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Elf On The Shelf Ideas – Compiled thanks to our Clued In With Kids parents and carers

Elf On The Shelf Ideas – Compiled thanks to our Clued In With Kids parents and carers

We are finally giving in the Elf to The Shelf craze. Now, like you, we are always on the go so the idea of thinking of new and exciting poses for the elf was a tad daunting. Fortunately our members have come to the rescue and shared some incredibly funny and kind Elf on the Shelf ideas, for the purpose of this article. We are now really looking forward to seeing her little eyes light up as she comes down the stairs all excited. We will continue to build on these ideas to help provide inspiration to others as and when members share more ideas.  

So here’s everything you need to know about bringing the Elf On The Shelf into your home this Christmas.

So what is Elf on the shelf?

Every child knows all about the ‘naughty and nice’ list but how does Santa actually know who goes on each list? Well after being encouraged by the Elves and Mrs Claus, Santa has sent out an extra pair of eyes and ears to come and live with you in the lead up to Christmas. The Elf On The Shelf will be keeping watch and travelling back to the North Pole each night to report back to Santa. The Elf will then come back to you and try to make you laugh by either getting up to a naughty little antic, or help you tap into your Christmas spirit by asking families to perform a number of lovely little tasks.

 

Children can also get an official adoption certificate by registering their Elf On The Shelf online, depending on where the elf was purchased.

Where can I buy Elf on the shelf?

You can purchase an Elf On The Shelf from most supermarkets and garden centres. Alternatively, here’s an affiliate link for one of the original Elf On The Shelves from Amazon to get you started.  

***AMAZON AFFILIATE LINK***

When should Elf make an appearance?

Its entirely up to you but remember they need to be moved each day until Christmas Eve, when they will fly back to the North Pole with Santa on his sleigh until next year. It’s a good idea to plan out a rough idea of what the elf will do each day so you can decide how many activities you want to do and this will determine how early Elf makes an appearance.

How should we introduce the Elf On The Shelf?

There is no right or wrong way to introduce Elf on the Shelf. We are going to introduce our Elf on the 1st December with an Elf Breakfast. There will be shaped pancakes, blueberries, smoothies and a special Christmas cookie. There will also be a personalised letter from Santa which we will read to our two year old to introduce her new friend. Alternatively, you can read the Elf on the Shelf book. If Elf has visited in previous years, maybe just a simple message saying ‘Im back’ out of sweets is an option? Finally, the Elf could bring a chocolate advent or the Christmas book advent so you can open a book every day in the countdown to Christmas and read it together as a family. Don’t forget to name the Elf too on this first visit.

It may also be handy to print or share some Elf rules: 

  1. Do not touch me or I lose my magical powers and can’t fly back to Santa tonight.
  2. Please do talk to me but I can’t talk back because I am concentrating really hard on listening.
  3. Write Santa letters so I can take them to him. 
  4. I will stay until Christmas Eve but then I must go back to the North Pole.
  5. Be kind and courteous to everyone.

Ok so lets go for it. Here's our members suggested Elf On The Shelf antics:

Image credit: Clued in with kids member

1. Introduce the Elf On The Shelf. A nice way to bring Elf into your home is to have him or her bring the advents and set a nice little challenge.

Image credit belongs to a Clued in with kids member. 

We’re Back. If Elf has visited in the past, you could keep it simple and just write a message out of sweets that says ‘I’m Back’. 

Image credit belongs to a Clued in with kids member. 

Here’s a great suggestion of how the Elves could be introduced with their own little Elf house. 

2. Enjoy an Elf Breakfast. Have a range of tasty goodies such as pancakes, granola, festive toast (use simple cookie cutters), fruits, syrups, chocolate spread, yogurts, candy canes, christmas plates, milkshakes, crackers and the odd cake or two.  You may want to give a few veggies through the day to compensate!

Image credit: Clued in with kids member 

3.Elf goes ziplining on a candy cane. Attach one end to the tree and another end to maybe the central light or other suitable fixture. 

Image credit belongs to a Clued in with kids member. 

4. Elf has a sleep over with the family pet. Note: Please only get pets involved if you feel as though they are comfortable in doing so.  Obviously pets move so we had one collect the toddler as the other bribed the pooch!

