Elf on the Shelf - Made EASY for you!


Hello!! Christmas time is here! Can you even believe it? 

This will be our seventh year doing Elf on the Shelf for our boys! We have had the best time and made a ton of super fun memories doing this for our kids, so this year, I thought I'd make it easy for those who would like to get started or just need a boost.  

Below you will find 24 simple elf ideas to use.  You can switch out the ones you don't like and make them as simple or as complicated as you would like. Most of these could be completely free or you could go nuts. It's up to you!

Some disclaimers for the inevitable Grinchs:

-No, we do not use the Elf to control our kids behavior.  My kids have no idea that that is the "purpose" of the Elf.  We don't even do Santa so even if they knew the Elf was supposed to "report naughty behavior to Santa" my kids would be undeterred. For us, it's a fun game of Christmas hide and seek. That's it. 

-No, it is not stressful for us to do this every year.  We find it super FUN! My husband and I love coming up with cute little scenes for our kids to discover every morning. I will be super sad when I don't have kids to do this for. 

-Just like every holiday tradition, if the Elf is not for you, don't do it. Simple. But don't bash those who do. You are not a better person for not doing it just like those who do are not better people FOR doing it. .  We can all do what is best and the most fun for our families without tearing down others. 

-I know some people who just move the Elf around every night, their kids still love it! Whatever works for your family is what you should do! 

You can find 31 other ideas I have done in the past HERE. 

You can also go on Instagram and check the tag #lbfelfontheshelf for all of our ideas from the last several years! 



Here are 24 simple Elf ideas that I will probably do this year. I'll add in ways to make it more complex but you can make it as simple as you would like! 
  • Advent - Every year our Elf brings the boys a the new advent for the year.  You could also have the Elf "set up" the advent you already do! 
  • New ornaments - We buy the boys a new ornament every year that commemorates something they did that year.  The Elf usually brings those wrapped up! :) 
  • Bring new Christmas books - We get the boys a new Christmas book every year.  The Elf usually brings those one day. You can go HERE to see a list of all of our books!
  • Letter to Santa - The Elf can write a letter to Santa describing how crazy it is here below in the states.  This could be super funny! I have some tiny crayons I found at Hobby Lobby to use here. 
  • Decorate an elf tree - I have a naked tiny tree on my dining room table that I plan to have the Elf decorate with supplies I found at Hobby Lobby.  You could use what you have!
  • Make cookies - Pick a day where you have made cookies the day before. On the sly make a few tiny Elf sized ones.  You can set them out with a tiny mug of milk (use a lid of some sort as a tiny Elf mug). 
  • Send out Christmas cards - Make some cute tiny Elf sized cards and have your Elf write them out to his friends. I will use the tiny crayons from above here as well. 
  • Hang stockings - Would be cute to make tiny Elf sized ones to add to the family stockings. Or you could find small ones in lots of stores.
  • Make a Christmas sweater - I found a cute sweater ornament at Hobby Lobby that will fit the Elf. I will plan on setting him up to look like he was making it. 
  • Make a Christmas craft - I'll pick up some little kits from Micheal's at some point to do this. You could do whatever you would like here! 
  • Color Christmas pages - I'll print out some of my pages from Rad and Happy and set them out with crayons. 
  • Wrap gifts - I am thinking he will wrap some packs of gum or other small treats here.  Would be cute if I could find some tiny scissors too! 
  • Make some gifts - A little DIY is always fun. You could use little kits from Micheal's or come up with a cute craft on your own! 
  • Go caroling - Set him up with some friends from your house (kids toys or other Christmas characters you have out and around the house). 
  • Cut paper snowflakes - Simple, easy, free. 
  • Make a snowman - Could make from air dry dough, or make a melted version from slime your kids could keep and play with. 
  • Watch a new or Christmas movie - I snagged some cheap movies from Target. I'll have the Elf bring them with some popcorn to have a movie night! 
  • Hot cocoa bar/night - I'll grab some fun hot chocolate supplies and have the Elf bring them for a fun cocoa treat. 
  • Picture taken with Santa - Make a line with your holiday characters from caroling above.  Everyone wants a photo with the jolly fat man! :) 
  • Coffee with a friend - Christmas is a time for friends! Set your elf up with tiny mugs of coffee (mugs of lids/caps or thimbles) and a tiny treat as he catches up with a friend. 
  • Game night - He could bring a new game or a puzzle for a family fun night. OR you can set out your families favorite games!
  • Make a wreath - Make a tiny wreath from greens around your yard! Hang it where an elf would see it! 
  • Ice cream night- Buy some fun toppings and set the stage for a fun Christmas treat! 
  • Cookies for Santa! - Leave out cookies and milk for Santa and a little note from the Elf to say goodbye!

Most of all HAVE FUN! If this stresses you out DON'T DO IT! 




Bulletin Board Makeover! (with free files!)

Recently I took some time to up date a couple of the bulletin boards in my boys' school.  I didn't get a before of the one above but it wasn't too different from the one below.  Now they are both colorful and happy spots in the hallway! I'm hoping it adds just a little love to the lives of the people I LOVE so much! The one above is made using plastic table cloths from the dollar store, leftover from my trunk or treat this year! The paintbrush is just cardboard I free handed.  
Here's how the second one turned out...Each heart has a "need" (like hope, love, self-control) and a corresponding scripture verse to go with it. 
 And here is where it started!
 I just added this frame and background...
And then added a ton of hearts around it.  I did not count or estimate, just made a bunch went for it!

I'm attaching the files for the heart board below.  They are formatted for business card size and I printed them on cardstock.

Get the free file HERE and have fun adding some love to somewhere you spend a lot of time! :)
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