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Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Elf on the Shelf Ideas for Older Kids

If you've been doing the Elf on the Shelf for a few years like us, your kids may be getting older and closer to the tween/teen age where simple, or even funny elf pranks might not cut it any more. My oldest daughter is nearly 11 and she's still super excited for Elfie to visit, but it's definitely getting harder to come up with ideas that entertain her. 

If you're looking to keep the magic alive, or just continue on your fun family traditions, you may need to adjust your elf ideas to something a bit more outrageous {FYI toilet humour usually goes down a treat too}. 

Tweens and teens can be very picky about the things they like and if you want them to remain enthused about the elf visiting it's best to work with what they love, so my biggest tip for older kids is to get the elf to do ideas that relate to their current interests. 

Whether it's their favourite game, Netflix show, a trending Tik Tok, or YouTube prank, we all know kids this age want to be cool and theirs elves will need to keep up! So I've put together a list of 29 elf ideas for older kids that are based on popular culture and current trends.

elf on the shelf ideas for older kids.


Your older kids will get a kick out of these fun elf ideas. Will your elf be acting sus in Among Us, building their dreamhouse is Brookhaven, battling creepers in Minecraft or winning Pokémon battles with their very own Pokémon cards?

Maybe they'll get confused trying to Tik Tok and floss and guess if things are cake or not. Phew after all this they'll probably want to veg out and order Elf Eats! Lucky I've got all these scenarios and more covered in this list.


elf Fortnite idea.

Dress the elf up in Fortnite skins like Peely and Fishsticks and have them parachute into the tree. This is the perfect one to do 2 weeks before Christmas with the sign it's a fortnite til Christmas.

Among Us

elf among us idea.

Hmmm something looks a bit sus! Elves can have fun playing Among Us with all the other toys using this free among us printable. You can also get among us themed elf sweaters here, or proper Among Us elf outfits here. Better keep an eye on the elf though, I hear they're pretty good at venting from one spot to another.


elf roblox idea.

If your kids spend hours playing Adopt Me, Rainbow Friends, Brookhaven, Bloxburg etc, I can relate! The elf can now have fun playing their own game of Roblox with their very own TV and controller


elf Pokémon battle.
Are your kids obsessed with Pokémon and Pokémon cards too? Your elf can create their very own Pokémon card with special powers so they 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 card. You can also use the same steps to create Pokémon cards for your kids or the other toys.


elf minecraft.

The elf can play Minecraft too with these printable Minecraft heads. You can also get premade Minecraft elf costumes so they can completely dress up as their favourite Minecraft character. My girls are obsessed with Minecraft, see how we made a DIY Zack Zombie head here.

Super Mario

elf super mario.

Super Mario has been a popular game for years and it's popularity has been renewed this year with the release of The Super Mario Bros Movie. Transform your elf into Mario or Luigi by adding a moustache, blue overalls and a hat, or you can get elf Super Mario costumes here

Cover some toilet paper or paper towel rolls in green paper to create the pipes for them to pop out of. You can also print out 3D Super Mario blocks to add to your set up.

Tik Tok

elf tik tok.

Most tweens and teens are aware of Tik Tok even if they don't have their own account, so it makes sense the elf has heard of it too. They might be a little confused as to what it is though...

Glow Stick Dance

elves doing the glow stick dance.

A fun trend that's been around for a few years now is glow stick dancing. You tape glows sticks to your clothes to make a stick man outline then turn off the lights and make dance videos so it looks like a neon stickman is dancing. There's a funny one here if you want a laugh. Elves can get in on this trend too, just tape some activated glow sticks to them.

I Came in like a Wrecking Ball!

elf came in like a wrecking ball idea.

If your kids know the Miley Cyrus song I came in like a wrecking ball where she swings around on a wrecking ball they'll think it's hilarious if the elf swings around on their own wrecking ball. To make an elf wrecking ball you can either make a big alfoil ball and hang it from the ceiling, or use a jumbo Christmas bauble or disco ball ornament.

