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25 Elf on the Shelf QUICK & EASY Ideas that take Under 5 mins!


I love our Elf on the Shelf, Jasper!  I realized pretty quick into our 1st year of his arrival that lots of the ideas out there for the Elf on the Shelf were just very unrealistic for my families situation.  First off,  I didn’t have 15 minutes every night to figure out where I was going to hide him (or I’d be half asleep in bed and remember).  Second, so many of the ideas had the Elf down low or in areas that my kids would have been tempted ALL day to touch him.  I didn’t need to be worrying about that all day.  So, I came up with this list of 25 Elf on the Shelf QUICK & EASY ideas that take UNDER 5 Minutes!

Ready for some help this Elf Season? Then you need the Ultimate Christmas Elf Book of Ideas - 25+ Printables and Ideas for just $4.99!!

Now for the 25 QUICK and EASY ideas – these are all FAST, EASY and REALISTIC for families with little kids!  If they aren’t perfect – then they can be modified to places up high or out of the way!

Don’t get me wrong – I’m super excited for when my kids are older and will have the self control to be able to not be tempted to touch our Elf.  But, for now – that just isn’t an option. 

I hope you get some fun ideas to incorporate into your ELF SEASON!!  

1) Draw Faces on a Picture

We did this last year too and my boys thought it was hilarious!  Just have your Elf draw funny faces on a picture using a Dry Erase Marker!


2.) TP the Christmas Tree

Last year we hid our Elf in our Christmas Tree, but I thought this idea of TP’ing the tree first was super fun!


3) Replace Stockings w/ Undies

We have boots, not stockings, but I still thought this was too hilarious not to share!

4) Jacuzzi w/ Friends

We don’t have Barbies in our home, but I’m thinking a Jacuzzi w/ Superheroes would be just as fun!

5) Sipping on Syrup

Top Shelf of the Pantry – so no little hands can touch him!  Perfect!

6) TP Countdown

I thought would be fun clos to Christmas!  What is it about toilet paper that is so funny?  haha 🙂

7) Glow Bracelets (source unknown)

I have a box of Glow Bracelets leftover from the 4th of July, so I think this will be super fun to do!

 8) Reading a Book to “Friends!”

We don’t have Pez dispensers, but this concept could work using Barbies or Superheroes – really anything!

9) Repelling

We have a pretty large Entertainment Center in our house and I think the kids will love this!  You can use yarn, ribbon or even just some string!

10) Napping in the Tissue Box

Who doesn’t have a Tissue box out and around during the Winter?  Super quick and simple!

11) Elf Locked Out

One day Elf just isn’t going to make it back, before Mom locks the doors.

12) Elf Key

The day after he’s locked out – maybe Surprise him with a Magic Elf Key!

13) Elf Riding Reindeer/Guiding Sleigh

We did one similar to this last year.  Who doesn’t have some sort of Reindeer or Sleigh Decor?

14) Elf Leaves Message

You could really do this any day with any type of message!  I think I’ll save this for the day after a day that my kids have been especially naughty!

15) Rocking Baby Jesus

My kids love their Fisher Price Nativity Set and they would love finding Jasper rocking Baby Jesus!

16) Elf Tire Swing

This one would be pretty easy too!  We’ve got some big tires in our Lego’s!

17) Wrapping the Toilet

I can’t wait to hear what my 4 year old says about this – haha 🙂

18) Hungry Elf w/ Green Milk

And, of course the milk in the fridge would all be Green too!

19) Elf has a Sick Day

Don’t we all have a sick day every once in a while?  So does our Elf!

20) Magic Elf Seeds

Here’s another great idea for an activity!  Click through to see the adorable letter that goes with it!

21) Kid Trap

Little naughty Elf – tries trapping the kids

22) Special Delivery!

I love how she has the idea last for several days and not just overnight!  Click through to learn more!

23) Hang in a Chandelier

We have a pretty good sized Chandelier that is really high – this will be both fun and easy!  I can’t see the kids running under it 20 times before finding him!  hehe 🙂

24) Hang in Stocking or Boot

25) Naughty or Nice List!

Looking for a few extra fun ideas – that may take a little extra time?  I loved these!

Candycane Gardening Kit

Click through the link to see more on this!  Such a cute idea!

Soarin’ Elf

Hot Air Balloon Ride

Elf Zipline! 

Are you ready to take the hassle and worry out of your Christmas Elf this season while still giving your kids the most amazing experience? The Ultimate Christmas Elf Book of ideas has 25+ printables and ideas available in one simple download!

Ready for some help this Elf Season? Then you need the Ultimate Christmas Elf Book of Ideas - 25+ Printables and Ideas for just $4.99!!

After you complete the purchase process, you will be redirected back here to Over the Big Moon, where a download link will be provided. You will also receive an email confirmation that contains a download link.

Want more information on our Elf ebook? Click HERE!


Check out all our other Elf on the Shelf Printables & Ideas!



