If you're an avid "Elf on the Shelf-er", chances are you've probably dusted off your jolly friend for this year's festivities. If you have little ones, coming up with ideas for how to place him or her every day can be difficult! Scouring Pinterest and other sites for hours to come up with the perfect idea that doesn't make a huge mess (or break the bank – because some of these ideas are downright expensive to recreate) is exhausting! But worry not, we have created a list of the best ideas that will keep the magic of the Elf on the Shelf alive this holiday season while you retain your sanity (and your clean house) using things you probably already have laying around!
This one's a classic. Assemble your kid's dolls, toys, or stuffed animals and put your elf behind a camera to create a family "feauxto" that will surely be a keepsake for years to come.
Scrambling to find a quick way to set up your elf this morning? Take a sharpie and draw funny faces on the eggs in your fridge. You could even use googly eyes or feathers to make troll-like hair if you want to go all out! Eggcelent use of your time if you ask us!
The kids will think their Elf is a master stacker, but we all know you only spent about 60 seconds setting up today's mischief. And then another 5-10 minutes playing with the cups because stacking these is actually pretty fun.
You can get creative with this one. Use a toilet paper roll that's almost to the end and drape it over the ceiling fan with the elf trapped in the roll, TP him to the bathroom door mummy-style, or leave a trail all the way from the kids' bedrooms to the kitchen. Get as messy as you want! Or you can keep it contained to the stairs so that cleanup tonight will be easier.
After the little ones have gone off to bed, take some time for yourself because the holiday season can be draining! Pop some popcorn and turn on your favorite Christmas movie. Just leave the Elf in your spot and you're done for the night!
This funny elf prank is pretty self-explanatory. Sit your elf in a mug and pour some mini marshmallows on top. Just don't forget to move him the next morning before you press "brew"!
This idea requires a little bit more time, but if you have a Christmas village set up in your home, you can simply place the elf in the middle. We went an extra step and used a special Elf on the Shelf door to create a minuscule scene that looks like our Elf brought the North Pole to the living room.
Disclaimer: parental supervision needed for this fun Elf on the Shelf set-up! Call the kids downstairs to see their elf helping himself to some s'mores. You can even have some "big kid" sized s'mores ready to join him! No fire pit? No problem! Here's a totally open-flame-free s'mores recipe.
If you can bring your elf to work without the kids noticing, sneak away from the office holiday party to get a few shots of your Elf being mischievous in the copy room. Hopefully you don't have to wait for Greg from accounting to finish taking photocopies of his face.
If you have a Nativity scene in your home, this could be a great way to remind your family of the true meaning of Christmas. You could even use that Amazon gift card you got from your Secret Santa at work to get a book like this to read with your family on Christmas Eve!
Let us know which of these you've tried over on our Facebook post!