Are you looking for easy Elf on the Shelf hacks? Then you are in the right place!
Here are 20 Elf on the Shelf Hacks and Ideas for Kids including matching activities.
Let’s have a look!
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20 Easy Elf on the Shelf Hacks
Whether your Elf on the Shelf is visiting your classroom or at home. Here are a couple of easy Elf on the Shelf ideas that take less than 5 minutes to prepare and will help you with this year’s Elf on the Shelf adventure.
If you do not have an Elf yet let me give you an honest thought to consider. Once you have started with the Elf on the Shelf it is hard to break the tradition.
Your kids will love it for sure, mine are excited every year again.
But are you prepared for the Elf to move every night? It is definitely a task to take on after a long day with kids for sure.
Are you willing to make this commitment?
If your answer is YES you are in the right place! Here you will find easy hacks for your Elf on the Shelf that take less than 5 minutes to set up.
These Elf on the Shelf ideas can be easily done after a long day of work. So let’s have a look:
Elf on the Shelf Hack 1: Adopt an Elf on the Shelf
Of course, before you can start with this adorable Christmas tradition it is time to get your own Elf on the Shelf.
Order them here and then check our second hack for Elves on the Shelf:
Elf on the Shelf Hack 2: Know the Rules
As explained above after unpacking your elf it is time to read the book with your children, name your elf and get to know the rules.
It is important to know the rules and follow them so no accidents happen.
Here is a short summary of the Elf on the Shelf rules for you as a reminder:
- Don’t touch your Scout Elf or the magic will be gone.
- Elves on the Shelf can’t talk just listen.
- On Christmas Eve it is time to say goodbye to your Scout Elf. He will return to Santa.
Elf on the Shelf Hack 3: Plan Ahead of Time
Like preparing a meal plan for the week it helps to plan your Elf on the Shelf ideas ahead of time.
Social media can help you easily to find new Elf on the Shelf hiding spots.
Check out these printable Free Elf Ideas Planning Calendars.
Elf on the Shelf Hack 4: Set an Alarm Clock
Consider setting a reminder on your phone or an alarm clock.
This might seem over the top for you but it is a tip that sure works.
Moving the elf is forgotten pretty easily after a long day. So why not set a reminder or alarm to help you to remember?
You can set your reminder either early in the morning or late at night, whatever works best for you!
Elf on the Shelf Hack 5: Use Household Items
I know I showed you several Elf on the Shelf ideas on accessories above but you don’t have to spend a lot of money for your elf adventure.
Simply use household items and toys you have at home to create small stories for your elf to tell.
We have used toys such as action figures, soldiers, airplanes, cars, tractors, dinosaurs, and other animal toys.
When it comes to household items try toilet paper or kitchen paper rolls, a glass or cup, and flour, sprinkles, or chocolate.
Elf on the Shelf Hack 6: Download Elf on the Shelf Printables
Did you consider getting free printables for your Elf on the Shelf?
Instead of creating a time-intensive story for your Elf on the Shelf, you should consider getting some free printables for your journey.
Elf on the Shelf Printable Jokes
Your elf could be funny with some printable joke cards.
Here are some examples of elf jokes:
- What was the name of the girl elf on the shelf? Miss Chievous.
- What brand of cookies does the elf on the shelf like most? Keebler (made by elves with elfin magic)
- Why is the elf on the shelf’s favorite school subject? Spilling.
Read the full list of 135 Elf on the Shelf Jokes here and get your free printables with them.
Printable Elf on the Shelf Quotes
In case you prefer your Elf to be on the smart side, try one of these 60 Elf on the Shelf Quotes with printable quote cards.
Check out these examples:
- Go on and treat your-elf.
- Have a little elf-estem.
- I am putting this elf on the shelf.
- When you believe in your-elf, all will be well for sure.
Elf on the Shelf Hack 7: Write an Elf on the Shelf Letter
You will not believe it but Elf on the Shelf letters are a thing. Just because your Elf on the Shelf can not speak doesn’t mean he can’t communicate with you via letter.
Here is some blank Elf on the Shelf Letter Templates you can use for your letter from or even to the Elves.
They can also be used as:
- Elf on the Shelf Welcome Letter
- Letter to Santa
- Christmas Wishlist
- Goodbye Letter from Elf
Download your own Blank Elf on the Shelf Letter Templates here.
Elf on the Shelf Hack 8: Use Easy or Lazy Elf on the Shelf Ideas to Hide
Not every cool Elf on the Shelf idea must be difficult. Sometimes the easiest ideas are the best.
Take a look at the following Easy Elf on the Shelf Ideas from Finding Myself Young.
For Lazy Elf on the Shelf Ideas take a look here.
