This post may contain affiliate links. For more information please see our Disclosure Policy.
Do you have an Elf on the Shelf?! We do… and we LOVE her! Technically ours is an Annalee Elf (they have tons of choices and personality! You can also get them for a little less, starting around $15) but we use the same idea. (You can meet Becky’s elf “Christopher” here – he is around $20.) She is one of Santa’s Elves and she reports back to the North Pole each night to let him know how the kids are behaving. She also gets a little restless sometimes and moves around and does all kinds of crazy things. Lucinda (as the kids affectionately named her when she showed up) adds a ton of fun to our Christmas season each year. Every morning the kids are jumping out of bed to see WHAT on earth Lucinda did last night. Here’s 101 ideas (and growing) of fun ideas you can do with your Elf on the Shelf. Leave comments of fun ideas you’ve done with yours so our list keeps growing!
1 – Elves love watching themselves do tricks in the mirror. Handstands are a great option.
2 – Elves love to see how photogenic they are. Sometimes you find the camera out (maybe plugged into the TV if they’ve been viewing their photos) and there are all kinds of pictures of the Elf doing crazy poses.
3 – Elves love to ride rocking horses, push cars, bikes, etc.
4 – Elves like to bring early Christmas presents, like under $5 bargain DVD’s – Christmas themed are fun! They love sitting on top of the present, waiting for you to find it!
5 – Elves love to sleep in odd places – usually Christmas related, like the tree or in a stocking.
6 – Elves are AWFUL drivers – you can tell when your Elf has been driving the car, it is parked sidways or backwards on an angle, usually there are books on the seat so they can reach the steering wheel (sometimes you can even find it down the street!) and of course, when you turn on the car, Christmas music will be blaring on the stereo. **Our kids got a big kick out of this one!
7 – Elves are fantastic bakers. They like to have treats set out for you in the morning – like Cinnamon Rolls hot from the oven.
8 – Elves love finding things to hang on to keep an eye out the window and spy on the neighbors.
9 – Elves love to look through family photo albums. We find Lucinda kissing pictures of Daddy.
10 – Elves are great climbers… If you have plant hooks on the ceiling they seem to be able to hang from those rather well!
11 – Elves love “snowball” a.k.a. mini marshmallow fights – they will be all over the kitchen in the morning.
12 – Elves take after Santa – you can find them with a plate of cookies and 1/2 a glass of milk in the morning.
13 – Elves like pulling practical jokes, like barricading the kids in their room with crepe paper. (Close the kids door and do the outside, that is a fun surprise to open the door to!)
14 – Elves are very clean and like to take a shower – they have to hang on the shower nozzle though for good water pressure. Sometimes they wrap their towel (washcloth) around them and hang there all night!
15 – Elves love to read. You can see what stories they like best by the books they scatter around them at night.
16 – SOME elves (not ours) are actually very organized and will place the books in Alphabetical order.
17 – Elves have very sensitive noses and can sniff out the candy in the kitchen … they are also rather messy and leave their wrappers around them.
18 – Elves love to prepare a bubble bath for you to wake up to. The more bubbles, the better!
19 – Elves hate to be bored, so they set up ziplines down the staircase to play on at night.
20 – Elves think Toilet Paper is snow (or maybe they are just mischievous) and “decorate” the house, tree, Christmas village with it.
21 – Elves are thoughtful too, so they like to set out your school clothes for you in the morning – sometimes they aren’t very good at matching outfits though.
22 – Elves are attracted to feathers – if you have feather pillows they will use them to have a pillow fight and there will usually be a few feathers around them.
23 – Elves know the other Elves in the neighborhood – you might find your Elf next door having a pillow fight / snowball fight / nerf gun (darts everywhere) fight with their elf.
24 – Elves are great artists. You will often find them in the morning coloring in the kids coloring books!
25 – Elves love legos – they can build some pretty neat masterpieces!
26 – Elves are always attracted to snow. When snow falls on your car, don’t be surprised to find a message in the snow on the windshield!
27 – SOMETIMES Elves like to do the kids chores at night to give them a day off when they have been EXTRA good.
28 – Elves love Hot Cocoa parties – and they don’t discriminate against the dolls in the house – Dolls are also a great substitute if you don’t have a neighbor to play Elf on the Shelf with.
29 – Elves like to decorate with paper chains. Don’t forget to leave out a bit of a mess for evidence!
30 – Elves love Christmas music and may download in to a child’s mp3 player. They of course would test it out for the kids, so you’ll find them listening to the new tunes in the morning.
31 – Elves love to play video games. Besides finding them with the controls in hand, you may also find all the high scores with the Elf’s name on top.
32 – Elves think it’s pretty funny to switch the kids clothes around. The drawers might be in a different order, or the clothes may have been switched with a siblings!
33 – Elves have very little regard for privacy, and might even “decorate” the tree with those unmentionables.
34 – Elves find that remote control cars are perfect for cruising around in at night.
35 – Elves think closets are a great place to play. Messy closets will be spic and span in the morning, clean closets might have the clothes knocked off the hangers.
