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25 Elf on the Shelf Ideas: Vote for Your Favorite!

It’s been a decade since American author Carol Aebersold and daughter Chanda Bell published the children’s book, The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition. Today, the tradition detailed in the story has become a favorite holiday activity for many families. We see it as one more way to add meaning and magic to your holiday season.

The story describes how Santa’s “scout elves” hide in homes to watch over children’s behavior and report back to the North Pole each night. Before the family wakes up each morning, the scout elf flies back to the family home and hides. By hiding in a new spot around the house each morning, the scout elf and the family play an ongoing game of hide and seek.

In addition, the book states: “There’s only one rule that you have to follow so I will come back and be here tomorrow: Please do not touch me. My magic might go, and Santa won’t hear all I’ve seen or I know.”

We asked our K12 families to share their best ideas for participating in this wildly popular tradition and received a tremendous response on our K12 Facebook page, from elves swinging from the ceiling to elves playing video games. Some bring money, candy, friends, and even jokes!

We chose our 25 favorites and posted them below (click on images to enlarge). Please vote for your favorite in the comments!

Elf on the Shelf Ideas from K12 Families


Featured Image Credit –Mark Baylor / CC by 2.0

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Deanna Glick

Deanna Glick has spent two decades as a writer and editor, covering education policy, adoption, and other issues of interest to children and families. Deanna has also worked and volunteered for youth-focused nonprofits, including Students Run LA and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. A California native, Deanna loves to hike sections of the Appalachian Trail and spend time on the Shenandoah River near her Northern Virginia home. She often finds writing inspiration through her 8-year-old daughter, who loves to read, paint, play sports, and learn.

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