24 of THE BEST Elf on the Shelf Ideas for ‘less enthusiastic’ parents.

elf on the shelf

24 of THE BEST Elf on the Shelf Ideas for ‘less enthusiastic’ parents.


Last year was my first foray into Elf on the Shelf. I am not normally a sucker for commercialised festive crap but I thought the boys needed an injection of magic in to their lives. Their baby sister had not long been born, Elliot had been downgraded from baby-of-the-family to Middle Child and William was just finishing up his first term of primary school and was EXHAUSTED. So I did what any self respecting mother would do… I spent far too much on a ridiculous looking Elf doll, and I went about making December a bit more magical for them. But when push comes to shove, I’m really not a YES, HERE WE GO! mum. I prefer a less ‘enthusiastic’ (/lazy) approach… so here are some of the things I did, and some things I will definitely be doing this year (if A. We move house before Christmas and B. I can find the Elf from wherever I’ve hidden him). If the stars align and the Elf manages to visit our house then make sure you keep an eye on my social media to see them in action!

  1. The classic 1st of December arrival. Ours brought a gingerbread house for us to make last year. He might bring advent calendars this year.
  2. Freeze the creepy little chap in a tub of ice.
  3. Elf abseiling down the curtains.
  4. Food colouring in the milk to make ‘Elf Milk’ of whatever colour you like.
  5. Pinching a chocolate from an advent calendar. Probably an adult’s one. Children don’t like to share chocolate. Smear it on Elf’s face for extra effect.
  6. Making ‘Snow’ Angels in flour or talc.
  7. Elf bringing Christmas crafts as treats.
  8. The classic Minion faces on a bunch of bananas.
  9. Wrap the TV up in Christmas wrapping paper.
  10. Wrap the Christmas tree in toilet paper.
  11. Elf and other toys having a snowball fight with cotton wool balls.
  12. Elf hanging upside down with his foot caught in the Christmas tree lights.
  13. A dinosaur/lego man/play figure tea party, hosted by the Elf.
  14. Delivering a box of cake mix for you all to make.
  15. Snuggled up in a pair of your child’s pants. Kid’s find pants reeeeally funny.
  16. Tucked up next to your child in bed. Unless your child is of a nervous disposition. They might find it a bit creepy!
  17. Elf sat on the sofa reading a book.
  18. Hanging on to a ceiling light.
  19. Building a tower with blocks or lego.
  20. Stuck inside the washing machine.
  21. Having a cereal bath. DO NOT put milk in. Obviously.
  22. Sliding down the banister.
  23. Delivering a Christmas themed book.
  24. On Christmas Eve our Elf goes home, but leaves behind a small letter thanking us for our hospitality and wishing us all a Merry Christmas.


So that’s how we do Elf on the Shelf in our house. It’s also worth thinking about your elf ‘rules’. Are your children allowed to play with the Elf? Where will the elf go during the day? Ours will be taken to sit on a shelf after he’s been discovered, and children are absolutely not allowed to touch it or they will rub away the magic with their little child hands! (That is mostly because I think William will be way more likely to cotton on to the fakery if he realises the elf is actually just a doll).

I hope you’ve found these suggestions helpful. Comment below if you use any of them, I’d love to hear about your elf visits.


P.S. So far the elusive ridiculously expensive Elf has not been found. The one in the picture is a decoy Elf from Poundland.


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I'm Jazmin. I'm 28 and a stay at home mum to three children. You can find me on Instagram & Facebook @thefamilyfavourites and Twitter @thefamilyfaves. I hope you enjoy having a look around.

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