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Elf on the Shelf Ideas for Home – Free Printable Elf on the Shelf Planning Kit Included

There are so many great Elf on the Shelf ideas for home. There are endless exciting and easy ideas that you can do with your scout elf. I will be sharing 94 of my favorite ideas with you.

When your elf returns from the North Pole this holiday season, I know just how stressful it can be. You’re always searching for new ideas that will get your kids excited. But sometimes, thinking of those new ideas can be so difficult.

As a elf mom herself, I totally get how overwhelming it can be. I know that you’re always looking for those quick and easy ideas and last minute ideas, too. If you are looking specifically for last-minute elf ideas, then check out my post Elf Ideas – Last Minute Ideas for your Elf.

Don’t get frustrated this year trying to think of what to do next. Instead, use this list of elf ideas below to make an easy plan that way when December 1st (or the day after Thanksgiving, or whatever day your elf returns, you are ready for them.

This is seriously the ultimate Elf on the Shelf planning post. There are more than enough ideas to get you through the entire elf season.

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This image shows the first page of the Elf on the Shelf Cheat Sheet printable page that you can get for free at the end of this blog post. It has 94 elf on the shelf ideas for home included.

Plus, I have included the ultimate free Elf on the Shelf planning set. It comes with free printable notes, a blank ideas list, blank undated calendar, a printable list of ideas, and a template to create your own very simple printable notes.

So if you are here because you need some funny ideas, a cute idea, or an easy idea, check out this ultimate list of Elf on the Shelf ideas for the home below.

What is Supplies do you Need to Create these Elf Scenes?

It will depend on which of the elf antics you are choosing. Most of these ideas require little supplies and most of them are items that you probably already have laying around your house.

My Favorite Elf on the Shelf Supplies to Have on Hand

There are so many items that you can use with your elf. These are a few of my favorites that I make sure to always have on hand each year.

  • White cardstock
  • Candy canes
  • Marshmallows (both mini marshmallows and jumbo marshmallows)
  • Cotton balls
  • Toilet paper
  • Empty toilet paper roll
  • String
  • Chocolate chips
  • Dry erase marker
  • Children’s toys
  • Christmas decorations (Christmas stockings, Christmas trucks, trees, etc.)
  • Crayons and/or markers
  • Minis from Mini Brands
This image shows the Elf on the Shelf brainstorming page that you can get for free at the end of this blog post. It has 94 elf on the shelf ideas for home included.

The Ultimate Free Printable Elf on the Shelf Planning Set

At the end of this post, I have created the the ultimate free Elf on the Shelf planning set for you. The entire printable set is free. It comes with:

  • Ready to print notes seen in this post
  • Fillable PDF template to create your own printable notes
  • Blank elf planning calendar for November and December (Monday and Sunday Start)
  • Blank elf on the shelf planning list
  • Elf on the Shelf list of ideas
This image shows the Elf on the Shelf printable notes that you can get for free at the end of this blog post. It has It has 16 free notes included and a free customizable note set.
This image shows the Elf on the Shelf printable notes that you can get for free at the end of this blog post. It has It has 16 free notes included and a free customizable note set.
This image shows the Elf on the Shelf brainstorming page that you can get for free at the end of this blog post. It has 94 elf on the shelf ideas for home included.
This image shows the Elf on the Shelf planning calendar page that you can get for free at the end of this blog post. It has 94 elf on the shelf ideas for home included.
This image shows the Elf on the Shelf planning calendar page that you can get for free at the end of this blog post. It has 94 elf on the shelf ideas for home included.

94 Elf on the Shelf Ideas Cheat Sheet

As part of the free printable Elf on the Shelf planning set, you’ll get 94 elf on the shelf ideas for home.

This image shows the first page of the Elf on the Shelf Cheat Sheet printable page that you can get for free at the end of this blog post. It has 94 elf on the shelf ideas for home included.
This image shows the second page of the Elf on the Shelf Cheat Sheet printable page that you can get for free at the end of this blog post. It has 94 elf on the shelf ideas for home included.

MORE Elf on the Shelf Ideas and Free Printables

Looking for even MORE Christmas elf printables and ideas? Check out these posts for more.

Can I use these Ideas in the Classroom?

Of course! If you are a teacher, many of these ideas would work in a classroom as well. But, the focus of this post is for Elf ideas that you can do at home.

Things to Remember

When setting up your elf scenes, there are a few things to remember. Make sure…

  • your pets can’t reach your elves
  • your littlest children can’t reach your elves (this will REALLY upset your older children, as we found out with our child one time)
  • your elf can’t catch on fire in their set up
  • your lights are turned off if your elf is near a lightbulb – I’ve seen a LOT of melted elves
  • your elves are placed in an area that won’t inconvenience you all day. Only have one toilet? Don’t set your elf up on that one and only toilet. Need to cook a big dinner – don’t place your elf on the stove or in the oven
  • your elf isn’t getting ruined by your set up (think about the destruction water can cause, paint, markers, etc.)

