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There’s 17 days until Christmas and while most people have enough to think about with shopping for presents, parents who are committed to doing the elf of the shelf challenge for their children have one extra thing to do before bedtime.
If, like many of us, you’re just heading up to bed each night when suddenly, you realise you haven’t come up with an idea for the elf, then don’t worry. We’ve got you covered with 17 easy, last-minute and amusing elf on the shelf ideas to get you through to Christmas day. There’s also a get out of jail free option at the very end, for extra lazy parents.
From funny pranks to dealing with misbehaving children, here are some great, last-minute elf on the shelf ideas to get you through to Christmas day.
Grab some lipstick (best check with the owner first) and write a message on the mirror, leaving the elf sitting on the mirror frame with the lipstick in hand. Then let your kids catch him red-handed (or pink, or nude?).
If your kids have been misbehaving, you could leave your elf staged next to a note saying: “Elf on strike…” and reference why he’s on strike.
Simply find a small piece of fabric - like a cloth or flannel - and stage your elf on it as if it was sunbathing. If you’ve got younger kids, you’ll likely be able to pinch some sunglasses and other apparel for Elf to wear to look like he’s on holiday.
Used up the toilet paper? Use the cardboard tube to make a swing for your elf over a doorway. Simply find some string and thread it through the toilet roll tube, then attach it to the top of the doorframe using a bit of blue tac or tape (just watch your paintwork). It’s a great surprise for kids to find the elf swinging off their door when they wake up the next morning.
Alternatively, if you’ve just replenished the toilet roll, you can have some fun with that too. Put your elf through the middle of the toilet roll and unravel it a bit. Place the elf at the bottom of the stairs with the toilet roll trailing behind it.
If you’ve got a candy cane and a piece of string lying around, you could attach your elf to the candy cane and make it look like he’s made himself a zipline across the living room during the night.
Got some flour or sugar and some mini marshmallows in the kitchen cupboard? Make a quick snow scene on the worktop and stage your elf with another toy to make it look like they’re having a snowball fight - as demonstrated by Elg and Woody below.
Stand your elf over a candle (not lit!) and attach a mini marshmallow to a cocktail stick or twig. Get your elf to hold the stick over the candle and it’ll look as though he’s been having a campfire in the lounge overnight. To make it more realistic, light the candle and roast the marshmallows for a few seconds so that they brown off slightly. DOn’t forget the chocolate!
Grab a few adhesive wrapping bows and attach them to a wall. Then stick your elf in place so he looks like he’s climbing it.
Cut two eyeholes in a strip of black paper, card or felt and tie it around your elf’s head to make him look like a burglar. Then stag the elf over a money box or piggy bank to make him look like he’s robbing it.
Sprinkle some flour over a worktop and lie the elf in the middle of it. Move their arms and legs around in the flour to leave the shape of a snow angel. Leave the elf lying in the “snow” for the kids to find.
Leave an open wallet on the floor near a door and spread some cash and a card along the floor. Shut the door with Elf’s legs stuck underneath it to make it look like he was trying to make a clean getaway with dad’s wallet.
Grab some felt tips or crayons and draw a Twister mat on a piece of paper. Then leave your elf in a position on the Twister board. You could even rope in some of your kids’ other toys and get one of them spinning the dial.
Spread a bit of shaving foam around Elf’s mouth and leave him holding the razor by the sink. Simple, but funny for the youngsters.
If your children have barbie dolls or any other toy figures lying around, create a cosy proposal scene between the two toys. It is cuffing season after all.
Set up a board game and place Elf and a few other toys around the game and make it look like they froze in the middle of playing.
Cut a hatch out of an empty box and label it ‘Kissing Booth.’ Then stick your elf’s head out the hatch and leave him ready to pucker up.
If you’re really struggling or have just lost sight of why the heck you committed to this challenge, you can always put your elf in isolation for 10 days with suspected covid-19 symptoms? May as well have some fun with the restrictions.
So there you have it, hopefully some quick, easy and effective ideas for your elf on the shelf this Christmas.