21 Mischievous Elf on the Shelf Ideas to Delight the Kids

Jennifer Buttner


October 2, 2022

Mischievous Elf on the Shelf ideas

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Elf on the Shelf has become an integral part of Christmas for many households. Kids love nothing more than dashing about the house wondering what their mischievous little Elf has gotten up to during the night! But for parents, the joy of their happy faces can often be short lived, when faced with coming up with new and exciting adventures, night after night, for the little elves living in your home! Here are 21 mischievous Elf On The Shelf ideas that are sure to delight the kids.

The Magic of Elf on the Shelf

If you’ve never heard of the Elf on the Shelf (where have you been?!), they are special scout elves sent from the North Pole to help Santa manage his naughty and nice lists.

Once a family adopts the Elf and picks a festive name for their Elf, he or she comes to live in their home to keep an eye on things during the day, and uses Christmas magic to return to the North Pole each night. After giving Santa the nightly report, he or she returns home next morning, and invariably ends up in a new location, resulting in the kids madly dashing about the house next day trying to find their Elf!

And whilst the kids are having a great time, you’re the one who has to get creative each night before you go to bed about Elf’s morning location. But fear not, we’ve found some neat Elf on the Shelf ideas for you, that will ensure the magic of Christmas stays alive for everyone well into December!

Before you get started, here’s a neat how-to video that shows you how to make your Elf bendy and poseable, which you will need for some of the creative ideas below.

Hilarious Elf on the Shelf Ideas

#1. Parachuting Elf

How does your Elf make their big arrival? Peanut Blossom shows how their Elf parachutes in for the festive season!

Your elf could also arrive via hot air balloon, helicopter, or sleigh.

#2. Playing School

How about getting Elf to play school and teach the rest of the toys, like this clever idea from A Small Snippet.

If you don’t have a blackboard, use a whiteboard, etch-a-sketch or just some paper.

#3. Stuck Outside

Elf on the Shelf ideas

Make some cute little Elf footprints like Lil Blue Boo did, and pop your Elf outside the patio door.

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#4. Playing Twister

Elf will love playing Twister with all his pals on this fun elf-sized Twister game from Frugal Coupon Living – download the Twister printable and off they go!

#5. LEGO Ambush

Uh oh! Think Elf has gone and upset the LEGO toys. But they’ve gotten their revenge with this brilliant LEGO ambush idea from Living Locurto.

#6. Elf on a Swing

Make Elf his very own toilet roll swing for the doorway, using this fun idea from A Small Snippet.

#7. In the Car

Planning on travelling in the run up to Christmas? This quick and easy idea from Pigskins & Pigtails is a fun one for little kids and makes sure your Elf doesn’t miss the trip!

#8. Ride a Zipline

zipline for elf on the shelf ideas

Your kids will love seeing Elf ride the zipline, like Rachel Swartley setup for their Elf. What could be more exciting!


It’s the most wonderful time of year… Make the most of all the seasonal wonder with our 50 fun Christmas activities for kids checklist that offers plenty of inspiration for the whole family!

50 Christmas Activities for Kids Checklist - Mykidstime

#9. Taped Up Elf

Elf on the shelf ideas

Looks like Elf has gone and gotten himself into trouble again with some more of the toys in this clever idea from Life with My Littles.

#10. Weightlifting Elf

weightlifting elf on the shelf ideas

Elf likes to keep himself fit and strong! Dirty Diaper Laundry got Elf doing some weights, using a straw and marshmallows.

#11. Elf Emails

elf on the shelf emails santa

Did your Elf not make it back to the North Pole last night? Get Elf to email Santa to explain and give his or her update and explain what happened. Clever fun from Lil Blue Boo.

#12. Drummer Boy Elf

Elf on the Shelf drummer

Get ready to rock out with this fun idea for an Elf on the Shelf drummer from Frugal Coupon Living. All you need is a few tin cans and pencils.

#13. Build a Snowman

marshmallow snowman for Elf on the shelf ideas

Let Elf build their very own snowman, using marshmallows. This is from Bombshell Bling who has lots of more inspiring Elf ideas using marshmallows.

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This holiday season, let the kids get creative and have fun in the kitchen with these kid-friendly Christmas recipes that are super easy to make. From fruity snacks to chocolatey treats, we think that every child, big and small, will find something to love here.

kid friendly Christmas recipes

#14. Snowball Fight

snowball fight for elf on the shelf ideas

A Small Snippet set up their Elf and Rapunzel having a snowball fight, with mini-marshmallows.

#15. Elf Mechanic

Elf can sometimes make himself quite useful at night times, even fixing Barbie’s car! We found this idea on Pinterest, and it would require just a toy car, some LEGO blocks to prop it up, and some toy tools.

#16. Elf Decorating

elf on the shelf ideas

Pull up a toy ladder or toy firetruck and prop your Elf up by the tree with some ornaments, like this idea from Beautifully Being Mom. Perhaps your Elf is delivering a new decoration for this Christmas!

#17. Candy Cane Car Wash

Line up all the toy cars and vehicles for a seasonal car wash. The Keeper of the Cheerios created this Candy Cane Car Wash from jumbo craft sticks, sponges and some fabric cut into strips.

#18. Elf Magic

If your kids are into science, then this Elf Magic experiment from The Simple Parent is one they should enjoy!

All you need is a bag of Skittles. Arrange them in a circle to do this Skittles science experiment. Your Elf can leave it set up for the kids, then all you do is have your kids pour water in the middle of the plate until it reaches the candy. Then have them wait and see what happens…it’s Elf Magic!

#19. Minecraft Elf

minecraft elf on the shelf ideas

Do your kids love playing Minecraft? Maybe their Elf does too! Follow My Mommy Style’s steps to create your own Minecraft Elf!

#20. Christmas Pox

elf on the shelf ideas


These elves from Mommy Glitter have the Christmas Pox – but don’t worry, all you can catch is EXTRA festive cheer!

#21. See You Next Year!

A fun way for Elf to say goodbye, from The Nerd’s Wife. This uses snow spray and a cut-out template which is available to download.

21 Mischievous Elf on the Shelf Ideas to Delight the Kids – Mykidstime

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