Mama’s, while you’ve got visions of stuffing and sweet potatoes, your little ones might very well be thinking of the much anticipated arrival of your family’s Elf on the Shelf.
Whether it’s your first year or your fifth, there will most definitely be a late night when you are scratching your head, searching Pinterest for some salvation. Look no further!
Print this list and keep it somewhere secret. Keep in mind that some of these ideas are super simple! Kids don’t expect bells and whistles every single night. Our Elf, Fisbee Olive Griswold, has brought so much laughter into our Decembers and his routines have become welcome parts of our holiday season.
[typography font=”Satisfy” size=”24″ size_format=”px”]25 Days of The Elf[/typography]
Day 1. Our Elf always arrives on December 1st with a note, advent calendars, and supplies and a recipe for Christmas cookies. In the past, Fisbee has left Christmas sprinkles or M&M’s. This year, he wants us to try Triple Chocolate Mint Cookies! Share the love and bring some to a teacher, the lunch ladies, a neighbor or a friend.
Day 2. Cookie Coma Elf: Leave him face down in a room next to the kitchen. Leave his hat near the plate of cookies you have made together, with some evidence.
Day 3. Christmas Tree Elf: Hide him strategically in the tree!
Day 4. Chandelier Elf: Perch him in a light fixture, fan or chandelier. Upside down wins extra giggles!
Day 5. Bachelor Elf: Set him up on a date with a Barbie, a doll, or a G.I. Joe!
Day 6. Naughty Elf: Leave a green glass of milk in the fridge for your child, with the Elf smiling nearby. (If you’re really daring, dye the whole carton a funny color! Healthy Living has some natural dyes that you may want to check out.)
Day 7. Sick Elf: Sprinkle a few crumpled tissues and a thermometer near Elf. Cover his eyes with his hands.
Day 8. Off-limits Elf: What’s the treat that your kids rarely get? Sugary cereal? Chocolate? Whatever it is that they ask you for time and time again but you refuse, give in. Once a year. We don’t allow sugary cereals in our house but Fisbee leaves individual servings of one of the junky kinds. (This way kids can indulge without having an entire box looming in the cabinet.)
Day 9. Bubble Bath Elf: Cover Elf in marshmallows in a doll house bathtub or bowl. Leave a facecloth and some soap/bubble bath next to him.
Day 10. Kind Elf: Surround Elf with some canned goods, cereal, etc. and a note suggesting children bring the food to a food pantry or food shelf.
Day 11. Snuggling Elf: Snuggle him up with a favorite lovey or stuffed animal.
Day 12. Gardender Elf: Have Elf leave a note, asking children to plant magic seeds (mints, tic tacs or red & green chocolate chips) in the North Pole Dust. (Sugar.) The next morning, watch the amazed looks as children find candy canes have sprouted over night.
Day 13. Reader Elf: Set him up with a new or old family favorite holiday book.
Day 14. Off-roading Elf: Put him in a car or vehicle and let him take the wheel!
Day 15. Friday Night Elf: Ready to kick back and enjoy the weekend together? Elf surprises with a new movie for the kids and a bottle (or two) of wine for the adults! Some of our Christmas favorites: The Polar Express, A Christmas Story, Arthur Christmas, Elf.
Day 16. Report Card Elf: Leave a mid-month letter from the Elf, complete with lots of praise. No criticisms! This should be stress free for all!
Day 17. Thirsty Elf: Elves loves maple syrup!
Day 18. Messy Elf: Make a mess! Throw some undies, socks, shoes, etc. around and leave a pair in Elf’s hands so the kids don’t get blamed for the mess!
Day 19. Texting Elf: Catch Elf mid-text, sending a happy report to Santa.
Day 20. Artsy Elf: Leave a fresh box of crayons or markers and a Christmas coloring book or some free Christmas coloring pages from the Internet.
Day 21. Raunchy Elf: The Shelburne Country Store has some good choices!
Day 22. Bathroom Elf: Yeah, kids love anything having to do with the potty. When you gotta go, you gotta go! Put Elf on a dollhouse potty and leave the newspaper nearby or a favorite potty training story. No pretend potty? Set Elf up on the toilet tank with a fishing pole and some goldfish crackers floating in the water.
Day 23. Snow Angel Elf: Is there a blanket of white outside? Let Elf get in on the action and set him up with an indoor snow angel scene!
Day 24. PJ Surprise Elf: When we are at Christmas Eve Mass, our Elf leaves a new pair of pajamas for each child! He will also leave a letter and allow the children, at long last, to touch him and give him some kisses and snuggles. Here’s a fabulous printable letter.
Day 25. Bye Bye Elf! The Elf has flown back to the North Pole! Leave some glitter outside the front door or some tiny elf prints in the snow and a simple note reading, “see you next year!”
If you have yet to invest in your own elf and would like to, head over to Kids City in South Burlington! They have a full selection of boy and girl elves, videos, books, etc. Or you could enter the giveaway below because Kids City is giving away 2 Elf Kits!!! (One boy and one girl). Each kit comes with a hardcover book and your very own elf!a Rafflecopter giveaway
What kind of mischief has your Elf gotten into?
would enjoy a new elf shelf tradition with our 2 granddaughters.
Thanks for the very creative ideas!
This will be the first year for us to try elf on the shelf. Cant wait to try these ideas!
Love all of these ideas!
I love the date with Barbie 🙂 this seems like so much fun!
I would have so much fun coming up with elf antics for my kids to enjoy. One idea I have is to have elf hiding on the showerhead to make sure they scrub behind their ears…lol. I’m excited to start a new family tradition.
the flour one is adorable! they’re all great actually. 🙂
last year we put elf outside on the front step and then rang the doorbell.. totally creepy but henry loved it. 🙂
OH! I’d love to get a girl elf for my daughter but she wouldn’t complain about a boy. I think she’d just like an elf! 🙂
I can NOT wait to start the Elf on the Shelf tradition!!!!
My three year old would love searching for the Elf each day!
I want to start this tradition soon!!
Such great ideas!! We don’t have an elf, but I would love to surprise our kiddo with the elf’s antics everyday leading up to Christmas! I think LO would get a kick out of the Elf playing with his toys when he wakes up in the morning!
Such an amazing and fun tradition to start with the new addition to our family! Start traditions young!
my kids have had elves in their classrooms before, but we’ve never done it at home. I think it would be a blast.
We would love an elf on the shelf.. my kids would love to add that tradition to our holidays.
We don’t have an elf yet but plan on getting one when the time is right.
We just bought our elf on the shelf. Not sure our 16month old will fully understand it but I think he’ll enjoy hunting it down each morning. These are great ideas!
Honi, GREAT idea! I think our Elf is going to be building some lego creations this year…..thanks for the suggestion!
I think that using a few of their favorite things would be fun. For us it would be baby dolls and legos.
Tricia, I LOVE these ideas! We have never done a Elf on the Shelf before, but after reading this, I just might have to! Definitely pinned this one for future reference!