The Ultimate Elf on the Shelf Ideas Planner

Our Ultimate Elf Ideas Planner is perfect for Scout Elves seeking a blueprint for all of their arrivals this season! Because flying to and fro each night can be time consuming, the Scout Elves must quickly create their innovative hiding spots upon returning home. That’s where this planner comes in handy!

If your Scout Elf is looking for unique ideas with all the instructions and know-how needed to pull them off, they’ve come to the right place! Print out your favorite ideas and leave them out for your elf.

Ultimate Elf Ideas Planner

Click each picture for full instructions for Scout Elves.

Counting Down the Days

Counting Down the Days

Counting Down the Days

Materials:

  • Various gift supplies (boxes, bows, gift bags, ribbon, wrapping paper)
  • Christmas décor
  • Candy
  • Marker

Instructions:

Christmas is upon us, and your Scout Elf just can’t wait to count down the days until Santa makes his special journey around the world! Using a variety of gift wrapping supplies, Christmas décor and candy, your elf will:

  1. Take up several shelves in your home to create a festive advent display, complete with numbered gift boxes and bags—one for each day of December.
  2. Hide a special surprise inside of each box for you to open each day as Christmas draws near. Happy December, friends, from your Scout Elf!
Streamer Surprise

Streamer Surprise

Streamer Surprise

Materials:

  • Green crepe paper (in two shades)
  • Tape
  • Decorative spheres (available at craft stores)

Instructions:

For an extra touch of Christmas spirit, your elf will create a floor-to-ceiling “Christmas tree” perfect for your little ones to play in!

  1. First, your Scout Elf will pick out a wall in your home to create this festive tree.
  2. Using scissors, your elf will cut approximately 50 strands of green paper (in two different shades) that are a foot or two longer than the distance from the floor to the ceiling.
  3. With tape, your elf will secure the crepe paper to the wall or ceiling at one central point.
  4. Once secure, your elf will arrange the dangling ends of the crepe paper in a circle on the floor, securing each end with tape so that it looks like a paper Christmas tree.
  5. For a final festive touch, your elf will arrange the decorative spheres on the ground, and sit above the creation to watch the fun!
Staircase Race

Staircase Race

Staircase Race

Materials:

  • Spring toy

Instructions:

Your Scout Elf will create a silly slinking entrance into your home by:

  1. Slipping inside of a spring toy.
  2. Leaning on a stair.
  3. Waiting for you to find them in the middle of their funny staircase race!
Clever Christmas Tree

Clever Christmas Tree

Clever Christmas Tree

Materials:

  • Books in varying sizes
  • Round candle holder
  • Scout Elves at Play®Tools
    • Peppermint Grappling Hook
    • Candy Cane Cable
    • Christmas Climbing Boots
    • Scout Elf Message Cards

Instructions:

Scout Elves just love all of the season’s glittering lights and decadent decorations, especially the pièce de résistance: the Christmas tree! To create a tree out of books, your elf will:

  1. Stack books, open side face down, on top of a round candle holder. (Helpful hint: place the largest books on bottom and continue to stack books largest to smallest.)
  2. Strap on the Christmas Climbing Boots, thread Candy Cane Cable through the Peppermint Grappling Hook, and begin to climb the side of the “tree.”
  3. Leave a Scout Elf Message Card out challenging your family to see what household items they can turn into a tree—or any other Christmas shape!
Welcome Wagon

Good Morning Party

Welcome Wagon

Materials:

Instructions:

Your Scout Elf asked two North Pole friends, the Elf Pets® Reindeer and Elf Pets® Saint Bernard, to help greet your family this morning! To say hello, the Elf Pets® decided to:

  1. Gather sweet treats, Christmas décor and small presents.
  2. Pose with all the goodies and Scout Elf Message Cards from the Scout Elves at Play® kit with messages that welcome you to the good morning party!
Get Me Out Of Here

Get Me Out Of Here

Get Me Out Of Here

Materials:

  • Picture frame

Instructions:

Oh my, it looks like your Scout Elf is stuck in the picture frame! To create this silly surprise, your elf will:

