8 Ideas to Have More Fun with your Elf on the Shelf

Elf on the Shelf

My kids are so psyched for the day after Thanksgiving when we start up our Elf on the Shelf Family Holiday Tradition. They have been asking for days when “Jack” is coming. We’ve been playing this fun Hide ‘n Seek game every Christmas for the past 4 years now. Now that my kids are older (9 and 11) and we’ve been doing this for awhile, I needed some creative ways to have even more fun with our Elf this year. Here are a few ideas that I thought up, that we tried last year, and some other fun ones I found online. I’ll be adding more as I get inspired throughout the next few weeks as we count down to Christmas.

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.

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.

Letter to Buddy the Elf

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.

Jack's name

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.

Elf on the Shelf Snow Angels

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?

Here are some very fun ideas I found online that would appeal to older kids or teens to keep the fun going.

Don’t Let the Elf Drive the Car
I read that a family would put their Elf in the driver’s seat of the car up on phone books or books so it looked like he was joy riding at night. Park the car in a crazy position, backwards, or out on the street to show that the Elf was out on the town and really shouldn’t be allowed to drive.

Elves are Socially Savvy
I read about some families setting up Facebook, Twitter or email accounts to talk with their teens or tweens or keep a Cyber “eye” on who’s naughty or nice online. Your Elf can also find funny Christmas inspired sites to email to the kids.

Fun in the “Off” Season
My kids always joke about what “Jack,” our Elf, does on his time off. What does he DO the other 11 months of the year? I think it would be a blast to give the Elf to friends or family you know who are traveling and ask them to take a picture of the Elf in that location. You know, like the gnome in the movie Amelie. The Elf can then send postcards or photos to the kids to keep the fun going all year long.

elf skirt inset

Gotta get your hands on an Elf on the Shelf? We sell them over at www.ChocolateCakeClub.com. We also have brown eyed, darker skinned Elves and we even sell skirts to make your Elf a girl.

What do you like to do “extra” to have fun with your Elf on the Shelf. I’d love to hear it.

You might also like:
When to Start Elf on the Shelf

Holiday Family Tradition: Horses and a Pickle

Mom’s Night Out – A Holiday Tradition

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Tags: 25 Days of Christmas Family Fun

16 Comments - Leave a comment

  1. These ideas are AWESOME! Thanks Sue!!


  2. Thanks Victoria. Have fun with your Elf.


    Sue Kirchner

  3. What lovely ideas. And wouldn’t those adorable snow man tea sets for children in your right column be great for an elf’s tea party with your kids or grandkids. Thanks for a festive visit.


  4. Papa doesn’t believe in the magic of the elf at our house and so the elf plays naughty tricks on him like hiding his car keys in his coffee cup or filling his pants pockets with cereal. The kids have more fun watching the war with Papa as they do with the elf’s antics related only to them. And Papa has fun deciding what that silly elf is going to do to him next!


  5. Karen, That is too funny. I found that as my kids get older the Elf becomes much more mischievous. Thanks so much for sharing how you have fun with your Elf at home.


    Sue Kirchner

  6. [...] 8 Ways to Have More Fun with your Elf on the Shelf [...]

    More Fun with Your Elf on the Shelf | Chocolate Cake Moments

  7. Hi, this is only our second year doing the elf tradition, and our elf comes dec. 1st. How are some says you have brought the elf back each year? Does he just appear??does he get shipped? Dies he being a nite? Any help is appreciated! Thanks!


  8. Hi, this is only our second year doing the elf tradition, and our elf comes dec. 1st. How are some says you have brought the elf back each year? Does he just appear??does he get shipped? Does he bring a note? Any help is appreciated! Thanks!


  9. Hi Madi, Thanks for reading the blog and for your excellent question. I have seen the Elf “reappear” in a couple of different ways. You can just hide the Elf in a very obvious spot on the first day so the kids are surprised he’s there when they see him. I usually do that. My kids know that the Elf shows up every year on the day after Thanksgiving so they anticipate it. Another Mom told me she puts the Elf outside the window on the first day (only if the weather is good) like he flew in from the North Pole but needs to be invited inside. And, I’ve also seen people write a note to leave next to the Elf saying that he is back and excited about being with the kids this Holiday Season. I hope those ideas help. Have fun with it. Sue

    Sue Kirchner

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