Evelyn plays Elf on a Shelf without the elf all year long at our house. So here are some ideas, courtesy of her.
1) Get creative with food. A block of cheese with giant bite marks out of it says, "I'm naughty, but in a healthy diet sort of way."
2) Paint isn't just for paper. It's for hands, arms, legs, tables, carpet...
3) Mud can be made anywhere dirt can be found. Get creative. Stir it up.
3b) Cover your hands in it.
3c) Heck, cover your whole self in it and drag a friend into your antics.
4) Find some streamers or raffia and have a party.
5) Clean laundry is made to be dumped. Your elf would surely love to hide in a giant pile of clean clothes.
6) Are you one of those who put your laundry away right away? No problem. Drawers can be emptied out too and have the same effect.
7) Makeup is fabulously fun to paint with. It covers clothes, carpets, and walls with ease.
8) Don't underestimate the mess that something as simple as water can make. Sometimes the fun happens outside, but it's even more fun to dump cups of water all over the house. Make a moat around the kitchen table, a lake in the living room, the options are really endless.
9) Find all the hair accessories in the house and hoard them. Wear them all at once.
10) Here's a combo of two previous options. Paint and mud. Combine them and see where your elf's creativity can go.
11) Have your little elf dress your sons up like girls. Hair bows, tiaras, and dresses are all viable options.
12) Don't limit your elf's coloring surfaces to paper. Other options for your elf to decorate include tables, the play kitchen set, floor, benches, chairs, cabinets, and toys.
13) Fun with scissors. Whether your elf decides to cut his own hair, his sister's hair, or play horse's hair: all will make an impression.
14) Kleenex looks so much like snow, it will make any indoor surface more wintery. Cover floors, couches, and fake trees in it to get your kids in the winter spirit. Extra points for wetting the kleenex down first.
15) Naughty, naughty elves don't like to eat their peas. Go ahead and have Buddy hide them in the bathroom sink.
There you have it. 15 options to carry you through the end of December. Enjoy!