When our Elf on the Shelf first arrived eight years ago, I had no idea the amount of work I was creating for myself. At the time, I had three children under the age of six, and I made a big production about the arrival of our new little friend. I read the book that came with him from the North Pole and asked them to select a name. I thought it would be something great, something grand, so I waited patiently while they debated, and finally settled upon the best elf name ever…Dave. Yep, Dave the Elf.
Dave arrives on the first of December and for the next 23 days, I create a rhyming scavenger hunt for my young children. Each night, I put a clue in the pocket of our Advent calendar and the kids (mostly the youngest one now), eagerly race downstairs each morning to find our elf.
Dave arrives December 1st and we have a North Pole welcome breakfast complete with small gifts for the kids (complete overkill), personalized letters, special holiday tableware, and streamers! Some past breakfast have included: hot cocoa with candy cane stir sticks, powdered donut snowmen, holiday shaped pancakes, holiday themed cereal or Pop-Tarts, basically all the food I never let my kids eat! If you need ideas for your own breakfast, just type in “North Pole Breakfast Ideas” on Pinterest. There are so many creative people out there, it’s nice to know I’m not alone in my craziness.
On to the Elf on the Shelf Road Trip ideas. If you find yourself traveling for the holidays, here are some easy ideas for an elf on the go.
25 Ideas for an Elf on the Shelf Road Trip
1. Put him in the car bundled up and ready to go
2. Have him tie the kids’ shoes together in knots
3. Use dad’s shaving cream and a razor to pretend he’s shaving
4. Elf is sick so he sleeps in a box of tissue with a tissue pillow and blanket
5. Borrows the kids’ crayons and colors some pictures and write notes to the kids
6. Plays with mom’s makeup and makes a big mess
7. Takes a marshmallow bubble bath in the sink
8. Hides in the sock or underwear drawer with a sock or underwear on his head/body
9. Writes notes on the mirror with a dry erase marker or steam the mirror and write with finger
10. Hangs upside down from a slinky (you’ll have to buy this if you don’t have one) attached to a mirror or lamp
11. Elf brings small gifts for kids (books to read, game to play, deck of cards, treats)
12. Makes an Elf Yourself video to share with the kids
13. Creates a mess while brushing his teeth
14. Makes snowflakes out of q-tips or paper
15. Leaves chocolate chip or peppermint candy poops in the toilet
16. Uses toilet paper to “tee-pee” the room
17. Gives the kids red Rudolph noses with washable markers or paint
18. Gets in trouble with stickers from a sticker book and find himself in quite a mess
19. Gets trapped under a drinking glass somewhere in the room/house
20. Sticks Post-It notes all over the place
21. Takes an ice bath in the ice bucket because he misses the North Pole
22. Plays with mom and dad’s phone and takes selfies and photos of the kids while they’re sleeping
23. Becomes stuck in a bag of candy he ate
24. Plays a card game with other toys and stuffed animals on the trip
25. Goes fishing for goldfish
If you need your own Elf on the Shelf you can buy one on Amazon (Elf on the Shelf-Boy or Elf on the Shelf-Girl). If you have no idea what I’m talking about you can read all about it on the official Elf on the Shelf website. One year we even bought the Elf’s video. This year the movie will air several times throughout the holiday season, so save your money. The elf also has apparel available, so we’ve invested (yes, I’m ashamed to say) in a football jersey and a soccer one too. I’m still eyeballing the Graphic Tees, the jingle jam hoodie, or even the pet St. Bernard!! Somedays I wish I had a girl elf just so I could buy the peppermint princess gown. Oh well.
Hopefully you won’t be traveling for 25 days, but you can use some of these ideas to cover you while you’re on the road. The kids will love every minute and maybe, just maybe, when they’re older they’ll appreciate all the time and effort you put into making their holidays so special.
Do you have an Elf on the Shelf? What is his or her name and do you love or hate this tradition?
*This post originally appeared in November 2014, but was updated in December 2017.