Brief History  

Elf on the shelf is a famous conventional and classic practice being followed at Christmas for years. It involves toy elves that are kept at home in December. The goal is to spy on kids’ behavior and analyze if they are being good or bad.

The idea was first developed through a US kids’ book in 2005 by Carol Aebersold and her daughter Chanda Bell. There is a belief that having such scout magical elves assist Santa to manage his good and bad lists properly. 

Why Do People Feel Immense Joy in This Ritual?

Elf giving pleasure and joy to all

Elves give a real report of a family at the North pole every night and return in the morning to the home. The interesting part here is that the  landed place can be any corner of the home for elves who are mischievous and create fun every time. Hence, every morning family members try to find that very new spot where the elf has returned and the elf waits for someone to get spotted.

However, it’s a joint effort of every member including parents, grandparents, and other elders who wake up too early in the morning, sometimes at night after the children have slept.  The goal is to place the toy elf in a different spot in the house. The idea seems very fascinating because elders love watching their innocent kids waking up earlier and rushing to find their toy elf every morning. This creates excitement and positivity not only in the children but in the entire family as well. 

Easy and Rapid Elf on the Shelf Ideas 

I have collected some easy, humorous, mischievous but family-friendly Elf on the Shelf ideas so that you as well as your children count down Christmas day with positive energy.

The first week of December seems light to start but as the time flows, it poses several challenges for you to keep elves and schedule their different activities every day. On top of it, you might not be able to create ideas for yourself on the shelf. Hardly one or two ideas come and then the mind goes blank. The problem occurs as it lasts one whole month and daily new activities have to be done with elf till the final day of Christmas. 

Therefore, I have brought some very easy Elf on the Shelf ideas from various online resources and my imagination, which you and your kids are surely going to love and implement this Christmas. Let’s see and discuss each of them one by one:

Saying Hello From Shelf

Elf saying hello from self

The first day of an elf’s magic should be special to remember forever. Many also celebrate it royally. But, to keep it simple yet special, you can purchase a personalized card carved on wood that reads the elf rules. You can reuse it in upcoming years as well. 

Maintain it properly to ensure its long-term use. If you don’t want to purchase, you can create something similar on your own with the help of cardboard and other decorative materials. You can customize it accordingly. Either place the card near the Elf on the shelf or make two holes in the card and insert the elf’s two arms in it. Make sure the holes fit the arms of your elf. It should seem like an introduction message from your elf so that kids think the elf is talking to them. 

Throwing a Welcome Party

Elf throwing a party

If you want to welcome the elf’s arrival differently, It’s suggested that you throw the Elf on the shelf and decorate the shelf beautifully. You can add some accessories related to Santa, add snowball chair garlands, and a traditional elf village.

Listening to Music

Elf is listening to music

Placing your elf on a CD or DVD player is a perfect idea. As soon as the music plays, he will automatically turn round which seems captivating. Play carols and watch them roaming around the player. It will create a positive atmosphere indeed. Try it and you will be able to feel it. 

Resting At the Top of the Tree

Elf has climbed at top of the tree

Take a roll of toilet paper and wrap it around the Christmas tree. Make your elf sit at the top of it holding on to the end of the roll to show evidence that he has done the mischief. Your children must be surprised watching elves on such a spot. 

Doing a Magical Experiment

Elf is doing a magical experiment

A household science experiment is one of the best ways to rejuvenate when you are getting bored. Apply this idea to your elf. Place him near a plate having some marbles in a circular shape. Tell your children to pour hot water at the center of the plate. Watch then what happens!

Watching a Movie on the Car

Elf is watching a movie on the car

To make this kind of setup, bring your iPad and play your kid’s favorite movie and place the elf on a toy car. Make sure the iPad and movie screening dimensions fit the size of an elf. It will be a novel way to use your kids’ toy cars collection.

Playing Video Games

Elf is playing video games

Place your elf in any suitable area. It can be your living room, drawing room, or any other area where your children play video games actively. Leave the remote control in the hands of your elf while he is enjoying video games and wait for your children to come and see their new companion in the game. From this act, you all will be able to analyze how mischievous your elf is who can’t be in one place. 