Duck Song

duck song elf lemonade stand.

Hey! {bum bum bum} Got any grapes?

Chances are if you have school aged children then you've heard the duck song approximately 400 000 times and it gets stuck in your head for hours. I feel your pain! 

The kids will love it if you recreate the viral YouTube video with the elf and it's super easy to make a DIY lemonade stand like the one featured in the video. Follow our instructions to make the duck song lemonade stand. Be prepared to have the song stuck in your head for days after.

It's Corn!

elf recreating it's corn song.

Another viral YouTube song is It's corn! It's corn! A big lump with knobs, it has the juice! If you want to see the full song you can watch it here. You can even dress the elf up in a corn costume and add some real corn cobs.

Skibidi Toilet

elf on the shelf skibidi toilet idea.

Don't even ask my why this is popular with kids, but according to my girls it's hilarious even though it makes no sense to me! Skibidi toilet first became popular with the catchy song Skibidi dop dop dop yes yes and there's now a full YouTube series {the series is definitely not for younger kids}. And yes it's literally weird, creepy AI heads that pop out of toilets.

To create an easy and elf appropriate Skibidi toilet set up, .make a bathroom out of a cardboard box and decorate it with Christmas wrapping paper then add a heap of Skibidi toilet stickers to the walls.

Blind Box Challenge

elf blind box challenge.

If your kids watch YouTube chances are they've watched a blind box or mystery box challenge. The idea is something is hiding in a box and you need to put your hands in and feel around to guess what it is. Usually it's something slimy, hairy or gross!

You can recreate a blind box challenge with the elves by using the free printable backdrop from FabYULEus Elf Duo, a small box and any tiny items you like. If you want to make your elf's hand posable so they can grab the item you can use special gloves from Holly Jolly Fun Crafts.

Mystery Drink Challenge

elf mystery drink challenge.

Similar to the blind box challenge, your elf can set up a mystery drink challenge with a number of drinks hidden inside a box with only the straws sticking out. Will your kids be brave enough to take a sip? If they do will they guess correctly?

Is It Cake?

elf is it cake show

One of my kids favourite Netflix shows is Is it cake? It's a baking competition show where contestants have to make a cake look like a real object and then judges have to guess which number is the cake. The girls love it when the judges get it wrong and are fooled.

You can set up your own Is it Cake? set by printing out small images of Is it Cake posters and using dollhouse miniatures like bags, shoes, hats, chip packets and more as the cake and items on the stands. 

Squid Games

elf squid games.

If your kids have watched Squid Games, played the Roblox version or seen the Mr Beast video, you can set up the elf and other toys playing different games from the movie. The most popular ones are red light/ green light or cutting out the shape cookies. Dress the elf in a red jumpsuit to make them look like a real squid game player.

Stranger Things

elf stranger things idea.
Image: Pinterest

In 2016 Stranger Things started streaming on Netflix and soon became a popular show amongst teenagers. It's a sci fi/ horror drama series based around a group of tween and teen friends who fight mysterious and dangerous forces in their small town Hawkins.

One of the most iconic scenes in the series is the wall of lights with the alphabet which is used to contact the Upside Down. The Upside Down is an alternate dimension in Stranger Things that mimics Hawkins and the real world, however it's full of monsters such as Demogorgons.

It's easy to bring Stranger Things to life by poking some Christmas lights through a carboard box and writing the alphabet underneath. You can also get a Stranger Things elf printable pack here.

Five Nights At Freddy's

elf five nights at freddys idea.
Image: Adrian Books

Even though its a horror series, so many tweens and teens are obsessed with Five Night's at Freddy's thanks to the games, countless YouTube videos {I'm looking at you MatPat} and most recently the new movie. Essentially a security guard needs to survive 5 nights working at Freddy Fazbear's Pizzeria with possessed animatronics roaming around. Sounds fun right, not.

