For some parents who participate in the Elf on the Shelf, the hardest part of the tradition isn't remembering to move the Elf every night, it's figuring out what to do with it. Coming up with new Elf on the Shelf ideas for 2019 doesn't have to be a stressful task, especially if you use some of the year's biggest moments to your advantage. A mixture of creativity and general pop culture knowledge will get your elf (and you) all the way to Christmas morning.
Kids love the creative adventures that elves find themselves on every year, like having a snowball fight or dipping into Santa's cookies, but they will also love seeing their scout enjoying some of the same things they do. Between trends like anything Frozen II, all things Marvel, and unboxing videos, there are plenty of (fun and easy) ways to keep the kids excited every morning.
If you're running out of steam, try to think about what your kids really got into this year and take some inspiration from that to create another morning scene. Or, if your brain is a little fried from all of the present shopping and cookie baking you've done to this point, here are 15 new ideas for you and the elf.
1. Channeling Its Inner Taylor Swift (2019 Edition)
With the release of her latest album, this year, Taylor Swift was all about rainbows, butterflies, and simply being herself. Have your elf do the same by having it pose on a piece of paper with butterfly wings drawn to either side. If you can time it right, you can even have her album playing when your kids come downstairs.
2. 'Baby Shark' (Do Do Do Do Do Do) Elf
Use the song that has been burned into your brain to your advantage and set up a Baby Shark inspired scene with your elf. You can put it in the bathtub like it's pretending to be a shark, and bonus points if you have some actual Baby Shark toys to accompany it.
3. Member Of The Scoops Troop
Have your elf channel its love for Stranger Things by making it dress up as a member of the "Scoops Troop". Position it standing behind a play ice cream stand and make a little sign that says "Scoops Ahoy" to hang on the counter or behind the elf. Find a doll with the wildest hair from your kid's toy collection that can act as Steve.
4. Hanging With 'Peppa Pig' & Her Friends
Have a few (hundred) Peppa Pig toys around the house? Set up a fun scene with them and your elf. If your little one has a favorite show they like to watch over and over, use that as inspiration. Even if you can't replicate the "Muddy Festival" or "Grandpa Pig's Metal Detector", your kiddo will still be excited to see their beloved elf hanging out with their favorite characters.
5. An 'Abominable' Snow Scene
Abominable definitely has a place with your elf this year. Set up a mountain climbing scene, complete with powdered sugar snow, where your elf is helping Everest reunite with his family at the top. If you don't have an Abominable action figure, some fuzzy cotton balls will do the trick.
6. 'My Little Pony' Rodeo
Kids still love My Little Pony, so make use of all those horses you have lying around and create a rodeo or ranch scene. Have the elf sitting on a pony as if it's riding it, and use a pipe cleaner or twist tie to create a lasso.
7. Mourning Iron Man With Spider-Man
If your little ones saw Avengers: Endgame and know the fate of Tony Stark, you can create a scene using their action figures to look like Spider-Man and the elf are mourning Iron Man together. Print out a picture of Iron Man for the elf and Spider-Man to look at as they hold tissues and hug each other.
8. Filming A Toy Review Or Unboxing Video
Set up your elf to appear as if it spent its night filming a toy review or unboxing video. You can have a tablet or phone facing the elf while it holds toys it reviewed/unboxed. If you like your elf to give your kids little presents, you can give them whatever the elf unboxed.
9. Roblox Inspired
If your kids are into the game Roblox, set up a scene where their elf is designing its own game online (or a real-life version if you have some action figures around the house). You can even make a little headset for the elf to make it look like it was talking to its other elf friends while playing.
10. Rubbing A Lamp
Disney's live action Aladdin was full of the same whimsy and fun as the original, so relive your childhood by setting up a scene inspired by the movie. You can have your elf rubbing a lamp in hopes to find Genie or you can get really elaborate and have the elf flying on a magic carpet alongside Jasmine.
11. Living Out 'Old Town Road'
If your kid was one of the many who couldn't get enough of Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus' Old Town Road in 2019, have your elf dress up (or hang out with) some cowboys and horses while it listens to the song. Can't stand to hear the song again? Just have the song pulled up on Spotify or YouTube to make it look like the elf was jamming out to it all night.
12. Making Its Own Forky
Toy Story 4 was a big deal in 2019, as was its new toy, Forky. The best part about Forky is that he was made from simple materials so your elf can easily be making a replica. Just grab a few things from around the house and print out a picture of Forky to serve as the elf's inspiration, then stage the elf to be making is own version.
13. On A 'Green Eggs & Ham' Adventure
Netflix's Green Eggs & Ham series has Sam and Guy ending up in some funny situations. Have your elf go along for the ride by setting up a scene inspired by the show. If nothing else, you can have your elf sitting in front of a plate of green eggs and ham with his arms crossed and nose turned up.
14. 'Frozen II' Inspired
Get out the Anna and Elsa dolls so they can join your elf on a "journey into the unknown" of their own. Make it appear as though they're all heading into the enchanted forest together. You could also set up a scene where Kristoff is proposing to Anna while the elf and the rest of the Frozen gang watch in adoration.
15. Hanging Out With The 'DC Superhero Girls'
Have a bunch of DC Superhero Girls dolls or action figures? Set up a scene where they are teaching your elf how to fight crime. Or, have them capture him as if they thought he was an intruder over night.
Remember, as long as you move the elf every night your kids are going to be excited — adding in some of their favorite things from 2019 will just be a little extra magical.