Home » Seasonal Celebrations » Elf on the Shelf » 100+ Quick Elf on the Shelf Ideas for 2023

100+ Quick Elf on the Shelf Ideas for 2023

If you are looking for some quick Elf on the Shelf ideas, then you’ve come to the right place. Elf on the Shelf can start off so innocently and easily but come mid-month you’re ready for the Elf to disappear already.

***** List updated with new elf on the shelf ideas 2023 *****

We’ve compiled lots of super easy Elf on the Shelf ideas with household items for you to choose from. No longer do you need to spend hours agonizing over what your Elf could do next. We’ve got you covered with more ideas than you’ll need. You can get your Elf ready in minutes.

If you need some last-minute ideas that are quick and easy, then read on. These ideas typically don’t need a lot of time or energy or even expensive props. We’ve also got links to free printable ideas as well.

quick elf on the shelf ideas

Save this post to Pinterest now so that you’re ready for December with some easy elf ideas!

fast elf on the shelf ideas

The Elf can do fun things at home with what you have, and your kids will love it. All of these ideas are quick to prepare so that you can get to bed too.

(This post probably contains affiliate links. See the disclosure policy for more information. You can find the disclosure policy here.)

quick and easy elf on the shelf ideas
Elf hiding in a bento lunch box.

Quick Elf on the Shelf Ideas

There are over 100 quick and easy elf on the shelf ideas here so you can find the ones you think will work for your family and write them down.

Jot a few ideas down (stealth-mode) in your diary or phone notepad and you’ll be set for those nights where you need a quick idea super fast.

Don’t miss our free Elf on the Shelf calendar ideas – You’ll love these free Elf antics planners.

quick elf ideas

Don’t miss our favorite ideas at the end of the article: Elf-sized takeaway bags (‘Elf-eats’), Elf-sized shopping boxes (‘Elf-azon’) and Elf-sized fast food that you can easily print at home and make tonight.

easy quick elf on the shelf ideas

Elf Ideas 2023

  • Elf ball pitt with M&M’s in a jar 

easy elf on the shelf ideas

  • Letters from Elf on the Shelf (download these free Elf on the Shelf letterheads for all of your Elf notes during December).
  • Elf Airways: flying in on a paper plane into the Christmas tree.

simple Elf on the Shelf Ideas

  • Riding your pet. Attached to your pet’s collar for a fun ride.

elf on the shelf ideas quick

  • The magic grater. Grating crayons to become M&M’s. See photo below.

quick elf on shelf ideas

  • Reading a book.
  • Smartie pants! Adding Smarties to clean underpants as a joke.

easy quick elf on the shelf ideas

elf ideas quick

  • Scribbling on photo frame with dry-erase marker.

elf on the shelf ideas easy

  • Making a gingerbread house from bread and ground ginger (see below).

quick elf on the shelf ideas

  • Doing a puzzle.
  • Making banana bread

quick easy elf ideas

simple elf on the shelf ideas

  • Hanging out with Barbie.
  • Making a fidget with bread and smarties.

quick and easy elf ideas

  • Elf on the Shelf eating some sneaky take-out (that the kids don’t know about!)

quick and easy elf on the shelf ideas

  • Floating in a toy boat in bath.
  • Ironing the crinkles out of potato chips.

elf on the shelf ironing

  • Elf Twister – Download it for FREE.
  • Making a ‘sponge cake’ from a sponge and edible sprinkles (see below)

easy elf ideas last minute

  • Hanging from the ceiling fan.
  • Getting stuck in a vacuum cleaner.

elf on the shelf easy ideas

elf on a shelf ideas

Elf on the Shelf sweater

  • Wearing headphones and listening to music.
  • Grating upset potatoes to make potato chips.

naughty elf ideas

quick elf ideas 

  • Drawing a Christmas picture.
  • Pretending to be a Pokemon card. See the fun printable right here.

quick easy elf ideas

fast elf on the shelf ideas

  • Hiding in the Christmas tree.
  • Elf’s legs have grown with wrapping paper. (See below)

easy elf on the shelf ideas

elf shelf ideas

  • Taking all the decorations off the Christmas tree. (If you need to re-do the decorations, this is a good one!)

simple elf on the shelf ideas

  • Unwrapping a present to take a peek (naughty Elf!)
  • Riding on a robot vacuum cleaner

elf on shelf ideas

  • Playing a board game – Print this free invitation to play a game with your Elf in this Elf on the Shelf printables guide.
  • Joking around with googly eyes. He’s watching them!

elf on shelf quick ideas

  • Disguised as a hot dog.

unique elf on the shelf ideas

  • Pretending to fish from your family fish tank. (Use a straw and string for fishing rod).
  • Hiding in a jar with a ‘help’ sign.

simple elf on the shelf ideas

  • Doing some Christmas coloring in.
  • Making ‘snow angels’ in sprinkles – use a baking tray so there’s less mess!
  • Wrapped up under the tree – peeking out from the wrapping paper.

elf ideas easy

  • Playing Lego – make your child’s name or a Christmas tree with the tiny blocks.
  • Arriving a special envelope from the North Pole (see below). See elf envelope costume here.

new elf on the shelf ideas

Quick Elf Ideas

  • Elf caught playing Jenga.

quick elf on the shelf ideas

elf on the shelf ideas quick

  • Making a snow flake with q tips.
  • It’s the busiest time of the year. Elf with phone, laptop and ipad props – find them here – talking to Santa.

elf on a shelf ideas

  • Making a play dough Christmas tree.