Image copyright: Clued in with kids. Jack the Westie was a very good poser….. for the right treat! 

5. A random act of kindness or face your fear challenge. 

Elf sets a challenge to perform a random act of kindness – e.g. litter picking, donate to the local food bank, give a friend a hug, share toys etc. The message could be written or even left as a message written in sweets. 

6. Elf takes the dog for a walk…. or is it the pooch taking the elf? We used the outdoor lights but any dog toy will do. Alternatively, pop elf in a sleigh and have him being pulled by the pooches. Wolf teddies would be fabulous for this.

Image copyright belongs to Clued in with kids. 

7. An early Christmas gift.  Elf leaves a ‘gift’ for the child as a reward for their random act of kindness or for facing a fear. 

Image copyright belongs to Clued in with kids. 

8. Muddy footprints. Oh no. Tinkerbell has just mopped the floor but the mischievous Elf has just come running in with muddy footprints. Only now he’s slipped. Luckily he’s only wounded his pride! We used coffee not mud to make the foot prints. 

Image copyright belongs to Clued in with kids. 

9. Hot Elf poop, I mean Hot Chocolates all round!  This is a very cheeky idea provided by one of our parents!

Image credit belongs to a Clued in with kids member. 

10. All the colours of the rainbow…. Grab any bright and colourful wooden toys or toys that spark the imagination and just get building. Kids will have a great time carrying on the fun when they come down. 

Image credit belongs to Clued in with kids. 

11. Practical joker. Child wakes to Elf sat near their bed with a little note saying ‘look in the mirror’. Child will be covered in Elf or Christmas stickers. If they wouldn’t respond well to this, why not just a simple message on the mirror telling your child to have a great day. 

Image credit belongs to a Clued in with kids member. 

12. Gulliver’s Travels. We were very impressed with this suggestion and it provided a great opportunity for play afterwards. 

Image credit belongs to a Clued in with kids member. 

13. We’re off to see the Wizard. How amazing is this suggestion from one of our Clued in with kids members? We love the little Toto and this is certainly one of our favourite scenes. Get some toast or sliced cake, tin foil, feathers, fake snow, and a few Christmas decorations and follow the Yellow Toast Road. 

Image credit belongs to a Clued in with kids member. 

14. The Greatest snowELF! Get some fake snow and little characters, mini trees etc and you can make a fabulously colourful scene. You could do something similar and recreate the Nutcracker Prince. 

Image credit belongs to a Clued in with kids member. 

15. It’s a time for giving! Elf is hiding in the Christmas Tree with a basket below asking children to add any toys they no longer play with. Children are to take these to a local hospice, childrens hospital ward or charity shop. Please check with hospice or hospital before arriving. You could also do this with older ones to have a ‘mobile free’ morning where phones are placed in the basket instead. 

Image copyright belongs to Clued in with kids. 

16. Knickers in a twist! Uh oh, what on Earth has the Elf been up to now? 

Image credit belongs to a Clued in with kids member. 

17. Parachute time! As an alternative to the above, you could use the underwear to make Elf a parachute. 

Image credit belongs to a Clued in with kids member. 

18. Up, Up and Away! Buy some Helium balloons and re-create the scene from Disney’s ‘Up’ where the Elf is using balloons to move his or her gingerbread house. 

19. Road trip! Another idea to reward good behaviour, kindness, or courage is to hide Elf in the car with a note praising the child. As a treat, the child is being taken out for the day to the local park, zoo, farm, woodland, reindeer, Ice Skating…. the choice  is endless!

20. Story time. Elf reads the other toys a Christmas story. 

Image copyright: Clued in with kids member. 

21. Go Fish! Elf On The Shelf goes fishing in the fish tank. Alternatively, if you don’t have a tank, fill the sink with those fish shaped crisps and little toy fishies. If doing this in the sink and not the tank, you could get environmentally friendly blue, silver and white glitter and make the water look magical. 

Image credit belongs to a Clued in with kids member. 

22. Winter Wonderland. Elf has brought a piece of the North Pole back with him or her. Get a Tuff tray and set up a scene with a range of arctic animals like penguins and polar bears, play dough, environmentally friendly glitter, crazy soap, whatever takes your fancy really!

