Over the years, Elf on the Shelf has become an increasingly popular tradition for parents to do with their kids. On the one hand, it's really fun to see how kids react to the new hiding spot or mischief of the elf each day. And on the other hand, it can be hard to find something new for the elf to do that the kids haven't seen before.
Some elves make their debut the day after Thanksgiving. Others don't show their face until December. Even so, that's still 24 days of creativity.
Here are a few Elf on the Shelf hiding ideas to get you through the holidays that are easy to pull off in an apartment.
A couple of helium balloons help your elf's arrival go off without a hitch.
Hot hot hot … hot chocolate!
Bathroom? Check. Toilet paper? Check.
Just don't look down…
The elf takes the Iron Throne.
This one is easy to pull off in an apartment. The bows won't leave marks behind so you don't have to worry about losing your deposit over elf misbehavior.
It's a par-tay!
This move usually buys you a few days of not moving the elf because he's just too sick to move! [Insert evil mom laugh]
We really like this one because the baking sheet keeps the elf's mess contained.
Who doesn't love a good campfire?
He's holding out for a hero.
If you're running low on places to hide the elf around your apartment, move him outside to your car. There are so many places to hide!
Because the elf is a jar, your kids can get away with "touching" the elf without him losing his magic. It's a good way to let your kids show the elf around your home and ride to and from school.
Have your elf deliver baking supplies to make cookies for Santa on Christmas Eve! This is perfect for a day or two before Christmas.
Add a corncob pipe and a button nose and you've got yourself a snowman regardless of the weather.
Who doesn't love the yellow henchmen? Elf sure does!
You may not have time to make fresh-squeezed orange juice in the morning, but Elf has enough time!
Elf loves crafting and making unique snowflakes.
It may be too cold outside for sack races, but that won't stop the Elf!
Elf loves this marshmallow Rice Krispies treat as much as the next person.
Nothing like a family game of Twister for some family bonding time.
With all the sweets and treats of the holiday season, Elf is taking time for exercise.
Elf wants some fresh air, so let him rest on the wreath.
Elf obviously does not have spidey-senses as he's been trapped by Spiderman in a web.
Elf was a little tight for cash around the holidays, so he's sneaking some spare change out of the piggy bank.
Elf is very active and loves to go(ld) fish.
Elf has excellent balance as he scales his way across the tightrope.
Elf has the ability to scale walls — whether they are painted walls or brick, he can scale them all!
Elves need to stay healthy and flexible so they can have the energy to keep doing their pranks!
Maybe the elf being locked outside isn't such a bad thing… the house is much cleaner!
At least he's leaving a mess in the toilet and not somewhere else.
“You look quite a bit taller since the last time I saw you… wasn't that yesterday?"
Now you have proof of what the elf was up to!
This time, the elf decided to help us out by doing some deep cleaning. Or, maybe he just did it for the couch change — finders, keepers!
Clearly, this elf didn't read about Gulliver, or else he might have seen this coming.
Up, up and away!
There's nothing like the great indoors — no bugs, great temperature and indoor plumbing is just down the hall!
Santa gave his elf a secret mission and this elf intends to complete it.
Let elf enjoy a relaxing afternoon at the pond with his new ducky friends!
This elf likes to party — but he does it quietly, so he doesn't wake anyone up!
Unlike Ralphie, this elf actually likes the pajamas Aunt Clara sent.
Jim Halpert would be proud of the work this elf is doing around the house.
Elf and the other toys like to have fun together — even if it makes a little bit of a mess!
“Elf… I am your father."
Elves are really good at fixing things — especially motors that never ran in the first place.
Rub-a-dub-dub, there's an elf in the tub.
Don't be fooled — this little guy can take on even the best pool players.
Step right up! Come see this elf in action as he clowns around and shows off his talented animals.
After all of the holiday shenanigans, this Elf on the Shelf has been hiding a lot and needs a little bit of rest and relaxation.
Let's see if our elf friend can get a hole in one!
Elf rolls up to the big screen with his crew of faithful friends. Screening today is a beloved Christmas classic!
