7 Ways For Your Elf On The Shelf To Be Socially Distant

Because even Elfy should mask up.

In the minds of children, Elf on the Shelf lives large in the lead-up to Christmas. The scout elf who takes up residence in thousands of families' homes every December is the work of Carol Aebersold and her daughter Chanda Bell, who wrote the book of the same name in 2005. Each night the elf reports back to Santa about children’s behavior, then plays hide and seek in the house throughout the day. A perfect opportunity to put elf in entertaining poses, this year should see some wildly creative socially distant Elf on the Shelf scenarios.

Since the tradition began, parents have used the elf to unleash their playful sides. I’ve seen elves duct taped to walls, scaling window blinds, borrowing dad’s razor and shaving cream in the bathroom, and so much more. It only makes sense that with the pandemic still going on, parents would put elf in some PPE and have some fun.

In the United Kingdom, the fun has already begun. As reported by The Sun, a company called Moonlight Creations is now selling Elf on the Shelf isolation houses. Each $15 jar comes with a tiny elf face mask and a space to countdown the days until the elf’s isolation is over.

To create your own socially distant scenes, you don’t have to buy these props, you can DIY. Here are a few ideas to get you started.


Mask Up, Elf-y


As mentioned above, the Elf on the Shelf face mask industry is booming. But you don’t have to order one, you can make one yourself. Just get a bit of fabric and some floss or string and fashion it together. You could even add a little sign next to your elf that says “6 feet distance, please!”


Hand-Washing Elf on the Shelf

What kid hasn't been trained to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ each time they wash their hands? My son is such a meticulous hand-washer now, I have to urge him to spend less than 5 minutes at the sink each trip to the bathroom. So why not put Elf in that familiar position? Take a bit of scrap fabric and make him a tiny hand towel. And if you’re feeling extra crafty, cut a bar of soap into a miniature version and place it in Elf’s hands posing him next to the sink.


Elf Zoom Call

Every kid that’s been on a hybrid or distance learning plan is now familiar with Zoom. Blow their mind by putting elf on the shelf in their next Zoom meeting. You could either ask a teacher for permission to join the Zoom from a different (hidden room) then pose elf on camera. Or you could take a screen grab of elf and have him on their computer when they sit down for class.


Elf in WFH Mode


Just as Zoom has become a verb, so too has the concept of having parents working from home. Well, elf might need to catch up on some spreadsheets and emails too. One idea: Set him up at your laptop with a cup of coffee for your children to find.


Peloton Elf

The sales of Pelotons, at home interactive workout bikes, have surged during the pandemic, climbing some 66% according to CNBC. If you’re one of the 23,000 people who joined its biggest class ever in April, then your child will certainly see the humor of their elf trying to burn off some calories on the Peloton rather than going to what we can only assume are his regular Zumba classes.


Distanced Fine Dining

Some families have gotten very creative, adding other characters into their elf situations. Say you have some Barbies lying around. You could easily create an outdoor dining tableau complete with a masked-up waitress and other socially distant guests like GI Joes or Bratz dolls at the other tables.


Curbside Grocery Delivery

Even the elf has to do some home cooking, so to stay on the safe side, he’ll need to get his groceries curbside. Grab one of your child’s play vehicles, place elf inside, and then create a miniature curbside pick-up set by taking a cereal box, covering it in paper and making it look like a grocery store. You could even create tiny paper bags stacked in the back of the car. Voila — a pandemic grocery run.

Whatever socially distant scenes you manufacture, chances are your kids will love it. This year, everyone is in on the joke.