If you're looking for cute and easy Elf on the Shelf ideas, we've got tons for you. Your Elf can be funny and mischievous with one of these quick Elf on the Shelf ideas or printables!
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Do you have an Elf on the Shelf?
We LOVE our Elf on the Shelf, and our kids love looking for her each morning. It actually doesn't have to be complicated. You can do as much or as little as you want with your family Elf.
Cute and Funny Elf on the Shelf Ideas
There are SO many ways to make the cute Elf tradition even more fun, with outfits, printables, and props. I have taken pictures of a bunch of the things we've found our Elf doing, and I decided to round up a bunch of other cute and easy Elf ideas to share with all of you too! There are so many good ideas here.
Check out all of our fun ideas and watch the video we have made!
Cute Elf on the Shelf ideas with Props:
Elf writes their name with Lego: For kids who love lego, have your Elf spell their name with legos!
Elf wears reindeer antlers: this is so simple and fun. My kids have little reindeer antler headbands they like to wear during December so our elf decided to match them!
We love printable elf on the shelf props and our cute Elf, Holly loves to play Bingo! She also brought people-sized Christmas Bingo we could play as a family.
Elf wears a Christmas Sweater: Our Elf has to wear a tacky sweater at some point during the season! It is a family tradition, after all. I think she even made her very own sweater!
This Secret Message from Santa with a decoder key is a fun and EASY thing for the Elf to show up with one day!
Our Elf on the Shelf makes cookies for breakfast! Cookie cereal is the perfect size for her!
The Elf in her tissue box bed. Elves need to sleep too, even if it is only for 40 minutes.
Holly the Elf drinks Yoohoo. I think Yoohoo is part of their official food pyramid! You could also find your scout elf with a bottle of maple syrup! Just like Buddy would do...
Elf on the Shelf Swing
Funny Elf on the Shelf swings: Fun and too high to reach! Win, win.
After seeing that idea, we had to try it for ourselves. I made a swing out of a toilet paper roll, twine, fishing line, and safety pins.
At first, I did have trouble keeping the elf upright since she is top-heavy. I added weight to the swing by putting the roll of twine inside the toilet paper roll. It worked great!
I used the fishing line to keep her hands up so they appear to be holding onto the string.
If you want more detailed instructions, there is a tutorial at the bottom of this page!
Our Elf sometimes has a tea party with Barbies. Use whatever little doll dishes you have around and a mini cake stand as a table!
Elf on the Shelf Playing Music
This is another super easy idea if you have a guitar ornament already! If you don't, but you want one, you can grab a guitar ornament on Amazon.
Piano playing Elf on the shelf: My kiddos love banging on the piano together, so this would be a real hit. It totally looks like something they would do to get up there, haha.
Funny Elf Setting a Good Example
The Elf brushes her teeth: dental hygiene is so important, especially when you eat as much sugar as Elves do!
Elf helps out with a project: Are you doing anything around the house? Have your Elf help out a bit!
This Funny Elf on the Shelf takes a shower. Fun and easy!
Elf Exercises: this is just too cute.
Helpful Elf: Our friend Pam's Helpful Elf cards are an amazing idea. Instead of your scout Elf being mischievous, he or she can be a helper and maybe encourage the kids to help around the house too!
Good Deed Elf: We also love to use these Elf 'good deed' cards from Over the Big Moon!
Elf Having Fun
Elf on the Shelf Printable Notes: These funny Elf on the Shelf notes are so cute and you can EDIT them to say whatever you want! We love this idea from Practical and Pretty!
The Elf reads a Christmas book: We LOVE reading over here, so this one is a must. Some of our favorite Christmas books for this are: Olive the Other Reindeer and this beautiful Story of Christmas board book!
Elf on the Shelf on a light fixture: I thought this would be a good first day since it will be fun and exciting to find him, but up out of the way so that I don't have to distract Luke all day long! Haha.
The Elf on the Shelf warns us to be good: We all know there will be a day when everybody needs a "be good" reminder.