These elves decided to make sure everyone has clean cars for the holidays (and they're probably making a little extra cash in the process).
This mischievous elf took the toilet paper and replaced it with something a little less comfortable.
Our elf lost track of time and had to let Santa know there would be a delay in his daily report. Now we have proof he's been communicating with good Saint Nick!
The Elf on the Shelf loves the family he spies on, but that won't stop him from pulling a prank and drawing funny things on photos.
With a little bit of Santa's magic, this elf is taking a trip far, far away from the north pole.
When there's no other competition at your house for the "Sexiest Elf Alive" contest, your Elf on the Shelf is going to take advantage of the situation and award himself the honor.
Even your elf wants a little break from the cold weather. He's taking a little vacation and learning how to dance in Hawaii!
Elves can fall in love, too! Plus, who can resist Barbie and a nice, sugary snack?
This year's summer Olympics inspired this elf and he's trying his hand at the uneven bars.
Even though this elf always has a smile on his face, we know he's a little scared of the T-Rex chasing down his Jeep!
Some elves like to take selfies — more formally known in the elf world as "elfies."
This elf has the chance to make some serious cash on a time-tested favorite TV show.
This Elf on the Shelf is catching a wave with his favorite girl, Barbie — it looks like things are getting serious since their first date sipping syrup!
Elves can get hurt, too! If kids have a messy room and you've told them to clean it time and time again, your elf can reinforce the message by letting the kiddos know that their room is dangerous for him!
The Elf on the Shelf is finding him in a bit of a scary situation — he's in a sink full of sharks!
Talk about doing the most— this helper friend decided to stay out of mischief and help out by taking the dogs for a much-needed walk. Note: If you have a real pet, you can use them to help out with this one.
Elf is having a good time playing a round of cards with his friends.
Apparently this elf can grow facial hair… but he wants to keep his face smooth and soft, so he's doing what anyone else with facial hair must do.
Grab a shoe and help your elf sled down the banister! Or if you want to get a little more creative, you can make an elf-sized sled from candy canes and construction paper.
Use some cereal (like Fruit Loops or Cheerios) and frosting to showcase your elf's baking skills.
This elf is playing superhero for a day! He's got his Spiderman mask on and is hanging by his web (actually, just a piece of thread).
Your elf has his own treehouse! Build one out of craft foam sheets or popsicle sticks and hang it in your Christmas tree.
If you have a Roomba or other automatic vacuum that moves around the house, you might find that your elf has turned it into their automobile to get from room to room (while cleaning up the floor a bit).
Challenge the elf to a ping-pong match and see who wins!
Because using a normal golf ball would be silly!
Even elves need a little break from the stress of the holidays.
Playground fun is for elves, too!
This ball pit is far more delicious than the human-sized ones — it's made of gumballs!
Rub-a-dub-dub, there's an elf in the tub!
Santa, is that you? What happened to your head?!
As always, our elf friend is making more messes—but this one is a fun one!
Somehow, our elf got stuck with all of the clothes in the washing machine! How did that happen?
These kisses are kid-approved and tasty!
Don't forget the sunscreen!
Just a relaxing day at the pool.
It looks like elf stole a magic shrinking machine from the North Pole!
Oh no! Elf didn't realize the snowman would melt in the house!
These elves tried to join one of Elon Musk's space missions!
Along with lots of other people, these elves are working remotely!
This elf has some mad tech-hacking skills!
Elsa got a hold of our elf this time! Now is this a bad thing… or did it keep him out of other trouble?
Watch your favorite Christmas movie with your elf and enjoy some sweet treats.
Play your favorite game with elf — but in real life!
Don't worry — he won't play them loud enough to wake the kids!
Stranger Things has escaped the big screen and come to haunt the elf!
Elves enjoy learning new skills, like painting portraits!
This elf is using Skittles to make a magic rainbow!
Moving the elf is a beloved family tradition that children love. These Elf on the Shelf hiding ideas can help you keep the magic alive for your children during the holiday season.