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Fun with the Elf on the Shelf

“Kaia, it’s time for bed.”
“But mommy, I want to stay up!!”
“Well, I know you want to be a good listener––the elf is watching.”

Plus: Fun Ideas for Elf on the Shelf

Ah, the spirit of Christmas is upon us. And one of our family’s favorite holiday traditions is the oh-so-popular Elf on the Shelf. This “magical” elf usually appears (or rather is unpacked from the garage) around Thanksgiving. He comes with a book that explains his story: In short, he uses his magical powers to fly back and forth to the North Pole each night while your child sleeps to tell Santa all about your family’s behavior––you know, to make sure everyone stays on the “good list.”

Plus: Our Favorite Holiday Books for Kids

But the real fun behind the elf is finding him in the morning and discovering what kind of mischief he got himself into overnight. The first few years we had “Elfy” (my daughter was only two when she named him), we just placed him around the house and she enjoyed searching him out. This year, we decided to get creative with Elfy’s antics. Here are a few ideas we’re excited to try:

Tricky Elf
Use a roll of toilet paper to “TP” your Christmas tree or child’s room and put the empty roll in your elf’s arms.

Snow Angel
Sprinkle flour on the countertop and move your elf’s legs to simulate a snow angel.

Candy OD
Empty a bag of candy (M&Ms work well) around your elf and put the empty bag in his arms.

Fun with Friends
Set a scene with the elf hanging out with your child’s favorite stuffed animals. They can play a board game or have a tea party.

Panty Raid
Hang your child’s underwear on the tree or around the house and pose your elf hanging on her underwear drawer.

Plus: How the Elf on the Shelf Saved Our Christmas

Online Elf
For older kids, you can create a Facebook account for your elf so he can “keep an eye” on your child online and send her fun messages. You can also post photos on your elf’s page, showing some of the trouble he got into overnight (raiding the fridge, snuggling in bed, etc).

Dress Up
You can buy clothes for your elf! Imagine the surprise when your little one discovers her elf returned from the North Pole wearing a skirt… yes, it’s a girl!

We would love to hear what kind of fun your elf is having! Share your ideas for elf antics and post pictures on our Facebook page.