We have the best Elf on the Shelf ideas for this holiday season. We think Elf-on-the-Shelf is such a fun tradition for kids that makes amazing memories as a family. No need to stress out over Elf’s movements, we have easy Elf ideas that make Elf season a breeze!

Text: elf in the shelf adventures - collage of easy elf ideas for moving Elf on the shelf during the Christmas season
Oh so many good ideas for Elf on the Shelf!

Elf on the Shelf Ideas we Love

What a great way to count down to Christmas with some goofy, silly, and even kind elf activities. Plus it helps your kids stay excited for Christmas all month long!

Related: Even More Elf on the Shelf Ideas! Or check out All You Need to Know about Elf on the Shelf! It answers all of your questions about the elf and has more free elf ideas than you could ever use!

Here are some ideas that we have found that are family-friendly and great for making memories with your kids.

Getting Started with Elf on the Shelf

The way this works, you get the “elf”  and he comes to your house to check up and report back to Santa, to tell him if your kids were naughty or nice. Our family tradition is to not do the naughty/nice stuff, but we love hosting our Elf friend from the North Pole and finding our elf in the morning – up to some crazy antics – with our kids.

This article contains affiliate links.

Elf on the Shelf Ideas for Kids: Adventure Elf

1. Looking At Christmas Lights

Get a map and draw a route to go visit the Christmas lights with your elf (love this one – it’s a girl).

2. Kindness Elves

What about a kindness elf? I love this idea from The Idea Room.

3. Elf On The Shelf Excuses

Did your elf forget to move? Keep these free printable excuses ready to go!

4. Elf Antics

Bungy jumping off the cliff of steps with a slinky.

5. Joy Riding With Barbie

Go find him after he took Barbie joy-riding through the house.

6. Elf On The Shelf In The Fridge

He might miss the North Pole and hang out in the fridge for a reminder of home.

7. Elf Goes Sledding

Your elf might go sledding… down your banister.

8. Trip To The North Pole

He might try to go back to the north pole, riding a sleigh pulled by ponies.

9. Elf Rocket Ship

Hurry. You might need to stop your elf from taking a trip to the North pole, via rocket ship (free printable).

More Ideas for Elf on the Shelves

more and more elf on the shelf ideas
Oh that Silly Elf on the Shelf!

Elf might have a lazy day planned for your family including popcorn and a movie.

10. Spider Man Elf

He might pretend to be Spider-man and try to save the day.

11. Wake Up Elf

He might be waiting –  swinging over your door – he can’t wait for you to wake up!

12. Make Elf Smell Good

Add some Christmas spirit to your elf and dose him in Winter Blend Essential Oils.

New Easy Ideas for Elf on the Shelves

the helpful elf in the shelf activity ideas
Elf is so Helpful?

13. Elf Feeding Your Pets

He could feed the dog with your toy trucks.  Inspired by this post.

14. Baking Cookies With Elf

You might catch him after school, whipping up a batch of cookies.

15. Enjoying Donuts With Elf

One morning you might see him bringing donuts for breakfast to all the little dolls.

16. Sweet Elf Breakfast

He might get a head start on breakfast… serving popcorn, milk and sprinkles to his host family (you).

17. Cereal Bracelets

A lover of nature, Elf is making cereal bracelets for the branches, to feed the birds.

18. Elf Has Gone Fishing

He could also go fishing in the sink!

Easy Elf on the Shelf Idea: Mischievous Elf

pranks from your elf in the shelf
Here are some Really Easy Elf on the Shelf Ideas

19. Elf Milk

Turning your milk into “Elf Milk.”

20. Elf Pranks

Elf put underwear on the Christmas tree! How silly.

Elf on the Shelf Ideas for Kids: Elf in Trouble

40 elf in the shelf activities that your kids will love
What Happens when Elf on the Shelf Gets Mischievious?

21. Locked Out Of The House

He might lock himself out of the house – and you will have to go rescue him!

22. Elf Lost His Glitter Magic

It would be a sad day if the elf lost all his glitter magic. You might need to get him some more sparkles.

23. How Did Elf Get Stuck?

He might get stuck under a glass, when he was looking for hot chocolate.

24. Messy Elf

Look at the mess he left when he made snowflakes!

Easy Elf on the Shelf Ideas for Home

terrific ideas for a friendly elf-on-the-shelf this christmas
Elf Has so much fun around the house!

25. Hide And Seek With Elf

Elf might challenge you to a game – like Hide-n-Seek.

26. Hiding Candy Around The House

He might hide candy canes around the house for you to find!

27. Building With LEGOS

Your elf might find a pile of LEGOS, and start building something fun!

28. Marshmallow Bath

Or he’ll enjoy a marshmallow bath – and you can munch on the goodies with him!

29. Playing With Puzzles

Your elf may have been up all night puzzling and need your help to finish his puzzle in the morning.

30. Elf Stew

He is making an after school surprise for you – elf stew! (via Emma Klosson)

Fun Elf on the Shelf Ideas

40 ideas for elf on the shelf
Oh that cute Elf on the Shelf!

31. Hiding In The Freezer

Your elf might be hiding in the freezer, trying to eat all the popsicles.

32. Stuck In The Candy Jar

He might get himself stuck inside a candy jar and need your help to get him out.

