2 toy elves on a tree

12 Easy and Fun Elf on the Shelf Ideas with Design Bundles

2nd December 2020

Oh yes the elves are back, and I’m sure you’ve seen many of them on your social media feeds already!

This is the fifth year I’ve taken on the month-long task of elf on the shelf, and we now have a new addition to our elf family!

As you can see on my Instagram feed and stories, Snowflake & Chippy have been joined this year by Elvis. He self-isolated before his arrival to ensure he was virus-free, what a gent!

A toy elf inside a clear jar which says Elf in Isolation
Meet Our New Elf, Elvis

Apparently more than 14 million elves are living with children worldwide, so they have become quite the tradition.

I find that my ideas for these elves can get harder to create as the month goes on. By the end of the second week I’ve usually got sick of it as I’m struggling to think of anything else for them to do.

Thankfully Design Bundles have come to the rescue for me this year with 12 new, fun ideas to entertain my son after what’s been a terrible year.

They’ve kindly gifted me Elvis and some materials to do all 12 activities, including some gorgeous craft materials from small businesses across the UK.

Design Bundles is a digital design company that have a great range of printable templates (including free ones!), craft ideas and svg files. Their products are great for families, crafters, businesses and graphic design lovers.

12 Elf on the Shelf Ideas

1. Let’s Bake!

You will need:

Flour (handful)
Footprint stencil (we used one from Super Sweet Party)
Baking kit or ingredients (we used a kit from Craft and Crumb)
Christmas pot holder or storage container (we used a pot holder from Miaker Gifts)

3 toy elves sitting amongst flour footprints, baking boxes and a pot holder.

Elvis decided to do some baking, and even left a gift for your child to do some baking of their own!

To set up simply use a footprint stencil and flour to make footprints, then sit your elf on your ingredients/kit.

2. Dress Up!

You will need:

Small face mask (DIY or we used one from Cutey Face Masks)
Fabric squares/remnants
PVA glue

Toy elf with a face mask on and cape

Dress the elf in his face mask and scatter the fabric and glue around him with a note asking your child to make him an outfit to go with his new mask.

He could be in front of the mirror checking himself out!

3. Colouring

You will need:

Christmas colouring pages
Grown-up colouring page
Pack of pencils or pens

Have your elf attempting to colour a page, asking for your child to join in!

Perfect for a rainy day weekend to keep them occupied for an hour, and you can do it with them as relaxation for yourself too.

4. Christmas Cards

You will need:

A tiny card from the elf (handmade or we got ours from Big Dog and Co)
Card/Paper and envelope
Card decorations

Elf sitting on a christmas box with a mini card in his hand next to stationery card and decorations.

This one will encourage the kids to make their own cards, after they receive one from their elf.

It’s another great indoor activity that can keep them entertained creatively.

5. Decorating

You will need:

Handmade bauble (DIY or we got ours from Miriam Emerton)
Clear fillable bauble
Fake snow
Bauble filler

A toy elf in a Christmas tree next to a painted bauble. An empty bauble is in front of these.

Elvis has come with a decoration from the North Pole for your tree, as well as some materials to make your own decoration.

Place him on the tree with the new bauble and have the materials at the bottom of the tree.

The kids can create their own bauble which can feature snow, reindeer and anything else that will fit.

6. Scavenger Hunt

You will need:

A scavenger hunt list you have created yourself, or we used a printable template from Design Bundles
Christmas confetti (sequins, stars etc)

Toy elf sitting on a box with some confetti and a piece of paper

This is one of my favourites because it encourages my son to go outdoors!

Elvis is sat with the hunt print-out and confetti, ready to go out and explore.

The hunt can include things like finding Christmas lights, pine cones and even holly and ivy during a walk in your local area.

7. Letters to Santa

You will need:

A Father Christmas letter template (handmade or printable)
Christmas pen (we got ours from The Pensnickety Co)

Toy elf next to a letter to Santa template. He's holding a pen

This is one of the first activities I do, because free responses from places like The Royal Mail require the letters to be posted before 11 December this year.

