Elf on the shelf is not really a new concept, HOWEVER, in recent years it has blown up massively. I remember last doing it three years ago where I made it last 4 days before I gave up due to the stress of it all. Awkward.
If you’re unsure what elf on the shelf is, or you’ve been living under a rock, here is everything you need to know.
So what is an elf on the shelf?
As the famous song goes, Santa has a list filled with inside information on who’s been naughty or nice! Understandably though, December is a very busy time for the man in red, so he needs a little bit of help. That’s where his trusty elves come in.
An elf is assigned to a home and each night, with the help of a little Christmas magic, the elf flies home to let Santa know whether everyone has been good. When they fly back to you they often land in a different place, usually where they’ll get up to mischief.
Remember: Christmas magic is delicate though, so you must treat them with care. Little hands must not touch them or the elf might lose their magic – they need their magic to fly back to Santa.
The elves cannot speak, but they’re listening. They stay and have fun until Christmas eve then they return home to the North pole – until next year of course!
There’s more to these elves.
Lets face it, with Christmas comes lost routines and manic moments. It’s not uncommon for the little ones to turn not so angelic. Having the elf on the shelf around is a great way to remind them to behave – but to also have fun.
It’s important to let your little one know that their elf tells Santa how good they’ve been each day. Any time that they’ve been kind or helpful it’s noted and rewarded. I’ve ordered these Elf report sheets*from Amazon For £1.70 and whenever shes good Santa will reward her with a chocolate coin or similar. Encouraging good behaviour is the perfect way to see more of it.
Elf on the shelf, or tree, or even the toilet!
Here comes the fun. Once your little one is asleep, simply move the elf around each night and in the morning your child will excitedly hunt around for their favourite. festive friend.
If you want to be a bit more creative, you can create different situations that your elf has gotten into whilst your children were sleeping. They can be as extravagant or as simple as you please. Either way children love it! Perhaps your cheeky elf has been messing with the toiler roll or had a ‘elfie with your child whilst they slept. I’ve listed some more fun ideas below – so you (and I) can make it past day 4!
35 elf on the shelf ideas.
1: Elf gets stuck in toilet roll and has rolled down the stairs.
This one is one that we’ve done previously. It definitely gave Shaniah the giggles and it’s something that I am sure will never get old. It’s super easy too!
2: Elf makes himself a bed out of the tissue box.
3: Elf takes a cotton wool/marshmallow bath.
You can do this one either in a sink or a bowl, it really doesn’t matter but I have seen loads of children love this. Again super easy and quick to do.
4. Elf fishing in the sink.
Ryan goes fishing every weekend so this is one that I have definitely got to do. I found some little fish-shaped crackers in B&M a few days ago, which will be perfect!
5: Magic trick – real egg to kinder egg.
Now this one is my favourite as it can be done over a couple of days (win!) I am going to put an egg by our elf along with a pot of sprinkles (or glitter) with a note asking Shaniah to sprinkle the sprinkles over the egg and wait for the magic happen! If you (or your child) cannot wait a day then you can make the magic happen while they’re at school.
6: Elf encourages teeth brushing
What better way to replace your childrens toothbrush than with the help of our trusty elf?
7: Do a scavenger hunt with hidden candy canes
Sit the elf in an empty candy cane box with a letter asking your child to find the candy canes. A fun activity for your little one, but also a super easy and mess-free one for you!
8: I have actually purchased these challenges for days where inspiration is hard to find.
9: Elf taking a shower
I have got an old towel and cut it to size for this.
10: Snowball fight.
Grab your little ones barbie/action men or a princess and pile up some mini marshmallow to look like your elf is having a snowball fight. Your child will love it!
11: Elf hangs out in the fridge
This is a great way to re-use the towels from the other day.
12: Elf makes snow angels
I bought some instant snow from home bargains and poundshop.
13: Elf makes a swing out of toilet roll and string.
Another super easy and quick thing to do. We did this for Shaniah last time and her face was an absolute picture.
14: Elf breakfast/dinner
This year This is something that we do every year. I tend to do this on December the 1st as a sort of welcome party, however, any time of the month is completely acceptable. I am planning on doing an elf party dinner with buffet-style food. Any excuse to go overboard at Chr
15: Elf creates a movie night
Friday nights in our house are typically the days where Shaniah is allowed to stay up later, we can watch movies, pig out and really just enjoy each others company.
16: Elf eats some chocolate
17: “Do you want to build a snowman?”
In the spirit of all things frozen 2, put together a snowman kit made out of marshmallows and pretzels and have your elf ask the question…
18: Elf gets stuck in a jar
19: Photo shoot!
Lay the elf and some of your child’s toys out in a way that looks like they are having a photo. We’ve bought some Disney themed props for Shaniah to then create her own photos.
20: Elf hot chocolate station.
21: Elf bakes some treats for your child.
22: Eating cat/dog treats.
I have seen a load of photos similar to this that have been circulating lately where the elf is in the dish with a sign saying do not give these to Santa. I think it is absolutely brilliant!
23: Elf packs child’s lunch.
This is sure to bring a smile to your child’s face. I have seen some people wrapping up each item individually with wrapping paper too.
24: Elf is “hanging out” in child’s underwear.
25: Elf on strike.
Sure, elf on the shelf is fun, but don’t forget that the elf is meant to encourage good behaviour. If your child has been slacking, let them know Elves don’t work for naughty children.
26: Make a ginger bread house.
We make a gingerbread house every year, typically on a day that Ryan is fishing because he’s just not that into this sort of thing. I think it’ll be nice coming as a gift from elf.
27: Elf dress-up.
Children love to dress up their dolls but did you know elves like to dress up too? Dress up the elf in barbie clothes for a giggle.
28: Elsa freezes the elf.
This is another one that’s been circulating the social platforms.
29: Elf colours in a new colouring book.
Why not treat your little ones to new colouring books? They never get bored of colouring.
30: “I brought you back a snowman!”
Fill a dish with water and place a couple of sticks, googly eyes and buttons in.
31: Elf gives them money for their favourite treat place.
Shaniah loves our local cafe and always asks to pop there for a treat. What a cool thing for the elf to do!
32: Elf draws on the child’s face.
33: Elf pamper night
Shaniah loves to have her nails painted. I am thinking of leaving a basket with a bath bomb, some new nail varnish and a new eye mask for her to pamper herself.
34: Elf fries some eggs.
Place some Haribo eggs in a frying pan, sit elf next to it and voila!
35: Feeding the ducks.
I am sure that having little children, you are bound to have some rubber ducks lying around the bathroom. Simply pour a little water into the bath, place the ducks in and sit the eld by the side with some bread. Simple as that.
And there you have it! 35 ideas for elf on the shelf and a little insight into the meaning of it all. Do you do Elf on the shelf or is this year your first time?