Our visual learners, go check out the following quick Elf on the Shelf ideas as well.
By the way if you are tired of moving your elf, you can always place them in a jar and place them in Elf Quarantine. That always works!
Elf on the Shelf Hack 9: Positioning Tips
When you adopt your elf it comes with sewed arms and mainly all he can do is sit or lean against something. Here are some popular tricks on how to bring and keep your Elf easily in position.
- Stick on Velcro or Magnets
- Use Paper Clips
- Attach Wires to His/Her Arms
Elf on the Shelf Hack 10: Use Elf on the Shelf Cloth
It does not always need to be a new position or other fun things to switch your Elf on the Shelf ideas up. Simply surprise your family with new Elf on the Shelf cloth.
Here are some fun Elf on the Shelf Cloth Ideas.
Elf on the Shelf Hack 11: Get an Elf on the Shelf Pet
Does your elf already have a pet?
There are three official Elf on the Shelf pets. A reindeer, fox, and dog. They will help you switch things up and create new ideas.
You can find them here:
Elf on the Shelf Hack 12: Prank Guide
Since it is easy to lose track of your Elf on the Shelf hacks and ideas, you might enjoy the following prank guide for Elf on Shelves.
It helps you to stay organized even when the time is short.
You will find your Free Printable Elf on the Shelf Prank Guide here.
Elf on the Shelf Hack 13: Elf Calendar
Similar to the Elf on the Shelf Prank Guide, you can also use this creative Elf on the Shelf Hack Calendar.
It has 25 fun ideas for your Elf on the Shelf to simply follow.
You can get your Free Printable Elf on the Shelf Guide here.
Elf on the Shelf Hack 14: Report Card
The Elf on the Shelf serves a special role in encouraging children to behave for Santa Claus. To make this experience even more engaging, consider using these charming Elf on the Shelf report cards.
They offer a delightful way to keep track of your children’s behavior alongside their mischievous elf friend.
Elf on the Shelf Hack 15: Challenges
Another way to keep your children excited and engaged with their Elf on the Shelves is to let them do challenges.
Here you can find 25 STEAM Challenge Ideas for kids and their elves.
Elf on the Shelf Hack 16: Use Bows & Wrapping Paper
Stefanie from StephanieCreatesBlank loves to hide her Elf on the Shelf with bows from the Dollar Store.
She suggests a tip: if the bows don’t come with tape, simply attach them yourself.
Elf on the Shelf Hack 17: Have an Excuse
Whatever you do, be prepared that you will need to have an excuse up your sleeves. Whether it is because your elf didn’t move or because the kids watched you move your elf.
Check out the following Excuses why you moved your elf from Finding Yourself Young.
My favorite excuse is by the way that the elf just landed in the same place again!
Elf on the Shelf Hack 18: Keep Calm
The most important rule of all is to keep calm, there is no need to stress. Your elf doesn’t need to do big things, they don’t need to be creative or look perfect.
Simply hiding the Elf will do it as well. You will see the kids will have fun just searching for your elf as well.
Keep Calm Your Elf on the Shelf Is Not Going Anywhere!Susanne from Lil Tigers
So take a deep breath and don’t let it get to you!
Elf on the Shelf Hack 19: Get Help
If all our Elf on the Shelf Ideas above doesn’t help, don’t panic.
Simply ask for help and ask family members to be your “elf helpers”.
Normally my husband is my elf helper but Everett from the Best Nest had a great idea:
“If you have older kids in the house, get them involved with setting up the elf for younger siblings.Everett Franchuk
Not only does it give you a break, they get a chance to be creative and do something fun during December even after they’re “too old” for Elf on the Shelf.”
More Elf on the Shelf Hacks
Easy Holiday Activities for Kids
Did you enjoy our easy hacks for your Elf on the Shelf? Your children will also enjoy our other winter and holiday activities during this cold but jolly season!
- 12 Days of Christmas Activities
- Free Printable Gingerbread Man Templates
- Gingerbread Man Quotes
- Gingerbread Man Jokes
- Penguin Card Template
- Snowglobe Printables
- Penguin Jokes
- Mitten Craft
- Winter Hat Art and Craft
- Snowman Luminaries
- Snowman Glitter Jar
- Cupcake Liner Ornaments
- Snowflake Crystal Ornaments
- Reindeer Templates
- Candy Cane Printouts
- December Crafts
- Winter Scavenger Hunt
- Christmas Tree Projects
- Winter Bingo
- Christmas Bingo
- Christmas Crafts
- New Years Game
- New Year Activities
- Free Printable New Year Bingo
- Saint Nicholas Day Wishes
- Winter Quotes
- Advent Sayings
- December Phrases
- Snow Quotes
- Penguin Quotes
- Star Sayings
- Thankful Phrases
- Gratitude Quotes
- Giving Slogans
- Christmas Wishes
- New Years Wishes
- Occasion Quotes
Elf on the Shelf FAQ’s
After enjoying these easy Elf on the Shelf hacks, you might be curious to know more about this cute tradition. Get answers to your questions in our Elf FAQs:
What Is an Elf on the Shelf?