Image copyright belongs to Splat Messy Play Cheshire East

23. Christmas Scavenger Hunt. Elf has hidden 5 items. Can you find them? You could also have Elf sat in a box of Candy Canes and ask the kids if they can find all 12?

24. Elf Pox. Elf brings back Elf Pox from the North Pole! Just make sure you don’t wake the kids laughing your head off as you pop little circle stickers on their faces as they sleep. Alternatively, a mustache may be an even naughtier idea!

Image kindly provided by one of our naughty clued in with kids members. 

25. A ride on the Christmas train. Elf takes a ride on a toy car or goes on a train ride…… choo choo!!! if you don’t have a train, you can do what one of our members did which was to lay out chairs like a train ready for breakfast. 

Image copyright: Clued in with kids. 

26. Elf on the train tracks! Oh no, what a naughty Elf! Can you save him/her in time?

Image credit belongs to a Clued in with kids member. 

27. Sleigh Bells Ring.  Set a nice little scene where the Elf is riding in a sleigh. 

Image credit belongs to a Clued in with kids member. 

28. Elf behaving badly – Return to sender. Toys try to silence the Elf by placing duct tape over his mouth, wrap him up and write a note saying ‘Elf misbehaving badly, please return to Santa’. 

29. Camping under the stars.  Elf goes on a camping trip. Just use a range of felt and the kids doll house toys. You can make a few bits and pieces using cardboard. 

Image credit: Clued in with kids member 

30. Someone has a sweet tooth. Elf has tried to steal a chocolate from an advent calendar. Alternatively you may find Elf in the tub of chocolates. 

31. Its treat night. Elf watches ‘Elf’ on TV, sat on the sofa with the remote and surrounded by a few empty goodie wrappers. It could be a nice way to announce a movie and treat/takeaway night after school. 

Image copyright belongs to Clued in with kids. 

32. Elf Airways. Elf has made a paper aeroplane and has used it to go flying. 

33. Let’s go fly a kite. Elf has come back from the North pole with a kite. Great for a dry but windy day outdoors. 

34. A ride on the express. Elf has made a shoe train out of your kiddie winks’ shoes. 

35. Snap, Crackle and…. Shoe? Elf tried to make breakfast but couldn’t find any bowls….. guess what….. he made breakfast in your shoe! (just pop some dry cereal in a shoe). 

36. Snap, Crackle and Pop! Sorry, we fancied a midnight snack!

Image credit belongs to a Clued in with kids member. 

37 A tad squashed. Elf hides in a balloon

38. Caught red handed! Elf gets trapped in a bauble whilst trying to ‘steal’ a candycane – use a see through bauble and the kids have to come to the rescue. 

39. A yummy gingerbread treat. Elf starts decorating a gingerbread house that has come all the way from the North Pole. Leaves a message for the children to finish it saying ‘please frost’.

40. Igloo palace. Elf and toys build a giant igloo whilst the kids are sleeping.

Image credit: Clued in with kids member 

41. Snow ball fight! Get the teddies and other toys involved too. Simply use marshmallows or cotton wool.

42. Snow fort. Elf and toys build a snow fort out of marshmallows or cotton wool. 

43. All dressed up. Elf gets dressed up in tinsel or other Christmas related items. Encourage the children to also get dressed up and play some Christmas games. 

Image credit belongs to a Clued in with kids member. 

44. Cracker Elf! The toys have used wrapping paper to dress the Elf up like a Christmas cracker. 

45. A message from Santa. Elf delivers a personalised note from Santa all the way from the North Pole praising the child and encouraging them to keep up the good work. Alternatively, the kids could right a letter to Santa themselves?

Image copyright belongs to one of our clued in with kids members. 

46. Cocktail time! Elf enjoys a sneaky little cocktail.. Simply get a small plant pot with some mint. You could use this set up to serve the kids some ‘mocktails’ of fresh fruit juices etc. 

Image credit belongs to a Clued in with kids member who took the Elf to the Botanist to enjoy a tasty treat.

47. Arts and crafts – Lets get messy!  Elf could have all the paints, stickers, glue etc behind him/her for a painting, sticking or colouring day.  Great idea for a rainy day and a good opportunity to make personalised Christmas cards. 

Image copyright belongs to Clued in with kids

Image credit belongs to a Clued in with kids member. 

