The Okayest Elf On The Shelf ideas have arrived! We know, we know––You’re not ready to hear about Elf On The Shelf anything right now. We get it. We also know that these kids freaking love that darn elf. So, what’s the middle ground? Being prepared with a plan takes out 99% of the Elf frustration.
So here is our plan for an easy, frustration-free Elf experience. Ideas and strategies that you can take or leave; mixing it up when you have the bandwidth to do so and letting it go when you can’t muster the energy.
You can really make an Elf tradition work for your family. For us, our Elf arrives on December 1st and brings the boys their Advent calendars for the month. In 2020 we had him arrive “in quarantine” (a shadow box) with a note saying he didn’t want to get us sick so he’d be in there for 7-10 days. I really wish we could get away with that every year, ha! Then from there we simply moved his location every night because that’s what we had the energy for. You really can make it whatever you want it to be.
Check out these ideas below for inspiration for your own Elf on the Shelf tradition.
Okayest Elf On The Shelf Ideas: Under 5 Minutes
- Googly eyes all around––put googly eyes on all photos of people around the house.
- Play a board game with another doll or action figure.
- Making them part of the family! Your elf tapes a hand drawn self-portrait on a family photo.
- Getting in the winter spirit––in the freezer or fridge with a scarf on.
- Using a Hershey kiss and a mason jar, your elf can make his own potty place. Perfect of the poop/fart humor loving kids.
- A dry erase marker can create lots of mischief on photo frames, be sure to perch your elf nearby with the pen in hand!
- Hide and seek––your elf can leave a quick note that they hid 3 ornaments or candy canes in a specific area to let the kids search for them.
- Letterboards can provide lots of inspiration to naughty elves.
- Use a little bit of food coloring in your milk jug––now it’s green Elf milk!
- Tissue box bed. Let your Elf relax in a tissue box with a tissue pillow.
- Have your Elf set in the toaster with a note that says “I was cold but now I’m toasty” –– would be perfect the day after they’re in the freezer/fridge.
- Crumple up a few pieces of paper and have your Elf propose a snowball fight.
- Unravel all the toilet paper roll.
- Make a car wash in the sink.
- Have your elf hid is a doll house or play set.
Elf Ideas: Under 15 Minutes
- Tic Tac Toe––use painter’s tape on the wall to make a tic tac toe grid and use present bows as the x’s and o’s
- Get your Elf exercising using a straw and two marshmallow barbells.
- Trap the kids in their rooms or from another room using streamers to block a doorway.
- Use a Sharpie to have your Elf draw faces on a bunch of bananas, bonus points if they draw Minion faces!
- Spider-Man Elf! Tape a printout of Spider-Man’s head to your Elf and hang them upside down
- Pom pom ball kit––fill a bowl with multi-colored poms and perch your Elf above like they are about to dive in.
- Bow rock climbing on cabinet doors or wall. Place bows of various sizes on surface of your choice and have your Elf scale them.
- Use q-tips to create snowflakes.
- Put a cast on your Elf and leave a note saying they broke their leg walking in the kids’ messy room so they should clean it.
- Fishing Elf––if you have a fish tank or bowl, craft a pole out of a toothpick and string; add a sign that says “gone fishin'”.
- A hostage situation––have your Elf have a little run-in with army men toys or action figures. Tie them to a chair leg and arrange the action figures around them in a semi-circle.
- Much like the Spiderman stunt, print out a Minecraft character head and tape it to your Elf’s face. Have them hold an iPad or controller like they want to play Minecraft!
- Place your Elf in a scanner and print it out.
Elf Ideas The Require A Little More Prep & Planning
- Balloon blockade! Have your elf tape balloons and streamers to the outside of you child’s door while they’re asleep.
- Transform an empty toilet paper roll into a swing and have your elf swing from the rafters.
- Set up a campfire with an LED tea light, skewered marshmallow, chocolate, and graham crackers.
- Toilet paper snowman––using 3 full toilet paper rolls, construction paper, twigs, and ribbon you can create a TP snowman for you Elf to climb in.
We hope these Okayest Elf on the Shelf ideas get spark your inspiration and take just a little bit off your plate this holiday season.