Elf on the Shelf Ideas for the Home

Elf Bath Time

Use cotton balls or mini marshmallows to create a fake bathtub scene with faux bubble bath bubbles. You can place your elf in the sink, in a bowl, or even in a Tupperware container. Make sure if you put him in the sink that it’s not one you need to use all day. This free note is included in the free printable set at the end of this blog post.

This image shows an Elf on the Shelf taking a fake bath in a bowl with cotton balls and a rubber ducky. There is a sign that says aren’t baths so relaxing?! This is one of the many elf on the shelf ideas for home included in this post.

Chilly Elf in the Fridge

My kids thought this was such a funny idea. Place your elf in the fridge but make sure to place a little blanket wrapped around him. Place him in a spot that you won’t have to move him all day (when we did this, I made sure I didn’t serve cereal for breakfast).

This image shows an Elf on the Shelf dollar stuck in the fridge with a towel wrapped around him like a blanket. It’s one of many easy Elf on the Shelf ideas you can recreate at home.

Elves Playing Board Games, Video Games, and Cards

Setting up your elf to play a family board game is one of my favorite go-to easy ideas. All it takes is a board game that you already have in the home. It’s a great idea if you are running late and need a quick last minute elf set up.

Here is an example of our elves playing a game of Guess Who?

This image shows two elf on the shelf dolls playing a game of Guess Who? This is one of the many elf on the shelf ideas for home included in this post. Check out this list of over 50 Elf on the Shelf ideas for home. Including this fun Elf on the Shelf game of Guess Who. There are tons of easy ideas, funny ideas, last minute ideas, and more. Plus, you’ll get a set of free Elf on the Shelf planning printables. This includes a blank elf on the shelf calendar, list of elf on the shelf ideas, printable elf on the shelf notes, a fillable elf on the shelf note set, and more.

Next is my nieces’ elves playing a game of poker with some of their favorite stuffed animals.

This image shows an elf on the shelf playing a game of poker with four stuffed animals. This is one of the many elf on the shelf ideas for home included in this post.

In this next game, the elves have gone fishing. Let’s Go Fishing is seriously one of the best board games to use with the Elf on the Shelf dolls.

This image shows two elves playing a game a game of Let’s Go Fishing. This is one of the many elf on the shelf ideas for home included in this post.

This elf is playing a travel tic tac toe game. You could even simply draw a tic tac toe board on a piece of paper, too!

This image shows an elf on the shelf playing tic tac toe. This is one of the many elf on the shelf ideas for home included in this post.

These elves are ready to play a Mario Kart race on the Nintendo Switch. As seen here, this set of free elf printables includes a note that says, “Want to Play?” This note can be used with any of these game set ups.

In this image there are 2 elf on the shelf dolls holding Nintendo switch video game controllers. There is a note that says want to play? This is one of the many elf on the shelf ideas for home included in this post.

Bungee Cords, String, and Ropes

Bungee cords, string, and ropes are a great item to have on hand. Especially since they are items you probably already have laying around the house. You can use them in so many ways like hanging your elves from lights or use them to climb up a wall.

This image shows an elf on the shelf hanging by a bungee cord off of a light fixture. This is one of the many elf on the shelf ideas for home included in this post. Check out this list of over 50 Elf on the Shelf ideas for home including this elf hanging from a light by a bungee cord. There are tons of easy ideas, funny ideas, last minute ideas, and more. Plus, you’ll get a set of free Elf on the Shelf planning printables. This includes a blank elf on the shelf calendar, list of elf on the shelf ideas, printable elf on the shelf notes, a fillable elf on the shelf note set, and more.

Or, you could have your elf being extra daring by attaching a strong from one end of the room to another and have them go across the room on a candy cane zipline.

This image shows an elf on the shelf doll hanging from a candy cane across a rope like a zipline. This is one of the many elf on the shelf ideas for home included in this post.

What about having them sit on a ball? Then you can walk around all day singing “I came in like a wrecking ball.”

In this image, an elf on the shelf is sitting on a ball that is hanging from a light fixture. This is one of the many elf on the shelf ideas for home included in this post.

Using Light Fixtures, Ceiling Fans, and Christmas Lights

As you saw above, using light fixtures to propel from is a great option. You can use rope, string, or just have the elves hang upside down! Just make sure to keep the lights on on the light they are attached to so that you don’t burn your elf.

This image shows two elves hanging from a light fixture. This is one of the many elf on the shelf ideas for home included in this post.

Aside from just hanging there, you can also items to the lights that they can hang from like a toilet paper roll to create a swing like this.

In this image, an elf on the shelf is sitting on an empty toilet paper tube that is hanging from a light fixture. This is one of the many elf on the shelf ideas for home included in this post.

Or, you can hang a container from the light fixture for the elf or elves to go inside. I’ve seen this done to create a fake hot air balloon or in this case, just as a super quick simple way to set up your elf last minute.

