49 Funny and Last Minute Elf on the Shelf Ideas Your Kids Will Love

by | Oct 18, 2020

Let’s be honest, some parents have more fun with Elf on the Shelf than the kids do! It gives us a bit of a creative outlet to come up with new hiding spots and hilarious situations for your child’s elf to get into.

‘Tis the season to dust off your Elf on the Shelf and get working on some fun ideas to make your little one laugh, cry, or even jump for joy. Since most elves come just after Thanksgiving and need a new hiding spot until they leave on Christmas Eve, you’ll need a months worth of Elf on the Shelf ideas and activities!

Have fun with this and get creative because the joy, excitement, and magic of Christmas won’t last in your little one’s hearts for much longer!

If you haven’t welcomed your elf yet, grab this FREE printable elf welcome letter. If you want to personalize it, grab one at my Etsy shop, Just Simply Mom Designs for a few bucks more.

Make sure you plan your elves arrival well! You can have a whole North Pole Breakfast to welcome your elf which will completely amaze your children. Get some ideas for your North Pole Breakfast here.

Try these funny & hysterical elf on the shelf ideas to keep kids in the Christmas spirit. Most are simple & easy enough to do last minute.

49 Funny and Last Minute Elf on the Shelf Ideas

Since we all know that life as a parent can be chaotic as it is, adding another part to your daily routine can be a bit daunting. During the Christmas season, keeping up with the Elf on the Shelf tradition seems bothersome, however it will bring so much joy to your child’s eyes.

With the funny Elf on the shelf ideas below, you’ll never have to think too hard for a good idea that your kids will love.

Elf Isolation House

Try these funny & hysterical elf on the shelf ideas to keep kids in the Christmas spirit. Most are simple & easy enough to do last minute.

Given the state of times that we’re in, what better way to embrace the Coronavirus pandemic than making sure that your Elf quarantines upon arrival. New for 2020, this Elf Isolation House is the perfect way to have your elf self-isolate for 14 days to ensure they are healthy when the arrive from the North Pole. It even includes a mini mask for your elf to wear. Purchase your quarantine jar on Etsy here!

Buried in the “Snow”

Try these funny & hysterical elf on the shelf ideas to keep kids in the Christmas spirit. Most are simple & easy enough to do last minute.

Grab some mini (or regular sized) marshmallows and stuff them into any jar, lantern, bowl, or container. This makes it seem like your elf is buried in the snow.

Elf is on a Roll

Whoops. I guess your elf had a little spill down the stairs while he got stuck in a toilet paper roll!

Riding on Santa’s Train

Try these funny & hysterical elf on the shelf ideas to keep kids in the Christmas spirit. Most are simple & easy enough to do last minute.

If you have some Christmas trains riding around your tree or set up as your Christmas decor, place elf on the train. Choo Choo!

A Little Tied Up

Whoops. Maybe your elf was up to no good and got himself into some trouble. Tie him up with some tape, looking like an attempted kidnapping. Laying in front of a train really adds to the drama.

Getting into the Toothpaste

Try these funny & hysterical elf on the shelf ideas to keep kids in the Christmas spirit. Most are simple & easy enough to do last minute.

Make it appear like your elf has gotten into their toothpaste by squeezing a message out in toothpaste. Put it on the counter, on the mirror, or even the wall. Just don’t make too much of a mess because remember, you’ll be the one cleaning it up!

Gone Fishing

Elf has gone on a fishing trip, but he’s catching your kiddos bath toys this time! Attach some string to a small straw or stick to make a fishing rod. Use squeaky bath toys as his prey.

This Ain’t a Bowling Alley!

Looks like your elf on the shelf got a little bowling game set up. Use an a Christmas ball ornament and some pine cones and any other Christmas trinkets that you can find.

Tied Up In Ribbon

Make it known that your elf has been getting into the Christmas ribbons, bows, and wrapping paper with this funny Elf on the Shelf idea. Use tinsel, garland, bows, ribbon, or string to get your wrapped up in some festive holiday decorations.

Falling into the Gumball Jar

Try these funny & hysterical elf on the shelf ideas to keep kids in the Christmas spirit. Most are simple & easy enough to do last minute.

Elf is always up to no good! This time he got stuck in the gumball jar, trying to get some out. You can also use the cookie jar for the same idea.

Taking a Snooze in the Doll’s Bed

That sneaky little elf must have had a long night flying back from the North Pole. The doll bed is just the perfect size for him!

Writing on Fruit

I guess Elf got into the markers and started marking up some fruit. This is probably better than when your toddlers get into the markers because at least it’s not ending up on your walls!

Scaling the Tree

Try these funny & hysterical elf on the shelf ideas to keep kids in the Christmas spirit. Most are simple & easy enough to do last minute.

Who needs a rock climbing wall when you can scale a Christmas tree instead? Attach some string, ribbon, garland, or tinsel to the top of the tree and wrap it around your elf to show this little trick.

