Elf on the Shelf
Pretty Providence/ The Traveling Red

30 Elf on the Shelf Ideas That'll Keep Your Kids on Their Toes

Give your kids a dose of Christmas magic with these 30 ideas.

As far as Christmas traditions go, Elf on the Shelf has by far the widest range of possibilities. Parents have frozen their Christmas imps in blocks of ice, waterboarded them in fish tanks, and even left them dangling over the stove while being surrounded by an army of weapon-toting toys.

And that's just the PG-13 stuff.

While there are zillions of examples of naughty (and just downright dirty) elves, it's crucial to remember the tradition's innocent nature. In 2005, author and mom Carol Aebersold released the book "The Elf on the Shelf," inspired by the story she told her twin daughters about how Santa really got his intel for his naughty-and-nice list: elves.

As her tale goes, Santa sends a scout elf to every home as his eyes and ears, reporting back to him each night from Thanksgiving to Christmas Eve. The book was a hit and eventually evolved into an excuse for parents to prank their kids while sprinkling in a healthy dose of Christmas magic.

But with every year comes the pressure to think of new and creative ideas to keep your elf's visits exciting and unexpected for the kiddos. From elaborate scenes to simple, playful antics, these 30 Elf on the Shelf ideas will help you keep your kids on their toes all season long.

READ MORE: 30 Best Christmas Gifts Under $25