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24 days of Elf on the Shelf ideas

The countdown to Christmas has begun. Get creative with your Elf on the Shelf as the kids await the big day.

By Christine Chua

24 days of Elf on the Shelf ideas

Reindeer games

Don’t let Rudolph feel left out of the Christmas fun! Let Elfie paint the kids’ noses red while they’re sleeping for a fun surprise in the morning. To pull off this prank you’ll need red paint, a paintbrush and some serious stealth (plus, kids who sleep very deeply).

Read more: Elf on the Shelf has a sassy rival—and you’re going to love him

24 days of Elf on the Shelf ideasPhoto: Courtesy of raeoflight-photography.com via Pinterest

Puzzle Elf

Even Elfie has to occupy his downtime somehow. Let the kids find him trying to finish one of their puzzles.

24 days of Elf on the Shelf ideasPhoto: Courtesy of thejennyevolution.com via Pinterest

Melted snowman

It’s the thought that counts, right? Make your own “melted Olaf” using a rectangular container full of water, a carrot, three buttons, googly eyes and two sticks for arms.

24 days of Elf on the Shelf ideasPhoto: Courtesy of Julie Stevens via Pinterest

Stormtrooper Elf

This is not the Elf you’re looking for. Print off these Star Wars masks in time for The Last Jedi premiere on December 15 and don’t forget to add some toilet paper for Stormtrooper armour, and some glow stick lightsabers.

24 days of Elf on the Shelf ideasPhoto: Courtesy of enzasbargains.com via Pinterest

Caterpillar Elf

Keep this very hungry caterpillar fed with Elfie’s help. All you need to make this fun idea happen is a few apples, toothpicks, googly eyes, red felt for the tongue and a stick with string for Elfie.

24 days of Elf on the Shelf ideasPhoto: Courtesy of Sarah Parker via Pinterest

Zip-lining Elf

Stage the perfect Christmas heist with this candy cane zip line. Grab some tape, a long string to attach to the tree and a candy cane for your elf to hang off of. Playing “The Mission Impossible” theme song is optional, but totally recommended.

24 days of Elf on the Shelf ideasPhoto: Courtesy of careypace.com via Pinterest

Moustache prank

I moustache you a question…is there something wrong with this photo? All you need to make this fun idea happen is some black felt moustaches to tape to all the pictures in the house. Now, just see how long it takes the kids to notice.

Read more: 17 Elf on the Shelf ideas that went too far

24 days of Elf on the Shelf ideasPhoto: Courtesy of Melanie Stofka via Pinterest

Little Drummer Elf

Let Elfie rock out with his canned food drum kit. The Little Drummer Elf needs a few food cans, red and green construction paper, crayons for drumsticks and pencils to hold up his can-lid cymbals.

24 days of Elf on the Shelf ideasPhoto: Courtesy of Marissa Berry via Pinterest

Rock-Climbing Elf

Give Elfie the leg-up to a higher perch with this mini rock-climbing wall. Make your own rock wall using glue, construction paper, string and some beads for footholds (just be cautious if you have small kids).

24 days of Elf on the Shelf ideasPhoto: Courtesy of alittleofthisthatblog.wordpress.com via Pinterest

Scavenger hunt

Let Elfie hide candy canes around the house and get the kids moving in the morning with a scavenger hunt (this is probably best done on the weekend). This one is pretty easy to pull of because you just need a pack of candy canes and some creative hiding places.

Read more: The Elf on the Shelf is real and he’s duck taped to a wall in Moncton

24 days of Elf on the Shelf ideasPhoto: Courtesy of littlebooteek.com via Pinterest

Racing Elf

Last one to the bottom has to kiss a polar bear! Let Elfie race down the stairs with some of the other toys. Just dig in your kid’s toy bin for some slinkies and you’re ready to go. 

24 days of Elf on the Shelf ideasPhoto: Courtesy of elfontheshelf.com via Pinterest

Tree climber

Help Elfie reach the summit of Mount. Christmas. The good news is you already have most of the props for this one—your Christmas tree—now you just need some string for a harness, and Elfie’s sheer determination.

