So you forgot to move the elf and now you need a quick, easy and last minute elf on the shelf idea. Have no worries, the kids will love these easy Last minute Elf Ideas and they are all filled with elf magic just like the elf ideas that take a lot of time.
Be sure to grab the Elf on the Shelf planner so you don’t get stuck needing last minute elf on the shelf ideas sgain!
Last Minute Elf on the Shelf Ideas
Oh No! I am betting you just realized that the elf friend needs to come back from seeing Santa at the North Pole. I bet you are currently short on time, rushing to figure out something fun that the kiddos will love to see in the morning when they find their elf.
As a mom of 4 there have been plenty of times that I fell asleep at night, then woke up in the morning saying “Crap I forgot to move the elf”. While I could give the kids a reason the elf did not move however I try not to do that as much as possible. Even if it is the easiest fun elf on the shelf thing I can do I much prefer that than giving an excuse for why the Elf did not move.
Don’t stress, I got you! These last minute elf on the shelf ideas have all been tested (and approved) by my kids.
And please don’t stress about not being super creative or extravagant each time the elf comes back. A last minute idea that is easy to do will be loved by the kids just as much as one that takes a ton of time. It is important to remember that what the kids love the most is their special elves coming to see them.
Elf on the Shelf Ideas
- 135 Elf on the Shelf ideas
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- Elf on the Shelf Baking Ideas
- Cheap Elf on the Shelf Ideas
- How to Make Elf on the Shelf Fly
- How to hide elf in A Water Bottle
- Quick Elf on the Shelf Ideas
- Effortless Elf on the Shelf Ideas
5 Minutes or Less Elf on the Shelf Ideas
All of these last minute elf on the shelf ideas can be done in less than 5 minutes which is great. They are perfect for those middle of the night thoughts about forgetting or getting it done while the kids are getting dressed for the day.
Elf Brings a Gift
This one is my go-to idea anytime I am short on time. I need no props for it, the kids always love it and it is why I keep elf on the Shelf themed snacks hidden in my bedroom.
All you have to do is set the elf out on the counter with one of the elf-themed snacks and tada, it is done for the night and the kids are happy in the morning.
- Elf on the Shelf Shaped Chocolate Bar
- Elf on the Shelf Sugar Cookie Cereal
- Elf on the Shelf Hot Cocoa Cereal
- Elf on the Shelf Hot Cocoa Cakes
- Elf on the Shelf Vanilla Cakes
- Elf on the Shelf Hot cocoa Cookie Mix
- Elf on the Shelf Sugar Cookie Mix
- Elf on the Shelf Fruit Snacks
- Elf on the Shelf Blind Bags
Elf in the Coffee Pot.
If you don’t use the coffee pot in the morning this is a super easy elf idea. Just pop your little friend in the Coffee pot as a quick hiding spot! If you do use the coffee pot, set the elf next to the coffee pot sitting in a coffee mug.
Hiding in a Jar.
Grab any jar you have on hand, I prefer to use a mason jar and stick the elf on in. If you want to take it to the next step add something like marshmallows so it looks like he is hiding.
Shower with the Fridge Water Dispenser.
Grab a towel and wrap the elf up add some soap and they are having an elf shower (in the kitchen).
Elf in the Ice tray.
It’s freezing in here! Plop him or her in the freezer, in an ice cube tray or in the ice drawer with a little note.
Reading a Magazine.
This one can be done with a book, newspaper or a magazine. Set them up to be reading and add an extra touch with a handful of candy.
Elf Brings Breakfast
This one can be a variety of things and you can make it as easy as a few packets of hot chocolate, some chocolate candies, and cookies. You can really use just about anything sweet that you have in the cabinet, chocolate chips, candy canes, a scoop of ice cream (but it will be melted by morning) to set up an elf on the shelf breakfast.
Brr! It’s Cold in here!
Wrap the elf in a washcloth and pop them in the fridge or freezer. Of course for the elf, they like the cold so you might not even need to use the washcloth as a blanket.