36 – Elves are little pranksters with shoes – sometimes a shoe is missing, some shoes are found with toys or rocks in them, and sometimes the shoelaces have disappears or been replaced with Christmasy ones. Apparently the shoes are rather comfortable for sleeping in.
37 – Elves love toyboxes – sometimes they pull out all the toes to play with them, and other times they like to make up a bed in the toybox once it’s been emptied.
38 – Elves leave artwork as a way of letting you know what they told Santa about you. If you get a frowny face, you better be careful!
39 – Soap and lipstick mysteriously show up on the mirrors at our house when Lucinda has been around – often the words to a Christmas carol.
40 – Elves find the ceiling fans offer a great vantage point for watching the kids. Our Annalee Elf is nice and wirey, so she can pull all kinds of funny and personable poses.
41 – Keep your markers put away! Your Elf may get a hold of one and draw mustaches or other funny faces on photos that are left lying about. (You can always print doubles as a back up in case the kids are upset over the “ruined” photo – but likely they will hang on to it as an amazing treasure.)
42 – Elves are great board game players – dolls make a great opponent.
43 – Elves love to read the newspaper and story books. They look rather smart with their legs crossed and a paper or book open across their lap while sitting on the couch.
44 – Elves sometimes mistake shoes as Santa’s sleigh and will try to “ride” it, holding onto the shoelaces as the reigns.
45 – Elves have magic seeds. You will probably find the plastic or paper cups filled with dirt and instructions to “Water once a day”. Within a week or so they will grow a lollipop!
46 – Besides taking pictures of themselves, you may find your camera full of photos of the kids sleeping! The Elf will probably have the pictures uploaded to the computer in the morning and you’ll find her looking at her artwork.
47 – Elves like to watch over the kids while they sleep, so bedposts, top of the bedroom door or sitting atop the curtains in the morning are all obvious places to find an elf.
48 – Elves really consider themselves a part of your family, so they might add a picture of themselves into your family tree.
49 – While Elves like to help your kids out with their chores occasionally, sometimes they get a little confused on what are proper cleaning tools and you might fight they scrubbed the toilet with a toothbrush!
50 – Elves are pretty internet savvy, and you may have a package arrive addressed to them with a toy to mess around with – or maybe they went on a clothing shopping spree. Our Elf likes to order things like sidewalk chalk from Amazon. Then of course there are drawings on the patio the next day.
51 – Sometimes Elves are sweet and leave a treat all ready to eat in the morning – and sometimes they are messy and just leave the flour and dirty dishes … I can never figure out what happened to the treats they baked???
52 – Elves use cell phones at night to call Santa when it’s too cold to travel. You might find your elf with it’s arms wrapped around the cell phone and hiding under the couch (I can spot their little feet sticking out) and you’ll find that Santa’s phone number has been programed into the phone and was the last call dialed….
53 – Elves love for everything to be decorated for Christmas. Toilets are left blue (cleaners) and milk turns red or green (food coloring).
54 – Our Elf is an aspiring pilot – she makes all kinds of cool paper airplanes for the kids. One time she even left a stack of paper with the simple instruction to “Decorate” and then turned the kids artwork into paper airplanes.
55 – Anytime it snows, expect your Elf to get in on the action – by shoveling or leaving a snow angel, snow is just so tempting for an Elf!
56 – Elves notice all the nice things you do. Not only do they tell Santa about it, but they like to leave a letter too letting you know they noticed.
57 – Elves are very crafty – and sometimes you can find they knitted a whole scarf in one night. They will probably be on the last row, just wanting to make sure it’s the right length before ending it.
58 – Elves have to work off all their extra Holiday pounds too – if you have a treadmill, he’ll probably be on it at least one morning. He may even have a headband on.
59 – Elves can be forgetful – and if they took your car out for a cruise, they might have locked the keys in the car!
60 – Elves aren’t very good at painting, but they like to decorate. They might “paint” your child’s wall with post it notes!
61 – Elves are bargain shoppers and like clipping your coupons for you.
62 – Elves love wrapping paper. Sometimes they will roll around in it and get stuck rolled up in a big rumpled piece.
63 – Elves like to sew. Sometimes it’s just random stuff, sometimes it’s something pretty special.
64 – Elves still have to work on their math skills too. Lucinda is now up to multiplication, but she started with addition flash cards.
65 – The more mischievous Elves will change all the clocks in the house and make the whole family show up an hour early to church. Maybe it’s not so mischievous if they were trying to get you there to an empty room so you could sing carols for a while together.
66 – Elves are constantly watching for ideas for Santa. They might cut out pictures from a toy magazine that *might* interest your kid as a possible Christmas present.
67 – Elves think of the craziest pranks to pull. They think a big fluffy ball of cotton pinned to the back of someones jammies is a hoot.
68 – Elves have even been known to get our kids jammies turned inside out. THAT is a surprise to wake up to. (We have 2 extremely heavy sleepers.)
68 – Elves tricks aren’t reserved for kids alone – Elves think it’s pretty funny to watch mommy try and find the missing hair dryer. She usually hides with it somewhere I’ll find her soon enough, like my closet or in the pan cupboard. (I personally only find it funny when I FIND the hair dryer in her hands in the kitchen BEFORE I knew it was missing.)
