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The Ultimate List of Elf On The Shelf Ideas - [2020]

Posted by Parker Eakin on October 22, 2020

The Ultimate List of Elf On The Shelf Ideas - [2020] | Christmas World

When the holiday season rolls around, our mischievous, pointy-eared friends make their appearance! Commonly known as the elf on the shelf, these Christmas elves really bring the christmas spirit alive for the children in your family (sometimes adults too, no judgment here).

Whether your family has one elf or multiple elves, constantly coming up with fun elf on a shelf ideas can be difficult, but we’re here to help.

We’ve cultivated the ultimate list of elf on the shelf ideas with over 150 unique ideas, each giving your elf detailed instructions on how to pull the idea off, including how long the scene will take to set up, the materials needed, and even printable templates.

Whether you’re looking for intricate elf on the shelf ideas, or something that you can throw together in 2 minutes, we’ve got you covered all season long.

Before we dive in, let’s quickly get anyone new to this classic Christmas tradition caught up to speed:

First, you’ll need at least 1 Christmas elf; You can either adopt one from elfontheshelf.com, or if you’d like one that’s a little different then you may pick one up at any number of local stores.

Next, you’ll need to name your new family friend. While there is no shortage of elf on the shelf names to choose from, you can either give the elf a name by yourself or you can let your kids name the elf after they arrive for the christmas season; you really can’t go wrong here!

For example, my family (who has multiple Christmas elves visit each holiday season) named one of the elves Trouble-Maker, because he’s specifically responsible for the majority of the mischievous activities that occur within our house around the holidays.

Lastly, you’ll need to help the elf plan some stunts ranging from thoughtful, to mischievous, to funny, or to quick and easy.

While some families ask their elves to primarily keep an eye on whether the children are naughty or nice, we caution you to throw in a lot of fun ideas too so that your kids will enjoy it rather than turning their lives into a real-life version of this Studio C elf on the shelf video.



To make your Christmas even merrier, we've added a few downloadable templates to help you bring your best elf on the shelf idea to life:

Without further ado, the ultimate list of elf on the shelf ideas

Filter List

Difficulty

Category

Setup Time

  1. “Polar” Express Mail

    • Difficulty:Easy
    • Setup Time:10 Minutes
    • Category:Thoughtful

    The first Elf on the Shelf idea is dedicated to your elf’s silly and exciting arrival, helping to get the family into the holiday spirit! The Elf has “mailed himself” to your family marking the beginning of the Christmas season! Ding dong ditch the Elf on the front porch to surprise your kids with a “Special delivery from the North Pole”. Include the elf on the shelf arrival letter template provided below.

    Supplies Needed:

    • A Box
    • A Stamp (Optional)
    • "Special Delivery" tag
  2. Cookie Monster

    • Difficulty:Medium
    • Setup Time:10 Minutes
    • Category:Thoughtful
  3. The 4 main food groups

    • Difficulty:Easy
    • Setup Time:10 Minutes
    • Category:Funny
  4. Delicious Christmas Tree Farm

    • Difficulty:Medium
    • Setup Time:10 Minutes
    • Category:Funny
    Elf on The Shelf Christmas tree farm with Little Debbie Christmas Tree Cakes
  5. Read Me A Story

    • Difficulty:Easy
    • Setup Time:5 Mintues
    • Category:Thoughtful
  6. My Name Is...

