25 Fun Elf On The Shelf Ideas For This Holiday Season

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Christmas time is all about making memories with your family. Get ready to make some new ones this holiday season with these 25 Fun Elf on the Shelf ideas! Whether you have a big family, small family, or any family in between, the memories made are what you hold on to.  The Elf on the Shelf has been around for a while, as I remember a slightly different version of him when I was a kid. Now that we have kids, he has grown not only in size but has filled the hearts of our children with this magical feeling. I love how excited they get every morning as they search the house for the Elfs antics. He has so many tricks up his sleeves, even I get excited because let’s face it, I even forget where he gets placed. The kids will be like, “we can’t find him”, and I respond, “I can’t either!”.

So no matter how much or little you are involved with Elf on the Shelf below we have added our favorites that we have done with our family, plus maybe a little sELFie too! Get ready to take the stress off this holiday season with these great Elf on the Shelf ideas! Plus check out our awesome Elf on the Shelf Free printables to help you have fun with Elf!

Fun Elf On The Shelf Ideas

Elf On The Shelf

Day 1  – Ok we all try to think of the best way for the Elf to appear the first night. This year we went with a simple hanging out on the front door wreath. The kids were sitting in the kitchen and nonchalantly knocked on the front door. Let the games begin with all the fun elf on the shelf ideas we share with you!

Elf with marshmallows in funny box

Day 2 – One of the things you have to take into consideration with placement of the Elf is, do you have any pets? We have 2 dogs one of which is a puppy. I wanted the Elf to have fun, but not get eaten in the process! Here the kids found him relaxing in a lantern full of marshmallows. They did end up making a game out of who can eat the most marshmallows without touching the Elf. I was impressed with them!

Floor is lava elf

Day 3 – I made sure to be up before the kids this morning because watching them get ready for school all while not trying to touch the floor was hilarious! I might have gotten fussed at a time or too for touching the floor, so I was informed I had to know drag my burned foot. 

good morning elf on the shelf

Day 4 – So this placement served a bit of purpose. The kids had been arguing a bit more than normal so the Elf was placed in a place where they would see him all the time. Needless to say our children’s behavior did improve…at least for that day!

toothpaste writing HI

Day 5 – Ok, by now the kids were getting more excited about what the Elf will do. They did say that they wished the Elf would color the bathroom with shaving cream. Since we would have to still use the bathroom throughout the day and I would end up cleaning the shaving cream up, we went with good old toothpaste on the counter. My son did want to try to brush the Elfs teeth that morning.

tangled elf

Day 6 – I don’t think I’ve heard my kids laugh as much as they did the morning they found the Elf tied up in paper garland on the tree! I felt pretty good about myself that day! Who would have thought a little elf game would boost my confidence. 

elf games

Day 7 – Even Elves like to play with Perler beads! One of the funniest things as adults with the Elf is that it brings a bit of the childlike playfulness back that we tend to not have as much since responsibilities and running a household take a front seat. We have more creative and fun elf on the shelf ideas for you to put to use.

Elf relaxing with dog

Day 8 – Sometimes after all the hard work is done you just need a day to lay down and admire your work! This is just what the Elf did. He completely understands that every so often with the hustle and bustle of daily life you just need a little rest day. Luckily the kids took the idea too and we have a pj and movie day!

elf meal planning

Day 9 – Well the Elf was back to his normal antics with a bit of menu planning. I would preface this with be careful how fun you make these because I spent all day trying to explain to my kids that if the elf has decided to menu plan then he has to cook it, but since he doesn’t move then they will have to eat what I made. Thankfully they accepted that…ok crisis averted!

Elf on the shelf craft

Day 10 – Hey even the Elf will bring his own crafts! Our children were super excited to find something interactive on this day. They were excited to be able to see the days tick by as we got closer to Christmas. I remember our youngest child refusing to tear off a link in the chain because that meant the elf would be leaving us soon, but not before a few more Elf games.

elf coloring

Day 11 – The elf once again perched himself high to keep a better watch on the kids and their behavior. Every morning it was a race to see who could find him first. I am all for a little competition if it’s friendly. So he colored on the windows and watched them all day. 

elf sprinkles

Day 12 – Sprinkles for breakfast? Well that’s what ended up happening this morning. Ok maybe I should have thought this one through, but it’s the holidays so whatevs! My kids first thought was YAY SPRINKLES, which quickly turned to DID IT SNOW? Slight disappointment, but they did get to eat sprinkles! Even I sneaked a few! I did clean this up after they went to school and blamed it on the dog, hehe!

