If you’ve never heard of Elf on the Shelf, you’re in for a treat. If you have, you know how cool these little guys are. We got our Elf last year after hearing about them from some friends. We picked him up at Pharmasave but they are becoming increasingly popular and available in many different stores, I saw them this weekend at Chapter’s and I’ve seen them at the Masstown Market.
Elf on the Shelf are these little Elf dolls that come with a story book. They cost about $30 but they’re worth it. They provide endless entertainment every day until Christmas for years. The kids love looking forward to seeing what the Elf has been up to and I get excited to come up with ideas of things for him to do every night.
Our Elf is named Jingle (courtesy of the kids) and he arrives at our house on the first of December (We bring him out of the box from the closet) We read the story about the Elf on the Shelf and it explains that the Elf comes to watch the children for Santa Claus and will fly back and report to Santa about how the kids are behaving. You’re not allowed to touch the Elf or the magic he uses to fly back to Santa will be gone and he won’t be able to go back home. Every night the Elf does something new, it could be decorate something for Christmas, toilet paper the house, bake cookies etc. The fun of it is the kids wake up and look for him to see what he’s done through the night. It’s a lot of fun to see them get excited about it and I really do have a lot of fun setting the scenes for the next day.
Some Elf on the Shelf ideas I’ve found and have come up with are:
- Have the Elf toilet paper the Christmas tree
- Have a tea party with dolls or stuffed animals
- Have Lego men tie the Elf up like he’s an intruder
- Set a bowl of sugar on the counter, get the kids to plant seeds (tic tacs) and in the morning the seeds will have grown into Christmas cookies (example: Pillsbury sugar cookies with a Christmas design on them)
- Have the Elf drinking pancake syrup from a straw
- Surround the Elf with a bunch of candy and/or chocolate like he pigged out all night and is hung over on sugar
- Have him build something out of Lego
- Have him set up with other stuffed animals or other toys playing a board game
- Take a picture of the Elf, make a few copies and replace all the family photos with a picture of the Elf and have him sitting beside them
- Have him sitting looking like he’s going through your purse or wallet
- Put snow on a plate in the freezer, make it look like a little snowman not quite finished with eyes and nose etc. and have the Elf ‘building’ the snowman
- Stick the Elf outside at a window or door looking desperate to get in – He got locked outside!
- Set him up with your ipod or mp3 player and ear buds
- Have the Elf sitting in the middle of the floor with scissors and handmade paper snowflakes and some paper mess around him
- Have him playing video games/DS/tablet
- Turn milk red or green with food colouring and have the Elf sitting beside it in the fridge
- Have the Elf writing a letter saying all of the good things your child has done since he’s been watching
- Hide the Elf somewhere somewhat obvious that your child would be able to find and have him with your keys/cell phone/wallet and pretend to be looking all over for it.
- Have the Elf make his own Christmas list (Elf pants, Elf shoes etc.)
I hope this gives you a few ideas for your Elf. If you don’t have one yet, you should get one. It’s a great Christmas tradition to start for your family and kids just love them!
Kristy Brown’s family column appears every week in the Amherst Daily News. She welcomes comments and suggestions at firstname.lastname@example.org.