24 Elf on the Shelf Ideas for Toddlers – Under 5 Minutes

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elf on the shelf ideas for toddlers in under 5 minutes

It’s that time of the year. The elf on the shelf is preparing its comeback, so I thought I would share with you 24 easy elf on the shelf ideas for toddlers.

All of these can be done in under 5 minutes, because sometimes we just need some quick ideas in the evenings.

This is the first year that we’re having an elf on the shelf over, so we are very excited. This is the elf that we got.

Some of these ideas do require some bits bought in advance, but for a lot of them you probably already own everything you need.

Let’s see what these cheeky elves get up to during December.

If you’d like to see more shots of these elf on the shelf ideas, you can give this video a watch as well:

Elf on the shelf ideas for toddlers

1. Elf climbing gift bows – You can get gift bows from most supermarkets or home stores. You can stick these to a radiator, door, furniture etc. And then the elf can climb on these.

2. Elf wraps kids’ shoes in cling foil or aluminum foil – The elf can create “gifts” from the kids’ shoes and this can be as creative as you want it to be. You can use cling foil, aluminum foil, a scarf, wrapping paper etc.

3. Elf hides in a used pack of wipes – Or an empty pack of anything really, cereal box, baby wipes etc.

4. Elf draws on oranges – Make a snowman if you put one orange on top of the other or draw different emotion faces on oranges.

5. Elf makes a hot chocolate station – Complete with chocolate powder, marshmallows, cinnamon, sugar or whatever you like.

6. Elf makes a Cheerios necklace out of twine – You can use Christmas twine or any sort of string and make a necklace out of it.

7. Elf draws something for the kids on paper – You can draw the elf’s plans for decorating your room or anything silly.

8. Elf post mail – We got this cardboard mail box (although you can use any box to make this easily) and some cards, so that we can send some mail in the post.

9. Elf hanging from twine – The elf gets tangled up in twine and is found dangling from door handles, ceiling lights, bathroom mirror etc.

10. Elf uses tape to create webs around a room – Washi tape, regular scotch tape or anyt sort of tape will work for this. It can be wrapped around chairs, furniture, tables etc.

11. Elf uses tape to stick toddler’s cars or small toys to radiator or door – Then your little one will need to rescue all the toys that have been stuck overnight.

12. Elf brings a decorate-your-own-tree for the little ones – You will need a small artificial tree, baubles, fairy lights and a tree topper. Simple and a great activity for them too!

elf on the shelf ideas for toddlers

13. Elf uses toilet paper all over bathroom or swings from it – Throw some toilet paper around or create little swings out of it.

14. Elf “poops” chocolate bits or raisins in toddler’s potty – If your little one is potty training, they will get a kick out of this one.

15. Elf creates a swing for himself out of toilet paper carton and twine – Take the cardboard roll, put some twine/string through it and then tie it to a door handle or a door frame to make a swing out of it. The elf can hold onto the twine.

16. Elf creates a bed for himself out of a blanket – Cosy throws, a towel on its head, snacks around etc.

17. Elf puts out muffins and takes a bite – Simple breakfast idea too.

18. Elf gets in a toy stroller – Elf pretends to be a baby in your little one’s stroller or toy stroller.

19. Elf rides reindeer – Any reindeer decorations will work for this.

20. Elf fishing – Use something like a reusable straw and some twine to create the fishing rod.

21. Elf hides in the Christmas tree – Between the baubles, hanging from the fairy lights or putting on the tree topper.

22. Elf brings all books together and creates a reading corner – Great way to encourage a reading activity too.

23. Elf hides on the ceiling light – Depending on your light fixtures, you can hide the elf in there.

24. Elf hides in a jar – Any clean jar will work for this.


I hope you found these elf on the shelf ideas for toddlers helpful. Do share your own ideas below, so that we can get inspiration from one another.

2 thoughts on “24 Elf on the Shelf Ideas for Toddlers – Under 5 Minutes”

  1. Great ideas – my little boy is 2, so it’s our first year doing Elf on the shelf, I’ll definitely be using some of these ideas – thank you! 😊

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