It’s that time of year again! 🎅🏼 All the elves are making their way back from the North Pole and all the moms out there are doing their best to come up with new, fun ideas so that the kiddos squeak and squeal when they wake up to Dash or Sparkles or Buddy (or whatever your elf’s name is) in a bubble bath of marshmallows. 🛁
Though the elf tradition does bring holiday cheer to the home, we know what it’s like to wake up frantically at 2am because you forgot to move the elf… AGAIN.
If the only creative idea you can come up with is to hang him from the chandelier or put him in the Christmas tree for the fifth time, this post is for you! 🎄
First things first, let’s start with a few tips:
- Combine Advent + Elf on the Shelf
- If you do the 25 days of Christmas Advent calendar of activities and events in your house, combine the two. You’ll kill two birds with one stone and it’ll make your life much easier! Combining the two also sparks creativity with what to do with your elf each day. For example, if one day you’re baking cookies, it makes sense to put the elf with the baking ingredients.
- Stock up on the 4 main food groups of elves: candy, candy canes, candy corn and syrup! 🍬🍭
- Thanks to Buddy the Elf, we could never forget an elf’s favorite food. But seriously, having these items on hand will help you accomplish almost anything you find on Pinterest. Here’s what we like to grab at the beginning of Elf on the Shelf season: candy canes, marshmallows (various sizes), mini chocolate chips, powdered sugar, gum drops or gum balls.
- Hit up Hobby Lobby
- Nothing is more annoying when you need a strand of red ribbon at 10pm on a Sunday night and you’re completely out. After you grab your pantry staples, make a trip to Hobby Lobby for your holiday ribbon, extra hot glue sticks (yes, it will peel off of the elf) and My Little Christmas accessories. Our top picks this year: Mini Christmas Party Hats, Mini Tool Ornaments and Light Bulb Mini Garland.
- PLAN AHEAD
- Although this is obvious, we can’t stress enough how important it is to plan ahead. Sit down and list out every single day that you need to move the elf and go ahead and write exactly what you’re going to do. This will minimize the last minute Pinterest searching and allow you to actually enjoy the tradition with your kids!
And now on to some fresh Elf on the Shelf ideas for you:
When your elf makes his or her return, have them bring a small gift to the kids! This can be something like new holiday socks or pajamas, a snack or a holiday book – something that you’re already planning on giving to your kids before Christmas anyways! 🎁
The classic marshmallow bubble bath! Honestly the options are endless with marshamallows, but this one is a crowd favorite. Add a shower cap and paper rubber duck and you’re golden.
The sneaky elf got into the craft closet and is all tied up in moms washi tape. This one is sure to get some giggles! Pro Tip: you can get away with leaving this one for a day or two – the washi tape is just so strong, the elf can’t get down!
If the elf is sticking around for a whole month, you betcha he has some chores to cover. Put Mr. Elf on laundry duty (I mean you’ve gotta fold the clothes anyway!)
As mentioned earlier, if you have a planned holiday baking day, it only makes sense that the elf gets into the ingredients. These are even more fun when you leave him in the fridge or pantry instead of making a mess on your counter – he’s just a sneaky guy!
Are you heading out on a weekend or day trip? Of course your elf has to tag along for the ride to make sure everyone behaves. Put him on the rearview mirror and you’ve got yourself a day (or two or three!)
Does your elf write notes? If not, he or she totally should! This is another easy way to combine the advent calendar.
The kids go crazy when the elf steals their favorite stuffed animal or toy! You can totally get away with hiding your elf in the Christmas tree if he has something else accompanying him.
Uh oh! The elf drank too much syrup and got a little crazy last night. He’s stuck to the ceiling fan and it mighttttt take him a while to get down 🤣
We hope this post helps you plan your Elf on the Shelf this year and sparks some creativity when it’s time to move your elf. It can be a really fun tradition when you’re planned and prepared! Be on the lookout for more holiday posts, including Christmas Advent ideas, and share this post to help your mama friends out.