Cute and Funny Elf on the Shelf Ideas

Do you have an Elf on the Shelf? We have had a family elf since I was a kid. His name is Milton, and he periodically brings us little treats and prizes throughout the Christmas season (like socks, a Christmas book, a treat, etc.) You never see Milton but he always leaves a note so you know it’s him. I love Milton and his magic and seeing a special gift out of nowhere. Also, he takes our wish lists to Santa and keeps an eye on things at our house.

So, for years I had been hearing about the trendy phenomenon known as Elf on the Shelf. I went back and forth on whether to get one for a while. I loved Milton, exactly how he was. But, I knew my little ones would love to search for the Elf each morning and be able to see him. But then it seemed like so much work! Eventually, we gave in. Now, we LOVE our Elf on the Shelf!

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. It 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, usually 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. Kids love to go looking for the Elf each morning to see what they’ve gotten into!

Cute and Funny Elf on the Shelf Ideas: 

There are SO many ways to make the Elf tradition even more fun, with outfits and props. I decided to round up a bunch of Elf ideas for myself, and I thought I would share with all of you too. There are so many good ideas here!

Elf on the Shelf with Props:

Elf on the Shelf Clothes - Ugly 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! 

Elf on the Shelf Printable Bingo

Elf on the Shelf Ideas!

  • 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.

Elf on the Shelf Ideas!

  • 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 Tissue Box

The Elf  in her tissue box bed. Elves need to sleep too, even if it is only for a full 40 minutes.

Elf on the Shelf Ideas!

Elf on the Shelf watching tv

  • Holly the Elf watches a movie with her gingerbread man friend!  This is a fun way to say you’ll have a Christmas movie night! Maybe with some caramel popcorn or cornflake wreath treats!

Elf on the Shelf Ideas!

Elf on the Shelf Ideas!

  • 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!

Elf on the Shelf Props - Drums

  • Our Elf playing the drums, with toothpicks for drum sticks. I hear Elves are very talented musicians.

Elf on the Shelf Ideas!

Elf on the Shelf Ideas!

Elf on the Shelf Ideas!

Elf on the Shelf Ideas!

  • Our 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 on the Shelf Ideas!

  •  Elf on the Shelf makes party hats: Nora turns ONE on the 19th!! So crazy how time flies. Anyway, of course the elf has to bring something to help us celebrate her, so this free party hat printable is perfect!

Elf on the Shelf Ideas

  •  Elf has his own Christmas tree: I love trees of all shapes and sizes.

Elf on the Shelf Ideas!

Elf on the Shelf Ideas!

  • The 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.
  • 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 Ideas!

  • Elf Exercises: One time when we were going on a walk Luke said, “why??” and I said, “because, mama needs exercise.” So now, when he wants to go for a walk he says, “Let’s go exercising!”

Elf on the Shelf Ideas!

  • The Elf on the Shelf goodbye printable: I like the concept of having a letter prepping the kids for the excitement of Christmas and the departure of the elf. I’d also like the letter to include a paragraph about the real meaning of Christmas and some of my favorite things about my kids.

Elf on the Shelf with Food:

Elf on the Shelf Ideas!

Elf on the Shelf Ideas!

Elf on the Shelf Makes Cookies for Breakfast

  • Our Elf on the Shelf makes cookies for breakfast! Cookie cereal is the perfect size for her!

Elf on the Shelf Ideas!

Funny Elf on the Shelf Ideas - Drinks Yoohoo

  • Holly the Elf drinks Yoohoo. I think Yoohoo is part of their official food pyramid.

Elf on the Shelf Ideas!

  • The Elf on the Shelf makes a Snow Angel with flour. Simple and sweet.

Elf on the shelf Mischievous Ideas - Flour

  • 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!

Elf on the Shelf Ideas!

  • The Elf on the Shelf Marshmallow Bath: I love how this is in a bowl. I don’t want to fill a whole sink or tub full or marshmallows, because call me crazy, I hate wasting stuff. This gets the same cute idea across and makes more sense!

Elf on the Shelf Ideas!

  • The Elf eats treats: Of course we’d all share the treats.

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!


