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These Elf On The Shelf Apps Make Life A Little Easier

When holiday spirit is high but ideas are scarce.

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It’s Elf on the Shelf season again, the time when creative parents thrive and the rest of us, well, we’re scraping the bottom of the barrel for ideas by December 5. If you’ve already Googled and read every list of quick and easy Elf on the Shelf ideas, it may be time to download an Elf on the Shelf app to help get you through the coming season.

An Elf on the Shelf can be a fun tradition to start with your child, and it adds some holiday magic to their day each morning of December. That said, thinking of a new scene to create with your elf each night after your child goes to bed (and you’d like to do the same) can get difficult. Other parents are in the same boat, and that’s where these Elf on the Shelf apps come in. They can offer ideas of how to pose your playful little house guest, and many include games your child can play as their elf-related activity of the day. And if you need any props, there are printable Elf on the Shelf scenes available too.

If all the Elf-owning parents can band together, we’ll make it through another Christmas, you’ll see. Now, here’s where to download those apps.


Scout Elf Ideas App

Price: Free

Pros: You can set a nightly notification to remind you to move the elf before morning.

Cons: These ideas are on the elaborate side.

This is *the* Elf on the Shelf app, straight from the makers of the elves themselves. You can see photos and full tutorials from Elves on Shelves all over the world and what their families do to bring some cheer into their homes. You can search the inspiration photos based on the room you want to use (like kitchen, bathroom, or staircase ideas), or your elf’s personality.


Elf Cam - Santa’s Elf Tracker

Price: Free

Pros: It’s easy to use.

Cons: You can’t customize your elf much, so older kids may spot the differences.

If you want a two-minute activity to prove to your child the your elf moved last night, this is the Elf on the Shelf video app you need. Hold your phone camera up to any room or surface, like a countertop, in your house. Plot where your elf will run, hit record, and add the occasional jump or laugh. Show your child the video in the morning, and tell them how you caught the elf heading to the North Pole.


Elf Pets Feeding Frenzy

Price: Free

Pros: It’s an interactive game for kids.

Cons: It doesn’t have any Elf on the Shelf ideas.

Does your child’s Elf on the Shelf have a pet? The makers of the Elf on the Shelf also make Elf Pets — a reindeer, arctic fox, and St. Bernard, to be precise — to keep the elf company on their journeys to and from the North Pole each night. Whether they have one or not, your child will enjoy feeding the Elf Pets in this interactive app game. They just have to pan around and tap the right pet depending on what kind of food their elf is holding. It’s not the best for elf-posing inspo, but it’ll keep your kid busy in those long holiday checkout lines.

Yes, the whole Elf on the Shelf thing can get old for parents by the second week (or second day, honestly). But with a little help and inspiration from an Elf on the Shelf app, you can keep creating magic moments for your child with less mental labor.

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