elf on the shelf
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These Elf On The Shelf Apps Will Keep The Holidays Full Of Festive Fun

Get the most holiday entertainment mileage possible out of Elfie this year.

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You've snapped virtual pics with Santa, you've driven by the best holiday lights in town, you've decorated with gingerbread or candy canes or powdered sugar, and now you need some fresh Christmas creativity. If you need a little help mixing things up for the kids this holiday season, there are some Elf on the Shelf apps to keep things interesting this holiday season.

After all, by now, the kids might be pretty used to that mischievous, moving-overnight elf, and no doubt, if you're a serious Elf on the Shelf parent, you've already put that guy in a number of interesting poses, and could well be running out of steam, creatively.

Well, worry not, because new *inspo* and plenty of fun are coming in the form of Elf on the Shelf-themed apps, which will help you surprise and delight the kids all month long, as well as keep them plenty busy. According to Good Housekeeping UK, the free Ideas for Elves app, which can be downloaded for phones ranging from iPhones to Android as well as to your tablet, let you page though idea upon idea of elf inspiration — elf-spiration? — as well as step-by-step how-to's.

The clever concepts range from filling up whole doorways in your house with festive balloons and ribbons or playing "mini-golf" with your elf with candy canes and a mint as your equipment, not to mention cute and inexpensive ways to outfit your elf.

The app even includes such marvelously messy projects as making "snow angels" from a pile of flour in the kitchen (don't invite me over for that one, though, the cleaning sounds awful).

But there are also a number of other Elf on the Shelf-themed apps available this time of year. Here are a few:

Find the Scout Elves App

Santa needs assistance finding his Scout Elves in this Christmas game. Kids can work towards becoming one of the North Pole’s skilled "Scout Elf" spotters, rising from "Rookie" to "All-star" and earning special certificates on the way.

And, as explained on the Elf on the Shelf site, kids should definitely know who the Scouts are, because they're the helpers who help Santa manage the "naughty" and "nice" list. That's kind of key for kids who know they have a long list of presents they want, right?

Spot as many elves as you can for extra points. Stuck in a long Christmas shopping line with your kids in tow? This might just save your life!

Elf Pets Virtual Reindeer App

In this cute Elf on the Shelf take, young users can adopt a virtual reindeer and care for it enough to create the Christmas magic that will get Santa's sleigh to do its thing on Christmas Eve. You can earn "badges" by caring for the reindeer virtually, or through buying the related "Reindeer Tradition" box set.

On the app, dragging food items to your reindeer's mouth will ensure it is being fed. Give it a "sponge bath," followed by a rest, in which you can turn off the lights and tuck your reindeer in for the night. You can even get some lullaby music going for your pet so he will have some good rest to start more training in the morning.

Elf Pets Pup App

The Elf Pets Saint Bernard app helps boost Christmas spirit with six mini-games that encourage young fans to be generous by caring for the cute pup, whose golden-heart charm on the barrel around his neck helps captures enough Christmas spirit over time, according to the Elf on the Shelf site, to make the magic of Christmas happen on the big day.

Players earn helping badges toward assisting Santa in keeping the North Pole magical.... and your house very, very quiet.

Elf Make A Cookie For Santa App

In this virtual baking session, you can make and send a delicious cookie to Santa, your Scout Elf, or Elf Pets. Don't forget to add plenty of decorations.

A "Cookie Fun Facts" section lets you get the scoop on what Santa and Mrs. Claus’ favorite cookies treats are. Kids can also add custom messages to send along with their baked goods. This one sounds like hours of fun for little ones... and the virtual sugar part sounds really good. That way you won't have hyper offspring when screen time is over.