The holidays are upon us which can mean only one thing. Your tricky Elf on the Shelf will be making his (or her) return very soon. If you’re like our elf, you like to plan ahead, so you aren’t frantically searching the internet at 10 pm for tricks. Another obstacle is coming up with new tricks, but don’t worry! We’ve scoured the internet for you, finding some of the funniest, and silliest elf tricks, games and the best Elf on the Shelf printables around. We hope these will help your elf to make this holiday season the best one yet.
Elf on the Shelf Tricks
Save this one from @advent.elf on Instagram for when you are in a pinch. You can use a tablet or hardcover book as a tent.
Grab a big package of colored pom-poms or gum balls and place them in a bowl with your elf and a little sign labeled “Elf Ball Pit”. Super colorful, fun and easy. Here’s a free printable if you need it!
Got Goldfish crackers? Then you’ve got a night of elf on the shelf checked off! Fill your bathroom sink with some goldfish and make a fish rod out of a stir stick, pipe cleaner, straw–whatever you have–and some string. Make sure to tie a goldfish on one the end of the string….fish on! Or you can try ice-fishing if you live somewhere where it snows!
Grab a bowl of chocolate covered raisins, chocolate chips or coco puffs and put out some free reindeer poop. This one will surely make the kids giggle.
I love a good pun, and this one is no exception. You’ll need a bag of frozen peas, your children’s underwear and your “punny” Elf on the Shelf to make this hilarious trick come to life.
Plan for Tacos for dinner (or breakfast) and the night before and wrap your Elf in a tortilla!
Take some pictures with these adorable free printable cut-outs!
Disney-inspired Elf on the Shelf Printables
If you are like me and are missing some Disney magic because of COVID, you’ll want to incorporate a few of these Disney-inspired Elf on the Shelf ideas this year.
- Olaf and his Snowgies-All you need for this one is a stuffed Olaf, a box of tissue, and some marshmallows. If you want to be able to eat the marshmallows, be sure to use a food marker.
- Style your Elf with Mickey Ears of his own and set him up with your Mickey and Minnie Plushies or favorite Mickey Mouse books. You can easily make your own with some black felt or cardstock and a paper-clip or, Etsy has some adorable ones that you can order ahead of time (so cute!).
- Aladdin Flying Carpet Ride– Grab a dollhouse rug or fabric coaster and some fishing wire and hang your Elf on the Shelf from a ceiling fan or light fixture–He’ll be on his very own magic carpet ride, just like Aladdin.
- Frozen (literally) Elf with Elsa– Freeze your Elf in a cup with water overnight and set him up to look like the Ice Queen used her powers on him.
- Have your elf dress-up like COCO with this mask and guitar!
Elf on the Shelf Printables and Games
- Who’s up for a little Pin the Nose on Rudolph? You’ll need your elf, a blindfold for him and you, red dot stickers and this rudolph printable.
- Your Elf on the Shelf and his Barbie or superhero pals will have a great time playing Twister together with this free printable.
- If your kids love to color, you can print off this coloring page, add some new crayons or markers (brought by your elf of course) and check another night off of your list!
- Another great printable activity pack from Artsy Fartsy Mama. with Elf on the Shelf bingo, word search, and a maze.
- Print these Elf on the Shelf hats and add them to your family pictures around the house for a funny trick one night.
- My kids LOVE scavenger hunts, and when the Elf on the Shelf brings one, it’s even better. Try this one!
- These Elf Acts of Kindness printables are a great way to change things up and embrace the spirit of the holidays! I love having the elf bring these early in December so we have time to do as many as possible.
- If the Elf on the Shelf is new to your home, you’ll want to have an Elf Naming Party. Check out our fun lists of boy and girl elf names here!
Elf on the Shelf Printables for Arrival and Departure
- We love this arrival letter which asks the kids to donate their toys, from coupons are great.
- This sweet Christmas Contract from A Little Moore is a great reminder for kids about what the Elf represents, and what the holiday season is all about.
- I donut know about you, but I love the idea of the Elf returning on December 1st with DONUTS! I mean, who doesn’t get excited about donuts? Grab this free printable from I think we could be friends. Or you can send your Elf back to the North Pole and he can leave donuts and this farewell letter behind.
- Here are some Adorable Arrival Ideas for your Elf.
- Check out all of our Goodbye Letters from your Elf on the Shelf here.
Whether it’s your first year, or your eighth year doing Elf on the Shelf with your family, we hope these Elf on the Shelf printables bring you much joy this holiday season!