24 Zero Effort Elf on the Shelf Ideas!

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elf on the shelf christmas tradition

24 Zero Effort Elf on the Shelf Ideas You Need this December!

You know me, I don’t like faff. I like to keep things simple and I like to save time and effort where I can –  a bit like with these super easy stocking fillers.

Vtech toys New in Babysecurity

This year is the first year that I’ve been roped into doing Elf on the Shelf. I’ve managed to avoid it for 4 years but after a trip to the States in the summer, a friend greeted me with my elf. Here he is! I’ll need all the Gin and Prosecco gifts by the end of this December!

elf on the shelf christmas tradition boxed - easy elf on shelf ideas for kids

She promises B will love it! And I’m sure he will! But it means 24 (is it 24 days?!) of elf faff! Can’t I just stick with the book advent calendar?! or if all else fails, Mummy can calm down with her home-made wine advent one 😉

So to get us organised, I’ve popped together 24 super simple Elf on the Shelf ideas to keep us busy through December. Be sure to share this post with your friends – they will thank you! Oh and look here for elf accessories you need. And more ideas for lazy parents, yep, take a nose here – 24 more Lazy Mum’s Elf on the Shelf Ideas.

naughty elf on sheld ideas easy no faff effortStuff to Keep Handy!

I’ve also gathered together a list of bits and bobs to have handy too.

  • Glue dots
  • Double sided tape
  • Mini marshmallows
  • String and ribbons
  • Blank Elf cards to fill in

Be sure to PIN this one for later!

Looking for Elf on the Shelf ideas this Christmas? Take a look at 24 zero faff, no effort Elf ideas to get you going until Christmas day!

Free Printable Elf Notes!

Now because it’s the season of giving and all that, I thought I’d share with you the Elf cards I made. You can download them below, for free! Why not share the giving love and pop this post on your Facebook ey? Your friends will thank you for the ideas and the free blank cards.

blank elf on shelf printable cards


blank elf on shelf printable cards 2


And now for Elf Ideas!

      • Introduce your Elf using one of the cards and leave a little treat.
      • Decorate your little ones favourite toy or teddy. Think tinsel or ribbon.
      • Time to get naughty. Unravel some toilet roll and leave Elf asleep at the bottom.
      • Elf wants to play. Pop Elf with some of your child’s fave toys.
      • Elf has been cooking. Leave him in the kitchen, tucking in to your child’s cereal.
      • Play hide and seek with some of the Christmas tree ornaments. Leave a couple hidden in your child’s bedroom.
      • Write a short Elf message using raisins. Or coffee beans! If you’re a coffee lover, check out our gift guide here for ideas!

    Melissa and Doug

elf on the shelf christmas tradition elf sleeping in bed

    • Find Elf sleeping in your pet’s bed.
    • Make some paper snowflakes and pop them by your child’s bed.
    • Stage an Elf kidnap! Use some string and pop another toy next to Elf.
    • Elf has been raiding the kitchen cupboard. Find him passed out in a sea of mini marshmallows.
    • Take some “elfies” on your phone or iPad and be sure to show your child what mischief Elf was up to last night!
    • Elf has been brushing his teeth, using your toothbrush!
    • Elf likes to read. Pop him on the bookshelf in your child’s room.
    • Elf has been naughty. Pop a couple of stickers on the clothes your child will wear the next day. Be sure to leave a few on Elf too!
    • Find Elf doing some colouring.
    • Tangle Elf in ribbon and pop him under the tree.

elf on the shelf christmas tradition

  • Elf likes taking naps. Try someone’s shoe or slipper.
  • Leave a note under your child’s pillow with a small sweet treat.
  • Stage a teddy bear’s picnic with some other toys.
  • Elf wants to do some baking. Pop him in the kitchen with a bag of flour and plan to make some Christmas cookies.
  • Elf has been binge watching Kid’s YouTube. Pop him with the iPad.
  • Elf has been making reindeer food. Think seeds or oats, mixed with some glitter.
  • Find Elf in the fridge, hunting for the best carrot to leave for Rudolph this evening!

elf on the shelf christmas tradition reading

LEGO Brand Retail

And there you go, some very simple Elf on the Shelf ideas to keep you sane through quite possibly the busiest time of the year. As if we need more things to think about ey!

Looking for Elf on the Shelf ideas this Christmas? Take a look at 24 zero faff, no effort Elf ideas to get you going until Christmas day

Linked with KCACOLS


  1. We met our Elf last year (and named him Eddie)
    Personally I don’t agree with the whole ‘Santa’s watching and he only brings presents if you’re good’ mainly cos we all know we’ll get the presents anyway!!
    Our Elf just got up to fun things overnight last year – he wasn’t the ‘proper’ reporting back to Santa every day we were just silly and had fun!!

    Sure B will love him – lets compare notes during December 🙂

  2. I have to admit I do love how low maintenance these are. Ain’t no mama got time for flour thrown everywhere, encasing elves in bloody blocks of ice and so on ha ha. Not to mention the cleaning up in the morning when you are late for school run lol.

  3. These are handy as I’ve done our elves for 2 or 4 years now and starting to find it tricky to have original ideas so having some simple ones is always good

  4. I love the idea of easy Elf on the Shelf Ideas. I do really good the first week and then I run out of good ideas. Thank you. Saved this for later. Rachel from Explore Kid Talk

  5. I will admit I haven’t done an elf yet, and it is partially my fault. I hear horror stories all the time from friends and families that either run out of ideas or wake up in the middle of the night and remember they forgot to move the elf! Hahaha! 🙂 These are great (and simple) ideas though! Very helpful! I am going to bookmark this in case we ever do introduce the elf! #KCACOLS

  6. I definitely will be using these ideas! I’m on the third christmas of the elf and this year there is two of them because we’ve since had my daughter.
    Thanks so much for linking up to #KCACOLS. Hope we will see you again next time.

    • Ah thank you. Yes we do a half hearted attempt. No mess or faffing on. The elf is handy at age five as our son thinks he is watching and reporting to Santa !

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