40 Magical Elf on the Shelf Ideas

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40 easy elf on the shelf ideas for busy parents. Have a magical holiday season with these creative and clever displays for your family's favorite elf.

An Elf on the Shelf is riding a toy dinosaur.

My friend Carey has the most awesome approach to festive fun with their family Elf on the Shelf.

Each year she shares with us a few of her favorite tips. Her ideas are some of the most creative and inspirational Elf activities I've ever seen, I'm thrilled that she agreed to share her best tips and tricks with us.

I know there are elf naysayers out there, but I think you'll find that Carey's approach is so wonderful because:

  1. She's Purely Positive: Her elf is not a reward or punishment for behavior in any way.
  2. Super Easy: Her tips are really easy even though her photos may make them look jaw dropping.
  3. Complete Instructions: She totally shares her how-to's. If you see a photo and have questions, please leave her a comment and she'll be happy to give more specifics!

With a little bit of planning, anyone could truly handle Carey's practices. I hope you enjoy the ideas as much as I do!

Be sure to check out all her best ideas below and get ready to have some fun!

40 Magical Elf on the Shelf Ideas

Need some new Elf on the Shelf ideas? Don't miss this ultimate guide to all the amazing elf scenes, tips, and supply lists for everything you need to get started.

40 easy elf on the shelf ideas


  1. I purchased one last year to use on my son that is 23 and lives at home. He works for the Air National Guard and I think it will be fun to have Elf doing something, or send him pictures of what elf has done while he was at work.

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