Pam Dana

I am a wife and mom that is over the moon for family, traditions and fun! I love to share lots of printables, DIY's, kids activities and my families favorite recipes! I am married to my husband, Scott, and we have 3 beautiful children and together they are my world!
  • Jake

    Those are great ideas – I especially love the glow bracelets one and the “Sipping Syrup” photo is really funny!

    By the way, to get your kids in the Christmas spirit this year, check out this great Christmas app for kids – Elf Finder 2013: Search and Track Hidden Elves. https://itunes.apple.com/app/id734538351

    They’ll have lots of fun this holiday season using the app to find Santa’s elves as they look for them under their beds, on book shelves, behind the TV, and anywhere else.

  • Dudley

    These posts are deeply disturbing. Please people, get a real life.

    • Jerry Knight

      Dudley…Dude you are a DUD!

    • Barbie Doll

      I feel sorry for you. I hope you find somewhere within you a little “spirit” in order to really enjoy life. Maybe a little pixie dust blown your way? Poof!!

    • jason

      Dear dudley. Have a little fun. Or just continue being absolutely boring forever. Ok? Thanks! Merry Christmas Grinch

    • funnygirl

      Dudley must not have kids!!!! because if you did you would do dumb stuff too just to see your kids laugh and be little…they grow up so fast. I would have LOVED to have an Elf when I was little. So you SIr need to get a real life! 🙂 Happy holidays!!!!

  • Kathleen Hart

    I did this with my kids years ago (carrying on the tradition my mom did). My mom started this when I was a kid but it wasn’t the “Elf on the Shelf” hype (I was born in the 50’s) it is today, she just tried to keep the magic of the season going. When my kids moved away I stopped the tradition, but now with them living close to home and grandchildren, it’s time to start again..The one idea my mom and I did (which I don’t think anyone mentioned was our elf was tied up by stuffed animals or tied down by the cat Lilliputian style) because “we” were blaming the animals for the mischief he was causing. We (my mom and I) had a journal for our elf for when we went different places because he liked to travel, but us kids had to write a letter to Santa asking for special permission for him to leave the house…Santa said he could but wasn’t allowed in school because he might disrupt the class. We also had a journal for when he was mischievous to leave for Santa when he came for him.

  • lori baer

    PLEASE be careful putting the Elf in a stocking with a weighted stocking holder. This is how my 2yr old ended up in the hospital with 5 stitches in his nose! We had ours hanging “just like pictured” and when we were not in the room he pulled it down to get a closer look. An the stocking holder fell down with it and sliced his nose open. Since then we do not even put up stockings until the night before Xmas. But all these other ideas are great! Can’t wait!

  • Guest

    i dont keep the hands together. There are too many things you can do and you need to cut apart the hands. i also take the hat off someties 🙂

  • rj

    How disappointing to read pessimistic commentary! These are great ideas and not overly costly since things already in the home can be used and even picked up from places like a dollar store as well. Have fun elves!!

  • DkJe

    Our Elf does a lot of charity for the holidays…. he brings stuff for the advent or lays out stuff to make cookies for the police dept or brings a box for our kids to fill up with toys to give to needy children or he will hide change all around the house so they can put in the bell ringers buckets.

    • gigiwells11

      Thats cute 🙂

  • PrissyMissy

    Why would you want to teach your child a lie? Instead, why not try teaching them about Jesus and the real reason we celebrate Christmas? That is what is wrong with the world today, people are taking God out of it. Your telling your children if they are naughty they aren’t going to get anything, when you should be teaching them to give, not receive. I feel sorry for your kids when they grow up and find out you lied to them.

    • GMAFB

      I bet God is so proud of you for coming here and passing judgment on this lady. Good for you.

    • gigiwells11

      I am 11 and I know already I didn’t care now I help my mom with it for my brother. I’m not upset that my mom lied

  • meg

    I have this post bookmarked and it is getting me through Elf part of Christmas -THANK YOU!

  • KJ

    Such cute ideas! But I know it took more than 5 minutes to wrap that toilet! lol

  • Natalie

    Our elf Rosie isn’t allowed too be too naughty or she will go in elf time out, I wasn’t going to get one but after a crying 5yr old because he thought he was doing something wrong that no elf lived in our house like his teacher and classmates I had to get him one.

  • mommysavers

    I love that these ideas don’t take very long. Some of the ones I’ve seen are way too complicated! I blogged some of my ideas here: http://www.mommysavers.com/elf-on-the-shelf-ideas-creative/

  • Jean

    You could put him on an ornament and make it look like he is singing wrecking ball!!! =)

  • S

    Great ideas

  • chicostake

    Wow. What a bunch of ungrateful hens. This lady writes a nice article to give you ideas, and you read it then complain about “wasting resources”? I’m willing to buy toilet paper and marshmallows to see my kids’ faces light up. Sorry your kids aren’t so lucky! (you can still use most of these items)

  • chicostake

    Wow. What a bunch of ungrateful hens. This lady writes a nice article to give you ideas, and you read it then complain about “wasting resources”? I’m willing to buy toilet paper and marshmallows to see my kids’ faces light up. Sorry your kids aren’t so lucky! (you can still use most of these items)