25 Fun Ideas for Your Class ‘Elf on the Shelf’

Is anyone else Christmas-obsessed? When it comes to the classroom, we love getting all festive because there is no one more willing to join in on the excitement more than kids! 

In saying that, Christmas time can be a little hectic, just like school, so we are here to make your teacher life easier. Without further ado, we would like to share with you 20 different ideas for your class Elf on the Shelf.

Before we start, COVID times might call for a quarantine period! This is a cute idea to get your kiddos excited for the Elf adventures to begin!Elf on the shelf ideas for teachers

Grab a free printable list of ideas + a classroom poster and student activity for your class Elf on the Shelf here.

25 Ideas for your class Elf on the Shelf

Print this list, tick it off as you go, and rest easy knowing that we have done all the creative thinking for you!


1. On your teacher computer/desk


2. Sitting at a student desk (with all their belongings out)


3. Get Elf on the Shelf to kick start your Kindness at Christmas campaign by leaving your class kind messages. Find free templates for the Kindness Kris Kringle here.

Elf on the Shelf ideas for teachers


4. Pinned to one of your display boards (this Kindness quote is a freebie)Elf on the shelf ideas for teachers


5. Writing a message on the board for the class


6. Introducing a class Kindness Advent Calendar
Elf on the shelf ideas for teachers


7. Hiding in your class library

Elf on the shelf ideas for teachers
Photo credit: @learn.with.laura

8. Pretend Elf on the Shelf has written a naughty and nice list on the board (under nice, list your students’ names and under the naughty list write some of the teachers)

Elf on the shelf ideas for teachers


9. Ask someone in the office or another teacher to deliver your elf during the day saying he/she was trying to escape


10. Making something from manipulatives (e.g. playdough, MAB, coloured rice, counters)

Elf on the shelf ideas for teachers


11. Sitting with a cute message to be kind to their teacherElf on the shelf ideas for teachers


12. Elf on the Shelf pretending to mark books


13. Pictures of Elf stuck all over the room


14. Pretending to have brought back a snowman from the North Pole
Elf on the shelf ideas for teachers

15. Having an ‘Elfie’ displayed on your projector/screen/smartboard/class iPads (you can follow up with your students making their own Elfie Selfie – get your free template here)
Elf of the Shelf Selfie


16. Doing a fun activity that you have planned for the day


17. Set up with a security guard so he/she behaves

Class Elf on the Shelf



18. Set up Elf on the Shelf with a ‘Crack the Code mystery for your students to complete (we have a free one for you here)


19. Hiding in one of your student’s trays or a storage box


20. Hidden inside your class sharpener

Elf on the shelf ideas for teachers
Photo credit @misslearningbee


21. Elf graffiti’s a class photo


22. Lying in lost property


23. Hidden inside one of your students pencil cases


24. Elf having a marshmallow bath

Elf on the Shelf ideas for teachers

25. Elf on the Shelf stuck in a lost property container

Elf on the shelf ideas for teachers

Other academic ideas you can implement that involve your Elf on the Shelf:

Dedicate some writing lessons

The ideas are endless when writing about your class elf. Maybe it is a Santa’s workshop job application, a description of your elf, a story where the hero is the class elf or even a persuasive text such as, “Should Santa send his Elves out to watch children or keep them in the workshop to help him prepare for Christmas?” (find the writing task below here).
Elf on the Shelf ideas for teachers


Number of the Day

Set up your Elf on the Shelf, so they are holding a number that the students need to use to complete a number of the day activity. You can grab a free template here or a Christmas version here.

Christmas Number of the Day FREE


Christmas Kindness Campaign

We mentioned this one above but what better time is there than Christmas to remind our students of the power of kindness. Using your Elf on the Shelf is a great way to get started by him/her leaving kind notes for your students. Grab this free template to help your students to start writing kind notes to each other.

Christmas kindness template


Design and Make

Get your students to create a new outfit for your Elf on the Shelf using leftover paper or art supplies, or perhaps create a mode of transportation for Elf. How adventurous you want to be is dependent on the number of supplies you have available at the end of the school year.



Let us know, did you use any of these ideas? What did your students enjoy the most?



Before you go, grab your FREE Elf on the Shelf checklist, poster and activity here.Class Elf freebie for teachers

Need help planning some awesome lessons for your students? We have got you covered. Click on the links below for more…

Kindness at Christmas Flipbook

Kindness Kris Kringle – Class Display

Christmas Blooms Activities (Grades 1-2)

Christmas Blooms Activities (Grades 3-6)

The Christmas Thief – Crack the Code


OUR CHRISTMAS MEGA BUNDLE – Everything you need!

25 Fun Ideas for Your Class ‘Elf on the Shelf’ - Rainbow Sky Creations

What to read next:

Simple gifts for students that are from the heart

Kindness at Christmas – Tips, Strategies, and Free Resources

The BEST Christmas Math Lesson (and it is FREE!)

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