For those of you who have so far escaped the latest Christmas phenomena, The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition is a children’s picture book that was written and self-published by American author Carol Aebersold and daughter Chanda Bell in 2005.

The book tells a story of how Santa knows who has been naughty and who has been nice by sending his little elf helpers to watch over children in the lead up to Christmas Eve, after which they return to the North Pole until the next year.

The Elf on the Shelf comes with a small soft toy elf, who gets up to all sort of mischief as soon as he or she is left alone in the house. You can adopt one here, here or here.

If your family will be joining in the fun this year, here are 30 simple Elf on the Shelf ideas to inspire the trickster in you in the lead up to Christmas:

1. Will your elf turn up by priority mail?

simple elf on the shelf ideas

2. And then celebrate in style like this one from Sweet Shoppe Designs?

simple elf on the shelf ideas

3. You could let your Lego people hold him hostage

simple elf on the shelf ideas

4. And then dodge Blind Mom’s army men

simple elf on the shelf ideas

5. This game of hide and seek demonstrated by SheKnows could keep your little ones busy for hours…

simple elf on the shelf ideas

6. Maybe your elf could win at a game of poker?

simple elf on the shelf ideas

7. Or a round of Jenga like Snippets from Suburbia elf?

simple elf on the shelf ideas

8. Little Bit Funky caught their elf colouring a masterpiece

Simple Elf on the Shelf Ideas

9. Honeysukle Footprints‘ elf took a ride on a shoe, shoe train

Simple Elf on the Shelf Ideas

10. Instagram user Adam Waid found his elf making a self portrait

simple elf on the shelf ideas

11. While DIY Inspired’s elf made great use of this toy cooker

simple elf on the shelf ideas

12. Allow your elf to help with the Christmas wrapping like this one at A Few Short Cuts

simple elf on the shelf ideas

13. Follow the lead of Picklehead Soup, and have your elf challenge some soft toys to a sack race

simple elf on the shelf ideas

14. And he could even make a great dog walker

simple elf on the shelf ideas

15. Will your elf copy Rebecca’s at the Simple as That blog and ‘help’ with the Christmas tree?

simple elf on the shelf ideas

16. Rob from your child’s piggy bank?

simple elf on the shelf ideas

17. Or be set a drift in his own little boat?

Simple Elf on the Shelf Ideas

18. Some elves are generous, like this one from Mrs Pauley’s Place

Simple Elf on the Shelf Ideas

19. He could let rip with a good ol’ fashioned marshmallow fight like Snippet from Suburbia’s

simple elf on the shelf ideas

20. And try out his stilt walking

simple elf on the shelf ideas

21. Apparently elves are messy eaters

simple elf on the shelf ideas

22. But Angie’s elf loves to read

simple elf on the shelf ideas

23. Sometimes elves needs some time to cool off

Simple Elf on the Shelf Ideas

24. The elf at That’s Country Living thinks it wouldn’t be Christmas without snow angels

simple elf on the shelf ideas

25. The elf that visits A Few Short Cuts was a great help around the house

Simple Elf on the Shelf Ideas

26. The official Elf on the Shelf Facebook page shows what an elf can do with a packet of googly eyes

simple elf on the shelf ideas

27. And how much fun you can have with some toilet rolls

simple elf on the shelf ideas

28. Or perhaps set up a photoshoot like Instagram user jordynns_mommy23’s elf

simple elf on the shelf ideas

29. Then polish it all off with a few treats

simple elf on the shelf ideas

30. Finally, he’ll need to wish you a fond farewell as he heads back to the North Pole

simple elf on the shelf ideas

Do you have any more simple Elf on a Shelf ideas? Share them with us in the box below.