Creative Elf on the Shelf Ideas

101 of the BEST Elf on the Shelf ideas! 

It’s that time of year again!!! Christmas is just around the corner and before we know it Santa will be sneaking down the chimney! Is it just us, or does it seems like every year flies by a little quicker than the one before it? For this exact reason, we are trying to take advantage of every moment we can with our kiddos while they are still little. Christmas is such a magical time of year and I am more than happy to add any magic I can into my kids’ lives while they still believe!

Best Elf on the Shelf ideas.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. To learn more about ’em, click here.

{If you haven’t heard of The Elf on the Shelf you should probably go snatch this up asap. Then, report back and continue reading.}

We love this fun tradition so much that we have rounded up 101 Elf on the Shelf ideas! We have broken it down into categories so that you can quickly find the ideas that you think will work best for your family.

In this post you will find:

  • 20 Elf on the Shelf Ideas with Food
  • 20 Elf on the Shelf Printables
  • 20 Elf on the Shelf Ideas with Toys
  • 20 Quick & Easy Elf on the Shelf Ideas
  • 21 Mischievous Elf on the Sheld Ideas

Even MORE Elf on the Shelf ideas.

We had a hard time picking just 20! These Elf on the Shelf ideas are all just too stinking cute!!

Family friendly Elf on the Shelf ideas.

1. Minion BananasCreate this quick and easy minion idea with just bananas and a sharpie.

2. Cupcake Stand Even elves love cupcakes! I mean really, who doesn’t?

3. S’moresHelp your elf create their own mini s’mores!

4. Mini Elf Donuts Your kiddos will get a kick out of these donuts!

5. Elf CookiesWhy is everything cuter when it is miniature!?

6. Pancakes Breakfast is served!

Great Elf on the Shelf hiding places.

7. Hot ChocolateA little cup of hot chocolate can cheer up any elf!

8. Donut SnowmenThese quick and easy snowmen will be a crowd pleaser!

9. PopcornYum! Pop a bag of popcorn for a fun and fast Elf of the Shelf surprise!

10. Sprinkle Angels – Who doesn’t love sprinkles?

11. Orange Juice – Fresh squeezed orange juice coming up! {Doesn’t the crazy straw just perfect this idea!?!}

12. FishingLet your elf kick back and enjoy a little fishing trip!

Elf on the Shelf ideas for everyone.

13. Packed Lunch – Your kids will love their lunch hand packed by their elf!

14. Baking AssistantPut your elf to work as your special baking assistant.

15. Holiday MilkYour milk has never looked this festive! {Scroll to #9}

16. Reindeer M&M’sEvery kid would adore finding these surprise reindeer with their elf! With just a few of these, pipe cleaner, mini pom-poms and some googly eyes and you are all set!

17. Mini Gingerbread CookiesHopefully these gingerbread men don’t run off before your kiddies get a peek at them!

18. Cookie JarWe’ve heard that elves LOVE stealing cookies from the cookie jar!

19. Coca-colaWho will be the first to find your elf in this hiding spot?

20. SyrupJust an elf making sure he is sticking to his main food groups!

Printables to use with Elf on the Shelf.

As if your elf isn’t already cute enough, these printables are sure to take him up another notch!!

Fun new places to hide your elf.

21. Candy Cane JailYou must have a naughty elf if they require being sent to Candy Cane Lock Up!

22. Photo Booth – A little photo booth fun for your elf and his closest buddies!

23. Elf Mail – Mini mail just looks so much cuter!

24. Photo Cutouts – Let your elf show his silly side with this cute photo prop.

25. Elf Arrival PartyThrow your elf a welcome back party!

26. Scavenger Hunt – Will your kiddos be able to solve these riddles?

Elf on the Shelf hiding places.

27. The Crafty ElfYour elf doesn’t have to be mischievous. Instead, he could bring holiday crafts for your kids! 

28. Elf Report Card  – Let your kids know that they have been caught being naughty or nice with this cute printable.

29. Kissing Booth – Pucker up!

30. Twister – Print off a mini game of twister for your elf and a few of his friends.

31. Elf Outhouse – This silly printable is sure to get a laugh out of your kids.

32. Rocket Ship3…2…1… Blast off!!

Elf on the Shelf hiding places.

