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Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Fun Elf on the Shelf Game Ideas

Just like adults and kids, elves love getting together and playing games too, so it makes sense that while they're visiting for December they'll get into the games cupboard and have some fun, they may even make up their own games. I've put together a list of games the elves can play and most of them use items you probably already have at home.

elf on the shelf games night with other toys
Image: @elf_on_the_shelf_joy

You can use miniature games from department stores, barbie accessories, classic board games and toys you already have or even make your own DIY versions of popular games for the elf to play while they visit.


These elf game ideas are really easy to set up and a great way to bring elf magic to life. The ideas include using actual board games you have at home, household items to make up games, printable games and miniature versions of games. They're also a great way for the elves to interact with your children's other toys.


elf and barbie playing jenga

One of the most popular elf games each year is Jenga. It can easily be played with 2 elves, or they can play with other toys like Barbie. You can set this up using the proper Jenga game, or kit kat pieces, wafer sticks or mini Jenga.


elf twister printable

The elf can set up their own game of elf sized twister with the other toys using the free elf twister printable from Crystal and Comp. It might get a little crowded though.

Elf Uno

elf on the shelf playing uno
Image: Elf on the Shelf Twitter

The elves, or elf and other toys, can have a quick game of Uno. You can use a normal pack of Uno cards, or if you want them elf sized get the pocket size Uno pack.


elf playing scrabble

The elves will love playing scrabble and coming up with different words. Will they create a bunch of festive words? If they're cheeky they may even come up with some funny or naughty words the kids aren't meant to say. Just keep in mind if your kids can read they'll probably repeat the words so tell the elf to choose wisely.

Connect 4

elf on the shelf playing connect 4

If you have more than one elf they can enjoy a classic game of Connect 4. Even if you only have one elf just grab another toy for them to play against. You can use the original size Connect 4 game that can be found at most department stores, or you can get the travel size Connect 4. If you have the tiny mini elves or elf babies, you can also get the world's smallest connect 4.

Hungry Hippos

elves playing hungry hippos

The elf and other toys can make their own DIY edible hungry hippos game using Kinder Happy Hippo biscuits and some jelly beans. I'm sure the kids will be begging to help clean up after the elf that day! If you don't want to use food for the game then you can use the actual hungry hungry hippos game.


elf playing operation

If your kids love playing doctors then maybe your elf will too. They can have their own operation by lying down on the operation board game. Depending on the rules in your house they may have to play with other toys though in case the kids accidentally touch them during the operation.

If the elf wants to be the doctor and do the operation themselves then you can get the world's smallest operation game here.

Guess Who

elf on the shelf playing guess who

This would be a great game for the elves to play during the first week of December as a spin on guess who's back... back again. They can play the standard Guess Who game like Crafting with Kids, or they could be cheeky and stick elf faces on top of all the face.


elf playing pool on mini pool table

The elf can have a game of pool against other toys with a table top pool table. Just a friendly warning, if you have cats who like stealing balls then this may not be the best option.

Air Hockey

elf on the shelf playing air hockey

The elves can have fun trying to get their hockey puck into the goal with mini air hockey. If you don't have two elves then the elf can play against another toy.

Elf Lite Brite

elf playing lite brite
Image: @elf_on_the_shelf_joy

The elf can get creative making their own fun glowing designs on their own Lite Brite pad just like we did as kids. You can get a mini elf sized Lite Brite from the World's Smallest Toys. Just don't leave it set up where mouthing kids can find it as the pieces are tiny.

Candy Crush

elf playing candy crush.
Image: Part Time Working Hockey Mom

Candy crush has been a super popular app for years and while the elves might not be able to get into your phone or tablet to play the real game, they can set up their own version of candy crush. You might want to use a toy hammer though depending on how old your kids are.

Elf Christmas Bingo

elf bingo game

Your elf and other toys can have fun playing their own Christmas version of bingo with this cute printable elf bingo game. Use mini pom poms to mark off the pictures that have been called out. Once the toys have had their fun the kids can keep the printable and play their own games of Christmas bingo.