Fun with the Photocopier
Pop the elves or elf on top of the photocopier, and have them make a copy of themselves for the kids to find! To enhance this idea, take it a step further by taping the photos they have taken of themselves all over the house.
Time to Decorate the Tree.
For this one, all you need is a bit of toilet paper. However, if you prefer not to use toilet paper, tissues or even articles of clothing (especially underwear if you have a prankster elf) make perfect and silly decorations for the tree.
Build a Snowman
Use donuts, donut holes, mini marshmallows or large marshmallows and build a fun and easy snowman! You can go in-depth more if you want to, but if you want and need it to be quick this works great!
Make a mess with Pet food.
You can use cat food, dog food or any pet food and have the elf just hang out in the pet food bowl or make a mess with it.
Grab Dad’s razor, place the elf on the bathroom counter and he is a shaving elf and your work is done!
Use toothpaste, shaving cream or a a dry erase marker and write a short note to the kids from the elf.
Elf Snow Angel
Set up the Elf by making a snow angel out of flour or sugar on the kitchen counter. To streamline the cleanup process, I recommend doing this on a baking sheet. Additionally, to minimize mess, consider using cereal instead of flour or sugar.
Funny Elf on the Shelf Last minute Ideas
Elf tastes dog or cat treats.
Grab the cat treats or animal treats and leave a quick note about how gross they are.
Elf Stuck in Toilet Paper
Grab some toilet paper rolls, and place the elf inside. Afterward, simply leave them in the bathroom for the kids to discover.
Silly comments in the bathroom!
Have kids who miss with their “aim”? Let the elves tell them. You can also add a few drop of green food coloring to the water to make it look like the elf used the potty.
Elf Plays in Christmas Decorations
Grab some of the Christmas decorations you already have out (or if you are like me attempting to get out and up) and have the elf decorating with them or playing with them and making a mess.
Elf Traps kids in their bedroom
Use paper streamers to decorate the kid’s bedroom doors so they are “stuck” in their rooms.
Elf on the Shelf Printables
Elf on the Shelf printables help make things even easier and more fun! Check out some that we love.
- Elf on the Shelf Tic Tac Toe
- Elf on the Shelf Names Printable
- Elf on the Shelf BINGO Game
- Elf Kissing Booth Printable Prop
- Elf Pizza Shop Printable
- Elf Cookie Shop Prop Printable
- Elf Reindeer Friend Adoption Certificate Printable
- Elf Donut Shop Printable Prop
- Elf on the Shelf Health Certificate
- Elf on the Shelf Adoption Certificate
- Elf on the Shelf Printables Pack
- Elf on the Shelf Welcome Letter
- Elf on the Shelf Ideas calendar
- Elf on the Shelf Rules Printable
- Elf on the Shelf I’m Back Letters
- Elf on the Shelf We are Back Letters
Tips For The Best Elf on the Shelf Fun
Grab the Elf on the Shelf Letter that introduces the elf to the kids.
This Elf on the Shelf Rules printable is a must so the kids know and remember the rules.
Be sure you check out these funny elf on the shelf ideas! There are over 135 Elf on the shelf Ideas that kids will love! Running short on time? Make sure you check out this list of Quick Elf on the Shelf ideas!
More Holiday fun to check out!
You can have a lot of fun calling Santa with Santa’s Phone number and it is FREE!
There are so many tasty Christmas treats that the kids will love and they are all perfect for any kids Christmas parties that you might have. Some of our favorite Christmas treats are Santa Hat Cupcakes and Whoville Cookies ! But you can check out the full list of Kid Friendly Christmas Treats and pick out your favorites to make with the kids!
If you are looking for cookie recipes we have you covered there too! Check out our Beautiful Christmas Sugar Cookies, 12 Days of Christmas Cookies, The Best Christmas Cookies Recipes, and Christmas Tree Desserts Recipes!
New for this year! Elf on the Shelf Heath Certificate! Grab it to show your Elf has a clean bill of health! Grab yours Here.