Based on a picture book of the same name, the Elf on the Shelf is a relatively new holiday tradition that has taken on a life of its own. The little elf is meant to be a “scout” for Santa Claus who watches over children during the month of December and tells the big man on who is naughty and who is nice. After a day of spying, the elf flies back to the North Pole every night to report back to Santa and returns in the morning, hiding in a new spot each day.
Of course, in the age of social media, elves (and the parents who set them up every evening) are not content just to peak out of dressers or be tucked into a corner. Are you ready to take your Elf on the Shelf to the next level? Check out a few tips on how to delight your children and show off on social media this holiday season with the help of one little elf:
Be Sneaky (and a Little Mischievous)
Scout elves are meant to hide in order to keep a close eye on your child for Santa, so find creative hiding spots around your house for your elf to tuck himself into. Whether your elf is snuggled up in the fridge with the milk or he’s pretending to be Spider-Man, make sure your children have to look high and low for their companion. And just because your elf is supposed to make sure your children are nice doesn’t mean he can’t be a little naughty. Did he get into a bag of candy? Is he misusing a scanner to make a self-portrait? Anything is fair game for these guys.
Don’t Be Afraid to Make a Mess
Don’t be afraid to get a little dirty this season in the name of holiday fun. Scout elves are well-known for being a playful species, so tap into that and make a mess! Create a “snow angel” with sprinkles on your kitchen counter or stage a full-on snowball fight with marshmallows and powdered sugar. If you don’t want to waste food, try scribbling elf-penned messages on a bathroom mirror, either in marker or toothpaste for the truly naughty elf.
Make a Little Treat
Everyone knows that elves have a sweet tooth, so have your scout prepare an elf-approved meal for your child. Bake up some mini sugar cookies, as though your scout made a little treat just for himself. If you’re trying to instill healthy eating habits in your kid, mimic the elf’s hat with strawberries and a tiny marshmallow on top — these snacks can’t be too healthy, after all. An elf needs his sugar!
Send Your Elf on a Play Date
These little elves are roughly the same size as dolls, action figures, and other children’s toys, so use that to your advantage! Have your scout elf mingle with other figurines. Is your elf a bit of a player? Send him on a date with Barbie. Is your elf a bit of a social butterfly? Throw her a slumber party with your child’s favorite toys (complete with sock sleeping bags). Seeing the elf with others will help to make him or her feel like a true part of the household.