  1. Use a copier to scan himself or herself (your elf could also press themselves up against a window and take a picture if a copier is unavailable).
  2. Cut out the image and put the picture in one of your frames.
  3. Sit nearby to watch you discover their funny photo!
Decorative Door

Decorative Door

Decorative Door

Materials:

  • Black and orange construction paper
  • Scarf
  • Tape
  • Scissors

Instructions:

A blank white door provides the perfect canvas for your Scout Elf to create a masterpiece! Using the materials above, your elf will:

  1. Cut out nine circles from black construction paper, approximately 3 inches in diameter.
  2. Cut a carrot-shaped piece of paper out of orange construction paper.
  3. Use tape to arrange the paper so it looks like a snowman’s face with two eyes, a pointy nose and a dotted mouth.
  4. Wrap a scarf around the entire door and tie it on the outside of the door in a knot large enough to sit on.
  5. Wait for your little one to find the dressed-up door!
Jukebox Jive

Jukebox Jive

Jukebox Jive

Materials:

Instructions:

Scout Elves sure know how to have a swinging good time! To create a thrilling throwback party, your Scout Elf will:

  1. Print and cut out the jukebox, music notes and records (available here).
  2. Fold the jukebox along the dotted lines.
  3. Use tape to attach the jukebox’s back inside flaps to the side flaps of the front of the jukebox.
  4. Place the top of the jukebox inside the hole at the top of the jukebox and use tape to hold it in place.
  5. Use tape to decorate the room with the mini records and music notes.
  6. Put on the Holiday Harness and Rockin’ Reindeer Skirt and dance all day! (Helpful hint: the Holiday Harness works best on smooth surfaces, like mirrors or tile!)
Christmas Reflection

Christmas Reflection

Christmas Reflection

Materials:

  • Dry erase markers

Instructions:

Scout Elves are always looking for a way to put a smile on your face…sometimes literally! To pull off this artsy prank, your Scout Elf will:

  1. Gather some dry erase markers and draw a funny picture on the mirror in your bathroom—like reindeer antlers and a ruby red nose, or an elf hat and collar!
  2. Write a fun message asking you to check out your new reflection!
Strawberry Santa Hats

Strawberry Santa Hats

Strawberry Santa Hats

Materials:

  • Mini brownies
  • White icing or whipped cream
  • Strawberries
  • Scout Elves at Play®Tools
    • Peppermint Grappling Hook
    • Candy Cane Cable
    • Holiday Harness

Instructions:

The Scout Elves are Santa’s biggest fans, and your elf has created a tasty treat to pay homage to the big man in red! After cutting off the tops of the strawberries, your Scout Elf will be ready to assemble these sweet “Santa hats” by:

  1. Using icing or whipped cream to attach the strawberry to the top of a mini brownie.
  2. Squeezing a dollop of icing or whipped cream to the top of the strawberry.
  3. Holding steady with the Holiday Harness and dangling the Peppermint Grappling Hook by some Candy Cane Cable to reach for this sweet treat! (Helpful hint: the Holiday Harness works best on smooth surfaces, like mirrors or tile!)
Snowball Fight!

Snowball Fight!

Snowball Fight!

Materials:

  • Marshmallows (large and small)
  • Icing
  • Unsweetened shaved coconut
  • Small bowl or ramekin

Instructions:

For an indoor “snowball fight” that’s just as fun as the ones at the North Pole, your Scout Elf will:

  1. Set up a fortress out of large marshmallows. (Helpful hint: use icing to stick the marshmallows to the counter and to each other to keep the fortress from falling.)
  2. Sprinkle unsweetened coconut around the fort as “snow.”
  3. Place mini marshmallows in a small bowl or ramekin.
  4. Get ready for the “snowball fight”!
Magic Seeds

Magic Seeds

Magic Seeds

Materials:

  • Candy-coated chocolates
  • Lollipops
  • Miniature chocolate chips
  • Cup
  • Small envelope or an empty seed bag (available at stores with gardening supplies)
  • Glue or tape

Instructions:

For an indoor “snowball fight” that’s just as fun as the ones at the North Pole, your Scout Elf will:

