Elf on a Shelf Has Returned. Here Are Some Ideas for This Year

12 easy elf antics to recreate with items you already have at home

Elves will reemerge on shelves across the country this week. While young kids delight in waking up to see what Santa’s little helpers have been up to, the holiday tradition creates extra work for busy parents. Here are 12 ideas for quick and easy elf antics you can stage with common household items.


1. Wash those hands!
In the year of hand sanitizer and soap, a clean elf spreads positive reinforcement—not germs.

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2. Stage a puzzler.
After the kids go to sleep, create a fun morning find for little ones.

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3. Get well soon, Elves!
Children will show concern for their tiny companions, and all will be happy to see the elves back to their normal mischief soon.


4. Try the slipper sledder.
Turn a house slipper—or a regular shoe—into a super sled for your elf.

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5. Play a game.
Multiple elves can play a game together, while single elves can deal a round of solitaire.

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6. Create cotton swab snowflakes.
Don’t hold your breath for snow in Charlotte; make your own snowflakes instead.


7. Elf likes to play too!
Elves love to ride horses, dress up with dolls, or hit the road with toy trucks.


8. Get baking!
If you were planning to bake muffins or cinnamon rolls for breakfast, let the children think their elf made them. Kids can catch the chef in the act.

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9. Watch out for purse thieves!
Let the elf dive into a parent’s wallet or purse to steal some loot.


10. Make a snow angel.
To make indoor snow, try flour, quick-cooking tapioca, sprinkles, or an elf’s favorite – sugar!

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11. Help with the recycling.
Elf antics are not always mischievous; elves can be helpful, too.


12. That’s a wrap!
That’s a wrap, but the month has just begun. Good luck, parents!