This guest post is brought to you by Crystal. Crystal is the author of the mommy resource site Crystal & Co.  , and is mom to five wild boys. She loves to share easy recipes , weekly meal plans and craft tutorials. She is also the author of the eBook How to Meal Plan : A Step by Ste Guide for Busy Moms.
Are you doing Elf on the Shelf  at your house this year? Have you heard of this fun tradition?
Last year was our first go at it. The idea was brand new to me- I must have been living under a rock.
This year on my site I am doing 30 days of Elf on the Shelf ideas  and photos. This is to help anyone new to the tradition and to give you clever and fun ways to surprise your kiddos with Elf each day.
The basic idea is, Elf comes at Christmas time and each day he observes the kids' behavior and then reports back to Santa each night. Then each morning you wake up to find Elf in a brand new place in your home. Children are not to touch him.
You can certainly change the rules up to meet the needs of your family. Some prefer to leave the magic element out and some find him to be creepy and do not like the idea of an Elf "watching" their kids. Either way you are in control- it is fun to play along no matter the level of involvement.
At our house, Elf is wacky. Some days he leaves a note. Some days he leaves a simple dollar store treat. Some days he leaves items from our pantry. And some days, he is down right silly.
Here are a few simple Elf on the Shelf ideas to get you started:
- Elf has requested a chimney  at our house. Sorry, dude.
- Elf has left some fun jokes  at our house. This free printable is available for download on my site. There are eight cards that print on one sheet and can be used as lunchbox notes or as notes from Elf.
- Elf has gone fishing- MacGyver style . My husband pulled this one off for me using simple resources we already had on hand.
- Elf has worn a mustache and painted them on our sleeping kids  as well. I have a link to this printable on my site too.
- Elf delivered hot chocolate  and a Christmas movie one morning in the Tonka truck. What fun!
- And one morning my 3 year old picked Elf up and threw him down. After his bad fall Elf left a reminder  that children are not to touch him.
My kids love it. It is a new hunt for them each morning. (We have also used Elf to remind our children that Jesus is the Reason for the Season .)
Are you going to play along? I would love to know the silliest thing Elf has done at your house this year.