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

25 elf 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!

Nov 2014 update:  Since I originally wrote this post back in 2012 we’ve created LOTS of printables, shared other ideas and have a Pre-K Pack to also help make your Elf Season fun, creative, and EASY!  After you’ve checked out our 25 QUICK & EASY ideas, be sure and check out all the other fun ideas we’ve shared by clicking the image below! 

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

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!!  

dsc 0203 199x300 25 Elf on the Shelf QUICK & EASY Ideas that take Under 5 mins!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!

 

dsc 0333 199x300 25 Elf on the Shelf QUICK & EASY Ideas that take Under 5 mins!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!

 

tumblr lvztszEf2i1r755nso1 500 300x225 25 Elf on the Shelf QUICK & EASY Ideas that take Under 5 mins!3) Replace Stockings w/ Undies

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

tumblr lw15axhVXX1r755nso1 500 1 300x225 25 Elf on the Shelf QUICK & EASY Ideas that take Under 5 mins!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!

tumblr lvy9awoZL11r755nso1 500 198x300 25 Elf on the Shelf QUICK & EASY Ideas that take Under 5 mins!5) Sipping on Syrup

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

Screen shot 2012 11 08 at 10.27.14 AM 201x300 25 Elf on the Shelf QUICK & EASY Ideas that take Under 5 mins!6) TP Countdown

I thought would be fun clos to Christmas!  What is it about toilet paper that is so funny?  haha icon smile 25 Elf on the Shelf QUICK & EASY Ideas that take Under 5 mins!

3166662207645567 OBySXpGB 182x300 25 Elf on the Shelf QUICK & EASY Ideas that take Under 5 mins!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!

259097784781785401 hp96Tdg4 c 1 300x200 25 Elf on the Shelf QUICK & EASY Ideas that take Under 5 mins! 8) Reading a Book to “Friends!”

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

259097784781806222 xOpCh0xU c 199x300 25 Elf on the Shelf QUICK & EASY Ideas that take Under 5 mins!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!

81346336989011574 MTI9rdcK c 300x182 25 Elf on the Shelf QUICK & EASY Ideas that take Under 5 mins!10) Napping in the Tissue Box

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

tumblr lwbvv8cjAL1r755nso1 500 1 224x300 25 Elf on the Shelf QUICK & EASY Ideas that take Under 5 mins!11) Elf Locked Out

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

elf on the shelf with key 1 190x300 25 Elf on the Shelf QUICK & EASY Ideas that take Under 5 mins!12) Elf Key

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

tumblr lvytnzEuKV1r755nso1 500 300x225 25 Elf on the Shelf QUICK & EASY Ideas that take Under 5 mins!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?

Screen shot 2012 11 08 at 11.26.24 AM 300x215 25 Elf on the Shelf QUICK & EASY Ideas that take Under 5 mins!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!

164297 487856553210 760971 n 225x300 25 Elf on the Shelf QUICK & EASY Ideas that take Under 5 mins!15) Rocking Baby Jesus

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

Elf On The Shelf Ideas6 199x300 25 Elf on the Shelf QUICK & EASY Ideas that take Under 5 mins!16) Elf Tire Swing

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

34410384622551876 VhsVlskT 300x224 25 Elf on the Shelf QUICK & EASY Ideas that take Under 5 mins!17) Wrapping the Toilet

I can’t wait to hear what my 4 year old says about this – haha icon smile 25 Elf on the Shelf QUICK & EASY Ideas that take Under 5 mins!

7114651 f260 224x300 25 Elf on the Shelf QUICK & EASY Ideas that take Under 5 mins!18) Hungry Elf w/ Green Milk

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

tumblr lw15hsA5fH1r755nso1 500 300x225 25 Elf on the Shelf QUICK & EASY Ideas that take Under 5 mins!19) Elf has a Sick Day

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

167477679863439306 eHqQc4yf b 25 Elf on the Shelf QUICK & EASY Ideas that take Under 5 mins!20) Magic Elf Seeds

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

Ginger Elf Shelf 300x220 25 Elf on the Shelf QUICK & EASY Ideas that take Under 5 mins!21) Kid Trap

Little naughty Elf – tries trapping the kids

Peter 1 300x221 25 Elf on the Shelf QUICK & EASY Ideas that take Under 5 mins!22) Special Delivery!

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

Day2 201x300 25 Elf on the Shelf QUICK & EASY Ideas that take Under 5 mins!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 icon smile 25 Elf on the Shelf QUICK & EASY Ideas that take Under 5 mins!

ElfontheShelfDay10 201x300 25 Elf on the Shelf QUICK & EASY Ideas that take Under 5 mins!24) Hang in Stocking or Boot

q elf on shelf c 300x300 25 Elf on the Shelf QUICK & EASY Ideas that take Under 5 mins!25) Naughty or Nice List!

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

elf day 8 300x200 25 Elf on the Shelf QUICK & EASY Ideas that take Under 5 mins!

Candycane Gardening Kit

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

elf on the shelf w 300x201 25 Elf on the Shelf QUICK & EASY Ideas that take Under 5 mins!Soarin’ Elf

278238083198137923 eW6mavfM c 224x300 25 Elf on the Shelf QUICK & EASY Ideas that take Under 5 mins!Hot Air Balloon Ride

elf on the shelf g 300x201 25 Elf on the Shelf QUICK & EASY Ideas that take Under 5 mins!Elf Zipline!

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

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

Pam Dana

Author and Co-Owner of Over the Big Moon since 2011. I love having a place to share the things that I am most passionate about - motherhood, being a wife and making a home! I am married to my husband, Scott, and we have 3 beautiful children and together they are my world! I also enjoy reading, crafting and catching up on TV shows (usually with a computer in my lap)!
  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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/