This image shows 2 elves inside of a tin basket hanging by string from a light fixture. This is one of the many elf on the shelf ideas for home included in this post.

Here is the elf taking a ride on the ceiling fan. This is a fun idea when you’re running late and need a SUPER quick elf set up. Just make sure not to turn on the fan.

This image shows an elf on the shelf doll on a ceiling fan. This is one of the many elf on the shelf ideas for home included in this post.

Christmas lights are also a great option to hang elves from, wrap elves in, etc. The newer LED Christmas lights don’t get too hot so they are safe to put around an elf for shorts amount of time. If you are leaving the house, make sure to unplug the lights before leaving the elves wrapped in lights.

This image shows two elf on a shelf dolls hanging upside down off of a curtain rod with some Christmas lights strung across. This is one of the many elf on the shelf ideas for home included in this post.

Use Marshmallows or Small Candy (like M & Ms)

You can use mini marshmallows and regular size marshmallows to do all sorts of things. Here are some of my favorite options.

If you have more than one elf or some stuffed animal friends, you can make them an extra naughty elf by getting them into a snowball fight.

In this image, there are 2 elves with small metal containers of mini marshmallows. There is a sign that says snowball fight. This is one of the many elf on the shelf ideas for home included in this post.

Use a fake candle or a real candle (not lit of course) to make your elves pretend like they are roasting marshmallows. You can add chocolate and graham crackers to make it seem like your scout elves are making s’mores.

This image shows 2 elf on the shelf dolls pretending to be roasting mini marshmallows over an LED votive candle. This is one of the many elf on the shelf ideas for home included in this post.

Need to send a message to your kids? You can use mini marshmallows or candy (like m & ms) to spell out a message to them. They could spell out a child’s name or send out a message when your child hasn’t been on their best behavior lately.

There is an elf with the words be good spelled out with mini marshmallows. This is one of the many elf on the shelf ideas for home included in this post. Use mini marshmallows or small candy to write out special messages from the elves. Learn more tips and tricks with over 50 Elf on the Shelf ideas for home. There are tons of easy ideas, funny ideas, last minute ideas, and more. Plus, you’ll get a set of free Elf on the Shelf planning printables. This includes a blank elf on the shelf calendar, list of elf on the shelf ideas, printable elf on the shelf notes, a fillable elf on the shelf note set, and more.

Have your elves get in a workout with these little dumbbells made out of mini marshmallows and toothpicks. The elves are sitting on yoga mats created by a cut up paper towel.

This image shows elf on the shelf dolls pretending to work out with dumbells made out of toothpicks and mini marshmallows, This is one of the many elf on the shelf ideas for home included in this post. Use a unicorn, horse, elephant, etc. toy to create this magical elf on the shelf scene. This is one of the 50+ elf on the shelf ideas for home included in this round up. Plus, you’ll get a set of free Elf on the Shelf planning printables. This includes a blank elf on the shelf calendar, list of elf on the shelf ideas, printable elf on the shelf notes, a fillable elf on the shelf note set, and more.

Dry Erase Markers

Dry erase markers are one of my favorite items to have on hand when it’s elf on the shelf season. It’s one of the easiest ways to get creative with your elf without having to spend much money. Here are some of the many ideas you could use.

First, you could use the dry erase marker to write on the bathroom mirror. I like to write a message and draw a picture that they can become a part of.

All they have to do is stand in the right spot in front of the mirror and it looks like they are becoming whatever you’ve drawn. Here is an example of an elf body drawn on the mirror.

In this image, there is an elf on the shelf sitting on a shelf holding a dry erase marker. Above him is a mirror with lookin good! Written on it with an elf body drawn on the mirror, too. This is one of the many elf on the shelf ideas for home included in this post. This is one of the many elf on the shelf ideas for home included in this post.

This is a second idea of using the bathroom mirror. In this one, when the child is close enough to the mirror, their face will appear at the center of the sun.

In this image, there is an elf on the shelf sitting on a shelf holding a dry erase marker. Above him is a mirror with good morning sunshine! Written on it with a sun drawn on the mirror, too. This is one of the many elf on the shelf ideas for home included in this post.

This is one of the funniest uses of a dry erase marker. Take a framed family photo and draw mustaches and beards on all of the people in the picture. This is sure to get your children laughing.

This image shows a family picture with an elf on the shelf sitting next to it holding a dry erase marker. The family picture has mustaches and beards drawn on each person. This is one of the many elf on the shelf ideas for home included in this post.

Wrapping Paper

Since you’re already busy wrapping presents this time of year, might as well use the wrapping paper rolls and wrapping paper to create some hilarious elf antics.

Look at at this funny elf with its legs inside of the wrapping paper tubes. It makes it look like he has extra long legs.

There is an elf with each one of his legs stuck into a roll of wrapping paper. The wrapping paper is stuck inside a pair of men’s shoes. So it is like he is standing up and his legs are wrapping paper tubes. This is one of the many elf on the shelf ideas for home included in this post.

