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75+ 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.

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 props.

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 75 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 and you’ll be set for those nights where you need a quick idea super fast.

  • 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.
  • Doing a puzzle.
  • Hanging out with Barbie.
  • Floating in a toy boat in bath.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Hiding in the Christmas tree.
  • Hiding in a jar with a ‘help’ sign.

simple elf on the shelf ideas

  • Doing some Christmas coloring in.
  • 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.
  • Making ‘snow angels’ in sprinkles – use a baking tray so there’s less mess!
  • Wrapped in wrapping paper as clothes.
  • Playing Lego – make your child’s name or a Christmas tree with the tiny blocks.

Quick Elf Ideas

  • Oops, the elf hurt himself and is covered in bandaids. Poor Elf!
  • Elf caught playing Jenga.
  • 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.
  • Sticky situation: covered in tiny stickers.
  • Elf legs sticking out from inside the couch. Finding coins and trinkets behind the cushions.
  • 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 wars with Nerf gun, and bullets scattered.
  • Playing in front loader washing machine taped to the sides with other toys a la amusement park ride.
  • Snowball fight with crumpled up paper.
  • 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.

Easy Elf on the Shelf Ideas

  • Hiding in Pringles tin.
  • An elf sandwich – hiding between two pieces of bread on a plate.
  • Drinking maple syrup or chocolate syrup with a straw.
  • Eating cereal and making a big mess.
  • Writing a Christmas card.
  • Drawing an elfie self portrait.
  • Hanging in wardrobe on a clothes hanger.
  • Covered in loom bands.
  • 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.
  • Sitting in microwave with exploded popcorn.
  • Elf prank: Covering everyone’s shoes in alfoil.
  • Sleeping in a tissue box with tissue as a sheet.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Hanging from the clothesline.
  • Writing their name with tinsel on the floor.
  • Drawing snowmen 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.

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.

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.

Related posts:

Elf on the Shelf Printables

Elf on the Shelf Letter and Letterhead

Please pin for later!

Quick Elf ideas

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