24 days of Elf on the Shelf ideasPhoto: Courtesy of fancyshanty.com via Pinterest

Stocking prank

I see London. I see France. I see Elfie’s been in the laundry room! Let Elfie replace the Christmas stockings with the kids’ underwear for a hilarious morning switch-up.

24 days of Elf on the Shelf ideasPhoto: Courtesy of raeoflight-photography.com via Pinterest

Poké-bananas

Snacks for your Poké-master-in-training, courtesy of Elfie! All you need to make this fun idea happen are red, black and white markers, and bananas, of course.

24 days of Elf on the Shelf ideasPhoto: Courtesy of massholemommy.com via Pinterest

Basketball Elf

Help Elfie catch some air with his own personal basketball net. Create your own court using empty pudding cups, white paper, a marker and some tape. No word yet on printable elf-sized Jordans though.

24 days of Elf on the Shelf ideasPhoto: Courtesy of enzasbargains.com via Pinterest

Super-Elf

He’s far too late for Halloween, but that won’t stop Elfie from dressing up as your kid’s favourite caped-crusader or web-slinger. To DIY Elfie’s costume you’ll need card stock, scissors, scotch tape and markers or these printable superhero costumes.

24 days of Elf on the Shelf ideasPhoto: Courtesy of simplemadepretty.com via Pinterest

Stealthy Elfie

Elfie needs some sneaky places to keep watch over the kids. Use green, brown and black dry erase markers to activate Elfie’s stealth mode and hide him in the tree. Don’t worry, the markers come off easily with baby wipes afterwards.

24 days of Elf on the Shelf ideasPhoto: Courtesy of frugalcouponliving.com via Pinterest

Buzz Lightyear Elf

Let Eflie soar to infinity and beyond with his printable Buzz Lightyear wings. Use pins to attach the wings to Elfie’s back and then use string to hang him from the ceiling.

An Elf on the Shelf wearing Buzz Lightyear wings and Mickey Mouse earsPhoto: Courtesy of getawaytoday.com via Pinterest

Shop till you drop

Start building up the present hype by leaving Elfie alone with the catalogues and a sharpie pen.

24 days of Elf on the Shelf ideasPhoto: Courtesy of Paula Drennan via Pinterest

Snow Globe Elf

Save some of the Christmas magic inside a snow globe, but don’t let Elfie get trapped inside for too long. Make an Elfie snow globe out of a  glass container and lid large enough to hold Elfie, and some coconut shavings or Styrofoam for fake snow.

24 days of Elf on the Shelf ideasPhoto: Courtesy of mommyupgrade.com via Pinterest

Balloon wrap

Surprise your kids with this balloon and streamer barricade at their door. Set your own bring morning wake-up call with colourful balloons, streamers and tape. Don’t forget to leave Elfie somewhere up high to keep watch.

24 days of Elf on the Shelf ideasPhoto: Courtesy of elfontheshelf.com via Pinterest

Let’s twist

It’s game night for Elfie and the other toys. Set up a Twister match using paper, some markers and a few other toys as Elfie’s fierce opponents.

24 days of Elf on the Shelf ideasPhoto: Courtesy of frugalcouponliving.com via Pinterest

Hang Glider Elf

Give Elfie a bird’s eye view with a hang glider to zoom around the house. Make your elf fly with some scissors, a stapler, glue, pipe cleaners, a fishing line and printable wings. You can also DIY your own wings. 

24 days of Elf on the Shelf ideasPhoto: Courtesy of elfontheshelf.com via Pinterest

Googly morning

Keep a few extra eyes on the kids with this googly-eye prank. This one is easy to pull off because you just need to a bunch of googly eyes and some creative spots to put them (the fridge is a fun spot!). 

24 days of Elf on the Shelf ideasPhoto: Courtesy of elfontheshelf.com via Pinterest

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