33. Goodbye NoteDon’t let your elf leave without dropping off a camera and this note!

34. ElfagramEven elves love a good selfie!

35. Dunk TankWould your family love this dunk tank as much as we do? SO cute!!

36. Buzz Wings Buzz Lightyear to the rescue!

37. Captain America Your mini superheroes will approve of this Elf on the Shelf idea.

38. Playing Cards Challenge your elf to a card game with these adorable printable cards.

39. Olaf Do you want to build a snowman?

40. Mission Impossible – Send your kids on a secret mission!

Elf on the Shelf ideas that you will actually want to use.

Why wouldn’t your elf and all of your kiddos toys be BFFs? They are sure to remember each other from the North Pole right?!

Realistic Elf on the Shelf ideas.

41. Lego Ambush Make sure you warn your elf about the lego men!

42. Snowball Fight Your kids will love this cute snowball fight!

43. Board Games Even elves love a good board game!

44. Sack Race Who will win the race?

45. Sledding Line up all of the toys because they will ALL want a turn!

46. UnoLet your kids’ toys battle it out in a game of Uno.

Funny Elf on the Shelf ideas.

47. Driving Dump Truck Will your elf be in trouble for taking your child’s toy tractor for a spin?

48. Storytime This is a classic and simple Elf on the Shelf idea.

49. Walking the Dog Let your elf handle the task of walking the toy dogs!

50. Dinosaur Reindeer Who needs reindeer when you have a dinosaur?!

51. MechanicLuckily elves are great mechanics!

52. GrinchTrapped! With the Grinch captured, there is no stopping holiday cheer this year!

Perfect Elf on the Shelf places to hide.

53. Car ReindeerPipe cleaner + your kids favorite toy cars and you will have this Elf on the Shelf idea prepped in no time.

54. Nativity SetMake sure that you help your elf remember the true reason for the season.

55. Dr. ElfDr. Elf will be more than happy to help with surgery.

56. JengaPeek-a-boo!

57. Scuba Diving – Your Elf on the Shelf would love a quick scuba diving adventure! {Scroll to Day 12}

58. Trapped – He must have been misbehaving again.

59. Date Night – Even elves need remember how important date night is for a relationship!

60. Lego – Build a lego fortress for your elf! Your kids will LOVE waking up to his creation! {Scroll to Day 22}

Christmas elf ideas.

Ok, we will be 100% honest. Some nights you just need a quick and easy idea for your elf! No worries, even with just a quick location change your kids will still be in awe!

New Elf on the Shelf ideas.

61. Chilling OutSome ideas are so simple, yet the kids will love them just as much!

62. Dryer Keeping warm after a cold trip to the North Pole.

63. Toilet Paper Hammock Your kids will love finding their elf lounging around in the bathroom.

64. Kitchen Aide Oops! I think he is stuck!

65. Coloring Book No need to be naughty, let your elf encourage your kids to color!

66. Playing the Piano A little holiday music is always great!

Quick and easy Elf on the Shelf hiding places.

67. Christmas List What will your elf ask for this year?

68. In the Car Running out of places for the elf to hide in the house? The car would be a fun morning surprise as well!

69. Zip Line A simple piece of yarn becomes a zipline in no time!

70. Candy Jar We all know that elves love their sweets.

71. Freezer Good thing your elf is used to the North Pole temperatures!

72. Yoga Elf Holiday season getting stressful? Relax and enjoy a little elf yoga to give yourself just the right energy boost.

Silly places to hide your elf.

73. SwingThis Elf on the Shelf swing is a simple crowd pleaser!

74. Utensil Drawer Elf on the Shelf hiding places don’t have to be elaborate!

75. Sleepy ElfA box of kleenex is the perfect elf resting spot.

76. SelfieLet your kids catch their elf in the act of snapping some selfies!

77. Time Out Oops! What did he do this time?

78. ReadingEnjoying a good Christmas story! {Scroll to Day 22}

79. Hanging Around – Yikes! Those aren’t supposed to be there!

80. Lifting WeightsHelp your elf build some muscle this holiday season.

Elf on the Shelf Christmas hiding places.

Some nights it is fun to add a little extra effort into the whole thing! If you are feeling adventurous, these are the Elf on the Shelf ideas for you!

Funny Elf on the Shelf hiding places.