    • Difficulty:Easy
    • Setup Time:5 Minutes
    • Category:Fun
  7. Letters from Santa

    • Difficulty:Medium
    • Setup Time:15 Minutes
    • Category:Thoughtful
  8. Elf on the shelf letters to Santa

    • Difficulty:Easy
    • Setup Time:10 Minutes
    • Category:Fun
  9. The Elf that Stole Christmas

    • Difficulty:Hard
    • Setup Time:20 Minutes
    • Category:Mischievous
  10. The Good Deed Elf

    • Difficulty:Easy
    • Setup Time:5 Minutes
    • Category:Thoughtful
  11. Don’t Eat the Yellow Snow

    • Difficulty:Easy
    • Setup Time:5 Minutes
    • Category:Mischievous
  12. Held Captive

    • Difficulty:Easy
    • Setup Time:10 Minutes
    • Category:Funny
  13. Wrapping Gone Wrong

    • Difficulty:Easy
    • Setup Time:10 Minutes
    • Category:Mischievous
  14. Photo Frenzy

    • Difficulty:Easy
    • Setup Time:10 Minutes
    • Category:Mischievous
  15. Gone Fishing

    • Difficulty:Easy
    • Setup Time:10 Minutes
    • Category:Funny
  16. Twisted Toys

    • Difficulty:Medium
    • Setup Time:20 Minutes
    • Category:Funny
  17. Star Struck

    • Difficulty:Easy
    • Setup Time:5 Minutes
    • Category:Funny
  18. Scavenger Hunt

    • Difficulty:Medium
    • Setup Time:20 Minutes
    • Category:Thoughtful
  19. “Not Quite Snow” Angel

    • Difficulty:Easy
    • Setup Time:5 Minutes
    • Category:Funny
  20. Home, Sweet Home

    • Difficulty:Hard
    • Setup Time:45 Minutes
    • Category:Funny
  21. Let’s Take a s-ELF-ie

    • Difficulty:Easy
    • Setup Time:10 Minutes
    • Category:Funny
  22. Chill Out

    • Difficulty:Easy
    • Setup Time:5 Minutes
    • Category:Funny
  23. In a Flurry

    • Difficulty:Medium
    • Setup Time:20 Minutes
    • Category:Mischievous
  24. Bow-ldering

    • Difficulty:Easy
    • Setup Time:10 Minutes
    • Category:Mischievous
  25. Unwrapped

    • Difficulty:Medium
    • Setup Time:20 Minutes
    • Category:Mischievous
  26. One Of These Things is Not Like the Other

    • Difficulty:Easy
    • Setup Time:5 Minutes
    • Category:Mischievous
  27. Sad Snowman

    • Difficulty:Medium
    • Setup Time:15 Minutes
    • Category:Mischievous
  28. Warm ‘n Toasty

    • Difficulty:Easy
    • Setup Time:10 Minutes
    • Category:Funny
  29. Don't Egg Him On

    • Difficulty:Medium
    • Setup Time:15 Minutes
    • Category:Mischievous
  30. Where’s Waldo Elf

    • Difficulty:Medium
    • Setup Time:15 Minutes
    • Category:Mischievous
  31. Rudolph’s Revenge

    • Difficulty:Easy
    • Setup Time:10 Minutes
    • Category:Funny
  32. Grocery List

    • Difficulty:Easy
    • Setup Time:10 Minutes
    • Category:Mischievous
  33. Bucking Blitzen

    • Difficulty:Easy
    • Setup Time:10 Minutes
    • Category:Funny
  34. Chocolate Fiend

    • Difficulty:Easy
    • Setup Time:10 Minutes
    • Category:Funny
  35. Pot O' Peppermints

    • Difficulty:Easy
    • Setup Time:10 Minutes
    • Category:Thoughtful
  36. Melting Frosty

    • Difficulty:Easy
    • Setup Time:10 Minutes
    • Category:Mischievous
  37. Breakfast of Champions

    • Difficulty:Hard
    • Setup Time:30 Minutes
    • Category:Funny
  38. Stairway To Heaven

    • Difficulty:Medium
    • Setup Time:10 Minutes
    • Category:Mischievous
  39. Eye Spy…

    • Difficulty:Easy
    • Setup Time:10 Minutes
    • Category:Funny
  40. Latrine Lattices

    • Difficulty:Medium
    • Setup Time:15 Minutes
    • Category:Mischievous
    https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1397/0077/files/elf-on-the-shelf_big-version-cut-up-toilet-paper.jpg?v=1602278252
  41. This Could Get Sticky

    • Difficulty:Easy
    • Setup Time:5 Minutes
    • Category:Mischievous
  42. Construction Zone

    • Difficulty:Hard
    • Setup Time:30 Minutes
    • Category:Funny
  43. Not The Gumdrop Buttons!

