Elf on The Shelf Ideas {From One Busy Mama to Another}


It’s that time of the year again; you know, that pesky little Elf on the Shelf makes its return! We’ve had an elf for 9 years now, so sometimes I have to get creative. We have six kids and work full-time so most times, I don’t have the time or energy for elaborate elf mischief.


Here are some of my favorite, low maintenance ideas:

  • Throw some Goldfish crackers in the toilet, tie a string to a candy cane and let your elf go fishing.
  • Cut, print, or write some brown letter E’s and put them on a cookie sheet. Have your elf leave a note saying they left some “Brown E’s.”
  • Get some bubble wrap (you know you have some around from a recent online purchase or if not, pick up a roll from Dollar Tree), and lay it out on the floor. Make a sign that says the floor is lava, cross it out and write “bubbles.”
  • Put some wrapping paper on your kitchen or bathroom cabinets.
  • Blow up some white balloons and put them in the tub for a “bubble bath.”
  • Have your elf make a grocery list of junk food and put it on the fridge.
  • Decorate the toilet with a strand of Christmas lights.
  • Save a few spaghetti noodles from dinner and have your elf make their own spaghetti, topped with whatever junk food you have.
  • Crumble up some paper and have your elf sit in the middle of it holding a sign that says “Wanna have a snowball fight?”
  • Put a bunch of socks under the couch cushion and have your elf hanging out, too.
  • Set your elf on top of the ketchup bottle and have them squirting it on the wall.
  • Build a toilet paper tower and put your elf at the top of it.
  • Use a dry erase marker and have your elf play tic-tac-toe on a mirror.
  • Put some cotton balls in the blender and put your elf in with it.
  • If you have some leftover Halloween candy, have your elf frying it in a skillet.
  • Roll a roll of toilet paper or paper towels down the steps or down a hallway.
  • Put your elf in a sock and get a couple of dolls or action figures and put them in one, too, for a sleepover.
  • Have your elf leave a note saying to call Santa’s voicemail at 951-262-3062 (it is an actual Santa voicemail and is free) and leave a message with what they want for Christmas.

I hope these ideas help someone! There’s nothing worse than waking up in the middle of the night or worse, right before your child gets up, and remembering that you haven’t moved the elf. Happy Holidays and may the magic of the season be in your household!


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