Every year in preparation for the holidays, I scour various websites stealing ideas for our elf, Elroy, to do for Elf on the Shelf. I map out each day and make a list of what trick Elroy will do and what supplies I need to keep the elf magic alive. Here are 42 of Elroy’s antics including a description of how I made it happen. Caution; some of these involve supplies and preparation, but totally worth the effort if you ask me.
#1. Elf Kisses. Take a hunk of tinfoil and wrap your elf. Print out the word kisses vertically and stick in foil. Scatter chocolate kisses around the elf.
#2. Stinky Elf. Stack three rolls of toilet paper on top of each other and stick elf down in them. Print out snowman pieces from here.
#3. Literacy Elf. Each year the elf delivers a Christmas book. It’s extra special if you write a note from the elf on the inside cover with the date. Pro tip: make a list of what book was delivered each year. You don’t want repeats.
#4. Hot Cocoa Stand. Caution: preparation needed. Use this site to download the Hot Cocoa booth. Find a couple of Christmas themed mugs and stuff with marshmallows and/or hot cocoa mix packets.
#5. Elf Magic. Use clear packing tape to stick the elf to the ceiling. Cross your fingers it stays stuck up there all day.
#6. Advent Elf. Caution: this one needs to arrive on December 1st. Have the elf bring an advent calendar. The Lego one is always a hit at our house.
#7. Elf on the Go. If your traveling somewhere before the holidays, bring your elf with. Set a few bags in your entryway before the trip and put the elf in a jar with a note asking to come with. For added fun, put a couple drops of peppermint oil in/on the jar, because well, that’s what the North Pole smells like. Added bonus is that while in the jar, the elf can to touched/handled by the kids and it won’t loose its magic.
#8. Elf Selfies. Snap pictures of your sleeping beauties with the elf. Leave a note with the elf to have them check your phone in the morning.
#9. Elf Cereal. Find a holiday cereal and have the elf deliver. I repeat this one with a different cereal each year.
#10. Make sure the elf knows the reason for the season.
#11. Use this one to get a few extra chores out of your kiddo. Printable here.
#12. Prankster Elf. Print out mustaches or Santa hats and let the elf have fun with the kids’ school pictures or family photos.
#13. Elf be Chillin’. Wrap the elf in a washcloth and stick him in the fridge. Super easy.
#14. Crafty Elf. Use cotton swabs and have the elf make snowflakes.
#15: Random Acts of Kindness Elf. Caution; much effort needed for this one. Make a list of random acts or good deeds that the elf wants the kids to do. Our list included delivering a holiday “movie night” to our neighbors, putting gift certificate codes on the movie kiosk and stuffing our mailbox with cookies for our mail carrier.
#16. Tic-Tac-Elf. Use large marshmallows with green and red markers to make a tic-tac-toe game for your elf.
#17. Adventure Elf. Tape gift bows to the window and then pose your elf as if it were rock climbing.
#18. Gamer Elf. Kids like video games. Find their favorite game character and make a mask for the elf.
#19. Hot Air Elf. Caution; preparation and supplies needed. You’ll need a red paper lantern (found at any craft store), red curling ribbon, a red plastic drinking cup and peppermint candies. Assemble the lantern. Hole punch three holes in sides of red drinking cup. Tie curling ribbon from bottom of lantern to top of drinking cup. Tie peppermint candies to a couple strands of ribbon and glue/tape to bottom of drinking cup. Stuff elf in the cup and tie the whole thing to your ceiling fan or curtain rod.
#20. Elf Jammies. Have the elf deliver Christmas jammies. This is by far the favorite elf antic at our house.
#21. Elf Makes Breakfast. Caution; you have to get up a little earlier than your kids to pull this one off, but it’s so simple. Set out plates and arrange sliced bananas and strawberries into the shape of a candy cane.
#22. Toys vs Elf. Find a Lego board and tie the elf to it using colored twine. Stage Lego figurines around the elf.
#23. Elf to the Rescue. Ornaments fall off the tree often. Use a toy fire truck and have elf provide assistance to low hanging ornaments.
#24. HELP! Buy spray snow (found at any craft store) and spray inside of patio door or window. Use your finger to write your message in still “wet” snow. Tape elf to the exterior of the door/window.
#25. Adventure Elf 2.0. Use mini candy canes to help the elf rappel from the kitchen cabinets.
#26. Elf Igloo. Caution; this one takes planning AHEAD of time. Use an empty gallon milk jug (this is where the prep comes in) and cut an opening in the jug large enough to place elf. Hot glue cotton balls to the entire jug, except bottom. Place a battery operated tea light candle in the igloo with the elf.
#27. Game Night. Set up a board game and stage the elf playing against a couple of the kids’ favorite stuffed animals.
#28. Elf Hygienist. Set out new toothbrushes and paste with a reminder from the elf about good oral hygiene.
#29. Elf War. Set up army figurines as if they have captured the elf. A small piece of tape across the elf’s mouth is added fun.
#30. Clean up on Aisle Elf! Find one of those reindeer or snowman that poop jelly beans. Set out the elf with a mini spatula as if he’s cleaning up the mess.
#31. Adventure Elf 3.0. String a piece of twine from your Christmas tree to another nearby point. Hang the elf to make an entrance.
#32. Elf donuts. Use toasted cereal with a dab of frosting and sprinkles to make elf donuts. Find the elf donuts box here.
#34. Elf Commode. A note and a few drops of food coloring in the toilet and the kids will be tickled the elf tinkled in their potty.
#35. Elf Pizza Delivery. Caution; preparation and supplies needed. Find the pizza box printable here. Use canned pizza dough to make a tiny pizza complete with a spoonful of sauce and a pinch of cheese. Bake and stage.
#36. Go Team Elf. Use a couple of pieces of felt to make a vest with your kids’ favorite sports team. A toothpick and felt were used to make the pennant.
#37. Elf Monkey Business. Use a marker to draw on a bunch of bananas. My kids were very concerned about our elf using a permanent marker.
#38. Acrobat Elf. Use a full size candy cane and curling ribbon to make a trapeze bar.
#39. Elf Cupcake Stand. Find the printable here. I placed the stand over a styrofoam cup. The cupcakes are Rolo candies.
#40. Antsy Elf. With a roll of toilet paper and a maker, let the kiddos know Christmas is getting close.
#41. Elf Lunch. On the last day of school before Christmas break, our elf makes a special lunch to take the school. The reindeer sandwich is made with a heart cookie cutter, pretzels for antlers, chocolate ship eyes and a M&M nose. The strawberry fruit cup has googly eyes and a red mini ball hot glued to it with pipe cleaner antlers. A similar juice box wrap can be found here.
#42. Elf Sleigh. Caution; a lot of effort on this one. You’ll need a 12 pack of canned root beer soda to stage the reindeer and sleigh. Carefully tear open the 12 pack and then cut to make shape of sleigh. Use one can of soda as seat for elf. Set 5 cans of soda as team of reindeer. Use brown pipe cleaners to make antlers on top of each can. Start by making V shape with pipe cleaner and then use tiny pieces twisted into place as antlers. Glue red mini craft ball to lead reindeer. Use red beads and glue to sets of reindeer as reins.
Bonus Holiday Fun
For all your efforts in reading to the bottom of this post, here’s a little holiday fun for the grown ups. I surprised my husband with this one year given that he puts up with a lot during the holidays. Using brown paper lunch bags I wrapped a variety of different bottled beers advent calendar style. Each night, he unwrapped a bottle for a little holiday cheer.