Quick Elf on the Shelf Ideas

  • Playing noughts and crosses with a teddy bear.
  • Hiding in the cutlery drawer.

quick elf ideas

  • Sticky situation: covered in tiny stickers.
  • Sleeping in a face mask ‘hammock’.

elf ideas easy

  • Movie night: Watching movies with popcorn.
  • Drawing faces on fruit with a sharpie.

easy elf on the shelf

  • Tied up by Lego minifigures with ribbon.
  • Create an Elf matchbox car wash with cars and a sponge.
  • Hiding with the fruit bowl in a banana costume. (See below). See elf banana costume right here.

elf on the shelf ideas easy

  • Elf filling Oreos with white toothpaste.

quick easy elf ideas

  • Elf legs sticking out from inside the couch. Finding coins and trinkets behind the cushions.

elf on the shelf ideas quick

  • Elf wars with Nerf gun, and bullets scattered.
  • The elf could bring a special Elf on the Shelf code breaker activity sheet. Download the free Elf on the Shelf printable for this activity.

quick elf on shelf ideas

  • Playing in front loader washing machine taped to the sides with other toys a la amusement park ride.
  • Hiding in a gingerbread man cookie (see below) – See elf gingerbread accessory here.

quick elf on shelf idea

  • Snowball fight with crumpled up paper.
  • Drawing an elfie self portrait.

easy elf ideas

  • Cooking candy in a frying pan.

easy elf on the shelf

  • Slumber Party: Sleeping bag ‘socks’ with Barbie and friends or action hero figurines.
  • Silly string explosion.
  • Hiding in a pizza box (or a pizza costume!) See picture below. – See elf pizza costume right here.

elf on a shelf ideas

  • Astronaut Elf: covered in tin foil next to a toy rocket or hang them from the ceiling.
  • With an elf-sized basketball / football / soccer ball or baseball. Find them here.
  • Drinking orange juice with a straw in sticking into the orange.

simple elf on the shelf ideas

  • Rock climbing on a wall covered with mini post-it notes.
  • With a hand-drawn plan of the house with an X marks the spot for a treasure hunt.
  • Drinking an Elf-bucks frappuccino – elf-sized. See them here.

Easy Elf on the Shelf Ideas

  • An elf sandwich – hiding between two pieces of bread on a plate.
  • Even better: Elf hiding in fairy bread. (Bread with butter and colorful sprinkles) 

elf on the shelf sandwich

  • Hiding in Pringles tin.
  • Playing Connect 4.

last minute elf on the shelf ideas

  • Drinking maple syrup or chocolate syrup with a straw.
  • Eating cereal and making a big mess.
  • Doing karate. See elf outfit right here.

elf on the shelf karate

  • Writing a Christmas card.
  • Covered in loom bands.

quick ideas for elf on the shelf

  • Hanging in wardrobe on a clothes hanger.
  • Writing a letter to Santa. Tip: use this free Elf on the Shelf letterhead.
  • Delivering a blank template for Elf letters to Santa. Elf delivers wish-list letter to Santa by overnight ‘elf mail’. (See letters below).

elf on the shelf letter to santa

naughty elf on the shelf ideas

  • Typing a letter on the laptop.
  • Wearing a mask. Find lots of Elf size masks here.

Easy Elf Ideas

  • Making a car from a tissue box.
  • Wearing super hero gear. You can find some tiny super hero capes and accessories here.
  • Getting ready to bake cookies.

easy elf ideas

  • Passed out on plate from eating too many cookies / candy.
  • Sitting on top of a mountain of candy.

quick elf on the shelf ideas

new elf the shelf ideas

  • Playing golf with upside down candy cane and mini marshmallows.
  • Sleeping in a tissue box with tissue as a sheet.

new elf on the shelf ideas

  • Sitting in a microwave with exploded popcorn.
  • Or writing child’s name in popcorn.

fast elf ideas

  • Elf prank: Covering everyone’s shoes in alfoil.
  • Riding around in a remote control car or Barbie car.
  • Hiding in a whisk with a cute note.

elf ideas easy

  • Weightlifting with two marshmallows stuck to the ends of a toothpick.
  • Spelling out a message with mini marshmallows or candy.

easy elf on the shelf ideas

Simple Elf on the Shelf Ideas

  • Trying on Barbie’s shoes / clothes.
  • Wrestling a super hero figurine.
  • Rolling around the house in a toilet roll leaving a toilet paper trail.
  • Hiding in egg carton (draw silly faces on the eggs with a marker). See below.

ideas for elf on the shelf

  • Wrapped in a tortilla for Taco Tuesday.

quick easy elf ideas

  • Elf sitting in driver seat of car…ready to go!
  • Taking a selfie with a phone.
  • Giving permission to eat candy for breakfast. See magic letter below. Grab the free printable elf letter for your elf.

elf ideas easy

  • Sleeping in a bra “hammock”.
  • Posing with an X-Box controller.
  • Driving a ‘shoe’ train with family members shoes as carriages.
  • Hiding in a pot plant or swinging from the leaves Tarzan-style.

