Elf On The Shelf Ideas

Add more holiday cheer to your home with the help of a mischievous elf that gets up to shenanigans each night when you and your kids go to sleep. From riding down the banister in a candy cane sled to taking marshmallow baths underneath the coffee machine, this little guy will make waking up each morning and counting down to Christmas fun. But with 25 days comes 25 pranks, and you might need some inspiration on where to hide little Sven around your house. 

Click ahead for pranks and poses that'll have your family laughing each morning!

By Marlen Komar

Sven Crashes Down From The North Pole

1. Sven Crashes Down From The North Pole

A great way to introduce Sven is to have him crash down from the North Pole in a tangle of balloons, with a letter explaining what he's doing in your front yard or living room.

Found on Pinterest here.

A Door Appears December 1st

2. A Door Appears December 1st

Another way to introduce Elf on the Shelf to your family is to craft a tiny elf door and have little Jolly or Sven sitting next to it, ready with a letter from Santa. The letter can explain how the elf came over to keep an eye on the kids as the countdown to Christmas begins, and - voila! - you have a new tradition!

Found on Pinterest here, from Melissa Hillier.

 

He Helps You Out With Breakfast

3. He Helps You Out With Breakfast

Elves are notorious sugar fiends, so why not have him make toast for the family...just instead of butter, he uses a whole jar of sprinkles. 

Found on Pinterest here, from Target.

Let's Build A Snowman

4. Let's Build A Snowman

Grab a trio of marshmallows and decorate them into a snowman with candy - and don't forget to add some flour around your Elf so it looks like he's playing in snow!

Found on Pinterest here, from Target.

 

Swinging From The Rafters

5. Swinging From The Rafters

Sven gets bored waiting for everyone to wake up - so what better way to pass the time than to make a toilet paper roll swing?

Found on Pinterest here, from A Small Snippet. 

 

Getting Ready For The Christmas Card

6. Getting Ready For The Christmas Card

Gather your kiddos' favorite toys and have your Elf take a family picture underneath the tree. There's your Christmas card for the year!

Found on Pinterest here, from Skinny Mom.

DIY Snowball Fight

7. DIY Snowball Fight

Elves are known for their mischievousness, so of course they'd love to challenge your family to a snowball fight. Make a bucket of pompom snowballs and stage an indoor snow fight. 

Found on Pinterest here, from The Elf on the Shelf.

 

Getting Naughty With Toilet Paper

8. Getting Naughty With Toilet Paper

Kids love rolling down hills, so t'd make sense for your Elf to slip into a roll of toilet paper and bounce down the stairs.

Found on Pinterest here, from The Elf on the Shelf.

 

Peppermint Seeds

9. Peppermint Seeds

This one is a two-parter: Your Elf is going to ask your kids to plant peppermint seeds into a bowl of flour (with instructions to fertilize them with sprinkles and blown kisses) and the next morning they'll sprout up into candy canes! Too fun.

Found on Pinterest here, from Etsy.

Wrapping Paper Lunches

10. Wrapping Paper Lunches

If your family runs off to start their day with packed lunches, have Sven wrap up their contents in wrapping paper. They'll have a blast opening them up like presents at school, and it'll really tie into the North Pole theme.

Found on Pinterest here, from Elf on the Shelf.

 

He's Hiding Next To The Creamer!

11. He's Hiding Next To The Creamer!

Pull out laughs in the morning when your family opens the fridge for milk, and there's Sven snuggled up next to the creamer and jam. Don't forget the blanket - it gets chilly in there after all!

Found on Pinterest here, from Tumblr.

 

Zip-lining With Candy Canes

12. Zip-lining With Candy Canes

Have your playful Elf zip-line over to the Christmas tree on a candy cane, painting an idea of what kind of shenanigans he was up to while everyone was sleeping. 

Found on Pinterest here, from Carey Pace.

 

Sprinkle Snow Angels

13. Sprinkle Snow Angels

The sprinkle theme continues! Just this time around the Elf got into the funfetti and had some snow fun on the counter. 

Found on Pinterest here.

 

The Elf Makes A Scavenger Hunt

14. The Elf Makes A Scavenger Hunt

Want to get your kids scrambling? Have your Elf challenge them to a scavenger hunt, hiding six candy canes in the room for them to find.

Found on Pinterest here, from Etsy.

