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85+ Quick Elf on the Shelf Ideas for 2021

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.

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.

Save this post to Pinterest now so that you’re ready for December!

Quick 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.

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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.

Quick Elf on the Shelf Ideas

There are over 85 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.

quick elf on shelf idea

Elf Ideas 2021

  • 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.
  • Reading a book.
  • Scribbling on photo frame with dry-erase marker.
  • Making a gingerbread house from bread and ground ginger (see below).

quick elf on the shelf ideas

simple elf on the shelf ideas

  • Hanging out with Barbie.
  • 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.
  • Elf Twister – Download it for FREE.
  • Hanging from the ceiling fan.
  • Chilling in the freezer – check out these super-cute sweaters.

Elf on the Shelf sweater

  • Wearing headphones and listening to music.
  • Drawing a Christmas picture.
  • Hiding in the Christmas tree.
  • 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!)
  • Playing a board game – Print this free invitation to play a game with your Elf in this Elf on the Shelf printables guide.
  • 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.

Quick Elf Ideas

  • Elf caught playing Jenga.

quick elf on the shelf ideas

  • Coloring in Christmas cards – grab some free printable cards.
  • Making a snow flake with q tips.
  • Drinking orange juice with a straw in sticking into the orange.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Snowball fight with crumpled up paper.
  • Drawing an elfie self portrait.

easy elf ideas

  • Cooking candy in a frying pan.
  • Slumber Party: Sleeping bag ‘socks’ with Barbie and friends or action hero figurines.
  • Silly string explosion.
  • Astronaut Elf: covered in tin foil next to a toy rocket or hang them from the ceiling.

Easy Elf on the Shelf Ideas

  • Hiding in Pringles tin.
  • An elf sandwich – hiding between two pieces of bread on a plate.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Giving Barbie a haircut.
  • 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.
  • Passed out on plate from eating too many cookies / candy.
  • 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 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.
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • Sleeping in a bra “hammock”.
  • Hiding in a jar with a ‘help me’ sign.
  • 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

  • Making a smily face with toothpaste on the sink.
  • Make a bubble bath for elf in the sink with cotton wool balls.
  • Hanging from the clothesline.
  • Replacing stockings with underwear – hang them on the mantel
  • Wrapping the Christmas tree in toilet paper.
  • 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.
  • Toasting marshmallows over a candle with Barbie.
  • 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 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.

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 ideas. Enjoy your December!

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

Elf on the Shelf Printables – 100% FREE

Elf on the Shelf Letter and Letterhead – 100% FREE

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

Elf on the Shelf Games for a Roadtrip. – 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 for later!

Quick Elf ideas



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