81. Elf Tricks – Uh oh! What has that elf done now!?!

82. Family Picture Faces Your Elf on the Shelf is sure to get a laugh out of this one!

83. Elf Trap – Trap your kiddos in their bedroom with this silly elf trap!

84. Stocking ExchangeThis stocking swap will have your kids rolling!

85. Wrapping the Toilet – Hopefully, no one needs to go potty in the middle of the night!

86. Rolling Down the Stairs – Your elf will enjoy this wild ride.

Silly Elf on the Shelf ideas.

87. Worst Cookie Ever – Make sure you don’t leave Santa these cookies on Christmas Eve!

88. Gift Bows All OverWith a bulk bag of Christmas bows your elf can bow attack the kitchen!

89. Cereal Box ElfYour elf would fit right in with these guys!

90. Googly Eyes – A googly eyed fridge surprise!

91. ChocolateOh no! Someone got into the chocolate!

92. Toilet TroubleYou may want to try this one on a toilet your kids won’t try to use in the middle of the night!

93. Feeding the Dog Sometimes you just have to have the right equipment to get the job done! {Scroll to Day 6}

Elf on the Shelf for the entire family.

94. Rockband ElfYour Elf on the Shelf may want to play your family a few of his favorite songs.

95. Hot Air BalloonUp, up and away! {Scroll to Day 16}

96. PhotocopyPhotocopy silly faces are always hilarious!

97. Robber – Watch out for your piggy bank!

98. Shower – A clean elf is a happy elf!

99. Cooking – If your elf had his say, this would be dinner!

100. Shaving – Clear up that 5 o’clock shadow!

101. Wrapped upOops! I think that your elf got a little carried away with the wrap!


You are now more than prepped for this holiday season! The hardest part will be deciding which ideas you want to pull off for your family this year!

Looking for more fabulous holiday ideas? Check out these amazing posts!!

Hubby on the Shelf!
You’ve Been Jingled!

About the Author: Niki

I am a crafting, baking, blogging wife and mother. I love nothing more than time with my family while playing games, watching movies, and just being together!

We Love Your Comments

We LOVE hearing from our readers! Thanks for leaving us some love!
P.S. If you want a picture to show up next to your comments, get set up with a gravatar!

Recent Comments

14 Responses to Creative Elf on the Shelf Ideas

  1. Here are a few things our elf did last year
    1) decorated the barbie doll house with xmas lights
    2) moved the Christmas tree into the kitchen
    3) put make up on the baby doll
    4) painted the bathroom mirror (water cleanable)
    5) emptied the kitchen cabinet and moved in (doll bed, table and lamp)
    6) built snowmen and an igloo in the freezer out of marshmallows
    7) hooked all of barbies horses up to a giant sleigh

    That’s just a few. We had lots of fun!

    1. Tina, All of your ideas are so creative!! Thanks so much for sharing:) I am going to adding building a snowman and igloo in the freezer out of marshmallows for sure to ours here at home, my kids will love that!!

  2. You ladies rock! Thank you so much for sharing some of my Elf on the Shelf ideas. We have so much fun with our Elf.

    I am loving your site. I love the date night ideas and the special moments suggestions. I am so glad there is a site that is positive about marriage. Kuddos to you gals!

    1. Crysal, thanks so much for letting us share! You had some fantastic ideas and we are so glad you love our site too:) Hope you can use a few (or a bunch) of our creative date ideas.

  3. Our elves have been pretty busy.
    1. They decorated the tree with the kids underwear and used a pair to sit in as a hammock on the stocking holder
    2. Froze the kids underwear
    3. Cover the kitchen cabinets in old wrapping bows
    4. Played tic-tac-toe on bathroom mirror

    1. Frozen underwear?!? Oh, my Carla that is hilarious!! I hope you left a few pairs in their drawer so they didn’t get chilly going to school that day {wink!}

  4. Our Elf Marmaduke

    1. Set up a zip line across the dinning room,
    2. Turned all the liquids in the fridge green and red,
    3. Drew mustaches, glasses and funny hair on all the pictures in the house (dry erase markers),
    4. And toilet papered the Christmas tree.

    But mostly he hides in extremely hard to find places 🙂 .

    1. Tasha, I love the zip line idea!! Our elf has to hide in very high places because my kids would be all over him if he were too low so the zip line is perfect for us:)

      1. Julie,
        I planned the zip line over a week. One morning the girls woke up and he had a ball of yarn with him on our surround sound ceiling speaker. Each day for five days he was in a different spot …. with the yarn. Then he ended up back at the speaker and the next morning he made a zip line with the yarn of course and a bendy straw. They loved it!!!