  1. Your elf will bring back some magical candy-coated chocolates from the North Pole in a small envelope or empty seed bag with a logo glued onto the front that says, “Magic North Pole Seeds” (get the printable here).
  2. Your elf will leave out a note asking your little ones to plant some of the seeds in a small planter or cup and cover the seeds with miniature chocolate chips—which look exactly like soil!
  3. Before you wake up the next morning, your elf will be sure the seeds have grown into a beautiful lollipop garden that is good enough to eat!
Balloon Blockade

Balloon Blockade

Balloon Blockade

Materials:

  • Red, green and white balloons
  • Crepe paper
  • Tape

Instructions:

Your Scout Elf just can’t pass up the chance for a silly surprise for your little ones! After returning from the North Pole, your Scout Elf will create a balloon blockade across your little ones’ closed door by:

  1. Zigzagging crepe paper back and forth across the door, securing it with tape along the door frame.
  2. Attaching balloons to the crepe paper with tape.
  3. Perching up high to watch as your children discover his or her handiwork!
Reindeer Candy Canes

Reindeer Candy Canes

Reindeer Candy Canes

Materials:

  • Candy canes
  • Baking chocolate
  • White writing icing
  • Black writing icing
  • Red candy-coated chocolates
  • Bowl
  • Wax paper
  • Baking sheet

Instructions:

To pay homage to their best friends at the North Pole, your Scout Elf will create an edible ode to the Elf Pets® Reindeer! Using the items above, your elf will:

  1. Follow the package instructions on the baking chocolate to melt it in a deep bowl.
  2. Take two candy canes at a time and, holding the long parts of the candy canes together, dip the long parts in the melted chocolate.
  3. Set the candy canes on a wax-paper lined baking sheet. (Your elf presses the candy canes firmly together after placing them on the baking sheet to make sure they stick together.)
  4. Place a red candy-coated chocolate on the candy canes, a little more than halfway up the candy canes.
  5. After making the desired number of treats, your elf places the candy canes in the freezer to harden.
  6. After about an hour, your elf will remove the candy canes and use the writing icing to draw small eyes just above the red candy nose.
  7. Present you with the chocolatey treats to eat!
Goody Gumdrop Mountain Climb

Goody Gumdrop Mountain Climb

Goody Gumdrop Mountain Climb

Materials:

  • Gumdrops
  • Foam craft tree
  • Toothpicks
  • Scout Elves at Play®Tools
    • Candy Cane Cable
    • Peppermint Grappling Hook
    • Christmas Climbing Boots

Instructions:

To craft a sugary summit to climb, your Scout Elf will:

  1. Use toothpicks to attach gumdrops to the foam craft tree until it is completely covered.
  2. Strap on the Christmas Climbing Boots and tie Candy Cane Cable to the Peppermint Grappling Hook in order to attach it to the top of the mountain.
  3. Go for a climb!
Sock Snuggle

Sock Snuggle

Sock Snuggle

Materials:

  • Socks

Instructions:

  1. Socks make the perfect snuggly bed for a Scout Elf, which is why your elf will settle down for a quick break inside your sock drawer!
  2. But that’s not all, she will also leave a note asking your family to spend time together making your own cozy booties using white socks and different decorations from around your house! Once you’re done, you can kick back in your new festive footwear!
Clownin’ Around

Clownin’ Around

Clownin’ Around

Materials:

  • Red pom-poms
  • Tape
  • A framed family photo

Instructions:

Your silly Scout Elf is at it again! To show off her love of playing jokes and dressing up at the North Pole, your elf will:

  1. Tape small red pom-poms to one of your family photos while wearing a clown nose!
  2. Leave you a note asking your family to do something silly together today—like create some knock-knock jokes or put on a funny fashion show!
Mini Milk and Cookies

Mini Milk and Cookies

Mini Milk and Cookies

Materials:

  • Bite-sized cookies
  • 1 oz. glasses (the perfect size for a shot of milk!)
  • Straws
  • Knife

Instructions:

Using the smallest drinking glasses they can find, your elf will create a small snack to show you how Scout Elves enjoy cookies at the North Pole!