 

Sven Pulls A Prank In Your Fridge

15. Sven Pulls A Prank In Your Fridge

What would be more funny than pulling open your fridge in the morning and everything in there is blinking back at you? Sven is a prankster at heart, and there's nothing more hilarious than a dozen eggs with eyes.

Found on Pinterest here, from Elf from the Shelf.

 

He Plans Out His Grocery List

16. He Plans Out His Grocery List

Have Sven plan out his grocery list at the kitchen table, with his favorite nutritional snacks making the list. Things like candy canes, chocolate syrup, and marshmallows will obviously be top priority!

Found on Pinterest here, from Popsugar.

Sven Went On A Binge

17. Sven Went On A Binge

If you have an empty milk carton, this setup will be perfect. Have your Elf eat a plateful of cookies, with one hand over his eyes and the other over his tummy. This is what happens when you eat too many sweets!

Found on Pinterest here, from Just a Little Creativity.

 

Have Him Christmas-fy The Kitchen

18. Have Him Christmas-fy The Kitchen

Illicit giggles by wrapping all the kitchen cabinets in Christmas paper, with your Elf posed on the microwave with scissors cheekily in his hands.

Found on Pinterest here.

 

He Tried To Bake Cookies

19. He Tried To Bake Cookies

He tried to bake cookies but it looks like mom's blender was a little too sophisticated. 

Found on Pinterest here, from Frugal Coupon Living.

 

Who Ate All The Cookies In The Cookie Jar?

20. Who Ate All The Cookies In The Cookie Jar?

Not only did he eat all the cookies in the house, but he also has the audacity to tell you to run out and get more!

Found on Pinterest here, from Yvette. 

 

Movie Night!

21. Movie Night!

What's an Elf to do while he waits for everyone to wake up? How about a movie night with a big bowl of popcorn - that'll definitely pass the time.

Found on Pinterest here, from A Small Snippet. 

 

Balloon Drop Prank

22. Balloon Drop Prank

Close your kid's doors and either use plastic wrap or wrapping paper to keep a wall of balloons in place. When they open the door in the morning, they get surprised with a balloon drop! Make it even more fun by writing "punch through me" on the plastic wrap, and have the morning start in a jumble of giggles.

Found on Pinterest here.

 

Sven Got Carried Away With The Bows

23. Sven Got Carried Away With The Bows

The closer to Christmas we get the more excited Sven becomes, so sometimes he vents that energy by getting his present-wrapping fix. Have him stick bows all over the bathroom or kitchen, showing he can't wait till it's finally time to get a visit from Santa.

Found on Pinterest here, from The Organised Housewife. 

 

He Pops Out From The Ice Cube Dispenser

24. He Pops Out From The Ice Cube Dispenser

Up to his old tricks, have Sven pop out from the ice cube dispenser in a "boo!" type of manner.

Found on Pinterest here.

Pigging Out On Holiday Candy

25. Pigging Out On Holiday Candy

How can an Elf not climb head first into a bag of holiday candy? It's like the jackpot for him.

Found on Pinterest here, from A Life Examined. 

 

He Wants You To Join His Family

26. He Wants You To Join His Family

While he loves your family very much, he sometimes feels weird that you don't have a wardrobe like he does. So one night he'll remedy that situation and put pointy elf hats on all your family pictures.

Found on Pinterest here, from I Heart Arts & Crafts.

Stuck In The Washing Machine

27. Stuck In The Washing Machine

Sometimes mischief goes awry and you get stuck in the washing machine for the whole night. Help!

Found on Pinterest here, from Natalme.

 

Who Doesn't Love To Roast Marshmallows?

28. Who Doesn't Love To Roast Marshmallows?

You see a cranberry candle you got on sale at TJ Maxx. Sven sees a bonfire opportunity that'll get him so roasted marshmallows. 

Found on Pinterest here, from Pickelhead Soup.

 

Racing Down Bannisters In Candy Cane Sleds

29. Racing Down Bannisters In Candy Cane Sleds

Elves have toys too, just theirs are made out of graham crackers and candy canes.

Found on Pinterest here.

 

Coffee Bath

30. Coffee Bath

Whereas you see a Keurig that gives you your morning coffee, Sven sees a marshmallow bubble bath opportunity. 

Found on Pinterest here, from Raining Hot Coupons.