86 Easy Elf on The Shelf Ideas You Can Recreate Last Minute

When the holiday season arrives in our homes, we have several big dates marked on the calendar, from Thanksgiving to Christmas to New Year’s. But one important date looms large each year: the return of The Elf on the Shelf. This mischievous character’s return to our homes marks the beginning of holiday excitement, right along with the debut of advent calendars and the writing of Merry Christmas wishes in our cards. But when the Scout Elves return, it’s time to be prepared with all of the best The Elf on the Shelf Ideas for 2022. Some elves are funny and some are a bit naughty, and others like participating in family Christmas games. But whatever the case in your house, it’s best to be prepared so you’re not searching for last-minute elf ideas (we’ve all been there!). These ideas are inexpensive and often free, so you don’t have to worry about another expense this time of year.Before you get started, here’s what you need to know about this popular Christmas tradition.

What are the two rules of The Elf on the Shelf?

Elf 101: The children should not touch the elf, or he will lose his magic. Scout elves arrive during Scout Elf Return week and head back to the North Pole on Christmas Eve. No exceptions!

How do you introduce The Elf on the Shelf for the first time?

When you first get The Elf on the Shelf, he or she comes with an illustrated Christmas book that explains the whole backstory. So, traditionally, during Scout Elf Return Week (November 23-December 2), the elf arrives. If this is the elf’s first trip to your house, you’ll have a bit of work to do! Your Elf needs a name, for starters. Luckily, we’ve compiled a list of the best The Elf on the Shelf names! The children should be encouraged to tell their new elf any wishes or secrets. Elves are great listeners!

What’s a good age to start Elf on the Shelf?

It depends on the child, but we recommend three years old, or as soon as he or she starts to understand the magic of Christmas. Of course, if there are older siblings in the house, the tradition will start even sooner than that. There’s really no harm in starting earlier—your child just might not be as engaged at an earlier age.

What’s a good The Elf on the Shelf gift?

Elves come with everything they need to get settled in their new home, but feel free to add some The Elf on the Shelf clothes or accessories to make the experience more fun! These additional items might even inspire some more elf magic.

Now that you know what the fuss is all about, what are you waiting for? Add a little mischief to this year’s Christmas celebration with the following hilarious The Elf on the Shelf ideas. (And check out these funny The Elf on the Shelf memes while you’re at it!)

Where do I put my Elf on the Shelf?

Well, that’s the whole fun of this Christmas tradition, isn’t it? The possibilities are just about endless, but there are a few important things to keep in mind. First, you’ll want to keep your elf out of the reach of curious hands if you have little kids and where family pets can’t get to them (we learned that lesson the hard way!). Also, keep in mind that no one can touch the elf, so you’ll want to keep him out of high-traffic areas of the home. If he takes up residence in the sink or dishwasher, for example, those spots will be out of commission until the next day.

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