November 23, 2014

Elf on the Shelf Inspiration

Who else does Elf on the Shelf at Christmas time?  If you haven't heard of this Christmas craze, Elf on the Shelf is a little red Elf sent from the North Pole at the beginning of Christmas to be Santa's eyes and ears in your house.  He sits somewhere in your house and quietly observes all the daily goings on.  Then each night, when everyone is asleep, he flies back to the North Pole to inform Santa whether the little people in your house have been naughty or nice.  He makes a speedy return in the morning before anyone wakes up only to be found sitting somewhere completely different.  He leaves permanently on Christmas Eve and doesn't come back until the following Christmas.

Elf on the Shelf has been around since the 1970's in America but has only been gaining momentum in New Zealand in the past few years.  Last year was our first time doing Elf on the Shelf.  We introduced him to the girls at our first annual North Pole Breakfast.  Maddie had a ball waking up each morning and searching the house to find Ice Cream the Elf.  (You get to name your Elf when he first arrives - our then three year old named ours Ice Cream!)

However, whilst my husband and I started this tradition with enthusiasm, it started to wane by the end of week two.  If you've done Elf on the Shelf before then I'm sure you can relate to this...

This year I wanted to be prepared and thought I would collate a list of some great ideas done by some other seasoned Elf on the Shelfers to have on hand when inspiration was running thin.  There are thousands and thousands of ideas out there.  My criteria when searching for these ideas were as follows:

1. They had to be age appropriate ideas - there are a lot of x-rated ones out there from people who obviously had WAY too much time on their hands.
2. They had to be ideas that could be set up out of reach.  Elf guidelines state that the Elf can't be touched or he will lose his magic and won't be able to fly back to the North Pole.  It is so tempting for the kids to touch him so it's just best if the Elf is out of reach to avoid temptation.  (I've been told that should your Elf get touched then a sprinkle of magic Christmas glitter will revive his powers ;-)
3. They had to be simple ideas I could recreate with things we already had in the house.  Some of the ideas out there are amazing and elaborate but I just don't have time to make a Elf sized hot air balloon with helium balloons to hang outside the girls bedroom windows!  Check out your toy accessories for props - it's amazing what you will already have that is Elf sized.

So, here is a list of my favourite 35 Elf on the Shelf ideas. 

Hanging off the Christmas Star at the top of the tree - from Katie in Kansas

Stuck in a Slinky - from Smarty the Elf

Busted in a bag of candy - from A Life Examined

Zip Lining Elf - from Raining Hot Coupons

Toasting marshmallows over a battery operated flame - from Familie Schmitt

Playing Connect Four - from Lil Blue Boo

All tangled up in a Rainbow Loom - from Marble and Mud

Elf inside a balloon - from Pinterest

Skiing on Candy Canes - from Pinterest

Eating Crackers - from A Thrifty Mom

Eating Cookies - from Raining Hot Coupons 

Snowball Fight - from Nelly Cole Photography 

Elf on the Shelf Relaxing - from A Small Snippet

Sledge riding with My Little Ponies Reindeer - from A Small Snippet

Hitching a ride on a Dinosaur - Snippets of Suburbia

Tied to the train tracks - from Our Knight Life

Stuck in the magnet box - from Pinterest

Mechanic Elf - from Pinterest

Driving Elf - from Poofy Cheeks

Aaawww - Elf on a date with Barbie - from Elf on the Shelf Ideas

 Scaling the wall with a candy cane - from Pinterest

Elf on the Shelf has a cold - from Pigskins and Pigtails

Elf Dress Ups! - from Pinterest

Elf on the Shelf made a Lego Christmas Tree - from HLNTV

Googly Eye Elf on the Shelf - from Pinterest

Sprinkle Angel - from Vitamin Ha

Treats - Elf Kisses! - from A Cupcake for the Teacher

Elf on the Shelf got into the Sticking Plasters - from Heavenly Savings

Elf Swing - from A Small Snippet

Graffiti on the bathroom mirror - from Pinterest

Moustache the family photos - from Rocking My 365 Project

Covered in stickers! - from Pinterest

Elf on the Shelf giving himself a Santa beard - from Elf on the Shelf Ideas

Elf on the Shelf Colouring In - from Poofy Cheeks

 And of course, Elf on the Shelf can go on strike and take temporary leave if behaviour isn't up to scratch - from Holly's Elf Adventures

I hope you've managed to find some inspiration here to keep your Elf on the Shelf going right up until Christmas Eve.  I have heaps of other ideas over on my Elf on Shelf Pinterest board if you need some more ideas.  I'd love to see what your Elf on the Shelf gets up to!  I'll be sharing Ice Creams antics over on our Facebook and Instagram pages if you want to follow along x


  1. Love your post. This will be our first year doing Elf on the Shelf and I will be copying some of these ideas! Where did you get your Elf on the Shelf from in NZ? Having a hard time finding one in a shop in NZ, not too keen on an overseas posted one as I have left it too late :-( Thanks again, can't wait to get started..

  2. Hi Maz. Thanks so much for your comment. I usually recommend people order their Elf on the Shelf from The Book Depository as their prices are really competitive and they ship to NZ for free. They close off shipping to New Zealand on 8 December so there is still a little time. Here is a link Not Socks Gifts (which is an NZ site) had them on sale the other day and they were really cheap but they sold out really quickly. Other than that, I've never seen them anywhere else in NZ. Sorry I'm not much help. Good luck finding one x