    • Difficulty:Hard
    • Setup Time:30 Minutes
    • Category:Funny
  44. Sweet Sledding

    • Difficulty:Easy
    • Setup Time:10 Minutes
    • Category:Funny
  45. Santa's Village

    • Difficulty:Medium
    • Setup Time:10 Minutes
    • Category:Funny
    Elf On The Shelf Amusement Park
  46. Don’t be Such a Grinch

    • Difficulty:Easy
    • Setup Time:5 Minutes
    • Category:Funny
  47. S'more Please

    • Difficulty:Medium
    • Setup Time:15 Minutes
    • Category:Funny
  48. Elf Escape

    • Difficulty:Medium
    • Setup Time:15 Minutes
    • Category:Funny
  49. Whobilation Sack Race

    • Difficulty: Easy
    • Setup Time:10 Minutes
    • Category:Funny
  50. How's It Hangin

    • Difficulty:Easy
    • Setup Time:5 Minutes
    • Category:Funny
  51. Train Wreck

    • Difficulty:Medium
    • Setup Time:15 Minutes
    • Category:Funny
  52. A Sticky Situation

    • Difficulty:Hard
    • Setup Time:20 Minutes
    • Category:Funny
  53. Caught Coloring

    • Difficulty:Medium
    • Setup Time:15 Minutes
    • Category:Mischievous
  54. TP'ed

    • Difficulty:Easy
    • Setup Time:5 Minutes
    • Category:Mischievous
  55. Hubba Bubba

    • Difficulty:Easy
    • Setup Time:10 Minutes
    • Category:Funny
  56. Urgent Message

    • Difficulty:Easy
    • Setup Time:10 Minutes
    • Category:Funny
  57. Rudolph the Red Nosed...Family?

    • Difficulty:Medium
    • Setup Time:20 Minutes
    • Category:Mischievous
  58. Mele Kalikimaka

    • Difficulty:Medium
    • Setup Time:20 Minutes
    • Category:Funny
  59. Jurassic Proportions

    • Difficulty:Hard
    • Setup Time:20 Minutes
    • Category:Funny
  60. Elf Milk

    • Difficulty:Easy
    • Setup Time:10 Minutes
    • Category:Funny
  61. Butt Brush

    • Difficulty:Easy
    • Setup Time:10 Minutes
    • Category:Mischievous
  62. Cookie Culprit

    • Difficulty:Easy
    • Setup Time:10 Minutes
    • Category:Mischievous
  63. Extreme Elf

    • Difficulty:Hard
    • Setup Time:30 Minutes
    • Category:Funny
  64. A Treacherous Crossing

    • Difficulty:Medium
    • Setup Time:20 Minutes
    • Category:Funny
  65. Dino Bait

    • Difficulty:Easy
    • Setup Time:10 Minutes
    • Category:Mischievous
  66. Bless You

    • Difficulty:Easy
    • Setup Time:5 Minutes
    • Category:Funny
  67. Ice Hockey

    • Difficulty:Easy
    • Setup Time:10 Minutes
    • Category:Funny
  68. Elf In Training

    • Difficulty:Easy
    • Setup Time:5 Minutes
    • Category:Funny
  69. I’ll Raise You One Gumdrop

    • Difficulty:Easy
    • Setup Time:10 Minutes
    • Category:Funny
  70. Elf-spionage

    • Difficulty:Easy
    • Setup Time:10 Minutes
    • Category:Funny
  71. Elf on Strike

    • Difficulty:Easy
    • Setup Time:5 Minutes
    • Category:Thoughtful
  72. How Many Licks

