If you have young kids like us, chances are you have an elf of the shelf. Our elves, Cherry and Rose, finally graced us with their presence this year for the first time. My kids are 6 and I’ve been hesitant to bring the elf in the mix for fear it is too complicated. I love a good over-the-top elf idea, but I worried how tiring it would be to maintain those magical expectations day in and day out.
This year I decided to give it a go and keep it simple. 2020 has been hell on all of us, but especially for the kiddos. Our kids started kindergarten this year and have had to adapt to virtual learning on top of not being about tot visit with friends and family like they’re used to. I decided that any little thing I could do to try to get them out of bed and excited for the day would be on the table, including elf of the shelf.
My goal with our elves is to use the resources I already have in the house to come up with easy and fun ideas. I want to highlight the fun you can have with your elf while not spending a lot of money or energy and still have the kids experience the magic of it all.
Easy Elf of the Shelf Ideas
Use dry erase marker to doctor a photo.
Have elves bring a gingerbread house kit. We build these kits every year anyway, so it was easy enough to have the elves bring them. I saw some people make the kits as if the Elf did it, but if you want a more passive experience, make the kids work for it 😉
Use the Toys – Doll houses and Barbie accessories are a perfect for fake elf livin’. When I couldn’t get Ken’s pants on Cherry’s legs, the toilet spoke to me.
Use thread or string to achieve a Spiderman/woman capture. My husband has a “comic cave”. AKA a man cave with thousands of comic books. So this idea was very organic.
Create hammocks with toilet paper. Use dry erase marker to leave a message on the mirror, too.
Draw a snowman face on toiler paper. If you have other snowmen like us, set them all up together.
Elf Ice Fishing. Finally put those mini toys to better use than a booby trap you step on.
Put the elves in the tree. For the days when you just need an easy move.
Have them eat cookies and throw them in a jar if you have one. Turns out medicine cups make great elf drinking glasses.
Stuff them in the coffee cups. Some times the elves need a little coffee boost too.
Use the toys. Continuing the toy usage, I scrambled up what of the Avengers collection I could find and wrote a funny message. We have been watching this 2020 light show where one of the trees repeats I am Groot, so it played well together.
Marshmallows for roasting. When in doubt, use marshmallows.
The month is still young! I’ll keep adding ideas to the thread as the days pass.