Having a festive pen makes it more exciting for kids to want to write their nice messages or toy lists for Santa.

8. Window Displays

You will need:

Festive house window stickers (we used Scandi house stencils from Stickerscape)
Patterned paper

Toy elf sitting next to a window which features window stickers

This one encourages children to enjoy decorating their windows for passers-by to enjoy, spreading a little love!

Decorate a window with the stickers and have your elf sitting next to them as if he had put them up.

Leave some patterned paper and Blu-tack next to him so the kids can carry on with the window art themselves.

9. Gifting

You will need:

Small gift box filled with chocolates
Coloured card

Toy elf holding a mini gift box in front of a Christmas tree

Let the elf give the kids a gift, by making a tiny box and filling it with chocolate coins.

The coloured card can be for the kids to return the kind act by making something nice for a loved one. It could be a drawing, card, poem or even origami!

10. An Act of Kindness

You will need:

An act of kindness sheet (make your own or use a printable)

A toy elf sitting on a box with a sign saying you are amazing.

Encouraging children to spread kindness is so important during these tough times.

The elf has a sheet with ways to show kindness, like writing a letter to someone who lives alone or donating food to a food bank.

Elvis also has his own little positive message for the kids to show how it feels to receive kindness.

Get the children to pick an act of kindness to do that week and start spreading the love!

11. The Christmas Table

You will need:

A milk bottle for Santa (we used one from Phoenix and Bell)
Place mat
Black card
Shiny pen that writes on black card

A toy elf sitting on a dining table next to a milk bottle, pen and black card.

As the special day gets nearer, the elf can make their own little place mat and invite the kids to do the rest!

It’s as easy as cutting small rectangles from the black card, folding in half and then decorating one side with names and stickers.

The milk bottle is to use for Santa on Christmas Eve and they could even make Santa a place card!

12. Wrapping

You will need:

Small pot or tub
Bag of popcorn
Sheet of wrapping paper (we used some from Gemma Correll)
Christmas gift tag
Recyclable washi tape

Toy elf sitting on sofa with some popcorn next to gift wrap.

To get ready for the big day we usually wrap presents.

The elf wants the kids to wrap a gift and write a tag for somebody special, so he’s provided a tag and paper!

He also wants to enjoy a Christmas movie with them after and has the popcorn ready.

More Ideas?

For more ideas, check out my stories on Instagram or Facebook as I will be posting them throughout December.

Feel free to add more ideas in the comments below too.

Happy Elfing!

This is a collaborative post with Design Bundles. All opinions are honest and my own.


  • Emilie

    8th December 2020 at 4:59 pm

    Ahh, I love these ideas so much! I’ve only just been introduced to Elf on a Shelf but such a fun thing to do!

  • Emma Reed

    9th December 2020 at 11:17 am

    We don’t have an elf and it is mainly because I would forget but posts like these are so helpful!

  • Jean

    9th December 2020 at 8:29 pm

    This is absolutely brilliant! I especially love ‘dress up’ – that mask it too cute! Also the Christmas car, bauble and the scavenger hunt. Thanks for the tips!

  • Stephanie

    10th December 2020 at 6:35 pm

    Cute ideas and lots of thought put into them!

  • Melanie varey

    12th December 2020 at 6:55 am

    I am sure that parents everywhere will appreciate your ideas for the elf on the shelf. It’s so funny to hear what they get up to!

  • Mairead

    12th December 2020 at 7:03 am

    Such a good idea to have a planned list of what you’re going to do in advance, I would definitely run out of ideas!

  • How to make Christmas magical with fun build up ideas

    27th February 2021 at 1:16 pm

    […] some elves to help you feel festive. You don't have to do the elf on the shelf if like me you find that a bit too much hard work. If you love making your elf a little naughty but […]

Leave a comment

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.

Prev Post Next Post