13 5-minute Elf on the Shelf Ideas

So it’s mid-December and you’ve already run out of clever Elf on the Shelf ideas. The month started off strong, but it’s hard to keep the momentum going in between holiday shopping, cooking, wrapping presents and every other thing on your to-do list.

Now’s the time when you’re probably  asking yourself why you even got this darn thing in the first place. It seems like it’s causing more conflict than compromise in your house. Maybe grandma accidentally touched the elf and your daughter cried all the way to school because “the magic is gone now!” Maybe you’ve had an all-out screaming match with your husband over whose turn it is to move the Elf.

Whatever it is, you don’t have that much time to think about and plan your Elf’s magical adventures.That’s why we’ve put together this list of ideas that will take you no more than 5 minutes (clean up included!)

1. Weight-lifting Elf.

Take two marshmallows and stick them on either end of a toothpick. Put Elfie by your own fitness equipment to be found.

Bonus: Eat the marshmallows!

weighlifterImage credit: dirtydiaperlaundry.com


2. Elf in a sleeping bag.

Stick Elf in a woolen sock, roll up a white sock and stick it under his head, and voila! A cozy, sleepy elf.

sleeping bagImage credit: lemonsandlaughs.com


3. Elf in a present.

Put Elf in a gift bag with tissue paper or present and have him peeking inside.

presentImage credit: lemonsandlaughs.com


4. Roasting marshmallows.

Elf roasts a marshmallow at the end of a toothpick over a candle.

Bonus: Yum, marshmallows!

Roasting marshmallowsImage credit: pickleheadsoup.blogspot.com


5. Family portrait.

Grab your camera and some stuffed animals and have Elf take a picture of the stuffed animals in front of the tree.

family photoImage credit: skinnymom.com


6. Elf on the Shelf playing solitaire.

Grab a deck of cards and Elf can start playing this solo card game!

solitaireImage credit: lilblueboo.com


7. Elf in a candy jar.

Put elf inside your candy jar as if he fell in.

candy jarImage credit: popsugar.com


8. Tidy Elf.

Have elf wipe down the countertops or the mirrors with wipes or paper towels and cleaning solution.

Bonus: Now you have a clean mirror!

Elf cleaning upImage credit: hlntv.com


9. Crying Elf.

Save this one for when your kids are being particularly naughty. Write a quick letter asking them to shape up OR ELSE.

crying elfImage credit: Mompopculture.com


10. Sugar snow angel Elf.

Take some sugar, pour it onto a flat surface, and Elf can create a snow angel.

Bonus: Cleanup is easy if you put the sugar onto a plate, aluminum foil, or parchment paper.

sugar snow angelImage credit: Couturecolorado.com


11. Elf locked out.

Put your Elf right outside a window or door trying to come back in!

peeping elfImage credit: Venita Norton


12. lf with food coloring.

Have the Elf put a few drops of green food coloring into the milk.

green milkImage credit: community.babycenter.com


13. Prankster elf.

Have Elf tie a couple pairs of your kid’s shoes together. Be sure to untie them before your son puts them on!

shoesImage credit: Laura Self


Do you have any Elf ideas that take less than 5 minutes?