69 – Lucinda gets a kick out of waiting by the front door with my hubbies keys, wallet, lunch and work badge.
70 – Elves love balloons – especially Christmas covered ones. Sometimes they fill up toyboxes, bathtubs or even whole rooms with balloons.
71 – Elves love to write stories. Even better they like to write them with you. The Elf might start a story and leave instructions for the kids to add to it during the day. This can go on for a week or more and it’s always fun to see who can be sillier.
72 – Elves are fantastic fort builders. Sometimes they do this in the daytime, so when you all walk in the door together in the afternoon the fort is ready to be played in. When they go all out, there might be a little movie theater set up inside with a new movie and popcorn.
73 – Elves love Christmas lights – they get all tangled up in them though when they try to decorate with them.
74 – When Elves clean, it can be a little tricky for them to handle a big broom. You might find them with the dolls items trying to use those to clean your house.
75 – Elves love to drink out of straws.
76 – Our Elf is often a step a head of me. She seems to know when I’m going to get out the Christmas jammies and beats me to it.
77 – Elves are very good at knowing what your family needs in the moment. Everytime we go out to play in the snow, we come in to a steaming teapot and cocoa cups already out on the counter.
78 – Sometimes Elves like to be read bedtime stories, and when the kids come downstairs from getting pj’s on, she’s got a good Christmas book picked out and is standing behind the book in the middle of the room.
79 – Elves make awesome snowmen. They usually dress them in the kids clothing.
80 – Elves are pretty silly about washers and dryers – they must not know how to use them, because we find our clothes hanging up to dry on a clothesline OUTSIDE in the winter time! This is pretty funny when the clothes are frozen stiff.
81 – Elves like to make scavenger hunts to where you might find them.
82 – Elves are pretty great card players. So are our Barbie dolls…
83 – Elves like to play dress up. Apparently our dressups aren’t subtitle for her, so she makes her own. She likes to put on antlers or a mask and cape.
84 – If you find your Elf messing around on the computer, don’t be surprised if you find out later on what she was doing! Grandma and Grandpa might call to tell you about “The weirdest thing” that happened last night when they got a call on Skype in the middle of the night! All they could see was the Christmas tree, but they could hear little voices singing Christmas songs in the background and popcorn popping. Weird.
85 – Elves think kitchen cabinets look best without knobs. Don’t be too surprised if yours go missing.
86 – Elves love giving presents. In fact, they may give away some of your items, just trying to be “nice” to other family members. When an Aunt calls to tell you thanks for sending her all those stuffed animals, you will know what happened.
87 – Elves get so tired of partying all night long they have to make sure it stays nice and dark in the morning. If you find your lightbulbs have all been unscrewed, you will know why.
88 – Those little pranksters sometimes short-sheet the beds.
89 – Lucinda loves my necklaces. Silly little elf puts them all on.
90 – Elves love to go to school with the kids. If you can’t find them in the morning, the kids might find them in their lunchbox!
91 – Elves like to re-arrange the furniture. Sometimes they move the beds WITH the kids in them. Sometimes they put all the chairs up on top of the table.
92 – Elves like to draw pictures on the mirror with toothpaste, soap, lipstick.
93 – You can’t keep Elves away from snow – they will even play on the swing set when it is freezing cold outside.
94 – On especially cold days, Elves will move the stocking over to the floor in front of the fireplace before they snuggle up.
95 – Elves are ever so helpful, but pretty silly about what dishes we use in the morning. They just don’t understand that forks don’t go with bowls and cereal.
96 – Elves like to use the dishes to build towers with. (Bowl upside down, cup upside down on top of that, toast plate on top of that, topped off with a napkin and spoon.)
97 – Elves like to snuggle up with the kids.
98 – Elves love all Holidays, and sometimes they put Valentines all over the walls, or hide plastic Easter eggs out in the snow.
99 – Elves like to tell secrets about the parents to the kids – when that happens they are careful to be sneaky and use invisible ink. Sometimes the kids will tell secrets back.
100 – Santa has a different craving each year for a unique treat. Lucinda stays up on his habits and leaves us a recipe card with all the ingredients on Christmas Eve morning so we can bake the treat for Santa that afternoon.
101 – Elves do know the true meaning of Christmas and the last place we always see Lucinda before she heads back to the North Pole on Christmas Eve morning is in front of the manger, remembering the reason for the season.
Okay, I promised 101 – I know some of them are rather silly – it is rather late… But I’d love for you to keep us counting! If you have more great ideas, please leave a comment and I will continue to update the list. Merry Christmas! ~Lorraine
I just saw this picture on my friends facebook page – had to share!
102 – Elves love to make snow angels in flour. They think it’s snow!
103 – Elves enjoy a good bubble bath.
Okay, I’ll add them all together soon – but if you’d like to see all of the entries from our readers (including the pictures) – just head over here.
(Thanks goes to BlossomBunkHouse for some of the ideas and for keeping my brain going!)