elf on the shelf coffee

Day 13 – Even the Elf needed a little caffeine boost this morning! I have so many more fun elf on the shelf ideas for this one next year, but you will have to wait to see those! What fun ideas have you come up with? We would love to see your elves too!

funny elf snowman

Day 14 – Today the Elf, who my kids have named Mr Jingles, brought a friend. Unfortunately his friend melted with the warm weather we have been having. For this we used cloves for his eyes and mouth, tiny slivers of carrots for his nose, and little twigs for his arms. At the end of the day I noticed the carrots were gone. I asked my son and his reply was, well if he melted then he doesn’t need a nose! Well…you aren’t wrong about that!

elf presents

Day 15 – Wrapping presents should have been easy for an Elf, but with no fingers he got a bit tied up. The kids had been snooping through the gifts the day before so we placed him under the tree. It did the trick and the kids left the presents alone until Christmas!

elf on shelf with nutcracker

Day 16 – Sometimes along the way you find friends! The nutcracker was a gift for our son a few years ago when he was obsessed with them! Today Mr Jingles hopped on his back for a fun piggy back ride! There really are endless ideas you can do with your elf, this is just another one of ours!

mistletoe elf

Day 17 – Just a little sugar for Mr Jingles this holiday season while swinging from the mistletoe! Spread the love this year with a bit of joy and fun from the Elf on the Shelf. I have some friends with older kids who would probably roll their eyes at this one, but my younger aged children thought it was adorable. You can modify as it suits your family.

elf on the shelf surprise

Day 18 – I will admit this one was funner for me. My kids woke up to 2 raw eggs sitting on the kitchen table that instructed them to sprinkle some magic dust on them before they went to bed that night! It was fun listening in on their conversations about what the eggs would turn into. One of them said they hoped it was a chicken and another was hoping for a baby sister. You will have to keep scrolling to find out what it really was!

candy eggs

Day 19 – Thankfully baby sisters nor baby chickens appear that quickly! These are huge treats in our house and they were super excited to have these for breakfast. Kinder eggs have a delicious creamy side with a little crunchy cookie thing on one side and a tiny little toy on the other. Needless to say our kids were not disappointed!


Day 20 – We had a bit of traveling to do this year and the kids were worried that Mr Jingles wouldn’t be able to find us. So I packed him up in a jar one night that said he heard we were going on a trip and asked if he could come along. Worked like a charm.

Day 21 – Mr Jingles hijacked my phone one night and took a few sELFies and even used a filter or two. My children love going through my photos and they were laughing like crazy when they found these!

making cookies

Day 22 – The day turned into a baking day since the Elf brought the kids a box of gingerbread cookies! We had so much fun creating fun memories that the kids will no doubt remember! I love the holidays and being able to watch my children’s faces light up with excitement every day.


Day 23 – Today Mr Jingles wanted to send a friendly reminder to the children that Life is Beautiful. Sometimes our days don’t go as we want them to go and friends at school can be mean too, but life is beautiful. So remember to find something good about today. Mr Jingles time is almost up with our kiddos this year and I will miss him too. It’s been fun playing the Elf Games.

scavenger hunt

Day 24 – It’s Christmas Eve, kids are finally out of school and today there’s a race to find all the candy canes. At first I thought they would eat all they found, but to my surprise they ended up decorating the tree with them! They said that since it is Mr Jingles’s last day then he should enjoy the candy canes too. 

elf on the shelf goodbye

Day 25 – It’s Christmas morning and Mr Jingles our Elf is officially gone. The kids were sad going to bed, but we’re excited to find that he left them one more treat. They are eagerly awaiting next year when he makes his return on December 1! At least I have a break for a bit now!

There is a lot that I learned during our time with our fun elf on the shelf ideas. I will admit that this was our first year doing it. I didn’t want to buy into the hype when our kids were little, but I thought, “Hey, they are only kids once….might as well!”. It has been the best decision ever! I’m glad there are photos that show what antics he was up to so we make sure not to repeat them for next year. If you are on the fence about whether or not you want to do this with your family, then I hope this article helped you slide over to the YES side of the fence. I learned a lot about my children, they learned that their behavior matters all the time, sharing is a good thing, and they even learned to think of others. I can’t wait to read all of your comments on what your Elves were up to this year too, oh and share their names too if you can! I can’t wait to do this all over again next year! We hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

If you’re just as excited about these 25 fun elf on the shelf ideas as I am, but you’re not quite ready to put them into action, be sure to pin this to your favorite Holiday Fun board on Pinterest so you can find it again super quick when you are ready! If you try these, it let us know on social media by tagging MomsandMunchkins as we love to see how creative our readers are.

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