Activities & Days Out / 5 December, 2022 / Ellie Thompson

Super Easy, No-Stress Elf On The Shelf Ideas

You’ve hit on this article because you’re looking for super easy Elf on the Shelf ideas. Aren’t we all? Because once your kids are in school, the Elf on the Shelf show really begins. What the elf has been up to each and every night is currently the hot topic of conversation on the morning school run. If you’re like me and have spent the last two years simply placing the elves around the house in different positions thinking ‘that’ll do’ you might be realising that this laid-back approach is no longer enough. It’s time to up the ante. But just slightly. We’re talking easy peasy stress-less Elf on the Shelf ideas that require minimum fuss and planning.

Easy Elf on the Shelf ideas

Find the hidden treat

Get a group of paper cups, and hide a treat underneath a cup. If you’ve got two kids, you’ll need two treats, under two cups – you catch my drift, nobody wants to start WW3, least of all the elves. Sit your elf next to the game. Too easy.

Toilet roll race down the stairs

Simply pop your elf in the toilet roll and let it unravel down the stairs. If you’ve got more than one elf (yes, we’ve got Elf, Elf’s wife, and three buddy elves, a reindeer and a baby Elf – what oh what have we done!) they can have a race. Just place them strategically so you can all go back up and down the stairs until the elves disappear the next night. Unless there are rules about moving them that I’m unaware of!? Please, somebody, fill me in.

Toilet roll swing

Because even we’ve got a ball of string and an old toilet roll to hand! Simply cut off a long piece of string, thread it through the toilet roll and hang the swing to your curtain rail. That’s the easy bit done. The tricky bit is sticking the elf to the swing, so you’ll need to decide on a few things here. Are you going to cut his hands apart? And how are you going to stick him to the swing? Cellotape is probably the answer here.


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Cereal box

Set up the breakfast table in advance and cut head holes in the cereal boxes, and place the elves inside, so their heads pop out. And maybe make little holes for their arms, if you want to go all out.

Red nose idea

This involves putting red pen or make-up on your child’s nose. Not ideal if it rubs off on the bedsheets and disappears before the morning, but could potentially be very funny (for the kids). Position the elf downstairs with a pot of red paint and a paintbrush, with a note saying “Look in the mirror!” Tee hee hee.

Hanging out with the toys

You can eke out quite a few possibilities for this one. Make use of your kids’ toys, and get the elves involved. Stick him in a digger, or the Barbie caravan, set up a train track and place the elves in and around the scene. Get out a tea set, and let the elves have a tea party. Or crack open the board games. The elves are desperate to play Pie Face, Shopping List game and Twister!

Hanging from the lights

An easy one. One of my favs. If you’ve got a light fitting they can swing from, make use of that – safely. We’ve got an illuminated sphere hanging in our office room, which works as a cage to stick all the elves in. Although on its own, not the funniest option, so get creative with a bit of tinsel, and have one elf climbing up to meet the others, or tie a dinosaur to the tinsel, so it looks like the elves are trying to escape.

Shoe train in your hallway

Set up a trail of your shoes in the hallway and stick the elves in the shoes. You can fill the spare shoes with other toys – the elves are great at making friends, right?!

Elf zip line

Back to that ball of string! Set up a zip line from the stairs down to the living room (or the top of the kitchen cupboards down to the kitchen table, etc – you get the picture!) and hang your elves from the line. This is when it’s handy for them to have their hands knitted together…

Free reindeer poop

The poop gags are always the best, aren’t they? And lucky they’re a really easy Elf on the Shelf idea. Fill up a small cup with raisins, and leave a sign saying “Free Reindeer Poop” and place your elf proudly next to your display.

More Elf on the Shelf Poop ideas

The elves love a little bathroom action, and if you’ve not taken it there yet, it’s now time. I’ve seen people sitting them on the toilet, but I have no idea how they use the loo in the day that follows, so consider this when setting up your scene. Breaking the elf code and touching the elves is a SERIOUS ISSUE. You can

Saturday night is happy hour!

A little adult humour never hurt anybody! Use shot glasses as pint glasses, and sit your elf or elves together have a little beer.

Use your TV to set your Elf on the Shelf scene

YouTube is great for setting background scenes, but the only drawback is that you’ve got to remember to sneak downstairs in the morning to switch it on…

I’ve used this Christmas Music background scene and told the kids the elves are trying to show them where they live in the North Pole, and for the Happy Hour scene, check out this medieval fantasy tavern.

Kitchen thieves!

Crack open some biscuits and use some string to hang your elf upside down from the kitchen cupboard, and position the pile of biscuits underneath. Don’t forget to make a bit of a biscuity mess. Those elves are messy, don’t forget.

Making marshmallow snowman

We all love Olaf, and the elves are missing the snow. It’s time to build a snowman, with cocktail sticks and marshmallows! You can even leave a note ‘Do you want to build a snowman?’ Use pens to draw on faces, buttons and scarfs.

A marshmallow workout

Stick two decent size marshmallows on either end of a straw, lie our elf down, and you’ve got your own weight bar!

Toilet roll snowman

Stack up three loo rolls, pop your elf in the hole, and use felt tips draw a snowman on the front of the three rolls.

Toilet roll Christmas tree decorating

It’s lucky we’re no longer in the shopping shortages of the pandemic, isn’t it? Because you’ll need to stock up on a lot of loo roll for these easy Elf on the Shelf ideas! Stick your elf or elves in the tree, and cover it with loo roll. Et voila! Job done.


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