Christmas time is such a magical time of year. In recent years it has become more magical with the debut of the Elf on the shelf. I love watching the magic through my kids’ eyes every time the elf does something new.
If you’re looking for some easy Elf on the Shelf ideas that don’t take a lot of work, I’ve got 25 for you right here.
1. Count Down to Christmas
Remember making those countdown to Christmas chains as a kid? Have Elf make one and bring it to your kids one morning.
2. Acts of Kindness and Service
Have Elf bring your kids small acts of kindness they can perform each day of the month. Check here for a great place to find ideas for service. Pam at Over The Moon also has printable good deed cards you can have the elf bring your kids each day.
3. Christmas Jokes
Kids love a good joke. Have elf bring a new joke they can laugh at and share with their friends every day of the month. Kristen at Kristen Duke Photography has some fun printable jokes.
4. Decorating for Christmas
Have Elf decorate for Christmas! How fun would it be to have the kids wake up to a house or room decorated for Christmas! Check my post here for some fun ideas.
5. Elf Brings an ornament
Have Elf bring a new ornament to hang on your tree this year. This is great if you like to get a new ornament each year.
6. Elf Brings a Christmas Book
If you do a book advent, you could have Elf bring the book of the day each morning. Everyday Reading is a great resource for awesome Christmas books to read with your kids.
7. Love notes from Elf
Everyone loves a love note. Have elf bring a love note to your kiddos every morning. Or you can get creative and write the notes on a mirror they will see often. I’ve even seen some people get super creative and write his notes out in toothpaste!
8. Elf Brings a Coloring page
Do you have kids that love to color? Find a free printable on Pinterest and have Elf bring them a new page to color every morning. You could also do this with simple crafts if you want to throw in something different every now and then.
9. Simple Elf Surveillance
Make your job super easy this year by having Elf simply supervise this year. Set him in a place where he can see or hear a lot of what’s going on in your house and tell your kids that this year, he’s paying close attention to their actions so he can report to Santa. Here’s a cute printable to hang up if he’s just conducting surveillance.
10. Elf picks out your meals
Have elf pick out what you will eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This may be a great way to get your kids to try something new.
11. Christmas Cards with Elf
Christmas is about spreading Christmas cheer. Have elf bring Christmas cards, stationery, special pens, marker, crayons, etc. so that your kids can write out Christmas cards and letters to friends, family, and Santa.
12. Movie Night with Elf
Elf brings a movie (a Christmas one would be great), some popcorn, and other treats and declares that tonight is movie night!
13. Elf asks them to do a chore
Is your child’s room messy? Have they been slacking on homework? Maybe one morning Elf brings them a note from Santa asking them to do better with keeping their room clean, finishing their homework, or doing their chores cheerfully.
14. Game Night with Elf
The Elf on the shelf loves a good game night! He brings some yummy treats, and a game and declares that tonight is Family game night!
15. Secret Santa with Elf
Your kids can help Santa care for others in need. Elf brings them names of people that Santa needs their help with. Kids will wrap or make gifts for these people and then anonymously deliver them. These could be for their own siblings, for needy friends/neighbors, anyone! What a great way to get into the spirit of service during Christmas time.
16. Learning with Elf
Right now with everyone distance learning or homeschooling, have Elf bring some books or an educational movie that he wants to learn about. The kids can watch it with Elf and learn about it with him.
17. Silly Elf Pranks
The kids always love a good prank and they will love waking up these pranks that Elf committed while they were asleep.
- Elf is on a date (choose Elsa or another doll and set up a date scene with the two).
- Elf made a snowman out of toilet paper
- Elf melted the snowman (add milk to a Tupperware and have his carrot nose, coal eye, twig limbs floating in the melted snow)
- Elf made friends (turn your bananas into minion friends for elf)
- Elf plays with their toys
18. Elf teaches them good oral hygiene
With all the yummy holiday treats, it’s important for kids to keep those pearly whites clean! Elf can bring them new toothbrushes and floss and remind them how important it is to keep their teeth healthy.
19. Snow Angel challenge with Elf
Snow is a magical component of Christmas. Everyone loves a white Christmas. Elf makes a snow angel in powdered sugar and challenges the kids to make their own awesome snow angels (in the real snow outside of course).
20. Elf brings a toy bin
Elf brings a toy bin for the kids to gather toys that they no longer play with to donate. This helps make room for new toys while helping others who need toys.
21. Elf gets exercising
The Elf on the shelf doesn’t just want to stay on the shelf. He brings jump rope, hula hoops, and some fun music and challenges the kids to exercise with him that day.
22. Elf eats healthy
It is important for Elf to stay healthy if he’s to do his job properly for Santa. Elf brings a bowl of fruits and veggies because he’s trying to eat healthily. He wants the kids to join him in eating healthy.
23. Camping with Elf
Did you know Elf loves to camp? Elf brings them a tent and invites them to camp out in front of the Christmas tree that night! Have him bring some Christmas stories to ready while in the tent.
24. Elf gets a good night’s rest
Elf brings a pillow so he can get a good night’s rest. This is a great one for Christmas Eve to remind the kids to go to bed early and get a good night’s rest in preparation for Christmas the next day!
25. Elf brings the Nativity
This would be a great one to do on Christmas day. Elf brings them a nativity and the family can review the Christmas story in the bible on Christmas morning.
I hope you find some helpful tips that you’ll put to use this year. Let me know which one is your favorite in the comments. Do you have any favorite Elf on the shelf traditions you want to share? Tell me in the comments! I’m always looking for new ideas.