If you liked this post you will love our friend Pam’s Elf on a Shelf Holiday Recovery Kit or her Elf on the Shelf Jokes!
The best Elf on the Shelf ideas ever! These are cheap and easy things to do with your funny and mischievous elf! #elfontheshelf #elfontheshelfideas #elf #christmas #christmasideas #funforkids
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    Elf is going to leave a letter where Elf is going to allow my toddler to hug and kiss and say good bye on the 24th before he leaves. I must say I hated elf on the shelf but since I got her she sure has brought fun to our life…


    We have a pesky penguin just as fun love the ideas!


    SO funny! I don’t have children but I can’t wait to do this each day for my boyfriend. He will get such a kick out of this!


    I made an elf for us using an old doll and some felt to make an elf outfit. It’s original and cute and my kids love him. Even my preteen thinks it’s fun :)


    We’ve had our elf Desi for around 3 or 4 yrs now….the kids love it, but it can be one more thing to remember in an already busy season…not to mention the preteen likes to torment the younger siblings that he’s going touch it and kill the magic power! We’ve dealt with some meltdowns over it!! Its funny that now that we’ve started this tradition, it won’t stop. My husband wants to drown him in the fishtank!! LOL


      Haha that is hillarious!! I have a feeling my husband will be the same way! Haha awesome!


    I decided the Elf on the shelf was way to expensive. I found a cute stuffed Gingerbread man and we called him The Naughty Gingerbread. But I like the ideas you posted as well. The Naughty gingerbread toilet papered my sons whole room while he was sleeping. Sealed off his bedroom door with paper on Christmas eve, took the remote and taped it to the ceiling and the list goes on. My son was excited to get up each morning to see what the gingerbread man had done that night. Needless to say the rest of our house had fun pulling these little pranks as well.


      Such a fun idea! Haha. I also like that if he is going to be called naughty he’s not directly tied to Santa!! Such fun ideas!! Thanks for sharing :)


    Wish there was some way to send you a picture. We have one of our elf, Dingle, kneeling next to baby Jesus and praying.


      Aww really! I love that so much! Do you have a pic of it on Instagram?

    Elizabeth Matherne

    Our family has an Elf Magic elf. They are cuter (IMO), don’t have the stipulation of no touching, and the letter they come with mentions spreading the joy of the true meaning of Christmas. My six year old is eagerly awaiting the return of her elf Hazel, to see what sorts of fun she’ll bring to our home this year! She has decorated the tree with toilet paper, had cotton snowball fights with the other stuffed animals, flown on the ceiling fan, done gymnastics on the kitchen chandelier, read the bible, and played with the nativity, in addition to many things you listed.

    You can find them at


      No way! That is so much fun! Thanks for sharing, ill for sure have to look those ones up!


    Wow! we have never had this tradition but I think I’ll give it a try this year. Thanks for the suggestions! I invite you to link this to my link party and blog hop Hope to see you there!


    We have our elf read the Christmas Story at our Nativity Scene to other animals….we too have also had an elf for years but lady year was the first time he came for a visit and the kids loved it.


      Really?! Oh that is so great to know! Thanks for sharing your ideas too! I think I’m doing it

    anastasia anezinis

    Woow!So funy elfs!!!

    Linda Nortje

    What an adorable collection ! I love the one in the shower :-)

    Sarah @DomesticFemme

    Love these :) You’re more than welcome to use my image, where the elf is cradling baby Jesus, if you need.


    Love this post. Thx! I just bought this book for my grandkids and these ideas will add to the fun.


      Yay!! What a sweet gift you are giving them! I’m glad you like it :)

    Rachel Kathryn

    I don’t know if I would do Elf on the Shelf for our (future) family, but I love the touches you’ve included to bring in your faith! Especially the kneeling by the manger. My favorite trinket at my mom’s house is a little ceramic Santa kneeling by the Nativity. :)


      Thank you Rachel! That made my day. I LOVE Christmas, and love getting into the craze of the season, but I try hard to never lose sight of what it’s really all about, so that means a lot :).

    Hilary Smith

    My son is 2 and we’re going to do Elf on the Shelf for the first time this year. I am really excited about it and I think it will be something really fun.


      Ah my son is two also! I know he would just love it, I just need to join the club I guess