Fishing for Poo

elves fishing for poo in bath

One of the most popular novelty games this year is fishin' for poo {also called fishin' for floaters}, because obviously poo is the most hilarious thing according to young kids, so why not have the elves fish for it in the bath or sink.

The Floor is Lava

elf on the shelf playing floor is lava

What kid doesn't love playing the floor is lava? It just makes sense that elves will have fun playing it too. You can make it look super realistic with a removable lava floor decal and the kids can play on it themselves too.

You can also set up the floor is lava with an elf using red tissue paper or a red scarf with fairy lights under so it looks like glowing lava. Then either tie your elf up on the wall or place them up on some furniture away from the lava.

Elf Sack Race

elf and toys having a sack race.

Potato sack races were a staple activity at any birthday party or sports day growing up, and now the elf and other toys can recreate their own sack races with brown paper bags. You can use some tape as the finish line, make a finish banner or download free printable finish signs here.

Snowball Fight

elves having a snowball fight

We don't get snow at Christmas time here in Australia, but if you live somewhere that does, the elves can have fun having their own snowball fight. Set it up either with marshmallows, white pom poms, scrunched up white tissue paper or cotton balls.

Pin The Nose on The Snowman

pin the nose on the snowman

Just like the classic pin the tail on the donkey party game, the elf can play a Christmas version of pin the nose on the snowman. You can use blu tack if you don't want to use proper push pins. Get the printable pin the nose on the snowman game here. You can also get a pin the nose on the reindeer game as well.

Pin The Star on The Tree

elf pinning a star on the tree game

Another similar game is pin the star on the tree. You can get the printable here and then use it with star stickers. The kids can also colour in the tree and play the game themselves once the elf is done playing.

Elf Tic Tac Bow

elves playing tic tac toe with christmas bows

The elves can create their own festive version of tic tac toe, tic tac bow, using washi tape and Christmas bows. Make sure each elf has a different coloured bow.

Elf Yoga

elf doing yoga

Ok so this one isn't really a game, but perhaps your elf would like to unwind with a little yoga to recharge from all their usual antics. You can get a free elf yoga printable here, or you can get the one shown in the photo above here.

Elf Scavenger Hunt

printable elf scavenger hunt

There's many ways the elf can do a scavenger hunt, they could hide themselves and leave clues for you to find them, hide candy canes around the house, or even hide photos of their elf friends. You can get the elf photo scavenger hunt here.

Elf Gaming

elf on the shelf playing playstation

If your kids have a console, either an Xbox, PlayStation, Wii or Nintendo Switch, set up the elf on the couch with the controller and some headphones so they can be gaming buddies for the day. 

Elf Among Us 

elf and barbies playing among us

The elf doesn't need a device to play among us, they can get dressed up in their own among us costumes with this free among us printable and play their own game with other toys. Red looks a bit suss if you ask me. You can also get among us themed elf sweaters here.

Elf Minecraft

elf dressed as a minecraft creeper

Turn your elf into a real life Minecraft character with these printable Minecraft heads. Does your elf want to be Alex, Steve, a creeper, a zombie, a skeleton or an enderman?

Pokémon Battle

elf and ken having a pokemon battle

If the elf and other toys want to battle it out Pokémon style, you can create your very own elf Pokémon card with special powers. That way the elf can join other toys in a real battle, this works even better if you have a mini elf that can be the "Pokémon elf" for the battle. Follow these steps to make your own elf Pokémon cardPokémon, go!

elf games


If you want to use games are that are official Elf on the Shelf games and ones that the kids can play themselves then have a look at these. You can get them from Amazon below, or if you're in Australia, Amazon AU have a big range of EOTS games too.

Disclosure - This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience, which means I may make a small commission at no cost to you, should you make a purchase. All images have been used with express permission.

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