Let your elf get into the Christmas season by having them wrap a tiny present. In our example, our elf wasn’t so great and he got himself all stuck in the tape.

This image shows an elf on a shelf doll wrapping up a mini box in Christmas wrapping paper. This is one of the many elf on the shelf ideas for home included in this post.

Use your Kids’ Toys

Using your own kid’s toys is such a great way to save money with your elf on the shelf. You don’t need fancy elf on the shelf accessories when you’ve got a bunch of kids’ toys to use.

Plus, they’re one of the easiest ways to quickly set up an elf. I love to use toys last minute when I realize I forgot to move the elf before going up to bed.

This set up took less than a minute. All I had to do was find the toy, clean off a space on the counter, and set up the elf with the football and football goal.

In this image, an elf on the shelf doll is holding a mini toy football and sitting in front of a pretend mini football goal. This is one of the many elf on the shelf ideas for home included in this post.

Use a container and a little sign to “trap” a toy. This little dinosaur has trapped by the elf,

In this image, an elf doll is sitting next to a toy dinosaur trapped inside of a glass jar. The jar has a note on it that says help. This is one of the many elf on the shelf ideas for home included in this post.

Don’t forget about bath toys! Just make sure that you don’t need to use the bathtub or shower that you’ve set your elves up in or you’ll be in some trouble (and stinky because you won’t be able to take a bath).

In this image, there are 2 elf on a shelf dolls playing on a bath toy. This is one of the many elf on the shelf ideas for home included in this post.

Or use a toy animal for your elf to ride on. In this case, Rebecca from Rouse in the House, used a unicorn to travel through a magical Christmas forest. She’s a lucky elf to get to travel in such style.

This image shows an Elf on the Shelf doll riding a unicorn toy. She is surrounded by decorative trees and houses. This is one of the many elf on the shelf ideas for home included in this post. Use a unicorn, horse, elephant, etc. toy to create this magical elf on the shelf scene. This is one of the 50+ elf on the shelf ideas for home included in this round up. Plus, you’ll get a set of free Elf on the Shelf planning printables. This includes a blank elf on the shelf calendar, list of elf on the shelf ideas, printable elf on the shelf notes, a fillable elf on the shelf note set, and more.

Use Stuffed Animals and Dolls

Stuffed animals and dolls make great friends for the elves. In this example, you can see our elf is hidden among stuffed animals (ET style).

In this picture, there is an elf on the shelf doll hidden within a pile of stuffed animals. This is one of the many elf on the shelf ideas for home included in this post.

Use Miniatures

There have been so many amazing miniatures in the last few years. Even though they can cost a little bit of money, they can produce some detailed, exciting elf on the shelf scenes.

In this first scene, the elf is playing a game of skeeball. Doesn’t it look so much like the real thing? In this case, this is also a toy that our boys love to play so we saved money because we already had this.

This image shows an elf on the shelf doll playing with a miniature size skeeball toy. This is one of the many elf on the shelf ideas for home included in this post.

I found this set of miniature Uno cards in a party store as a party favor. They are seriously the most perfectly sized elf on the shelf cards.

This image shows 2 elf on the shelf dolls playing a game of uno. The cards are miniature in size. This is one of the many elf on the shelf ideas for home included in this post.

Use Toy Cars, Tractors, Trains, and other Vehicles

In our home, we are inundated with toy cars, trucks, tractors, trains, construction vehicles. If it has wheels, we have it.

One of my favorite ways to use the elf is to pair it with the train that goes around the tree. It always bring a bit of extra Christmas magic to see the elves circling around the Christmas tree on our train.

Using a vehicle is such a simple idea for an elf set up. It makes it great when you have an early morning the next morning and need to quickly get done your elf set up.

As you can see in each of the set ups below, there was minimal work done. All we had to do was put the elf or elves inside or on top of the vehicle.

In this image, an elf on the shelf doll is sitting inside of a mini Little Tikes red car. This is one of the many elf on the shelf ideas for home included in this post.

In this image, an elf on the shelf doll is sitting on top of a toy tractor. He is pulling a cart behind him with a second elf on the shelf in the cart. This is one of the many elf on the shelf ideas for home included in this post.
This image shows two elf on the shelf dolls inside of the back of a dump truck toy. This is one of the many elf on the shelf ideas for home included in this post.
This image shows an elf on the shelf doll riding on a toy mower. This is one of the many elf on the shelf ideas for home included in this post.

You can also use the toy cars in a more intricate way. Here is me using the toy cars to create a car wash.

By the way, you can get this note in the free elf on the shelf printable pack at the end of this blog post.

This image shows an elf pretending to wash a toy car. It has a free note sitting next to it that says free car wash! This is one of the many elf on the shelf ideas for home included in this post.

For this elf antic set up, I just took a lot of vehicles to create a monster truck scene. You could do this with multiple cars, trains, construction vehicles, etc.

This image shows 2 elf on a shelf dolls riding toy monster trucks driving over top of cars. This is one of the many elf on the shelf ideas for home included in this post.

