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 24 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?

elf on mail

2. And then celebrate in style?

elf on table

3. You could let your Lego people hold him hostage

elf on lego

4. And then your army men

elf on wall tape

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

elf on the shelf ideas

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

elf playing cards

7. Or a round of Jenga like mommysavers elf?

elf jenga

8. Instagram user emi_sky_love had her elf make a self portrait

elf on the shelf ideas

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

elf on the shelf ideas

10. Allow your elf to help with the Christmas wrapping

elf and tape

11. Have him challenge some soft toys to a sack race

elf in bag

12. And he could even make a great dog walker

elf dog walking

13. Will your elf copy flickr user Mark Baylor’s and ‘help’ with the Christmas tree?

elf on the shelf ideas

14. Or start a jigsaw puzzle?

elf on the shelf

15. He could let rip with a good ol’ fashioned marshmallow fight

elf marshmallows

16. And if your elf forgets to move one night, an apology note may be in order

elf letter

17. Apparently elves are messy eaters

elf spagetti

18. But peapodsquadmom’s elf makes a great teacher

elf on the shelf ideas

19. It wouldn’t be Christmas without snow angels

elf in icing

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

elf on the shelf ideas

21. Your elf could show his artistic side

elf photo frame

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

elf on the shelf ideas

23. Then polish it all off with a lazy night in

elf on the shelf ideas

24. Finally, he’ll need to pack up his gear and head back to the North Pole

elf jeep

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

Related Content: 16 Ideas for Your Child’s Christmas Eve Box