When it comes to Elf on the Shelf, there are plenty of ideas to take advantage of for any age group. But there's one age in particular that is a little more tricky, or easy, depending how you look at it: toddler age. While you may want to get intricate and go overboard, this is the age where your little one will appreciate the simple stuff just as much as the big stuff. So take advantage of this stage when they're easy to impress with easy Elf on the Shelf ideas for toddlers. But also keep in mind that it's tempting for a toddler to move or touch the elf, even though they're not supposed to or he'll lose his magic. So it's a good idea to play to ideas that fit your toddler's restraint too!
Whether you're putting out Elf on the Shelf right before you head to bed or rushing around in the morning to move him or her, keep it easy and fun. Your toddler will be just as awestruck by a quick, stress-free idea. As a matter of fact, just the idea that their elf moved in the night is probably half of the fun for them. So as you contemplate how to finish out the Christmas season strong with your elf, check out some of these simple ideas.
1. TP The Tree
If your toddler's at the stage where toilet paper often ends up all over the bathroom, clogging the toilet, you might be too scarred to pursue this idea. But if not, find a roll of toilet paper and TP the Christmas tree for a pretty epic reaction from your toddler. To keep the elf away from your kid, nestle it high in the tree out of reach.
Warning: You should probably remind them not to use the toilet paper to decorate the tree like Elf on the Shelf did.
2. Snow Angel Fun
When the little ones are fast asleep, find a baking tray or flat, hard surface to sprinkle some flour onto. Sugar also works really well. Your family's elf can lay back and, with your help, make a snow angel with their arms and legs. If you're feeling brave, leave your elf in the snow so that they can get caught. But if you know your toddler will not be able to restrain themselves from immediately grabbing the cute elf, prop them on a nearby shelf, viewing their work of art.
If you have a ceiling fan in your home, it's the perfect, too-high-to-reach place to put your elf. Whether he's resting on one of the blades or hanging by some string or a pair of undies, your toddler is sure to get a kick out of finding his elf up so high. If you're feeling extra, you can even turn the fan on low for the ride of your elf's life (assuming he's secured on well enough).
4. Dry-Erase Chaos
For those who want to incorporate a bit of a naughty streak into their elf, simply find a photo, window, or glass surface and go to town with a dry erase marker. Leave the evidence with your elf — high, but nearby so that your toddler can see but can't reach them — and let your little one find it the next morning.
5. Toy Fun
Your elf is likely the perfect size for many of the toys your toddler enjoys playing with on the regular. Whether it's Barbie, G.I. Joe, dinosaurs, cars, or whatever else you've stepped on in the last few days, use them to set a up a fun scene that includes Elf on the Shelf. They can sip on tea, sit in a dollhouse, play a board game, hang out in a circle, or be in the midst of an epic snowball fight in the kitchen like Woody and a scout elf here. The possibilities are endless.
6. Hung By The Stockings With Care
As Christmas day inches closer and closer, decorations generally begin to fill your home a little more each day. And if your family decorates with stockings before Christmas day, your elf can easily use them to their advantage. Pick a stocking and simply ease your elf into it with their arms and head peeking out.
7. The Generous Elf
During the holiday season, it seems there's always one gift I'd enjoy giving to my kids ahead of time. Often, it's a Christmas book or pajamas I know would be perfect to utilize on Christmas eve. What better way to deliver a pre-Christmas gift than to pretend that the elf brought it down from Santa himself while they were at the north pole.
8. Candy Cane Swing
Another fun, adventurous, yet simple idea is to take a couple pieces of string and make a candy cane swing. Loop a piece of string around each end of the candy cane and knot it. Then, tie the loose ends to cabinet hooks, decoration, or a piece of furniture to make it look like your elf is enjoying their homemade swing. The best part is, there are endless places to put it out of reach of your toddler's curious hands.
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