Doing Shopping

The elf is busy doing shopping

Either you can purchase online or you can make several small packed boxes whose size perfectly matches that of an elf. The idea is to display an elf who has done extreme online shopping. Apart from these boxes, other related supplements can also be added. You may locate them at your home or buy them online. The addition of such accessories will help give a real look to your arranged setup. 

Preparing Gifts

Elf is preparing gifts

This is a wonderful idea to go for and children go in ecstasy on seeing this view. It also seems so sweet of these tiny elves to prepare paper packages, tied with thin strings to give to those innocent children. After all, kids wait for this moment only for too long. Seeing elves engaged in such activity will increase your children’s excitement. They will be eager to see what’s inside the boxes.

Let’s initiate the process. Arrange some artificial boxes with thin strings. Keep the size of your elf in mind while packing gift boxes. You can fill them with anything your kids love such as candies, ornaments, or something valuable from elf to your children.

Doing a Christmas Parade

Elf is doing a Christmas parade

Your children must have a bunch of toy cars and trains in the house. Haven’t they? Bring them all, and line them in such a way that they surround your Christmas tree. Make sure your elf is taking part in that Christmas parade by making him sit on the front vehicle of the line so that it seems that he is leading that artificially made train.

Giving a Secret Message

Elf is giving a secret message

Use your little elf as a learning tool for your kids. For example, you may leave secret messages for the children through elves. As soon as kids see the message, they will try to decode it. The messages will help your children learn and improve in their academics. Besides, particular messages can be designed to work on the personality development of kids. 

For eg: write fruit names on a piece of paper and leave them in the hands of your elf on the shelf. Don’t forget to decorate the paper according to the theme of Christmas. Mention a message below which encourages kids to learn those names in return for a promised award such as ‘If you learn these fruit names by tomorrow, I will give you a special gift in the morning.”

Resting in the Refrigerator

The elf is resting in the refrigerator

Have you ever imagined opening your fridge to find something tasty to eat but getting shocked as soon as you see your elf gazing at you from your refrigerator? It’s another interesting place for them. Make sure that they are wearing a blanket otherwise, they may catch a cold.

Having a movie night date

Elf is enjoying his movie date

Arrange everything your elf needs for a fun movie night. To give it a more complete look, add candies, popcorn, and an artificial doll for a movie date. After having done the arrangements, just look at the sight, it will bring a new effect which you are going to enjoy. 

Involved in a Rock Band

Elf becomes a drum player

This is another exciting idea. You may have several tin cans in your house. Use and convert them into a drum set by using your creativity and imagination power. Take the help of online resources. Place your elf near to the instrument in such a way that it seems as if he is playing the drum in a rock band. Imagine how innovative it would be to arrange such a place for him.

Quick Bathroom Elf on The Shelf Ideas

You may assume that there hardly exist two or three places in your bathroom for elves but it’s not like that. I have brought a variety of creative and amusing ideas for this area as well. I am sure you are going to execute them as soon as you go through all my suggestions. 

Let’s move on to every point individually and analyze which will work for you. 

Elf Casing Your Toilet Pot

Elf is wrapping toilet pot

This is a complete home-based idea. Wrap your whole toilet seat with a  decorative cover and make your elf sit proudly on the seat. It hardly takes 5-10 mins as it hardly takes much time. Your children will surely love to see it the next morning after they wake up. 

Elf Creating Mess With a Tissue

Elf is creating a mess with tissue

To want your kids to be shocked by an economic tissue roll and leave it to unfold and be scattered in such a way that it covers most of your bathroom’s face. Try to wrap from the lights to the whole floor. Make sure hardly any space is left uncovered.  Place your elf on any raised area and leave two ends of the roll in both hands of the elf so that it seems that the elf is responsible for such hilarious activity. 

Elf Writing With Toothpaste

Elf is writing with toothpaste

This is probably a modish and innovative idea to get started. You can use your regular toothpaste with the help of which you can write a specific message for your kids. The messages can be motivational as well as funny or naughty, all depending upon what you want your children to experience.