Don’t forget about planes – this includes paper airplanes. Crafting with Two Kids made a paper airplane for their elves departure. Look how cute they look! You could use the plane for an arrival, departure, or any random day the elves are here.

This image shows 2 elf on the shelf dolls on a paper airplane that has landed in a Christmas tree. This is one of the many elf on the shelf ideas for home included in this post.

Have your Elf Participate in Sports, Hobbies, or Activities

You can use items that your child already has in the house or miniature versions of their favorite items to get your elf active. Here are some examples.

You can have your elf go bowling with miniature bowling.

In this image, there are 2 elf on the shelf dolls playing with a miniature bowling set. This is one of the many elf on the shelf ideas for home included in this post.

Or, you can use cups that have faces drawn on them to look like snowmen bowling pins.

In this image you can see the back of an elf on the shelf with a white fake snowball and some white styrofoam cups with snowman faces on them pretending to bowl. This is one of the many elf on the shelf ideas for home included in this post.

Your elf can even try to figure out how to play your child’s musical instrument.

In this image, an elf on the shelf doll is stuck inside of a trombone bell. This is one of the many elf on the shelf ideas for home included in this post.

Toilet Paper Can be Used in SO Many Ways

Toilet paper, when not scarce, can be a great, inexpensive addition to any elf on the shelf kit. You can use it in way more ways than you probably realize.

Here are we are using it to roll an elf down the stairs.

In this image, an elf on the shelf doll is rolling down the stairs stuck in a roll of toilet paper. A second elf is sitting higher up on the stairs holding the other end of the toilet paper. This is one of the many elf on the shelf ideas for home included in this post.

In this set up, we are using the toilet paper to create toilet paper snow angels. When I did this, I just had a second roll of toilet paper nearby for the kids to use so they wouldn’t disturb the elf.

In this image, an elf doll is sitting with a pair of scissors on a a bathroom floor next to a toilet paper roll that has been cut into like a paper snowflake. This is one of the many elf on the shelf ideas for home included in this post.

Using toilet paper to decorate trees is SUCH a fun idea.

In this image, 2 elf on the shelf dolls have toilet papered a Christmas tree. This is one of the many elf on the shelf ideas for home included in this post.

You can even use toilet paper to create a toilet paper hammock. You can drape the toilet paper from one high spot to another to place your elf in.

n this image, there are 2 elf on the shelf dolls that have wrapped toilet paper around a Christmas tree. One elf is hanging in the toilet paper like it’s a hammock. The other is hanging from a curtain rod upside down holding onto the paper. This is one of the many elf on the shelf ideas for home included in this post.

Toilet paper rolls also make really great snowmen. You can get this free printable “Do you want to build a snowman” note included in the free set at the end of this post.

This image shows an elf stuck into 2 stacked rolls of toilet paper. They both having some drawings on them to look like some eyes, a carrot nose, smile, and buttons. There is a note next to the toilet paper rolls that says Do You want to build a snowman? This is one of the many elf on the shelf ideas for home included in this post.

Use the Elves to Share Exciting News

I know people have used their elves to announce all sorts of fun and exciting news. People have their elves share they’re going on a trip (like to Disney World), a new pet, sibling, and more.

You can also use your elf to announce other fun activities that aren’t events. It could be something holiday related or a Christmas tradition like making Christmas cookies.

Here is our elves telling our kids they have a gingerbread house kit to use. This is one of the free notes you can get in this printable set.

This image shows an elf sitting with a gingerbread house kit. There is a note that reads Do you want to build a gingerbread house? Maybe I can live there! This is one of the many elf on the shelf ideas for home included in this post.

You could have your elves tell your children that you’re going to be having a Christmas cookie baking weekend or the day after you baked, they can leave a note about how they were trying to make their own Christmas cookies. Just use the free custom note template to write a note from your elves.

This image shows 2 elves pretending to bake cookies. There is a canister of flour out with the word flour on it. This is one of the many elf on the shelf ideas for home included in this post.

Make your Elf Get Creative – Coloring, Painting, Baking, Dancing, Crafting, etc.

You can have your elf do all sorts of creative activities with materials you already have on hand. It will save you money and they can be really fast to set up.

In this example, the elf colored a coloring book page (rather poorly I might add).

This image shows an elf on the shelf with crayons in his hand. Below that is a coloring book that has been scribbled all over. This is one of the many elf on the shelf ideas for home included in this post.

This elf got her hands on some stickers and went to town covering herself, her friend Anna, and the bananas in stickers.

In this image, an elf on the shelf doll is sitting on the counter with an Anna doll and a sheet of stickers. Both dolls are covered in stickers. This is one of the many elf on the shelf ideas for home included in this post.

Speaking of bananas, these elves used sharpie markers to turn their bananas into adorable Minions.

This image shows 2 elf on a shelf dolls holding Sharpe markers. Inbetween them are 2 bananas that have been drawn on to look like minions. This is one of the many elf on the shelf ideas for home included in this post.

