Easy elf on the shelf ideas, free printables and 24 day planner

50 Easy Elf on the Shelf ideas – 24 Day Planner with FREE printables

Welcome to 50 Easy Elf on the Shelf ideas, a 24 day planner including FREE ELF PRINTABLES to download to make the Christmas elves as easy as possible. I have compiled a list of 50 easy Elf on the Shelf ideas that are super easy and simple to set up that don’t require lots props to purchase. I have also included a FREE Elf on the Shelf arrival poem to download and print, along with 24 fun message cards and an Elf goodbye letter and an elfie selfie frame. I hope you find these useful. I’ve also included lots of fun and unusual elf on the shelf ideas for 2023. Check out our Festive days out in Essex.

AD | I have been or could be compensated if you click on a link in this post via a cash payment, gift or something else of value for writing this post. See our full disclosure policy and privacy policy for more details.

What's in this post? Click Here...

Your ultimate guide to 50 Unusual and Easy Elf on the Shelf Ideas for 2023 with 24 day elf on the shelf planner, FREE elf printables, arrival letter, elf message cards and elf good bye letter.

Please note this post contains affiliate links, which means we may receive a small commission if you click a link and purchase something that we have recommended but at no extra cost to you.

We use a wipe clean elf messages board that are really useful to jot down little messages and worth investing in for a couple of pounds. I have also supplied a free download for our elf message cards. A great elf on the shelf prop to use that includes fun jokes and messages from the elves.

Day 1 Elf Arrival

Day 1 is Elf on the Shelf arrival day, you can go as elaborate as you wish, whether you choose a North Pole Breakfast or your elves arriving in a hot air balloon. I have made this easy for you, here is a free Elf on the Shelf poem for your elf arrival. Just download and print at home.

Elf arrival letter free printable
north pole breakfast for elf arrival on 1st december

Day 2 Elf story time

Elves love to read, set up your elves reading among their toy friends.

christmas elves reading a story book with their friends

Day 3 Spell out your child’s name in cereal

Why not spell out your child’s name or your elf’s name in cereal.

elf on the shelf writing name in cereal

Day 4 Write funny messages on toilet roll

Write silly messages or Christmas song titles onto your toilet rolls with a coloured pen. Here are some ideas:

All I want for Xmas is POO!

Have yourself a POOPY little Xmas!

Rocking around the Xmas PEE!

Jingle bells, your POO smells!

Have yourself a merry PIDDLE Xmas!

Let it go! Let it go!

elf on the shelf unusual idea writing funny messages on toilet rolls

Day 5 Build a lego frame

Build a frame out of Lego or Duplo bricks and place your elves inside.

elf on the shelf built a lego christmas frame

Day 6 Have an elf snowball fight

https://amzn.to/44OgD6LHave an elf snowball fight. Many shops do sell mini snowballs, or you could use white Pom poms, but if you are really stuck then you could always roll up toilet paper into balls. Maybe even add to it and draw some targets onto card.

elf on the shelf snowball fight with white pom poms

Day 7 Draw an elfie or photocopy your elves

Draw an ‘Elfie’, just draw a rough sketch of your elf, it doesn’t have to be perfect, just as if he’s drawn it himself. For a fun alternative you can photocopy your elves if you have a printer at home.

easy elf on the shelf ideas, elves photocopying theirselves

Day 8 Decorate with Foil Bows

Use foil Christmas bows and have fun sticking them anywhere and everywhere.

Elves with christmas bows

Day 9 Elf Snow angels

Make snow angel shapes with your elves by sprinkling round the edge with flour or fake snow.

easy elf on the shelf making snow angels in fake snow

Day 10 Elf playing with your child’s toys

Set up your child’s favourite toys to play with the elves, whether its a train track, dolls, action figures or playing a board game.

Elf on the shelf easy ideas play with toys, train track

Day 11 Candy Cane hunt

Hide candy canes for your children to find. If you download my free elf message cards you have one for this, so your child knows to look for the candy canes.