48. Frosty the Elfman! Elf misses the North Pole so wraps up and hides in the freezer.

49. Frozen Party. As an alternative to the above, why not gather a few little characters for a freezer party?

59. Hide and seek. For toddlers, hide the Elf in really simple places e.g. in curtain tie backs, behind cushions, in the dogs bed etc. 

51. Time to get creative. Elf finds the stash of play doh, modelling clay or slime. 

Image credit belongs to a Clued in with kids member. 

52. Elf Toastie! Elf makes an Elf Toastie to keep warm on a cold night. 

53. Elf Selfie! Elf has snuck into the kids room last night and was taking selfies with the teddies. 

54. Toasting Marshmallows.  Using card, make elf a little campfire so it looks like he is toasting marshmallows ready for a hot chocolate treat. 

Image credit belongs to a Clued in with kids member. 

55. Oi cheeky! Elf borrows underwear to help decorate the Christmas tree. We hope it’s clean! 

56. Lounging around all day….. Well to be fair it does look comfy!

Image credit belongs to a clued in with kids member

57. Baking day. Place the elf and all the ingredients for baking into a bowl or on the scales ready for the kids to make that day as a special treat. Cupcakes, pancakes and cookies always go down well. 

Image credit belongs to a Clued in with kids member. 

58. Banana – na -na -na- na, Banana – na -na -na -na Potato nooooooo – na -na -na -na. One of our favorites. Who doesn’t love minions?

Image credit: Clued in with kids member.

59. Now how did that happen? Elf gets trapped in a water bottle

60. Peeing myself with excitement. Elf writes a message out of peas e.g. ‘Ooops I pea’d myself’.

Image credit belongs to a Clued in with kids member. 

61. Festive picnic/afternoon tea. Elf makes a picnic for the dolls/teddies/toys. Of course there’s some left over for you too. 

Image credit belongs to a Clued in with kids member. 

62. Face on your egg? Elf wanted some more friends to play with so drew faces on your breakfast eggs. 

Image credit belongs to a clued in with kids member. 

63. Let’s get building! Elf enjoys a LEGO competition with other toys.

64. Melted Snowman. Elf has melted the snowman! Set the scene up with the Elf holding a hair dryer. The kids come down to see spilled milk and choc buttons arranged to look like a melted snowman.

Image credit belongs to a Clued in with kids member. 

65. All wrapped up! Elf tried to help Santa get all ready for Christmas. However he got himself all wrapped up instead!

Image credit: Clued in with kids member

66. ‘Elfie Potter’. Dress the elf up like Harry potter and have it riding a paint brush to represent the broom.

67. Elf uses the potty. Great to encourage potty training kiddos. You could even get chocolate chips and leave them on the seat to show potty training kids that accidents do happen. 

Image credit belongs to a Clued in with kids member. 

68. Let it go, Let it go…….. If you have an Elsa, why not get Elsa to freeze the Elf right in his or her tracks. 

Image credit belongs to clued in with kids members. 

69. Rainbow magic. Place skittles along the outside of a ceramic plate, add a little water and watch the colours run towards the centre of the plate. 

Image copyright belongs to a Clued in with kids member. 

70. Super Elf. Have the Elf performing a range of heroic moves. 

Image credit belongs to a Clued in with kids member. 

71. Do you wanna build a snowman? Elf builds snowman out of toilet roll, card, and ribbon. Easy. 

Image copyright belongs to Clued in with kids. 

As an add on to the above, you could then get the kids to build their own snowman. Image credit belongs to a Clued in with kids member. 

72 . Elf sports day. Elf and stuffed animals have sack race. Have two candy canes holding up a finish line banner. 

73. Pamper me.  Elf has a spa day . Put his or her feet in a glass bowl of marshmallows, add cucumber to eyes and have the soap dispenser and rubber duck nearby. Depending on the age of the kids, you could also give them a little pamper e.g. do their nails. 

74. We’re breaking out. Elf gets trapped in the toy box whilst setting the toys free.

75. Making snow angels. Empty flour on the worktop and make a snow angel.

Image copyright belongs to Clued in with kids

76. Games night. Elf and Christmas ornaments playing games e.g. connect 4 or you can use card and colours to make your own Elf sized version of Twister. 