In this example from my nieces’ elf, they asked them to get creative themselves and add some details to the picture of the Christmas tree.

In this image there is an elf on the shelf doll pictured with a Christmas tree drawing. He is sitting on a note where he is asking his child he watches over to draw various elements on the tree. This is one of the many elf on the shelf ideas for home included in this post.

Use Christmas Decorations you Already Own!

It doesn’t take much to use Christmas decor you already have to set up some elf on the shelf scenes. Here are three different ways I used my Christmas decor to set up a scene with my elf/elves.

This elf went for a tractor ride in a winter forest.

In this image, an elf on the shelf doll is riding in a decorative red tractor next to a mini decorative evergreen tree. This is one of the many elf on the shelf ideas for home included in this post.

These elves went for a wild sleigh ride down our banister. Be careful if you do this set up – I accidentally knocked our elves off the banister when I tossed something to my son on the stairs. Needless to say, I had some upset boys. You can see in a picture later on when they both have a cast on themselves.

This image has 2 elves on a decorative wooden sled pretending to sled down the stairwell. This is one of the many elf on the shelf ideas for home included in this post.

This was such a last minute, easy set up. This elf is just going for a ride on a truck decoration.

This image shows an elf on the elf doll sitting on a green truck Christmas decoration. This is one of the many elf on the shelf ideas for home included in this post.

Stockings are always a classic decoration to use with the elves. They are a great last-minute elf on the shelf idea.

In this image an elf is inside of a stocking. This is one of the many elf on the shelf ideas for home included in this post.

This set up took a lot more time and some more money. Ashley from Frugal Coupon Living had her elf put up her own, beautiful pink Christmas tree. Notice she put a tiara at the top!

This image is of a pink Christmas tree with a tiara at the top with an elf on the shelf doll holding onto the tiara. This is one of the many elf on the shelf ideas for home included in this post.

Target’s Bullseye Playground (formerly known as the dollar spot), has some GREAT elf on the shelf holiday decorations. Look how cute this little inexpensive snow globe looks like with the elf shoved inside!

In this image, there is an elf on the shelf doll stuck inside of a snow globe. This is one of the many elf on the shelf ideas for home included in this post.

Poop, Farts, and other Bathroom Humor

If I want to really make my boys laugh with our elves, I just have them set up in some sort of scenario involving poop, farts, or the bathroom.

Use this free printable note to have the elf on a shelf pretend your child’s toothbrush is their butt brush. Thankfully, we have extra toothbrushes from when we had just traveled, so our kids didn’t get out of brushing their teeth just because the elf was using their toothbrush. This one seriously got so many laughs.

This image shows an elf sitting on a tooth brush with a sign that reads I borrowed your butt brush. I hope you don’t mind! This is one of the many elf on the shelf ideas for home included in this post.

My husband didn’t love this idea as much as I did but the boys sure did. Use the free printable note to have your elf hide from their dad’s farts, too.

This image shows the elf on a shelf doll inside of a glass mason jar with the lid on it. There is a note that says Dad farted! I am hiding fro the smell. It’s safe in here! This is one of the many elf on the shelf ideas for home included in this post.

This super fast set up makes it look like the elf is pooping. Of course, in reality, it’s just chocolate chips.

This image shows an elf on the shelf sitting in a glass appearing to be pooping, but it is in reality it is chocolate chips. This is one of the many elf on the shelf ideas for home included in this post

Instead of elf poop, in this set up the chocolate chips are used as reindeer poop.

This image shows an elf on the shelf sitting next to a little silver container of chocolate chips. Next to that is a sign that says free reindeer poop! Enjoy! This is one of the many elf on the shelf ideas for home included in this post.

This free printable note and balloon make it appear as though the elf swallowed their gum and blew a bubble out of their butt.

This image shows an elf on the shelf with a balloon sticking out of his butt. There is a note that says, don’t swallow your gum! This is one of the many elf on the shelf ideas for home included in this post.

Using Food for the Elf Set Ups

As you saw above, food can really enhance an elf on the shelf set up. These ideas are really perfect elf on the shelf ideas for home because they involve food which can sometimes be tricky in a classroom setting.

This elf made snow angels out of flour. He could have also used powdered sugar, regular sugar, or salt. Honestly, I think salt would have been the cleanest option. Again, you can get this note in the free set at the end of this post.

In this image, an elf on the shelf doll is making snow angels in flour. This is one of the many elf on the shelf ideas for home included in this post.

Have your elf eat a mini version of whatever you are serving your children. For our elf’s very first arrival, we had a fancy breakfast. Our elf ate french toast just like my oldest son.

n this image, an elf on the shelf doll is sitting on a table. Next to him is a note that reads, “Hi Carl! I am so glad to be your elf. I can’t wait for Christmas! Love Ice Cream.” Sitting in front of him are 2 little pieces of French toast. This is one of the many elf on the shelf ideas for home included in this post.

Use gold fish or Swedish fish to make your elves go fishing!