Candy cane hunt, elf ideas 2022

Day 12 Elf hot chocolate

Enjoy a nice hot chocolate, whether you set up your elves with a mug and some hot chocolate powder, hot chocolate stirrer, hot chocolate bomb or a full on Hot Chocolate station is up to you

Elf on the shelf hot chocolate station
hot chocolate elf on the shelf idea

Day 13 Hide the elves in children’s shoes or school bag

You could hide the elves in your children’s shoes or school bag, ready to stowaway to school.

Day 14 Wrap the tree in toilet paper

Wrap the Christmas tree in toilet roll.

Elf on the shelf wrapping christmas tree in toilet paper

Day 15 Elves bring a sweet treat

Leave out a sweet treat, maybe a ginger bread man, chocolate Yule log or christmas treat. I have included a card for this in my free Elf on the Shelf message card download.

Day 16 Make a christmas scrapbook

Set up a Christmas craft. We like to do a little Christmas scrapbook, so I print out some pics of the elves and supply some elf on the shelf stickers or washi tape and let the kids get creative, sticking onto paper or an album or notebook.

elf scrapbook
Elf on the shelf scrapbook idea

Day 17 Elves make paper snow flakes

Make paper chains or snowflakes to hang or stick to the windows. Here’s handy instructions for paper snowflakes.

Day 18 Watch an elf movie

Watch a Christmas movie. Elf is our family favourite movie. Grab some popcorn boxes and snacks and snuggle down to enjoy a movie with the kids.

Elf on the shelf movie night

Day 19 Elf Treasure hunt

Set up a fun treasure hunt. You can find tonnes of elf treasure hunts to download on pinterest.

Day 20 Wrap the elves in Christmas wrapping paper

Wrap up the elves in christmas wrapping paper.

Day 21 Hide the elves in the Christmas tree

Hide your cheeky elves in the tree.

Day 22 Elves eat Christmas chocolate

Eat some Christmas sweets or chocolates and leave out all the wrappers with the elves. You could always rub some melted chocolate on the elves faces to make them look even naughtier.

Day 23 Elves decorate with elf tape and make a mess

Make a mess, decorate your lounge with elf tape and banner.

Day 24 Elves bring a Christmas eve box

The elves final day before they have to leave. Our elves bring our Christmas Eve Box on this day. I also have a free elf farewell letter printable for you to download.

Below are tonnes of easy and unusual elf on the shelf ideas that you can swap out for any of the days above:

25 Do you want to build a snowman

Build a snowman kit and use toilet rolls with some card stuck on to create your own very simple snowman.

do you want to build a snowman elf on the shelf unusual idea
Do you want to build a snowman?

26 Elf Tea Party

Set up a super cute mini tea set with your elves and their friends.

elf on the shelf tea party
Elf Tea Party

27 Elf toasting marshmallows

We used mini marshmallows popped onto skewers toasted over a tealight. I created the tent just using a folded piece of card.

Elf on the shelf Toasting marshmallows over a tealight
Toasting marshmallows over a tealight

28 Post it note Christmas tree

Ah post it notes are a great idea to make any shape, I made ours into a tree shape!

post it note christmas tree, elf on the shelf easy idea
Make a post it note christmas tree

29 Elves hiding in a Pringles tube

elf hiding in a pringles can
Hide your elves in a Pringles can, cut out a hole for their face

30 Elves throw a party with balloons

elf balloon party
Elf Balloon Party

31 Egg magic trick

kinder egg elf on the shelf trick
Leave this out one night…
kinder egg elf on the shelf trick
and the following morning, the magic worked

32 Elf theatre made from a box

unusual elf on the shelf idea, make a box theatre
Make an elf theatre from a box

33 Elves with Googly eyes

Googly eyes are a really simple and easy elf on the shelf idea… you can stick them all over to create funny faces, including fruit and household items!

Googly eyes on your elves
stick googly eyes everywhere

34 Chocolate hunt

Who doesn’t love a treasure hunt rewarded with some chocolate?!

