Elf on the Shelf Ideas for Older Kids
The Elf on the Shelf tradition can be so much fun for little ones, but sometimes older kids feel they’re simply too big to participate. Try these fun Elf on the Shelf ideas for older kids. As far as we’re concerned, it’s never too late for good old fashioned elf mischief! With a little creative thinking, you’ll discover all sorts of ways to make this a family tradition, no matter what their ages.
Let older kids take turns hiding the elf.
Elf on the Shelf ideas for older kids means involving them in the process. Clearly the older kids know that the elf isn’t magic. So, let them take turns moving the elf around and hiding it. They will enjoy finding new spots to hide the elf, seeing if they can stump the little ones. Let older kids plan some hiding spots and carry them out so they can be involved. Brainstorm ideas together to draw them in on the conspiracy. After all, even Santa needs lots of helpers!
Create fun and humorous scenarios.
Task the older children with providing three or more fun and humorous scenarios for the Elf on the Shelf. They can spell out the names of younger kids with candy, set up the elf to look like he’s reading. They can make him appear to be making snow angels in sugar, or dress him up in an Elf Tuxedo or dress her up in Claus Couture! Let them try making some elf clothing.
There are so many ideas! Let the older kids create fun scenarios. They can research online if they need help to get the ideas flowing. There are loads of ideas on the official Elf on the Shelf site here and super fun ideas from I Heart Nap Time here.
Let them set up funny scenes and do a photo-shoot with the Elf on the shelf. Give them an early present during your count down to Christmas with an affordable Instax Mini and let them get to work. Think stop action filming. If they make tiny movements with the elf and photograph each step, they can put it together in a flip book or create a video out of it. Have them share their pictures on social media or send them to family to show off their work. They might even create fun Christmas cards with their photos and become the official family holiday photographer!
Encourage positive behavior.
Let older children use the elf to encourage positive behavior in younger children. When younger children are having a hard time behaving, older kids can remind them that the elf is watching! They can play a role in helping to build up the excitement, and remind siblings that good behavior matters. Helping your older kids mature and move seamlessly into the tween and teen years goes a lot more smoothly if they know they have an important job to do within the family unit. Find out who their role models are and remind them that just as they look up to their heroes, younger siblings really look up to them. It’s important that they feel they are partnered with you and not just “stuck” with an additional chore. Conspiring together, giving them a job, the respect that comes with their newly found maturity, and maybe some extra encouragement can make all the difference.
When there are no younger siblings.
If there are no younger children in the house and you still want to enjoy this tradition, let the older kids hide the elf for the adults. You will be surprised how creative they can be and all the ways they think of using the elf. Make it a competition as you take turns trying to out do each other – looser does the dishes! You just might feel like a kid again!
Use the elf for message delivery.
While your older kids might not enjoy hunting for the elf or believing in the magic, they will like being encouraged. My older kids don’t believe in the Easter Bunny, but they sure do like to get a basket full of candy! Have your elf leave affirming notes for your older child. A joke or two never hurts with this crowd. Of course, they will know it’s you, but they will still enjoy feeling encouraged and loved in the process. Kids are never too big for extra love, no matter how mature they think they are. Don’t let the eye rolling fool you!
Use it as a writing tool.
If your older child can use some writing practice, they can always write their holiday wish list to the elf. This is a great way to practice their writing in a way that is also fun. Tweens and teens can even write short stories about Elf to read to the younger kids in the evening. Get an Elf Pet involved in the story telling for added interest. Kids can even read or tell their stories on video to share with the grandparents for Christmas!
Additionally, there can even be a reward system in place for good stories. Again, kids are never too old for extra encouragement.
So, are you ready to have some family fun with your Elf on a Shelf? Even if you have older children at home, you can still enjoy creative and fun Elf on the Shelf ideas for older kids!
Need an Elf? Pick up a simple Elf on the Shelf with a book on Amazon here.