As soon as you are ready with the message, write it down on your bathroom mirror. Leave your elf there in front of the mirror on the basin holding unclosed toothpaste in his hands. Let your kids know the mischief of the elf. This trick is extremely useful. Some ideas for messages are 

  • Hey! don’t forget to brush your teeth every single day! Your Elf.
  • Hey buddy, I hope you are preparing for Christmas.
  • Good morning my friend.
  • Sorry for the mess I created, your elf was getting bored.
  • New Elf rules. Have a look at them, buddy. 

Elf is Busy Doing His Shave

Elf is shaving

You can take any shaving foam in your home or buy any economical one from your nearby store. Apply cream/foam on the lower face of your elf and place it on the basin in front of the bathroom mirror. 

Keep the bottle near to him and spread some foam on the basin’s surface to show that your elf doesn’t like to do anything in order and loves to make a mess. Put a razor in one of his hands also. Children will find it amazing to see that their elf himself is trying to shave without taking any help from others.  

Elf Taking a Balloon Bath

Elf is enjoying a balloon bath

Elf takes his hygiene very seriously. That’s why you should look after him with proper care. Try to arrange a calm and peaceful balloon bath for him. Blow balloons to fill in your complete bathing tub. Make your elf lie anywhere in the tub on one of the balloons with his arms behind his head in a relaxing or chill position. As soon as your kids see him this way, not only will they be amused but they will also enjoy playing with balloons. 

The Elf on Shelf Enjoying Bathroom Swing

The elf is taking a bathroom swing

You can make a swing by yourself at home and hang it at the entrance of your bathroom. Use a waste or empty cardboard roll as the seat. This is the perfect idea to welcome your Elf back on 1st December. You can make the elf sit on the swing seat leaving a note in his hands saying, “I am back”.

Creative Elf on the Shelf Ideas For Teens 

You must probably be wondering if teenagers no longer take interest in Elf or Santa. Ultimately, they are teens who are capable enough to differentiate between real and reel. It’s true but still, you can add humor to your teen kids with the help of your elves. The only difference is in the changes in ideas and concepts. Everything has to be arranged concerning the interests and likes of young teenagers.

Let’s see what are the creative ideas for teens. 

Watching Web Series 

elf watching web series

Set up your tab or smartphone and turn on any web series your young teenager likes. Make your elf sit in front of it to display as if he is busy watching it. As soon as your teen child will see this view, he will surely love the idea. 

Enjoying Spa

elf doing spa

Arrange a spa setup for your elf. Use artificial dolls available in your house or buy from nearby markets at cheap rates. Try creating an artificial spa where your elf is sitting in a relaxed manner with all the dolls sitting beside him on both sides. Teenagers will surely be able to relate this to them in real life. 

Taking an Elfie

Elf taking decent selfies

This elf is fully aware of the social media trend. The high obsession with selfies is present in every human. Similarly, to connect this with your elf. You can display him asking for a selfie. To assist with further props and supplements, you can search online for several items that are made solely for this purpose.

Applying Girls’ Make-Up

Elf using girls’ makeup

To specifically connect with teen girls, use their makeup kits as a supplement. Leave your elf with the kit holding an eye brush in one hand and looking at the mirror. After seeing elves like this, your young teen girl will be amused a lot. It will make her day.

Doing Assignments on Laptop

Elf is doing assignments on a laptop

Engage your elf with your teen’s laptop. Make him sit in front of the laptop with his hands on one of the keys of the keyboard. Place one book or notebook of your teen beside him. The goal is to resemble this with your teenagers studying the same way. Make the setup properly just like your child studies with online resources so that he/ she feels connected to such a view. 

Reading Magazines/Books

Elf is busy reading

Some teenagers are passionate readers and so they are fond of reading some regular magazines or books. To connect your elf with your teen kid who is an ardent reader, using this concept will work out perfectly.

You can leave your elf’s hand with any magazine or book which your teen loves. To give it a more realistic view, add spectacles to his eyes, so that your elf on the shelf seems studious. I am sure as your child arrives and sees the elf, he can’t resist watching and smiling.