10 Interactive Elf on the Shelf ideas

I’ll take a break from my regularly scheduled coaching posts to throw these out there. We started the Elf on the Shelf five years ago without really knowing what we were getting into. These days though, we realize the kids look forward to seeing what shenanigans the elf is up to almost as much as they look forward to Santa. We like to build the character and story of the Elf, to make him come alive a bit for the kids. Here are 10 of the 30ish things we’ll do this year. We also have a spreadsheet with all the days and what we’ll probably do. That way, when it’s 10:30pm and we facepalm because we forgot the elf–we have a plan for that!

1. Hide the candy canes.


This one is fast and easy and the kids have fun doing it, especially since they get a sweet treat out of it. I get the jolly rancher candy canes because otherwise it’s just no fun! I usually make my own sign but here’s a free printable!

You could also have him suggest they have Candy Cane nose races!



2. Decorate the cheese sticks or bananas.


This is an easy one, but it’s special when it’s from the elf! If the kids have already packed their lunches, this makes it even more fun if they see it once they’re at school. The elf can personalize it too!





3. Shoe matching game.


My kids love matching games! This kind of incorporates matching AND hide and seek depending on how sneaky you get! You can set one pair up as a train like ___ and then hide the matching shoes!





4. Elf makes breakfast.

We have two December birthdays in our house, so the elf always makes a special breakfast for them on those days. But you don’t need birthdays to make breakfast! =D

5. Elfies.

This is so fun! My kids have mini ipads so last year the elf took a selfie with them while they were sleeping. It adds to the mystery of the elf and gives them a personalized keepsake. If no ipads, consider taking elfies with your phone and then having them printed and the elf holding them the next morning with a sign, “While you were sleeping.” He could even do funny things to them or around them for the camera!

6. Elf in a balloon.

I think we could be friends blog.

This one is brand new to me and I know my kids will love it. They’ll have fun finding him, technically they won’t be touching him and then they get to play with balloons, which they LOVE! Bonus would be if the balloons are color coded so the kids can each have their own. (#sigh).





7. Mustaches.

My kids have come to expect this one. And they even love going to school with their mustaches and telling their friends about it. This year maybe I’ll take it up a notch and add whiskers or something!

8. ROAK.


Have the elf help your family doll out a little holiday cheer with Random Acts of Kindness! Over here you can print out some ideas for free or you can make them yourself!





9. Yarn surprise! 


My girls LOVE LOL Surprise Dolls. This is a small take on that. You can put anything in the middle like candy, a toy or money even!






10. Make cookies for Santa.

This one is self explanatory. When the kids wake up on Christmas Eve, the Elf has cookie making materials ready for them to make Santa’s snack! (PS: He also leaves them PJs for a present).

BONUS: Printable Activity

This is such a great idea from Pretty My Party! Print it out and have the Elf give it to the kiddos for an easy one! =D

Screen Shot 2018-12-04 at 4.18.06 PM


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