5 Creative Ideas to Have More Fun with your Elf on the Shelf

Creative ideas to keep the kids giggling with the Elf on the Shelf Holiday Family Tradition

Have you heard of the Elf on the Shelf Holiday Tradition? It's been growing in popularity for years now. In fact, we’ve been playing this fun Hide ‘n Seek game every Christmas for the past 6 years. How does it work? 

Your Elf has a job to do, as the book that comes with the Elf explains. He or she sits in your house during the day but then at night, the Elf flies back to Santa to report on who has been naughty and who has been nice. Wait! Why would kids like that? Well, here’s the fun part. When the Elf comes back in the morning, he’s sitting in a different part of the house. It is the ultimate hide and seek game. As a family you can name your Elf and record the day he or she was "adopted" into your family in the keepsake book. You can find out more about the Holiday Tradition by reading my Elf on the Shelf Busy Parents Survival Guide blog posts.

Whether you have been hiding your Elf on the Shelf for a while or even if you are new to the tradition, there will come a night when you are super busy and can't come up with any creative ideas. So, to help make your Holiday nights a little easier, here are 5 fun ideas that you and your kids will love to keep this tradition magical. 

Watch the Video

The creators of Elf on the Shelf put together a super cute video on how the Elves get ready for the Christmas season. You can watch it with the kids here. There is also a Christmas TV special about Elf on the Shelf that is scheduled to air on CBS on December 14th at 8:30 p.m. CST.


Catch them in the Act
These Elves are photogenic. While the kids are sleeping or at school, take some funny photos of the Elves raiding the fridge or peeking in the wrapped presents or sleeping with the cat. Take them off center and close-up so it looks like the Elf took his or her own picture with your camera.


Elf Letters
My daughter loves to write letters. She writes some for Santa, Rudolph, Buddy from the Elf movie, the Tooth Fairy, the Pumpkin Fairy and our St. Patrick’s Day Leprechaun. So have your kids write a note or letter to your Elf and maybe he’ll answer overnight. Want to make it even funnier – write the letter in an “Elf” language that no one understands or have the Elf write backwards so the kids have to hold the note up to a mirror to read.


The Elf was Here
Leave clues around the house that show that the Elf was moving around. A cereal box tipped over, Christmas cards out and on the floor, little footprints on the kitchen table or even have the Elf write his or her name out using raisins, Cheerios, legos or in some spilled flour. Here’s a cute idea – spill some flour out on the counter and then have the Elf make a snow angel in the flour.


Bake Up Some Fun
When the kids come downstairs for breakfast, won’t they be surprised to find a fresh batch of Christmas cookies on the kitchen counter that the Elf “baked” overnight?


Need even more inspiration? There are some incredibly creative families sharing their Elf photos online. You can find some of my favorites on my Elf on the Shelf Pinterest Board


Does your family have an Elf? What are some of your creative ideas for hiding or staging the Elf?

You Might Also Like:

When to Start the Elf on the Shelf Tradition

What to Do When You Forget to Move your Elf on the Shelf

More Fun Ideas for your Elf on the Shelf


Sue Kirchner is a family fun coach, kids party planner, and weekly contributor to Patch.com. Sue and her family fun ideas have been featured on TV, newspapers, magazines, blogs, as well as her own family fun site ChocolateCakeMoments.com.

Stephanie Price November 29, 2012 at 05:53 PM
Ha ha ha...better keep him high on the shelf so your new puppy doesn't get 'em!
Sue Kirchner November 29, 2012 at 07:14 PM
Have fun with it Gloria! Thanks for reading. Sue
carla borg November 29, 2012 at 07:25 PM
Love the ideas!!!!! Can't wait to do pictures with Snickers ( that's our elfs name....)
Sue Kirchner November 29, 2012 at 10:43 PM
Carla, Snickers is a great name. Enjoy your photos.
Sue Kirchner November 29, 2012 at 10:44 PM
Stephanie, yes, keep the Elf away from all animals. Great reminder.


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