Are you looking for Elf on the Shelf ideas?

My boys look forward to these shenanigans every single year! We’ve been doing this holiday tradition at Crystal & Co for about a decade.

Are you ready for tons of ideas that include antics, creativity and even free EOTS printables!

elf on the shelf ideas

What is Elf on the Shelf

I get a lot of questions from people wanting to know what Elf on the Shelf is and how to get started. I created a video answering the top questions including how to get started with Elf on the Shelf. I also share how we do it and what the tradition looks like for many families.

We started this tradition in 2011 and we’ve been having a blast!

Essentially there is an Elf kit that you buy. It comes with a book and a super adorable little Elf. You can buy and Elf on the Shelf online. Read the book to your children and it explains the tradition. The Elf lives in your house from now until Christmas and reports back to Santa every night once the kids go to bed reporting naughty and nice behavior. Then each new morning the kids hunt to find Elf in a new spot. At our house sometimes Elf is mischievous and sometimes Elf leaves a note.

It’s lots of fun and the kids are excited each morning to find Elf.

elf on the shelf

Dollar Tree Elf on the Shelf Ideas

Here is a video where I show you how I found these items in the Dollar Tree store and what they look like once we get them home. This should help you see how we use these ideas for Elf on the Shelf.

Elf on the Shelf Printables 

  1. Printable Elf on the Shelf Planning Calendar this is editable and can be used for any year. You type in the ideas for each day as you plan and keep it hidden in a safe place.  
  2. Printable Elf Adoption Certificate– this is editable and so much fun. How awesome would it be for Elf to bring an adoption certificate along with him this year to make him a part of the family! 
  3. Mustache on a Stick– this is a free printable and is fun! 
  4. Elf on the Shelf Free Note Cards Printable
  5. Elf Poo Goodie Bags {includes a Free Printable}
  6. Elf on the Shelf Fine Motor Do a Dot Printable– these are perfect for preschoolers. 
  7. Elf on the Shelf Education Printable– another one perfect for preschoolers that encourages learning! 
  8. 26 Elf on the Shelf free Printables– a great list to look through when you need a last minute idea. 
  9. Elf Behavior Reports– need to let your little know that Elf spotted naughty or nice behavior? Leave one of these reports! 
  10. Elf Didn’t Move Printable Notes– these are great excuses… because let’s face it we all forget to move him from time to time!
  11. Elf BINGO Printables– four different BINGO card. Kids love these! A great family game night idea.
  12. Elf Printable Photo Booth Props– these are super fun and easy to use!
  13. Elf on the Shelf Hot Chocolate Printable – hot chocolate gift tag printable ready to use!
  14. Elf Name Generator Printable – take the guesswork out of naming your Elf!
  15. Elf on the Shelf Activity Sheets

Elf on the Shelf Notes

  1. Printable Welcome Letter (there are two choices- one for a girl elf one for a boy elf and you get both) It is a rhymy-chimy poem that welcomes the Elf tradition. It is super fun to use the first year or any year. It is not editable, you simply add your kids names to the top and sign it with your Elf’s name. This is our most popular printable and it has been downloaded over 5,000 times!! 
  2. Elf Welcome Back Printable– this is the perfect note for Elf to leave for your little one if you’ve been doing this tradition for a couple of years. 
  3. Elf Leaves a Welcome Note– this is another great welcome idea and you type up a note to go with it. 
  4. Elf Leaves a Welcome Note– this is so quick and a note you handwrite. 
  5. Elf Leaves a Note Are You Being Good?
  6. Free Printable Elf Arrival Letter
  7. 20+ Elf on the Shelf Notes – so many different printable notes to choose from.
  8. Elf on the Shelf Printable Signs

Elf on the Shelf Names 

  1. Cute Elf Names– for boy and girl elves. 
  2. Funny Elf on the Shelf Names– these are awesome! 
  3. Mischievous Elf Names– yep… you know your elf is up to no good!!

Elf on the Shelf Accessories 

  1. Christmas Sweaters for Elves – how fun is it to have matching ugly Christmas sweaters for your elves!!
  2. Elf on the Shelf Accessories– so many adorable things to dress your Elf up in!

