Elf on the Shelf is a polarizing character. Some parents love it, while others hate it.
Coming up with fun ideas for your elf every night in December can be challenging, but with these simple and fun Elf on the Shelf ideas, you’ll be the “fun” parent without having to spend hours each night making something elaborate.
Pick your favorites for this year and try the rest of the ideas next year!
50 Simple Mom-Approved Elf on the Shelf Ideas
While there are a lot of complicated Elf on the Shelf ideas, most parents don’t have time for elaborate pranks.
Luckily, these Mom-approved and easy Elf on the shelf ideas are all simple enough to implement before your kids go to bed at night, but they are also tons of fun and super adorable.
- Guarding Christmas cookies
- Drawing a picture of Santa or a present, star, etc.
- Building a marshmallow or cotton ball snowman
- Playing a family game
- Put your elf inside a small paper bag and have a paper sack race
- Reading a Christmas story
- Snoozing on the sofa, wrapped in blanket
- Hanging out with the family pet (by the cat’s favorite place to sleep or by the hamster cage)
- Making coffee for Mom and Dad
- Building a marshmallow tower
- Making Christmas cookies
- Having a snowball fight with cotton balls
- Painting a picture
- Stringing popcorn garland
- Eating candy
- Playing a computer game
- Guarding Christmas presents (under the tree or even guarding the room where Mom stores presents)
- Dusting by the TV or coffee table
- Listening to Christmas music with earbuds
- Elf yoga
- Riding in a toy car
- Feeding a baby
- Decorating a dollhouse
- Reading a kids’ magazine
- Hanging out by a bottle of essential oil, like Peppermint
- Making breakfast – pouring a bowl of cereal or cracking an egg into a bowl
- Napping in a tissue box
- Making snow angels out of flour or sugar on the counter
- Feeding the family pet – pouring dog or cat food or even feeding the fish
- Christmas countdown – changing a sign or simply writing on a paper “X days until Christmas!”
- Lipstick message on the bathroom mirror
- Tangled in Christmas lights
- Wrap the elf in a towel in the bathroom- the elf has had a relaxing bath!
- Sorting socks
- Hiding inside a vase
- Combing the elf’s hair in front of the mirror
- Building a block tower
- Writing an email to Santa
- Making a Christmas wish list
- Swinging off the ceiling fan
- Making elf copies on the printer
- Making paper snowflakes and hanging them in the window
- Teaching doll school
- Doctoring stuffed animals
- Decorating houseplants
- Hiding in the pantry
- Switching out regular light bulbs for red and green lights
- Hosting a toy tea party
- Making a simple ornament
- Helping fold laundry
Free Printable Simple Elf-on-the-Shelf Ideas List:
I’m made this list of simple elf-on-the-shelf ideas into a free printable for your added convenience.
Download it here: Elf-on-the-Shelf Printable