Starting out Elf on The Shelf can be very exciting with lots of ideas of cool antics. A few years in you may find yourself running out of ideas and it can seem like you’ve done all the best antics already. This year will be our 9th year with elf visitors. This post will share a few tricks I use to come up with new Elf On The Shelf antics year on year.
I keep my trusty Christmas planner folder to hand all year round. I use it for present lists, Christmas card lists, notes for the following Christmas and most importantly for planning elf antics. Every idea I have gets noted down, any props I buy get written in here so I can see what else I need or come up with antics based on the props I already have.
By keeping it handy I can add ideas as I think of them and if I have too many antic ideas I start an idea list to inspire me the following year.
Once I have decided on our antics I print out a planner sheet and write down which antic will be on which day. Having everything planned in advance means no late night panics trying to think of an antic for that night. I have each set of props in bags ready to set up as soon as the kids are asleep.
Things have moved on since we started elfing 9 years ago. There are now hundreds on Elf On The Shelf Pintrest boards, Facebook groups and Instagram feeds. You can find inspiraions for any sort of antic you are looking for. There are simple quick set up ideas, bigger messier antics for those brave enough and anything in between.
Some people like to do completely different antics every year, others like to repeat favourite antics. We have a few antics we like to do every year, we make them exciting by adding a new twist.
When I start planning I write in the antics we do every year first. This makes it easier to fill the spaces around them with new antics.
Some of the antics we repeat are:
North Pole Breakfast – This is our favourite day, even better than Christmas Day itself. Every year the elves put up our tree and decorations and arrive with a North Pole Breakfast laid out for us.
Growing Candy Canes – The elves bring magic seeds which we plant in sugar to grow a crop of candy canes. We never know what colours of flavours will grow as they are different every year. We have had milkshake flavours, dessert flavours, fruity flavours, traditional mint flavours, giant candy canes, mini candy canes. It might be an old antic but we are still left in suspense at what will grow.
North Pole Tea – One day every year the children bring a friend home for Christmas tea. The elves like to join in and deliver supplies to make the evening special. From Christmas party games, party bags, Christmas food and tableware they bring everything we need. The food might be different and the party bag contents is always a surprise so there is enough novelty to keep the antic exciting.
Once I have my basic antics planned I look for inspiration to make the antics relevant to my children. Playground crazes come and go and change every year. This makes them ideal to incorporate into an elf antic. We have had the elves make Christmas themed loom band decorations, mini fidget spinners and personalised Pokemon cards. These simple antics always go down well and are relevant to that particular year.
Films and Books
Films and books that have been popular with the kids during the year are also a good source of inspiration. We have had BFG antics, Mary Poppins, The Nutcracker and Paddington Bear themes. They coincide with recently released films we have seen or plan to see over Christmas.
We have based antics on books we have been reading such as Lion, Witch and The Wardrobe, Christmasaurus, Ice Monster and Famous Five.
It adds to the sense that the elves have been keeping track of what they have been doing all year and know what the kids are interested in.
If your child has a favourite hobby or a club they attend this can be incorporated into an antic.
Our elves have set up football antics, scout camps and rainbow antics wearing my daughter’s rainbow uniform.
If you plan to go to any Christmas days out such as a panto, Christmas grotto or maybe a Christmas train ride? these could be used to set up an antic. The elves could dress up as the panto characters or as Father Christmas to create their own grotto. The kids love it when the elves bring them the tickets as part of an antic.
If you had some family days out or holidays during the year can any of the locations be used for an antic? We went to Cornwall this year and have planned to do a Cornish pixie antic and maybe a cream tea. The year our relatives visited us from Canada we had a Canada themed antic.
I hope this has been useful and you now know how to come up with new Elf On The Shelf antics Year on Year. Do you have any tips that you use when coming up with new ideas?