Do you wish you could share the Elf on the Shelf Christmas tradition with your child with autism? If you do, these 35 Ideas for Elf on the Shelf with an autistic child will give you lots of simple, fun and educational ideas to bring this family tradition to life in your home as you begin getting ready for the holidays with a child with autism.
I love the Elf on the Shelf tradition. I think it’s a lot of fun and creates a new way to work on imagination, imitation and communication skills with children on the autism spectrum.
As fun as this tradition is, it can present some unique difficulties for autistic children.
Potential Sticking Points When Sharing the Elf on the Shelf Tradition with Kids with Autism
- Children who are “rule followers” may have trouble coping with the elf doing anything that could be interpreted as “naughty”, such as getting into a bowl of popcorn, rolling wrapping paper out on the floor or making a “mess” of any kind.
- Kids who have trouble using their imaginations may not understand the concept of the elf.
- Some people with autism tend to take things at face value. Rather than creating a lot of complicated Elf scenarios that have subtle jokes incorporated into them, keep things simple for the best results!
You can read this personal account of enjoying the Elf on the Shelf tradition in a home with two autistic boys.
35 Ideas for Elf on the Shelf
35 Elf on the Shelf ideas to bring this fun and educational Christmas tradition into your home or classroom.
- Sitting in the tree.
2. Elf is sitting in a shoe.
3. Elf is coloring in a coloring book.
4. Elf reading a book.
5. Elf is in a jar of cereal.
6. Elf is sitting in a bowl of popcorn.
7. Elf is in a bucket of legos.
8. Elf is in a Christmas cookie tin.
9. Elf is sitting in a box of pompoms.
10. Elf sitting in the fridge (maybe with a Christmas ornmanent or two to make it sillier).
11. Elf making a snow angel with sprinkles.
12. Elf listening to music with headphones.
13. Elf in your child’s dollhouse.
14. Elf tucked into bed.
15. Elf climbing the stairs.
16. Elf has made a huge mess with yarn.
17. Elf leaves little notes for your child with post-it notes.
18. Elf has decorated your child’s dollhouse.
19. Make your elf a little hammock and have him lie in it.
20. Print miniature photos of your little one and have your elf work on a scrapbook of your child.
21. Elf tapping away on the computer.
22. Elf drawing with markers.
23. Elf riding on a toy train.
24. Elf all wrapped up in wrapping paper.
25. Elf is taped to the wall. (You could use some pretty washi tape to tape him to the wall without damaging him.)
26. Sitting in a cookie jar.
27. Riding his toothbrush (maybe with dollops of toothpaste next to him).
28. Elf is hiding in a plant.
29. Elf hiding out in his Christmas stocking.
30. Elf in a bag of chips.
31. Elf is sitting next to a little wrapped gift – for your little one, each of your children or your students.
32. Elf is sitting on a pot of play dough, surrounded by play dough cutters and utensils.
33. “Trapped” in a mason jar or water glass.
34. Tied up in a bow.
35. Elf is writing a letter to Santa.
- Virtual Christmas Field Trips Ideas
- Things to Do on Christmas Day at Home with a Child with Autism
- Gift Guide for Kids with Autism
- Winter Outdoor Activities
- How to Prepare Your Autistic Child for the Holidays
- Teaching A Child with Autism Using Puzzles
More Autism Learning Resources
- The Successful Interaction with a Child with Autism Course – learn to better understand your autistic child or students with this complete course.
- Autism Activities Workbook Bundle – build communication skills, fine motor skills, sensory play skills and daily living skills, while helping your child or students to successfully manage any difficult behaviors, with these fun, educational, printable activities.
- Sensory Communication Workbook – Build communication skills with simple sensory activities.
- How to Make a Communication Binder Guide & Workbook – Learn how to create a Communication Binder for your child or student with autism using real photos. Follow my expert guide to learn how to use it to increase communication skills.
- Zoo Animals Play Dough Mats Bundle – use these printable play dough mat to work on the names of the animals, build language skills, and increase fine motor strength and precision in a fun, sensory way!
Ideas for Elf on the Shelf
Which of these fun Elf on the Shelf ideas are you going to try?
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