  1. Your elf will start by cutting a small slit in a bite-sized cookie.
  2. Next, your elf will place the cookie on the rim of the 1 oz. glass so they have a shot of milk to wash down the treat.
  3. After pouring the milk and adding a festive straw, your elf is ready to show your family this fun-sized snack!
Outer Space Elf

Outer Space Elf

Outer Space Elf

Materials:

  • Paint stirrers (2)
  • Foam spheres (8–9 in varying sizes)
  • Paint
  • Paint brushes
  • Stapler
  • String or fishing line
  • Scissors
  • Aluminum foil

Instructions:

That’s one small step for an elf, one giant leap for elf-kind! To look as though they’re hanging out in outer space, your Scout Elf will:

  1. Paint the spheres to resemble the planets and set them aside to dry.
  2. Make a T-shape with two paint stirrers, tying them together with string or fishing line to create the base of a mobile.
  3. Use a stapler to attach pieces of string or fishing line to each planet. (Helpful hint: the string should be different lengths so the “planets” hang at different lengths.)
  4. Tie the other end of the string or fishing line to the mobile base.
  5. Attach the mobile to the ceiling.
  6. Create an astronaut suit out of aluminum foil.
  7. Hover near the mobile to look like they’re floating in outer space! (Helpful hint: elves may use fishing line and attach themselves to the mobile to help hold their stance longer.)
Come Find Me!

Come Find Me!

Come Find Me!

Materials:

  • Stuffed animals
  • Toys
  • Pillows

Instructions:

Your Scout Elf has chosen a particularly good hiding spot today. Look closely. Can you pick out your red-and-white outfitted visitor from a pile of furry stuffed animals and toys?

Museum of Modern Elf

Museum of Modern Elf

Museum of Modern Elf

Materials:

  • Paint/markers
  • Canvas
  • Camera
  • Scissors
  • Glue

Instructions:

  1. Tapping into their inner Picasso, your Scout Elf will create a piece of artwork you and your family can enjoy no matter the season! To craft this self-portrait, Scout Elves start by snapping a photo of themselves.
  2. Using scissors, your elf can clip around their outline and secure it to a canvas with glue.
  3. From there, they will let their artistic instincts guide them. Perhaps they will create a collage, paint a pattern or draw a fun background. If your elf can’t come up with a good direction for their piece of art, maybe your family members could join in on the creative process!
Pajama Party

Pajama Party

Pajama Party

Materials:

Instructions:

Nothing says Christmas like cuddling up in a good pair of PJs, and spending a cozy night with family. Your Scout Elf will take part in this Christmas rite of passage by:

  1. Setting up a miniature bed.
  2. Folding a small rectangle of fabric in half and gluing three of the side together to create a pillow.
  3. Stuffing the fabric with cotton balls and gluing the remaining side closed.
  4. Putting on the Keep it Merry PJ's, Very Merry Nightgown or Playful Scout Elf PJ's and settling in for the pajama party!
North Pole Putt Putt

North Pole Putt Putt

North Pole Putt Putt

Materials:

  • >Green felt or construction paper
  • Scissors
  • Candy cane
  • 1 mini marshmallow
  • Marker
  • Fishing Line

Instructions:

Fore! Nothing relaxes a Scout Elf more than a quick round of golf. Your Scout Elf will create a small putting green in your home by:

  1. Using scissors to cut out a unique shaped “green” out of felt or construction paper.
  2. Marking a hole on the course using a marker.
  3. Grabbing a candy cane to use as a putter, and a mini marshmallow to use as a golf ball.
  4. Using fishing line to help stand in the perfect position.
  5. Going for a hole in one!
Christmas Portrait

Christmas Portrait

Christmas Portrait

Materials:

  • Scout Elf Message Cards
  • Instructions:

    Fore! Nothing relaxes a Scout Elf more than a quick round of golf. Your Scout Elf will create a small putting green in your home by:

    1. Say cheese! These Scout Elves cozied up next to some Christmas décor for a family photo with their Elf Pets® Saint Bernard to commemorate the season.
    2. Your Scout Elf will leave a note encouraging you to get your family together in coordinating outfits and strike a pose of your own so you can fondly look back on the most wonderful time of the year!

    For other easy ideas, check out Scout Elves at Play®!

    For daily inspiration, download the Ideas for Scout Elves app. Happy holidays, friends!

    Before you or your elf get to work recreating any of these inspirational photos, be sure to read these safety warnings. Santa wants to make sure everyone stays safe!