Easy Elf on the Shelf Ideas That Only Take a Minute 

  1. Elf Rock Climbing Idea– this is so easy to do and the kids will get a real kick out of it.
  2. Mischievous Elf Idea– this one is a favorite at our house!
  3. Elf Dryer Idea– this is super funny and your kids will never find him!
  4. Power Ranger or Action Figure Idea– super easy. Grab some of the kids toys!
  5. Date Night for Boy and Girl Elf– this is great if you have a female and male Elf. Use some of your kids toys to set up a fun sate night scene. 
  6. When You Forget to Move Elf on the Shelf – because we all forget from time to time!
  7. Elf Calls Mommy Out– this is a great idea that uses a $1 advent calendar. 
  8. Elf Goes Splat– this one involves bandages. Kids love it!! 
  9. Letters to Santa via Elf– get Elf to deliver your kids Christmas list to Santa! 
  10. Our Elf on the Shelf is Seriously Missing– have you ever lost Elf? Um…. am I the only one? 
  11. Elf on the Shelf Cookies
  12. Elf on the Shelf Plays Hide and Seek
  13. Daddy’s Boots
  14. Part Monkey Part Elf
  15. Traveling Elf on the Shelf
  16. A Colorful Elf
  17. Elf Celebrates Birthdays
  18. Boo in the Bathroom 
  19. Hanging Out in the Laundry Room (I am glad someone likes to hang out in there)
  20. Elf Blogs– grab the laptop as a prop!!
  21. Elf Gets the Dog Back
  22. Elf on the Book Shelf
  23. Elf Brings Treasures
  24. What is an Elf’s Favorite Music?
  25. Christmas Eve
  26. Happy Birthday Jesus
  27. Elf is Up to No Good
  28. Write On!
  29. Caught Playing
  30. Elf Eating Marshmallows
  31. A Busy Elf
  32. 70 more Elf on the Shelf ideas– this is a collection of ideas from other bloggers around the web.
  33. Ultimate Guide to Elf on the Shelf Ideas

Elf on the Shelf Ideas That Require Some Time

  1. Elf Brings a Beaded Ornament– you can either create the ornament for them and have it ready and waiting or leave the supplies and the free printable template so they can create the ornament. 
  2. Gone Fishing (MacGyver Style)
  3. Finding Truth in the Tinsel
  4. Elf on the Shelf: The Ransom Note– so epic!! A great way to get your kid’s attention!
  5. Magic Elf Moving Glove – make this magic glove so you can move your Elf!
  6. Elf on the Shelf Toilet Paper Snowman – easy snowman craft to make with the kids!

Elf on the Shelf Ideas Using Things from Your Pantry 

  1. Elf Snow Angel– super easy and so many different pantry staples you can use.
  2. Welcome Breakfast Bagel– this is so fun and so yummy! Kids love it! 
  3. Elf on the Shelf Green Milk Shake – these are so simple to make and the kids will think the green milk shake is pretty cool!! 
  4. Girl Elf has a Marshmallow Bubble Bath– grab a coffee cup and some marshmallows. So simple and so fun!!
  5. Elf Makes No Bake Cookies– these cookies look like Santa and the kids will be impressed! Oh, and they are no bake- that is a huge win!
  6. Elf on the Shelf Workout – these weights are so easy to make using things from your pantry!
  7. Leftover Pumpkin Pie– use that leftover Thanksgiving pie as a prop!!
  8. Elf Brings Breakfast – I mean… kids gotta eat. Might as well have him bring breakfast. 
  9. This one Involves a Cereal Box– grab and old cereal box and get ready to see your kids crack up!
  10. Long Flights Make Elf Hungry
  11. Elf Brings Hot Chocolate and a Movie

What To Do When Kids Touch Elf

  1. Elf Had a Bad Fall

Traveling Elf on the Shelf 

  1. What Happens at Grandma’s Stays at Grandma’s
  2. Adios San Antonio
  3. Elf Makes a Trip to the Mall

You can also follow my Elf on the Shelf Pinterest Board for more inspiration.


Elf on the Shelf Counting Worksheets 



Elf on the Shelf Counting Worksheet