24 elf-on-the-shelf ideas for the whole month

If you are looking for super easy elf-on-the-shelf ideas then look no further. these easy ideas will keep you going for the month and can be done year after year whatever age your kids are!

Day one of Elf on the shelf

Elf arrives with a letter, delivers advent calendars, and a December box if you do them. 

This is the most straightforward set-up as you just need to place the elves somewhere, print off or handwrite a letter, and if you do December boxes that include advent calendars and Christmas PJs. 

22 Ideas for elf on the shelf 

I wanted to share with you 22 ideas that you can enjoy throughout the month of December. Days 1 and 24 are usually the same. The following ideas can be done at any time throughout the month of December, depending on whether you want easy set-ups or are doing anything specific. 

Elf makes breakfast 

This one is as easy as it sounds and can take very minimal effort to set up. It could be as simple as putting some cereal in a bowl, putting a few across the work surface and sticking the elf inside the box. Or they could make burnt toast, get butter everywhere, or try and add chocolate spread to something. 

Traditional North Pole breakfast

A traditional north pole breakfast is full of sugar. So you could set up a hamper of sugary treats from the elf, or physically set up a breakfast of pancakes and sweet treats. 

Letter writing to Santa 

The elf could provide a letter-writing kit or some paper and pens with a simple request that they write their letter to Santa asking what they would like. This is a great way to get them to write a list, especially if they haven’t been forthcoming with their ideas. 

Redecorates the Christmas tree with toilet roll

If your child likes misbehaving then wind toilet roll all around the tree and stick the elf on top to show that they have done it. This is a quick one that gets a great reaction from the kids. 

Decorates the Christmas tree with underpants

Equally, another great one involving the Christmas tree is to add their underpants or knickers to them. You could cover the whole tree with them. 

Removes all of the decorations 

If you don’t mind the effort of removing the decoration only to have to put them back up again then this is a great fun trick the elf can play. The kids will love it. Perfect if you need a reason to redo the tree. 

Plays Hide and Seek

This is a simple idea. Just hide the elf somewhere. If you want to get creative you could leave clues or a note asking them to find the elf. 

Reading/Playing with your kid’s toys 

Another simple set-up is to use the kids’ toys. Have the elf read a story to a few of their favourite toys, or set up a game so it looks like the toys have been playing with them. 

Draws on fruit 

If you are short on time and you have a sharpie to hand then draw some funny faces on the fruit.

Is found outside

Sometimes you just need something simple, so put the elf outside. It can look like they were late back from the north pole. Or if you can, put the elf in the car with the seatbelt strapped ready to be discovered on your way to school. 

Wraps up the toilet 

If you have some time and you know that nobody will need the toilet during the night, then you could wrap up the toilet seat. This can be very mischievous and some kids really like the toilet humour. 

Wraps up school uniform

Another one that involves wrapping paper can be easy to do. Why not wrap up their school uniform ready for them to discover in the morning? 

Provides Christmas Jumpers 

This is perfect for Christmas jumper day or a day you want the kids to wear a Christmas jumper. The elf can deliver them. 

Delivers Christmas crafts 

Crafts are an easy way to keep the kids occupied, and the elf could deliver different craft sets or provide materials to make something. 

Has turned the milk green in the fridge 

A simple trick using green food colouring. Just add a few drops to some milk, perhaps one you are happy to sacrifice, and then put the elf next to the milk

Has a cold/is poorly 

If you need a simple idea, or perhaps your little ones are not well then the elf can be poorly as well. Make a small thermometer or just put a lot of screwed-up tissues around it. 

Tired and needs a sleep

If the elf is tired, then you can set up a little bed for them. 

Christmas wrapping across the bedroom door

A fun idea if your little ones don’t wake easily is to add wrapping paper to the entrance of their door so they have to smash through it. This also works well with balloons. 

Snowball fight

You can set up a snowball fight between the elf and another toy using cotton balls. 

Stealing or eating chocolates 

If you have a box of chocolates, screw up some wrappers and smear some chocolate on the elf’s face. Sit them down with the box. Or set up a tower of cans showing the elves trying to steal the chocolates. 

Playing video games 

An easy setup is to sit the elf with the games console or games console controller and put the game on the screen. 

Stuck in the TV

Lastly, if you search elf on the shelf stuck in tv on youtube it provides a still image of the elf on the tv for over an hour of time. Then just hide the elf. 

Christmas eve 

The elf delivers a Christmas eve box if you do them, any traditional items like a Santa plate, reindeer food etc, and a letter saying goodbye and see you next year. 

Finally, your elf will part ways with a letter and deliver any traditional things you might do as a family such as a Christmas Eve box or items you may do the night before. 

I hope this has given you some inspiration for the elf on the shelf. If you think there may be a day that you forget be sure to read my guide of reasons to use if the elf doesn’t move because you forgot!

Are you looking for an advent calendar too? Check out my guide to the best Advent calendars this year.

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