Elf makes party hats: This is so perfect if anyone in your family has a December birthday. The elf would definitely remember an important thing like that!
Elf has his own Christmas tree: I love trees of all shapes and sizes.
Elf on the Shelf goes ziplining: I love how this is up high and out of the way!
The Elf tangled in the toilet paper: I know Luke will think the toilet paper thing is funny, so I like this one because there is minimal time and mess involved!
Our Elf makes a Paper Airplane: I couldn't find a picture of this either, but we're pretty airplane-obsessed over here, so I thought it would be fun to have some airplanes we could play with all day.
Elf on the Shelf with Food:
The Elf on the Shelf brings candy canes.Who doesn't love a little sweet surprise?
Funny Elf goes fishing. Fishing for whatever we have on hand, of course!
The Elf eats treats: Of course, we'd all share the treats.
Elf on the Shelf Mischievous Ideas
The Elf on the Shelf has become known for being mischievous. Here are some of our favorite things we've seen scout elves doing...
The Elf on the Shelf dyes the milk green - that's a funny elf!
The Elf on the Shelf makes a Snow Angel with flour. Simple and sweet.
In a similar vein, if you're looking for elf on the shelf mischievous ideas, he or she can make a mess with flour, just like your toddler might have done once or twice! (To do this Elf on the Shelf flour idea without getting *too messy* the elf had scotch tape on her back! )
The Elf on the Shelf Marshmallow Bath: I love how this is in a bowl so you don’t need *too* many marshmallows to make it work!
- Elf on the Shelf gets tangled up: Ah.. I already can't wait to be doing all these! I can just hear Luke saying, "Mom, he's stuck!"
- Elf on the Shelf makes snowflakes: Kids aren't supposed to touch the elf, so, I love the idea of having the elf bring things the kids can play with, like some pretty snowflakes.
Elf on the Shelf letter printable: I like the concept of having a letter prepping the kids for the excitement of Christmas and the departure of the elf. The best part of these letters is that you can edit them! They are free printable templates but you can add your children's and Elf's names!
What is Elf on the Shelf?
If you don't know what Elf on the Shelf is all about, here's the basic explanation: you buy an Elf on the Shelf kit that comes with an Elf and a book. The book is a fun story that explains that the Elf is visiting for the Christmas season. We also have a movie called An Elf's Story that our kids love watching.
So, the book outlines the rules he or she follows, and how their magic allows them to visit Santa each night. The Elf then returns to your house, and sits in a new spot, in time for your kid to see them when they wake up!
Elves are often found doing funny or mischievous things - which is why this has become such a fun family tradition. As you can imagine, kids love to go looking for the Elf each morning to see what their Elf has gotten into!
So, what is your opinion? Do you love Elf on the Shelf or think it is ridiculous? Super fun, or too commercial? If you decide you want to buy one, I haven't found it any cheaper than here!
Like this post? You will love our friend Pam's Elf on the Shelf ideas too.
If you use this tutorial, please leave us a comment and positive review! They mean a lot to us!
Elf on the Shelf Swing
- Sewing needle optional
- Fishing line
- Safety pin
- Toilet paper roll
- Spools of thread or twine
How to make a swing for your Elf on the Shelf
- Make a little hole about ½ inch away from the edge of the toilet paper roll. Do the same thing on the opposite end.
- Push a length of twine through each side of the toilet paper roll. Tie a knot on the twine that is inside the roll so the twine stays put.
- Hang the swing from a doorway or light fixture. I like using a light fixture because it is easy to tie the twine onto the rods.
How to get an elf to stay on the swing
- Push safety pin up from the inside of the toilet paper roll so it is poking out the top, and pin elf's bottom to the toilet paper roll.
- Place the spool of extra twine inside the toilet paper roll.*
- Put the elf's hands on the twine where you want them to be.
- Use a sewing needle to string fishing line through the elf's hand, then through the twine, and then make a loop around. Tie it off and do the same to the other hand.
This post was originally published in November 2013 and has been updated with new ideas, photos and information!