This image shows two elf on a shelf dolls fishing in goldfish. They are holding tiny twigs with thread attached. The one elf has a gold fish at the end of his string. This is one of the many elf on the shelf ideas for home included in this post.

Use your elf to hide a special treat for your children. There is a free note you can grab to go with this idea, too.

This image shows an elf sitting with 5 red cups surrounding him. He has a note that says find the hidden treat! This is one of the many elf on the shelf ideas for home included in this post.

My nieces’ elf, Charlie, got herself a treat in this set up. Keeping the chocolate to just her face makes clean up a lot easier.

This image shows an elf on a shelf doll sitting in a candle holder covered in chocolate with a candy wrapper and a partially eaten piece of chocolate in his lap. This is one of the many elf on the shelf ideas for home included in this post.

This Worthey Life created this super fun DIY hot chocolate elf mug for the elf to enjoy a faux hot chocolate. You can see their tutorial here.

This image shoes an elf on the shelf doll drinking out of a fake miniature hot cocoa. This is one of the many elf on the shelf ideas for home included in this post.

Holiday themed sprinkles are a super easy thing to have your elf eat – especially since they are elf sized. These almost look like candy or cookies for our elf.

This image shows an elf eating some holiday themed sprinkles. This is one of the many elf on the shelf ideas for home included in this post.

Don’t forget about drinks. Our elves have enjoyed water, coffee, hot chocolate, soda, and juice.

In this image, an elf is pretending to drink out of a k-cup. This is one of the many elf on the shelf ideas for home included in this post.

Running late? Shove your elf into a cereal box and leave his legs sticking out. This is a quick yet really fun idea.

This image shows an elf on the shelf’s legs sticking out of a cereal box of Apple Jacks. This is one of the many elf on the shelf ideas for home included in this post.

Our injured elves got into the Little Debbie Christmas Tree Brownies. Our elves eat some sort of Little Debbie Christmas snack every year.

This image shows elf on a shelf dolls eating a brownie. This is one of the many elf on the shelf ideas for home included in this post.

This little Christmas elf is going to town on some chips. I like to do this with one of my boys favorite chips so they get extra annoyed with the elf.

In this image, an elf doll is sitting next to an open bag of chips. There are crumbs all over the table. This is one of the many elf on the shelf ideas for home included in this post.

Antics with Household Items

Use household items to create funny and creative elf scenes. Just make sure you don’t use the item in your every day routine or you’ll have some trouble.

Here the elves are just hanging out with the vacuums. When our boys were little, they loved vacuums so our elves loved them, too.

In this picture, there are 2 elf on the shelf dolls sitting on vacuums. This is one of the many elf on the shelf ideas for home included in this post.

Our creative elf used qtips to create a snowflake shape on the bathroom counter.

This image shows an elf on the shelf doll that has created a snowflake out of qtips This is one of the many elf on the shelf ideas for home included in this post.

Our elves decided to take our mixer for a spin… as a ride. I have even seen people do this and turn on the mixer (you can unplug it to get it to stop). We just left ours turned off and left the little note (which again, you can grab for free at the end of this post).

This image shows an elf inside of the whisk attachment on a kitchenmaid mixer. There is a second elf that appears to be pretending to turn on the mixer. There is a note that says look at this fun ride we found! This is one of the many elf on the shelf ideas for home included in this post.

Forgot to move your elf? Quickly throw them into the utensil drawer.

This image shows an elf on the shelf stuck inside of a utensil drawer. This is one of the many elf on the shelf ideas for home included in this post.

This elf antic REALLY got a great laugh. Our elf copied himself on my copier. The result is so much fun.

This image shows an elf on a shelf on a copier screen with the lid closed. In the printer tray there is a copy of the elf on a shelf printed on the paper. This is one of the many elf on the shelf ideas for home included in this post.

This poor elf got stuck in the fridge. We made sure to give him a towel to use as a blanket.

This image shows an Elf on the Shelf dollar stuck in the fridge with a towel wrapped around him like a blanket. It’s one of many easy Elf on the Shelf ideas you can recreate at home.

When we were out of town, the elves slept in our boys’ beds. You could have the elf sleep in your bed, the guest bed, an extra bunk bed, a blow up air mattress, or even their own tiny bed.

This image shows an elf on the shelf doll laying in a bed. This is one of the many elf on the shelf ideas for home included in this post.

Huge Disclaimer for this Idea

This is one of those set ups that needs a huge disclaimer. We were out of town during our elves visit. We took pictures before leaving and then had my Mother in Law send them to us when she went to check on the house.

Our boys were never home when the elves were on the oven AND they were only one to take one picture. I suggest if you want to do something similar, to do it how we did when the children won’t actually be home and you can just snap a quick picture.

In this image, an elf on the shelf doll is pretending to cook another elf on the shelf doll in a pot. This is one of the many elf on the shelf ideas for home included in this post.