    • Difficulty:Easy
    • Setup Time:10 Minutes
    • Category:Funny
  73. Clear as Glass

    • Difficulty:Easy
    • Setup Time:5 Minutes
    • Category:Funny
  74. Kris Kringle Pringle

    • Difficulty:Medium
    • Setup Time:15 Minutes
    • Category:Funny
  75. Furry Fiend

    • Difficulty:Easy
    • Setup Time:10 Minutes
    • Category:Funny
  76. Shrinking Machine

    • Difficulty:Hard
    • Setup Time:30 Minutes
    • Category:Funny
  77. Sick Leave

    • Difficulty:Easy
    • Setup Time:10 Minutes
    • Category:Thoughtful
  78. Shaven Snowmen

    • Difficulty:Medium
    • Setup Time:15 Minutes
    • Category:Funny
  79. Old School

    • Difficulty:Easy
    • Setup Time:10 Minutes
    • Category:Funny
  80. Ring Leader

    • Difficulty:Hard
    • Setup Time:20 Minutes
    • Category:Funny
    Elf On The Shelf Circus with Circus Animal Crackers
  81. “Treat Yourself”

    • Difficulty:Medium
    • Setup Time:15 Minutes
    • Category:Thoughtful
  82. You Look Great, Deer

    • Difficulty:Medium
    • Setup Time:20 Minutes
    • Category:Funny
  83. Must Be Santa

    • Difficulty:Easy
    • Setup Time:5 Minutes
    • Category:Fun
  84. Sticky Feet

    • Difficulty:Easy
    • Setup Time:5 Minutes
    • Category:Mischievous
  85. Hello From the Other Side

    • Difficulty:Easy
    • Setup Time:10 Minutes
    • Category:Funny
  86. Microwave Meltdown

    • Difficulty:Medium
    • Setup Time:15 Minutes
    • Category:Mischievous
  87. Motorcycle Mania

    • Difficulty:Medium
    • Setup Time:20 Minutes
    • Category:Funny
  88. Cookie Confusion

    • Difficulty:Easy
    • Setup Time:5 Minutes
    • Category:Funny
  89. Time Out!

    • Difficulty:Easy
    • Setup Time:5 Minutes
    • Category:Funny
  90. X’s and Marshmall-O’s

    • Difficulty:Medium
    • Setup Time:15 Minutes
    • Category:Fun
  91. Woodworkin'

    • Difficulty:Medium
    • Setup Time:10 Minutes
    • Category:Funny
  92. Wrap, Wrap, and Wrap Some More

    • Difficulty:Medium
    • Setup Time:15 Minutes
    • Category:Mischievous
  93. Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree

    • Difficulty:Medium
    • Setup Time:20 Minutes
    • Category:Funny
  94. North Pole Bound

    • Difficulty:Medium
    • Setup Time:20 Minutes
    • Category:Fun
  95. Foosball Champion

    • Difficulty:Hard
    • Setup Time:30 Minutes
    • Category:Funny
  96. Workin At The Car Wash

    • Difficulty:Easy
    • Setup Time:10 Minutes
    • Category:Funny
  97. Snowball Fight

    • Difficulty:Medium
    • Setup Time:15 Minutes
    • Category:Funny
  98. Cannon Ball!

    • Difficulty:Medium
    • Setup Time:20 Minutes
    • Category:Funny
  99. Hole in One!

    • Difficulty:Medium
    • Setup Time:15 Minutes
    • Category:Funny
  100. Secret Message

    • Difficulty:Easy
    • Setup Time:10 Minutes
    • Category:Fun
  101. Candy Cane Lanes

    • Difficulty:Hard
    • Setup Time:30 Minutes
    • Category:Funny

So, What do you think?

Which ideas are your favorites?

Have any ideas of your own that we should add to our list?

Let us know in the comments below!

Parker Eakin
Parker Eakin

Author

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