5 Unique Elf on the Shelf Ideas – Beyond Where to Hide Them

I’m not too creative when it comes to our Elf on the Shelf. Normally, when I wake up in the morning it hits me like a ton of bricks…I FORGOT TO HIDE THE ELF! I go running down the stairs, half asleep, to quickly grab Buddy (our Elf) and sit him in the first place I see.

Now that Big A is 7, I’m not sure how long it will be before he starts to figure it out. The other day we were walking up to the Hallmark store and bam! Right there in the window was a ton of boxes with the Elf on the Shelf . He went over to them, peeked in, turned to me and said, “Mom is that the real Elf in there?” I had to think fast and told him it was for boys and girls who didn’t have an Elf yet.

Thanks Hallmark for making me think quickly on my toes!

But every morning he runs as fast as he can down the stairs to find Buddy. So while he may not believe next year, I’m going to soak it up this year. I’m not trying to keep up with everyone else, but I decided to get a bit more creative and make it fun for both boys. Like I said, this may be the last year my oldest believes in Buddy.

Below are a few unique ideas that I’ve done over the years and ones that I’m adding this year. 

1. When Buddy arrived this year, he brought a letter with him that told my boys how much he missed them. It also included a few accomplishments the boys made this year (to show that Buddy was watching) and a message from Santa. I’ll have Buddy from time-to-time leave little letters for the boys and another one on the day he leaves.

Elf on the Shelf brings letters

2. If you have kids, you probably have a TON of rainbow loom rubber bands and accessories laying around. My oldest loves making them and this year he made one for Buddy. It was so cute and tiny and of course red and white to match his outfit. When the boys were at school and I left to do errands, Buddy put on his bracelet. You should have seen Big A’s eyes when he realized that Buddy was wearing it. And Buddy returned with a message from Santa, who wants one too!

elf on the shelf with rainbow loom

3. For the past few years, Buddy has remained dressed in his plain old boring elf attire but not this year. I ordered the limited edition Star Wars pajamas (with a light saber) and superhero kit from Elf Outfitters.  Did you hear my boys SCREAM when they saw Buddy all dressed up? “Mom he has a light saber!!!” Yes, this was probably the highlight of Buddy’s return this year.

elf clothes

Buddy swinging from the chandelier in his new pj’s:

Star Wars Pjs for Elf on the Shelf

4. This is something new this year but we are keeping an Elf on the Shelf journal thanks to my friend Steph. This is a brilliant idea and would be fun for the boys to look back on each year. Plus, it gets the boys writing!

5. On Buddy’s last night, he always leaves a present next to the boys while they sleep. They are already talking about what Buddy is going to leave them this year. A few past gifts Buddy left were Angry Bird pillows, Superman blankets, Angry Bird stuffed animals, and Star Wars slippers. It’s usually something cuddly, soft, and warm.

If you are looking for fun places to hide your elf, check out Stephanie’s blog, A Grande Life. She has an Elf on the Calendar with a ton of great ideas!

Do you have any unique ideas that you do with your Elf on the Shelf?

Meet Tina @ Life Without Pink

2013 Family Expert for P&G's Have You Tried This Yet? Trend Trio, Tina is a mom of two active boys and the founder of Life Without Pink, a mom's guide for raising boys. You’ll find everything from cool gadgets, trend reports, daily adventures, travel ideas to personal stories, and tips for parenting boys.


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