is a bag of Skittles. Arrange them in a circle to do this Skittles science experiment. Your elf can leave it set up for the kids. Then all you do is have your kids pour water in the middle of the plate until it reaches the candy. Then have them wait and see what happens!
Its Elf Magic!
Heres another idea for a little elf mischief that isnt too naughty!
Its actually kind of fun as the parent too! If you have an older child helping you with your Elf on the Shelf, this is a great way to get them involved in helping surprise their siblings!
Do you have Nerf guns laying around the house? If youre like my kids then the answer is yes. Or if Weston cant find any of his, hes always trying to buy a new one.
Why not set up a little battle between your elf and one of your childs favorite stuffed animals?
If youre the type who has your Elf bring little gifts for the kids, the small Nerf guns are usually pretty cheap. On Amazon, this one usually ends up being $4-$6 if you watch it for a little while. Click here to use our affiliate link to order yours!
Its fashion show time! Elf on the Shelf ideas for girls are great if youre trying to do things that you know theyll love.
Gather up all of their favorite dolls, dress them all up, and set up a little show for your daughter to wake up to! Its a super easy idea and you can even buy a new outfit for your Elf on the Shelf to wear in the show!
In 2019 we welcomed some new elves into our lives. Before this year, we only had one elf from when my son was younger. This year the kids asked Santa if he would send an elf for both of them. Hes such a nice guy that he did just that! So we welcome our new elves and got to have fun naming them again!
If you need help naming your elf, weve got a guide to Elf on the Shelf names to help you!
Meet Mr. H and Nora Laura Cora. The boy is named after Houston and Im not sure about Nora!
This was our simple Elf on the Shelf arrival idea for this year. We picked up cute little houses in the dollar spot at Target and added a bit of fake snow and some bottle brush trees! This set up was easy and the kids loved it!
I loved this idea. Next year I might have the kids make little craft Gingerbread houses to leave out to welcome the elves.
Dont forget to buy your sparkling snow too!
MORE CUTE ELF ON THE SHELF IDEAS
Some of my blogging friends have more amazing Elf on the Shelf Ideas to try this year!
If youre looking for something fun to do with the kids on a weekend, trying making Elf Munch! Its an easy recipe my friend Jana put together! Learn how to make Elf Munch and try it this weekend!
Need a new accessory for your Elf? Or maybe you need to change your boy elf into a girl elf!
Try this Elf Tutu tutorial from Madame Deals! Its so easy to make and SO CUTE!
Mom on the Side has another one of my favorite Elf ideas! Its an easy scavenger hunt! I love it because its another activity to keep kids having fun this holiday season!
She has a free printable which makes it so simple to plan. Check out her Elf on the Shelf Scavenger hunt and plan yours today! Youll love it! I promise!
Printable Elf on the Shelf Hats
Want to have your elf do something fun with those family photos you have hung around the house? My friend Jen at The Suburban Mom has printable Elf on the Shelf hats you can have your Elf use to turn your family into his or her family!
How cute are these?
EVEN MORE ELF IDEAS!
If these ideas arent enough for your Christmas Elf, have no fear! We have a lot of other Elf on the Shelf ideas that Ive used over the years! You can click here to see them all or check out the links below.
Oh, and if you need help naming a new Elf (or want to find out what your Elf name would be), check out our Ultimate Guide to Elf on the Shelf names!
Here are some of our ideas from the past. These are some of the easiest ideas youll find!
- A Week of Easy Elf on the Shelf Ideas (many work great for toddlers and younger kids)
- Another Week of Elf on the Shelf
- Elf on the Shelf Bedtime Story
- Elf Hugs
- Elf Working Overtime
- Elfs Got a Brand New Car
- Stuffed Animal Karaoke Party
- Elf Block Party
- Elf Princess Dreams (Book Idea)
- Mirror Messages
- Toilet Paper Roll
- The Elf Gets Crafty
- Gingerbread House
- Elf Gets Cooking
- Breakfast Cereal Messages
- Elf Manicure (this is one of our most popular Elf on the Shelf ideas!)
WHICH IDEA IS YOUR FAVORITE?
We love hearing about what different families like to do with the elves.
Leave a comment and tell us about your favorite Elf on the Shelf tradition!
Is your elf a bit naughty or sweet as can be?
WHERE TO BUY
Its never too late to get in on the best Elf on the Shelf ideas! Most local stores have Elf on the Shelf Kits that you can pick up when youre out shopping.
We prefer the convenience of Amazon! They have a variety of different Elf on the Shelf kits to choose from! So get yours today if you still need one or are looking for an addition to your Elf Crew!
The Elf on the ShelfElf on the Shelf: blue-eyed girlThe Elf on the Shelf: Girl Elf Bonus Party SKirtsElf On The Shelf: Boy with Customizable Christmas Sweater SetThe Elf on the Shelf: Girl Elf (Brown Eyed) with Snowflake Skirt & ScarfThe Elf on the Shelf: Boy Elf (Brown Eyed) with Totally Tubular Snow Set
Get yours and get started on the fun this year. Or get ready for next year! Its never too late to start an Elf on the Shelf tradition!
Pin the image below so you dont miss out on any of our updates! Youll have all the Elf on the Shelf ideas you need to keep it fresh this year and for years to come!