Elf ideas by Dorothy & Theodore
1. Wrap the children’s school shoes in Christmas wrapping paper. Hide the ‘gift’ under the Christmas tree. Remember to use different paper to that you are using to wrap your own gifts, and leave plenty of time that morning for them to have to find their shoes and unwrap them.
2. Swap the bed linen when they are asleep so they go to sleep under one and wake up under a Christmas one. This works best if you have a complete second duvet with the Christmas themed duvet cover already on it. Simply swap one duvet for the other.
3. Freeze your Elf in a block of ice. This works brilliantly for the Disney fans. Pop your Elf into a Tupperware container and fill with water before popping it in the deep freeze. Next morning, position your frozen Elf next to an Elsa doll. Please note that some Elfs survive this better than others when they defrost! Put in in a bag first if you are concerned!
4. Wrap the toilet and sink up. Make sure it is one that your children will not need to visit in the middle of the night though!
5. Set you Elf up on one side of a table with some toys the other side and marshmallows for both sides. If you can cope with the mess, sprinkle some icing sugar around between the two sides. Encourage your children to help the toys have a snowball fight – before you all enjoy the marshmallows!
6. Buy some make your own cracker kits and leave instructions from your Elf to make everyone’s Crackers for the big day. They can choose small gifts for each other to put in the middle and write their one jokes.
7. Supply a roll of paper and a new pack of felt pens from your Elf, for your children to make the a Christmas table runner. If you prefer a more formal Christmas table (& I’m with you on this as I like mine to match the rest of the decorations) you can use this for a special Christmas Eve family supper.
8. Write a message for your children on the bathroom mirror with lipstick. If your Elf is washable, you can also put some on his face. Please note that the lipstick does smear when you wipe it off, you have been warned so no swearing at me!
9. Abseiling Elf. A firm favourite, tie up a piece of string, well out of reach and head height of little people and secure your Elf’s hands and feet around the string. The children love this one.
10. Give your Elf letters from Father Christmas to deliver to your children. They can be progress reports, invitations to meet him or even praise for something that has happened in their lives that week. Whatever it may be, a letter from Father Christmas will make their day.
11. Hide him in the school lunch box. The moment of sheer delight when they open their lunch box is a major memory to be treasured for years to come. Last year, I sent Jingles our elf in in Griffin’s lunch box and, with the help of his brilliant Teachers, captured a moment of such incredible joy. It still makes my heart soar to look at the photo the teacher captured for me.
12. Hold your Elf hostage with a bunch of Green army men or Lego figures.
13. Another one for the Disney fans: Stack three toilet rolls on top of each other and draw on some buttons and a snowmen face. Sit your Elf on the top holding a sign saying ‘Do you wanna build a Snowman?’
14. Stick googley eyes on everything in the fridge. It’s amazing how much a tomatoes comes to life with a pair of google eyes. Sit your Elf in the fridge next to the adorned vegetables.
15. Set up an Elf treasure hunt. Leave clues for them to find your Elf who can be holding a small prize or treat for them.
16. Draw moustaches on the family photos. Sit your Elf next to the pictures with a marker pen. If you use a wipeable marker onto glass frame, it will wipe offwith a wet wipe.
17. Hold your children hostage in their bedrooms. Wrap up their doors with crepe paper. This really works with slightly older children as you might scare or worry younger ones but you know your own children so do what’s right for them. A couple of strings at low height usually does the trick for the littler ones, but go to town and your older children’s doorways.
18. Make an Elf den. A few sheets balanced over some chairs with an Elf, a cookie or two and a Christmas themed book to read together will make a wonderful memory to treasure.
19. Put your Elf into the cereal box. This works particularly well with Rice Krispie box if you cut out one of the Rice Krispie characters and insert your Elf’s face in their place.
20. Position your Elf hugging your children whilst they sleep and take a picture to show them in the morning. This one has a lovely feel good factor for your little ones.
21. Set up an assault course though the house or garden. String tinsel from one side of the room to the other and get them to weave their way over and under it to collect their Elf and then bring him back. You can be as elaborate as you like with your assault course, adding bells hanging down or silly string to get through. I always set this up at night so the children wake up to it. It’s such a great way to start the day!
22. Sit your Elf on the BBQ outside with a note inviting the children for a Barbie – a BBQ in December…how silly! The children will love it!
23. In an empty box, sit your Elf in one corner with a note asking your children to choose some toys they don’t play with anymore to donate to charity.
24. Cover the tree with loo roll.
25. Set up a North Pole Breakfast. This is best done at a weekend as starting the day off with sugar and sending them to school full of it will not make you particularly popular! Sugared doughnuts which look like they have been frosted with a dusting of snow, milkshakes with whipped cream, winter berries piled high is white bowls and cheerios dusted with icing sugar or topped with chocolate spread to make mininElf doughnuts all makes for the most fun breakfast.
26. Create an Elf Workshop. I’m not going to lie, this one involves a lot of preparation and effort on your part. But it’s so worth it. The idea is that you turn your lounge/ dining room/ both! Into an Elf workshop for the day and your children help getting everything ready for Christmas Eve. They can make gifts, decorate treats for Father Christmas and the working Elves, even do some wrapping for you – obviously other people’s presents, and probably people who would understand why the wrapping may not be perfect on their gift! The possibilities of what you can get your little ‘Elf for the Day’ doing are endless but here are some ideas.
• Give them a pile of Lego and tell them to build Lego cars
• Ask them to make aeroplanes out of sheets of paper – bonus points for those which fly!
• Give them card, crayons and scissors and tell hem to draw a picture, than cut it up to make a jigsaw
• Ask them to write a list of all their friends that should be in the good list so that Father Christmas can cross check it.
• Give them paper decorations to make such as paper chairs or snowflakes out of paper, you can either out these up yourself in their bedrooms or the playroom, or you could take them to an local nursing home or elderly neighbour to help cheer things up for them.
• Set up a baking station and give them cookies to decorate or even bake.
• Ask them to wrap presents – this works particularly well if you swap a few presents with a friend and get her children to wrap yours and vice versa. Choose a handful of stocking presents for your children and swap them with a handful of stocking presents from a friend for their children. They have your Elves wrap those presents. It doesn’t even matter if child to child shares what stocking presents they had and it turns out that those were presents your child had wrapped – in fact, this is actually quite charming and can add to the magic as your child will think they really did help the Elves out! The other bonus with this (other than giving your own wrapping a head start!) is that you can watch your children to see if there is any particular gift they react to. It might give you an idea of something thy would really like which they haven’t told you about.
• Give them beads and string to make bracelets or other jewellery gifts.
Let’s not pretend that they are not going to make a lot of mess…trust me, from someone that does this every year, they will! But it’s so worth it.
27. Buy a spare advent calendar, open it and eat all the chocolates out of it and leave it next to your Elf for the children to discover.