Hide 10 chocolates for your elf on the shelf
Hide 10 chocolates

35 Elf sleepover

If you can get your hands on an elf sleeping bag… create a fun sleepover for your elves and friends.

Elf on the shelf sleep over
Elf on the shelf sleep over

36 Elf Bowling

Have some bowling fun with a mini ten pin bowling set.

Elf Bowling
Elf on the shelf bowling

37 Stuff pyjamas with cuddly toys

Fill a pair of pyjamas with stuffed toys, elf on the shelf idea
Fill a pair of pyjamas with stuffed toys

38 Elf Bath time

Bath time with the elves and christmas bath bomb
Set up bath time with the elves and a bath bomb

39 Decorate a gingerbread house

Decorate a gingerbread house together.

Decorate a gingerbread house with your elves
Decorate a gingerbread house with your elves

40 Write Santa a letter

Ask your child to write a letter to Santa, these mini post boxes are such a great idea.

Write a letter to Santa, elf on the shelf easy ideas 2022
Write a letter to Santa

41 Wrap a treat in wool

wrap a surprise like a kinder egg or a chocolate in lots of wool
wrap a surprise like a kinder egg or a chocolate in lots of wool

42 Elves hiding in Christmas coffee cups

We popped along to a local coffee shop and just asked for some of their christmas paper cups, so a great free and cheap elf on the shelf idea.

elves in coffee cups
hiding in christmas coffee cups

43 Hide Chocolate Coins

Hide lots of Chocolate coins to create a fun chocolate hunt.

Chocolate coin hunt
Chocolate coin hunt

44 Elves bring a gift

Kids will have lots of fun filling in an elf activity book.

Christmas colouring book elf on the shelf idea
Elf on the shelf activity book

45 Light up the elves like fireflies

Use a large glass jar or a vase filled with mini string lights and the elves.

Hide the elves in a vase with lights like fireflies
Hide the elves in a vase with lights like fireflies

46 Cracking Christmas Crackers

have a cracking Christmas crackers
Have a cracking Christmas with crackers

47 Squirt some ketchup in the kitchen, scatter some cereal or flour on the floor

48 Pipe Cleaner Christmas Tree or these Christmas tree kits are a great idea and mess free.

Packs of pipe cleaners can lead to endless craft possibilities for kids to use their imaginations.

Easy elf on the shelf ideas
Pip cleaner christmas tree elf on the shelf idea
Pipe Cleaner Christmas Tree

49 Elves do a cat walk and strike a pose

Set up a cat walk with your elves using some toy accessories. We borrowed the LOL dolls fashion accessories.

elf on the shelf we lol dolls

50 Elves play dress up

I bought some elf costumes and then a rudolph light up nose and antlers set.

Elf fancy dress

51 Elfie Selfie Station.

I made an elfie selfe station, there is a free printable included below and some christmas selfie photo props.

52 Spell out a name in toilet paper

Super quick and easy idea using sheets of toilet paper to spell out your child’s name or a silly word.

quick diy elf on the shelf idea with toilet paper

53 Turn your elves into Nutcrackers

Cut little moustaches and stick them on your elves to create a Nutcracker parade.

Free Elf on the Shelf printable downloads.

elf on the shelf free printables download
download christmas elves files

Please note that all these printable downloads are copyright of www.littlemissedenrose.com. Please do not offer for download or sell.

If you need a letter from Santa or a nice list certificate, The Little Big Design Co make these gorgeous luxury personalised versions with a gold foil seal.

luxury christmas letter from santa, nice list certificate and personalised emvelopes

Pin me for later:

50 easy elf on the shelf ideas for 2023
Easy elf on the shelf ideas, free printable downloads, arrival poem, message cards and goodbye elf letter
Elf on the shelf easy ideas and free printables

Thank you for reading ‘Easy Elf on the Shelf ideas – 24 day plan with free printables.’

Similar Posts


  1. This is a great idea for a planner! I love the printables too!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.