• Tracy Tristram

24 Elf on the Shelf ideas for 2021


Elf on the Shelf

It's official. It's ELF SEASON! And while, yes, we know Elf on the Shelf is a bit of a chore, we also know how happy it makes the kids. So here we go, parents, 24 Elf on the Shelf ideas to keep you busy all the way to Christmas with...


1. Quarantine

Elf on the Shelf ideas
Photography: Mama Cheap

If the Elf is going to be sharing your home, then he needs to be self-iso ready! Pop a mask on him and pose him next to a letter (download it here) telling the kiddos not to be such icky little oiks and to wash their hands. These fun printables by Mama Cheap are cool too.


2. Baking

Elf on the Shelf ideas
Photography: Elf on the Shelf via Instagram

Everyone loves a bit of Xmas baking, Elf included! Plus we're always looking for an excuse to break out the googly eyes.


3. Elf on the Shelf Pop-Up Scenes

Elf on the Shelf ideas
Photography: London for Kids

We've got to say this pack of 5 pop up scenes from Amazon was worth every penny of the £12.99 we paid for 5 Elf on the Shelf ideas that were minimum fuss with maximum effect.


4. Banana Minions


Elf on the shelf ideas
Photography: London for Kidz

Your little Minions will adore waking up to find their Elf on the Shelf has turned your bananas into their fave Minions characters.


5. The Floor is Lava

Elf on the shelf ideas
Photography via Pinterest: credit unknown

Our kids are big fans of this game, so set up your Elf in his own version of the Floor is Lava, then have a game yoursELVES. And if your Elf is more of a traditional games kinda Elf, then dust off a board game and set it up with for your Elf on the Shelf to play: Scrabble is a good one to plump for as the kids do love it when their Elf pops a few rude (but not too rude) words on there!


6. Reindeer poop

Elf on the Shelf ideas
Photography: Mama Cheaps

How cool-Yule is this little set-up by Mama Cheaps? Plus it includes a free printable: win, win. Fact: kids are endlessly amused by poop. Sigh.


7. Snow angel

Elf on the Shelf ideas
Photography: London for Kidz

IF you have flour to spare set up your Elf on a kitchen surface, and create a snow angel. If you're all out of flour, then sugar or even hundreds-and-thousands will do the trick.


8. Present wrapping

Elf on the shelf ideas
Photography: Elf on the Shelf via Facebook

Let your Elf help you with the present wrapping this year... he should be pretty good at it what with being an elf and all...


9. Hostage!

Elf on the Shelf ideas
Photography: Kenton Library

While us parents might like to permanently tie up the Elf so we don't have to move him ever again, we know the kids will love an Elf on the Shelf hostage situation, like this one by Kenton Library.


10. Hide and seek

Elf on the Shelf ideas
Photography: London for Kidz

Hide your Elf somewhere and leave a trail of clues for the kids to track him down with. You could be forgiven at this stage to hide him so he can never be found... Tempting as it was, we hid ours in a Christmas stocking along with a chocolate Elf we picked up in Poundland.


11. Marshmallow spa

Elf on the shelf ideas
Photography: London for Kidz

A Pyrex dish, a load of mini marshmallows and a small companion and voila: a marshmallow spa. Smarties, M&M's or Fruit Pastilles also work.


12. Toast



Let the Elf on the Shelf make a toasty kinda brekkie that will keep the kids fuelled on smiles all day long.


13. Morning coffee / tea

Elf on the Shelf ideas
Photography: London for Kidz

He made toast yesterday so today let your Elf loose on the morning coffee/tea situation: the more chaos the better!


14. Burrito / fajita


Elf on the shelf ideas
Photography: London for Kidz

Perfect for a Tuesday during advent (who doesn't love Taco Tuesday?), wrap your Elf up Burrito or Fajita style!


15. Choir

Elf on the Shelf
Photography: Elf on the Shelf via Instagram

It might only be November but that's close enough to Xmas to start busting out the Chrimbo tunes, so once we're into December we'll be in a merry mood thanks to this Elf on the Shelf fruity choir.


16. Zip line

Elf on the Shelf ideas
Photography: Unknown source via Pinterest

If you're short on time, then setting up a zip line is an easy peasy idea that requires minimum fuss. We like this one very much...


17. Marshmallow snowmen


Elf on the Shelf
Photography: Elf on the Shelf via Instagram

Now here's an idea sure to melt your heart: marshmallow snowmen! There's snow way the kids won't love this one.


18. Fruit tree

Elf on the Shelf ideas
Photography: Elf on the Shelf Australia

We've already given you a guide on fun festive treats to make with the kids, so why not get your Elf to whip up this healthy-but-cute fruit Christmas tree?


19. Elf make up - on Mum or Dad!

Elf on the shelf ideas
Photography: London for Kidz

This one really made our own kids laugh last year when Mum woke up having been given a make over by our resident Elf on a Shelf, leading to plenty of funny Elfie opportunities.


20. Toilet roll snowman

Elf on the Shelf ideas
Photography: London for Kidz

We love a toilet roll craft project, so this loo roll snowman that we created last year was a big hit.


21. Oreos

Elf on the Shelf ideas
Photography: Unknown source via Pinterest

If your Elf is a naughty kinda Elf (aren't they all?), then reinventing Oreos with mint toothpaste will definitely be their thing.


22. Graffiti

Elf on the Shelf ideas
Photography: Party Delights

First off make sure you use a felt tip / marker that WASHES OFF! Then go mad jazzing up your family photos.


23. Christmas picture book

Elf on the Shelf ideas
Photography: Elf on the Shelf

Fact: Elf fatigue WILL set in, so do yours-elf a favour and don't beat yours-elf up about doing something simple with your Elf. Set them up reading a Christmas story: It's fun, it's super easy and everyone loves a festive read. Use an old book or buy a new one: either works.


24. Xmas eve box

Elf on the shelf ideas
Photography: London for Kidz

Xmas eve! Which means it's time for the Elf to sod off back to the North Pole. For your Elf's final hurrah, why not treat the kiddos to a Xmas eve box? The official Elf on the Shelf ones are out of stock at the mo, but even better, why don't you find a small business that whips up Xmas eve boxes? There are tons on Etsy we love, or otherwise, create your own! We used bits from small stores and popped in some Elf PJs from Primark to create our version.



Elf on the Shelf ideas
It's all worth it in the end. Look at that smile. Photography: London for Kidz

Parents: you made it. Time for a celebratory Christmas tipple for sure, and if you think the Elf is just too much like hard work, just remember how much the little people of our own really, really, really love that bloody doll. Enjoy!


Top image: Elf on the Shelf via Facebook


Need some more very merry guides to Xmas 2021? Look no further:


Festive treats to make with the kids

Where to buy fir-tastic Xmas trees in London

Where to find Santa in London this year

DIY Xmas cards to make with the kids

Homemade hot choccie recipes we love

Board game ideas to put on the Xmas list

DIY Christmas advent calendars

Countdown to Xmas with these 24 festive flicks


Don't forget to also follow us for more adventures over on Instagram and Facebook!

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