Quick Elf on the Shelf Ideas

Quick Easy Elf on the Shelf Ideas

  • Hiding in a pack of M&M’s head first.
  • Making a smiley face with toothpaste on the sink.
  • Make a bubble bath for elf in the sink with cotton wool balls.
  • Bringing fun elf jokes. Grab the free printable elf jokes for an easy elf prop. (See below).

easy elf ideas

  • Hanging from the clothesline.
  • Replacing stockings with underwear – hang them on the mantel.
  • Wrapping the Christmas tree in toilet paper.

easy elf on shelf ideas

  • Replacing the toilet roll with Christmas wrapping paper.
  • Covering the outside of the toilet with Christmas lights.
  • Oops, the elf hurt himself and is covered in bandaids. Poor Elf!

elf on the shelf quick ideas

  • Writing their name with tinsel on the floor.
  • Drawing snowman faces on toilet paper.
  • Magic trick with eggs. This elf antic lasts over 2 days! See photo below.

super easy elf on the shelf ideas

  • With a “Today I am INVISIBLE” sign.

elf ideas easy

  • Fishing for goldfish crackers in a bowl of water.
  • Toasting marshmallows over a candle with Barbie.

simple elf ideas

  • Cuddling their child/children and take a photo for evidence. – Great idea for the last night before they leave.
  • Photocopying themselves still stuck in the printer.

quick elf ideas

Elf on a Shelf Ideas

  • Getting Elf-Eats – You’ll love these elf-sized food delivery bags you can print at home at make tonight. Find them here.

elf on the shelf printable props

  • Elf with his ‘Elfazon’ boxes. You HAVE to see these super cute elf-sized shopping boxes that you can print at home. Find them here.

elf on the shelf printable props

  • Or make your own life-size ‘Elfazon’ delivery box for Elf to arrive in.

elf on a shelf ideas

  • Eating Elf-size fast food. Check out the cutest miniature fast food meal prop that you can print at home. Find it right here.

unique elf on the shelf ideas

  • Current trending idea. Making water into rainbow sprinkles. This would work in the bath or a sink. All you need is this double-sided tape and your choice of rainbow sprinkles. (See photo below.)

elf on shelf ideas

Elf on the Shelf Quick Ideas

Bonus quick idea if you forgot to move the elf. Hide them in another room, with a:

  • Time out sign in corner and have the elf face the wall.
  • Quarantine Elf – a trending idea for 2020/2021/2022.

Here are some more fun ideas for Elf on the Shelf this year. There are so many printables and props available right here to make your Elf super fun and make the whole process SUPER EASY for you.

I hope these fast Elf on the Shelf ideas are helpful for those nights where you need some quick inspiration. Let me know in the comments if you think I should add any other simple and quick Elf on shelf ideas. Enjoy your December!

Don’t miss our other Elf on the Shelf guides below with free printables.

Elf on the Shelf Arrival Ideas – includes FREE PRINTABLES

Elf on the Shelf Printables – 100% FREE

Elf on the Shelf Letter and Letterhead – 100% FREE

Elf on the Shelf Ideas – Full list of Elf on the Shelf FREE PRINTABLES

Elf on the Shelf Printable Notes – 72 Free Printable Notes for your Elf to bring.

Elf on the Shelf Free Printables – Activity Sheets for your elf to leave behind – 100% FREE

Elf on the Shelf Scavenger Hunt – 6 printable games 100% FREE

Elf on the Shelf Jokes – includes free printables for any easy elf prop.

Elf on Strike – Free printables

Elf on the Shelf Games for a Roadtrip. – 100% FREE

Elf on the Shelf Letters to Santa – 100% FREE

Elf Twister – FREE  Printable – 100% FREE

Christmas Cards to Color – Free printable cards to color in. – 100% FREE

Free Printable Christmas Games – fun Christmas games for adults and kids

Please pin these quick and easy elf on shelf ideas for later – so that you can find us when you need us!

 

Old images below as we now have over 100 easy elf ideas last minute for you now! 

Quick Elf on the Shelf Ideas

 

quick elf on shelf idea

 

Quick Elf ideas

Looking for a quick Elf on the Shelf idea with some fun props? You won’t be stuck for great ideas for your Elf on the Shelf this year. There are so many printables and props available right here to make your Elf super fun and make the whole process SUPER EASY for you.



Leave a Comment