The Elf on the Shelf is a fun, interactive holiday tradition for kids of all ages. The kicker is that the interactive part means a lot of parental involvement. Despite its name, the Elf on the Shelf is not meant to simply sit on a shelf.
No, this little fellow typically shows up around Thanksgiving to keep a good eye on who is being naughty and who is being nice, so that leaves around 25 to 30 creative set ups needed for the elf. As if parents did not have enough on their plates during the holiday season!
That's okay; coming up with unique Elf on the Shelf ideas can be fun. And it never hurts to add a little lighthearted humor into the day. Check out the following ideas for a jump start or to keep you going!
A small section of black pipe cleaner and a piece of tape can turn the Elf on the Shelf into Undercover Elf. Have him hiding behind a Christmas figurine to make him "practically impossible" to spot.
1. Incognito Elf:
The Elf on the Shelf was feeling a little inspired, or maybe he was watching some late night TV; either way, his Bob Ross getup was fashioned from a couple pieces of black fleece and his original painting was done on an index card. Painting happy trees is a little known hobby of the Elf on the Shelf.
2. Painting happy trees:
Although a lot of the Elf on the Shelf ideas put the little guy in some naughty situations, I try to keep his antics tame. After all, his job is to ensure the kids are being nice. Peeking through the window of the nativity scene not only makes the elf hard to find in the morning, it gives him a pretty good view of the surroundings.
3. I spy with my little eye:
Sometimes Santa is simply so impressed with the kids' good behavior that he gives the elf a little treat to share in the morning. No need to buy anything new; I use the "low on time and creativity days" as a good way to dole out the last of the Halloween candy. The kids do not mind at all!
4. Smarty pants:
Other days are not so good. If you had a rough night with the kids or had melt downs the day before, the Elf on the Shelf may be found praying, right along with Santa, for some grace.
5. Praying for grace:
Tip: Pipe cleaners and tape go a long way in staging the Elf on the Shelf.
More by Sylvie Branch:
Ideas for Your Photo Christmas Card
Magical Reindeer Food: Enchant Your Neighborhood with This Curious Treat
Christmas Party Activities for Kids