33. Pile Of Snow

You may find a pile of “snow” greeting you when you get home and a silly elf playing.

34. Toy Parade

Your elf might rally all the toy animals or toy cars in your house for a Christmas parade.

35. Army Men Holding Elf Hostage

All the plastic army men are holding Elf hostage! You have to save him!

Printable Daily Activity Calendar for Elf on the Shelf Ideas

A whole month of printable elf ideas for Elf on the Shelf

We have so many easy last minute Elf on the Shelf ideas calendar that you can instantly print and create elf antics:

Surprise and delight the kids with these fun Elf on the Shelf ideas!

download and Print Easy Elf on the Shelf Ideas Calendar PDF

Month of Elf on the Shelf Ideas Includes:

  1. Your elf can play Elf on the Shelf games with this printable bingo cards that are elf-sized.
  2. Print these super cute Elf on the Shelf cookies.
  3. This printable set of elf yoga poses are fun and easy!
  4. Elf on the shelf snowman parts printable will have this idea implemented in a minute with just a toilet paper roll!
  5. Printable Elf on the Shelf hot cocoa set.
  6. Printable Elf on the Shelf treasure map.
  7. Printable Elf on the Shelf superhero set.
  8. Download and print Elf on the Shelf basketball set.
  9. These printable Elf on the Shelf games are easy to set up.
  10. The elf workout printable pages are so cute!
  11. This printable mustache fits your elf perfectly.
  12. A printable template for your own elf bake sale.
  13. Elf race car printable for kids.
  14. Elf on the Shelf ball pit idea with printable signs.
  15. Elf on the shelf printable cookie recipe cards.
  16. You can print your own Elf on the Shelf sleeping bag.
  17. Use these cute printables to make an Elf on the Shelf classroom scene.
  18. Turn your Elf in the Shelf into a scientist with this free printable set.
  19. I love this printable Elf on the Shelf candy cane hunt has the cutest elf size candy canes.
  20. Elf on the Shelf lemonade stand printable activity.
  21. Elf on the shelf baseball idea with free printables.
  22. Create an elf castle with printable foldables for elf.
  23. Tic tac toe printable for elf…it is elf sized!
  24. Printable Elf on the Shelf beach scene.
  25. Make an Elf on the Shelf photo booth with these free printable pages.
  26. Make a teeny tiny Elf on the Shelf coloring book for elf.
  27. Christmas countdown chain printable for Elf on the Shelf.
  28. Printable golf flags for elf.

Elf on the Shelf Idea FAQs

What do you do with Elf on the Shelf during the day?

During the day, Elf on the Shelf can be found getting up to all sorts of mischief! Some people like to move their elf to a different spot each morning, while others like to leave their elf in the same place but with a different prop or accessory. The possibilities are endless, so let your imagination run wild!

How many times a day does Elf on the Shelf move?

The number of times that Elf on the Shelf moves is completely up to you! Some people like to move their elf multiple times a day, while others prefer to move their elf just once a day. It’s all about what works best for you and your family.

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

The “Elf on the Shelf” is a wacky holiday tradition where a tiny toy elf is placed in a house and acts as Santa’s snitch, reporting back to the big man in red on the behavior of the kiddos. The number one rule for this tradition is that the elf must not be touched or moved by anyone except for the person in charge of moving it daily. This is because the elf is believed to lose its magical powers if it is touched or moved by anyone else. The person in charge of moving the elf is typically a parent or other adult in the household, and they have to come up with creative and amusing ways to position the elf each day. It’s a tough job, but someone’s gotta do it!

What are the official rules to Elf on a Shelf?

The “Elf on the Shelf” is a popular holiday tradition where a small toy elf is placed in a home and acts as a scout for Santa Claus, reporting back to him on the behavior of the children in the household. While there are no official rules for this tradition, there are a few guidelines that are commonly followed by those who participate in it. These include placing the elf in a new location each day, avoiding touching or moving the elf, placing the elf in a visible location, coming up with creative positioning ideas, and returning the elf to its original location at the end of the holiday season. These guidelines are not official rules, but rather suggestions for how to participate in the Elf on the Shelf tradition in a fun and enjoyable way.

Where can I buy Elf of the Shelf?

Elf on the Shelf has an entire store devoted to all things Elf on Amazon, check out all the Elf on the Shelf fun and products.

What do you do with your elf last minute?

Check out our Elf on the Shelf calendar filled with free instantly printable Elf props and ideas that make setting up your Elf on the Shelf scene quick, easy and creatively fun!

More Elf On The Shelf Ideas From Kids Activities Blog

More Holiday Fun from Kids Activities Blog

Do you have more Elf on The Shelf Ideas? Share them with us in the comments!

You Might Also Like

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. These elves are far more time consuming than I expected, lol! I’m always grateful for elf on the shelf ideas, especially when they’re easy!

  2. Well, my family’s elf and I are BOTH lazy (or busy ;)), so these elf on the shelf easy ideas are going to come in handy! Thank you for making most (if not all of these) ideas based around items we already have at home! This post has helped me think outside the box a bit as to different household items our elf can make use of!

  3. My kids are going to go bananas for these adorable elf on the shelf ideas. I just love festive activities like this where the whole family gets to be involved!

  4. I always need more elf on the shelf ideas! All of these ideas are so fun and creative. I will definitely be using them throughout this Christmas season!