To set up a FNAF elf scene you can use a toy retro television or vcr screen and an image of the security cameras. You can find lots of different FNAF security camera images on Google and just resize them to the screen. If you want to go all out you can get the FNAF 2023 Holiday Funko Pop set that includes Christmas themed Freddy, Bonnie, Chica and Foxy and the animatronics can come alive with the elf.


elf it idea.

If your kids are old enough to have watched IT, you can turn the elf into Georgie and recreate the iconic movie using a yellow raincoat and a red balloon. It's even more effective if you have have floor vents that can act as a drain.

Tiger King

elf dressed up as tiger king.

Just as we were all stuck inside with nothing to do but Netflix and chill, Netflix came out with the biggest hit of 2020, the Tiger King documentary. The stranger than fiction true story documentary about Joe Exotic and his exotic animal park and his feud with animal rights activist Carole Baskin. Suddenly the internet was alive with Tiger King memes. If you haven't watched it you really should.

Recreate Tiger King with your elf by using some tiger animal figurines and dressing the elf in jeans and an animal print or bright shirt. Don't forget to add Joe's signature blonde mullet and handle bar moustache.

Home Alone

elf home alone wet bandits idea.

Home Alone is always a popular movie around Christmas time and the elf can bring the movie to life by transforming into Kevin to protect your house from the wet bandits! Don't worry he has a battle plan. You can also get the wet bandits sign here. Make sure you watch out for booby traps around the house.

Beans on Toast

elf beans on toast.

Mr Bean and baked beans fart humour never gets old, so combine the two and make the kids Beans on toast. Download an image of Mr Beans head and print heaps of them to spread on the toast.

Uber Eats

uber eats elf idea.
Image: @tastefultoppers

We all love using Uber Eats when we couldn't be bothered cooking dinner and my kids ask me for it every other night {they definitely don't get it that often though}. Now the elf can order out too with Elf Eats! Get the printable Elf Eats bags here and fill them in with what food is inside. What will your elf be eating tonight?

Chicken Wing Song

Chicken wing, chicken wing, hot dog and boloney, chicken and macaroni, chillin with my homies! If you haven't heard this song yet your kids will certainly know it. It went viral in 2022 and was on repeat in our house for weeks.

DJ Marshmallow

elf dj marshmallow.

Most tweens and teens are familiar with DJ Marshmallow thanks to his fabulous light up marshmallow head and the fact he's been featured in Fortnite and Roblox. Turn your elf into DJ Marshmallow for the night and put on a show. You can even go all out and get a miniature DJ booth with turntables, mixers, speakers and records.

The Floss

elf doing the floss idea.

The floss dance became popular in viral YouTube videos and has been featured in many games, movies and TV shows since then including Fortnite and Bluey. The elves look like they're as confused as most adults when they try doing the dance.

Apple iPad

elf apple eye pad ipad prank.
Image: @kt_elder

Have the kids been begging for a new iPad for Christmas? The elf can bring them their very own apple eye pads! As an added bonus the period humour will go down a treat and completely freak out your kids if you have boys.


elf starbucks idea.
Image: @tastefultoppers

The elf can bring the kids Starbucks with a twist by bringing paper stars with a buck attached. Cut out paper stars and attach your countries version of a buck {one dollar note, $1 coin, pound etc}. Add a Starbucks cup and coffee pods to make it even more realistic, you can also get miniature Starbucks coffee and printable Starbucks bags for your elf. 

Kids think they're so grown up when they get to drink Starbucks like adults so it's a great one to do for teens, plus what teenager doesn't love free money!

Prime Energy Drink

Prime drink elf costumes.

I'm pretty sure Prime has been the biggest, and most elusive fad of 2023, especially amongst teenagers. There's been so many viral videos of people queuing up to buy the energy drink and stores selling out of stock 5 minutes after they open. If you missed it, catch up with this video below.

Now the elf can come dressed as a Prime drink saying I finally found you some Prime! Get elf Prime costumes from Stitches of Green.

elf ideas for tweens and teenagers.


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