Image credit belongs to a Clued in with kids member. 

77. Elf performs a ‘rock concert’. Arrange Elf playing instruments with the toys as an audience.  We also added a few twinkle lights. 

Image copyright belongs to Clued in with kids. 

78.  ‘Elfie Shark doo doo doo doo doo doo’.

79.Elf does photography . Add googly eyes to some of the pictures and have the Elf sat nearby. Buy some disposable cameras and head out with a photography challenge in mind. 

Image credit belongs to a Clued in with kids member. 

80. Bauble Bath. Elf relaxes in a ‘bauble’ bath. Just fill some sparkly baubles in the sink and have a little rubber duck thrown in. 

81. The Hangar. Elf is climbing the walls and windows – literally. Use bows to recreate what looks like a climbing hangar and have elf climb up it.

82. A mouse took a stroll through the deep, dark wood…..

83. Its pamper time. Grab the mirror, a few cheap make up items, some Christmas themed lights and away you go. 

Image credit belongs to a Clued in with kids member. 

84. Call an Elfulance! Oh no, The Elves have had a skiing accident. Whoopsie.

Image credit belongs to a Clued in with kids member. 

85. You’re my star! Elf sits on top of the tree. Alternatively he/she can hide within the tree.

Image credit belongs to a Clued in with kids member. 

86. Elf MAGIC. Ask the kids to sprinkle some magical ingredients on to an egg before they go to bed. In the morning, they will awake and there will be a Christmas themed sweet, lolly or chocolate (swap to any small gift you like). 

Image credit belongs to a Clued in with kids member. 

87. I’m a rocket Elf. And I think it’s gonna be a long long time, ’till touch down brings me round again to find…… Come on you know you are singing this in your head right now!

Image credit belongs to a Clued in with kids member. 

88. The best an Elf can get! Elf having a shave is simple but effective. 

Image credit belongs to a Clued in with kids member. 

89. Good luck going to bed. The naughty elves have used wrapping paper to wrap up the door! 

90. Not long left to go. Wheeeeeee. Place Elf in the toilet roll and have him roll down the stairs. Alternatively, depending on how mischievous your elf is, we have seen some of our members completely TP their lounges!

Image credit belongs to a Clued in with kids member. 

91. Elf builds a house! Get out the kid wooden tools or other tool based toys and let the Elves get to work. if you are really creative, you could get a wolf nearby pretending to huff and puff. 

Image credit belongs to a Clued in with kids member. 

92. Make a den! Elf can get the couch cushions, Christmas twinkle lights etc to make a den. 

93. Elf sleepover. Another nice, simple and effective set up for those busy nights. 

Image copyright belongs to a Clued in with kids member. 

94. See you next year. Finally its time to say goodbye. Why not have the Elf leave a nice message alongside a family Christmas eve box containing new pyjamas, a DVD, hot chocolate mix, reindeer food and a Christmas book to read before bed. 

Image credit belongs to a Clued in with kids member.

For more ideas on days out, events, classes, general things to do with kids....

To keep in the loop, you can follow us on Instagram or facebook. Our facebook groups are a great source of information with parents sharing all sorts of wonderful ideas.  

 

CHESHIRE
https://www.facebook.com/groups/Cluedinwithkids.Cheshire

 

NORTH WALES
https://www.facebook.com/groups/Cluedinwithkids.NorthWales.Events

 

WIRRAL, LIVERPOOL AND BEYOND
https://www.facebook.com/groups/Cluedinwithkids.WirralandMerseyside.Events

Additional terms and conditions

We love that this article has been a group effort thanks to our parents and carers. However, we are taking it on good faith that the images provided belong to members and have not been published by another party. If we have accidentally used an image without the correct credit, please contact us at admin@cluedinwithkids.co.uk and we will rectify this as soon as possible.

If a member changes their mind and wants us to remove an image belonging to themselves, again please notify us and we will remove it. 

Other businesses are not permitted to use any of these images as the copyright lies with individual members. It is up to our members as to whether or not they choose to allow others to use their images. 

We also want to point out that these are suggestions only and you need to evaluate whether each activity is right for your family. Therefore, Clued in with kids can not be held liable if the Elves antics go wrong and causes any damage to furniture, clothing etc. 

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