Birthday Celebrations

Our son’s birthday falls during our elves’ visit. This means that each year, we have to celebrate his birthday in some way. We have done tons of different ideas but here are two of my favorites that were easy to do at home.

This first birthday scene was back when our youngest was obsessed with touching the elves. This meant that we had to always have them in this glass container or up super high. It made it a really fun place for our elves to have their own birthday party in honor of our son.

In this image, there is are 2 elf on the shelf dolls with some other small toys pretending to have a birthday party. Behind them is a mini Happy birthday banner, And they are wearing party hats. This is one of the many elf on the shelf ideas for home included in this post.

This was probably my favorite birthday set up. I bought a piñata, mini sombreros, and the balloon at Walmart. I filled the piñata with candy and made it easy for my son to reach even with the elves there.

This image shows two elves wearing sombreros holding sticks and a mini piñata with a number 9 balloon. This is one of the many elf on the shelf ideas for home included in this post.

Sick Elf

Sometimes, elves may get a little under the weather. This is a great option if you know you’ll be busy and can’t move your elf the next day. Use the free printable sick note to let your kids know why your elf won’t be moving.

This image shows an elf on the shelf doll laying in a Tupperware container bed eating a throat relief pop, with medicine on him, and fake mini tissues surrounding him. The note says Oh No! I am not feeling so well. The elf doctor at the North Pole said I need to rest for 2 days. I’ll be back to my old elf self soon! This is one of the many elf on the shelf ideas for home included in this post.

My niece accidentally touched her elf, Charlie. The next day she returned covered in bandaids.

In this image, an elf on the shelf doll is covered in bandaids. This is one of the many elf on the shelf ideas for home included in this post.

Using Human Clothing, Shoes, and Accessories

There are so many things you can do with clothes, shoes, and accessories (hats, headbands, scarves, jewelry, etc).

Our elf looked great in our son’s clothes. We dressed both of our boys’ elves in their own rooms to wake up to the next day.

This image shows an elf on the shelf doll with its body stuck inside of a kid’s shirt. It is made to look like he is wearing the shirt and the jeans that are also pictured. This is one of the many elf on the shelf ideas for home included in this post.

The elves made a train out of the shoes and crocs in the house.

This image shows 2 elf on a shelf dolls in shoes that are lined up like a train. This is one of the many elf on the shelf ideas for home included in this post.

These elves invited some friends over for a sleepover using clean socks. Use the printable note to let your kid know what is happening. Without the note, I am not sure the kids would have understood what was happening. When they saw the note, they thought it was a great set up.

In this image, there are elf on the shelf dolls “sleeping” in socks with 2 stuffed animals also “sleeping” in socks. In the middle is one of the free printable notecards that says slumber party. This is one of the many elf on the shelf ideas for home included in this post.

Adding Goggly Eyes is ALWAYS Funny

Elves are really good at playing practical jokes. And there are a ton of funny ways you can set up your elf on the shelf dolls. And googly eyes instantly make anything funny. I always keep a stash of googly eyes to use with the elves each year.

I don’t have a picture, but one great idea is to have the elf put googly eyes on everything in the fridge or cabinet.

I loved when our elf tried to bring back a snowman and ended up with a melted snowman (aka water, a carrot nose, twigs, and 2 goggly eyes). Get this free printable note at the end of this post.

This image shows an elf on a shelf with a note that says I tried to make a snowman but he didn’t make it. Next to him is a glass of water with two twigs, 2 googly eyes, and 1 baby carrot. This is one of the many elf on the shelf ideas for home included in this post.

For this prank, our elves put googly eyes on our family photo. I used double sided tape to put on the eyes. Make sure none of the eyes slip after you get them on – you’ll notice my husband has one wonky eyeball.

This image shows a family photo with googly eyes placed on where each person’s eyes are located. The elf on a shelf is sitting next to the picture with some googly eyes spread around. This is one of the many elf on the shelf ideas for home included in this post.

Reading, Writing, and Learning

When it comes to learning, your elf can get set up in a lot of scenarios. You can use free printables like word searches, bingo, or this Christmas Secret Code printable from Spot of Tea Designs.

In this image, there is an elf on the shelf shown with a Christmas secret code printable. This is one of the many elf on the shelf ideas for home included in this post.

Grab a book for a super easy set up with your elves. In this example, they are reading The Night Before Christmas.

This image has 2 elf on the shelf dolls reading the Night Before Christmas. This is one of the many elf on the shelf ideas for home included in this post.

Creative Alternate Uses for Items

When you are out and about, don’t forget to look at things from the perspective of how you can use it with your elf. You’ll be shocked at the number of things you can use for your elf.

Like this gift card holder from Home Depot. It is perfectly elf sized and made a great elf set up with just a toy tool.

This image shows an elf on the shelf with a little Home Depot apron and toy wrench. This is one of the many elf on the shelf ideas for home included in this post.
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In the middle the image says 50+ elf on the shelf ideas for home. Above and below are 4 ideas for elf on the shelf set ups of the 94 ideas included in this post.