The Elf on the Shelf is a Christmas tradition centered around Scout Elves who fly each night to the North Pole to report to Saint Nick if each child is naughty or nice.
With their Scout Elf around kids love to maintain their best behavior, to make sure to be on Santa’s nice list!
What Are the Rules for Elf on a Shelf?
There are three rules for the Elf on the Shelf your family should follow:
- Don’t touch your Scout Elf, or they will lose their magic!
- Your Elf can’t talk but they are great listeners. Your children can share secrets and wishes with their elves as often as they’d like.
- On Christmas Eve it is time to say goodbye to your Scout Elf. All elves will return to Santa to prepare for the next Christmas.
How Does the Elf on the Shelf Tradition Work?
Each Scout Elf arrives at home in a keepsake box set that features a storybook. This elf book explains how the Elf on the Shelf works.
- 1. Read the Story and Name your Elf
After your elf arrives at your home read the story to your children, then it is crucial that you name your own scout elf.
- 2. Follow the Rules
- 3. Let the Magic Begin
When Scout Elves return each night from the North Pole, they land in a different hiding spot in your home. The founder of the Elf on the Shelf refers to this as “elf ideas.”
Essentially, elf ideas are photos or instructions that inspire elves’ new landing spots or gimmicks. Let your creativity free range.
In case you need some easy ideas, go check out these Funny Elf on the Shelf Ideas.
These and more Elf on the Shelf facts and ideas can be found on the official Elf on the Shelf homepage.
Do Parents Move the Elf on the Shelf Yes or No?
Yes, the tradition of the Elf on the Shelf involves parents moving the elf.
The Elf on the Shelf is a popular holiday tradition in which parents place a small elf doll in different locations around the house each night during the holiday season.
The idea is that the elf is Santa’s scout and reports back to Santa each night about the children’s behavior. The fun for children comes from discovering where the elf is located each morning.
Parents typically move the elf after their children go to bed to create a sense of magic and excitement during the holiday season.
How Many Times Can You Touch an Elf on the Shelf?
According to the “Elf on the Shelf” tradition, it is generally advised that children do not touch the elf.
The story goes that if the elf is touched, it may lose its magic and be unable to fly back to the North Pole to report to Santa.
However, the specific “rules” for touching the elf can vary from family to family, and some families may choose to modify or ignore this aspect of the tradition.
Ultimately, the decision about how strictly to enforce the “no touching” rule is up to the parents or guardians implementing the tradition in their household.
Some families may encourage their children not to touch the elf at all, while others may be more lenient about it. It’s all in good fun and meant to enhance the holiday spirit for the children.
Easy Elf on the Shelf Hacks
Once you have set your mind and your family is adapting an Elf on the Shelf the most important thing to remember is to stay calm, don’t panic. There are a couple of Elf on the Shelf tricks you can follow to avoid stress:
- Keep Calm
- Plan ahead
- Use easy Ideas
Check out our list of 12 Easy Elf on the Shelf Hacks and Ideas everyone should know here.
What Are the Negatives of Elf on the Shelf?
While many families enjoy the Elf on the Shelf tradition, there are some criticisms and potential negatives associated with it.
Here are a few concerns that some people have raised:
- Stress for Parents
- Inequality in Participation
- Focus on Behavior Surveillance
- Disruption of Sleep
- Potential for Disappointment
It’s important to note that these concerns are subjective, and many families find the Elf on the Shelf tradition to be a delightful and enjoyable part of their holiday celebrations.
Whether or not to incorporate the Elf on the Shelf into your holiday traditions is a personal choice, and families can adapt the tradition to suit their values and preferences.
Elf on the Shelf Books and Toy
- The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition with Brown Eyed North Pole Pixie-elf with Bonus “An Elf Story” DVD
- The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition and Elf on The Shelf Hot Chocolate Gift Bundle – Original Scout Elf, Story Book and Cocoa
- The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition Brown Eyed North Pole Elf Boy with The Elf on a Shelf: Elf Pets A Reindeer Elf Pets Storybook
Pin Our Fast Elf on the Shelf Hacks
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Now I would like to hear from you!
Which idea for Elves on the Shelf did you like best? Do you have a better one?
Either way, let me know by leaving a comment below right now.
I would love to hear from you!