Robbing the Piggy Bank

Can’t trust that Elf with anything! Especially your money! Hopefully your kiddos catch him red-handed.

Stealing the Cookies from Santa

Try these funny & hysterical elf on the shelf ideas to keep kids in the Christmas spirit. Most are simple & easy enough to do last minute.

Who said the cookies had to all be for Santa? Elfie better save some for Santa or he will get on the naughty list.

Taking a Selfie

Put your cell phone in the elf’s hand and show them taking a selfie. When your child goes through the photos, he’ll see that the elf has taken numerous selfies of himself.

Where’s Elf?

Like a game of Where’s Waldo, maybe Elf is trying to hide out with all his friends. See if your little one can find their elf in the sea of stuffed animals.

Stuck in a Jar

Try these funny & hysterical elf on the shelf ideas to keep kids in the Christmas spirit. Most are simple & easy enough to do last minute.

With all these hiding places, he’s bound to get stuck somewhere. Squeeze him into a jar which appears like he won’t be able to get out.

Relaxing in a Bubble Bath

Elves need some relaxation time too! This funny elf on the shelf idea is sure to give your kids a chuckle!

Pooping on the rival

Use a Hershey Kiss to show how your elf really feels about your house rivals.

Bow climbing

Elf is pretty well coordinated and strong to scale the wall using bows to help.

A Dental Visit

Try these funny & hysterical elf on the shelf ideas to keep kids in the Christmas spirit. Most are simple & easy enough to do last minute.

Elf is having a visit from the dentist. Must be due to his sweet tooth and all the Christmas candy he’s been eating.

Turning Eggs into Kinder Eggs

This is a cute elf on the shelf idea for your little ones. Have elf sprinkle some glitter on raw eggs and make them ‘magically’ turn into Kinder eggs or chocolate eggs by the time they return from school!You can do this with other items you can find that magically become edible as well.

Roasting S’Mores

Your elf has gotta eat too! He sure has a sweet tooth!

Playing Hide-And-Seek

Play a little game of hide-and-seek with elf and your kiddos. Leave a note (or even a voice recording if they can’t read yet) in the morning sending your child on a little mission find him. Lead them throughout the house in places that they may not normally look to find the Elf in the first place.

Under the Weather

Your elf isn’t feeling well today. Make him a makeshift bed with all the medicine and first aid kit close by.

Toilet Paper Switcheroo

Try these funny & hysterical elf on the shelf ideas to keep kids in the Christmas spirit. Most are simple & easy enough to do last minute.

Uh Oh! Looks like your elf replaced the toilet paper with some duct tape. That may hurt!

Playing a Game

Elf found some friends to play a game with. Use any card deck or board game you can find to set up a mock game between friends.

Cruising Around with Barbie

If you have a small toy car for your little one’s figurines, this is a great place to let elf cruise around like he’s one of their dolls.

Up, Up, and Away

Turn elf into a super hero, flying high through your home.

Hanging from the Light Fixture

Try these funny & hysterical elf on the shelf ideas to keep kids in the Christmas spirit. Most are simple & easy enough to do last minute.

Wrap Elf up with some beads, tinsel, or garland as he hangs from the light fixtures or fan. Just make sure no one turns it on!

Freezing in the Fridge

Elf would be awfully cold in the refrigerator. Make sure you wrap him up in a dish towel as a blanket!

Hanging from the Mistletoe

Check out Elf just spreading the love! What a great place for him to hang out then to sneak a peak at all the smooching going on!

Playing Twister

Try these funny & hysterical elf on the shelf ideas to keep kids in the Christmas spirit. Most are simple & easy enough to do last minute.

Your elf is having some fun with his other friends and playing this twister game. Fun For Little Ones offers this FREE PRINTABLE Twister board for your elf. Simply download, print it out, and stick your elf on it.

Gliding Down a Snowy Hill on a Saucer

This reminds me of my childhood! Gliding down a big snowy hill on a saucer! Use a long piece of paper towel to make this work, but just make sure it is strong enough to hold your elf.

Candy Cane Sleigh

Try these funny & hysterical elf on the shelf ideas to keep kids in the Christmas spirit. Most are simple & easy enough to do last minute.

What looks more fun than a candy cane sleigh?? This is an awesome elf on the shelf idea.. I kind of want to sit on it myself!

Rollin’ down the stairs

Get Elf laying in an paper towel roll and watch how far he’ll roll!

He Peed!

Try these funny & hysterical elf on the shelf ideas to keep kids in the Christmas spirit. Most are simple & easy enough to do last minute.

Whoops. Elf had an accident, but it’s just peas, not pee!

Do You Want to Build a Snowman?

Even if you don’t have a toilet paper roll holder like this, simply stack a few rolls on top of each other for the same effect! If your kids are into Frozen, they will love this Elf on the Shelf idea!

Playing with Play Dough

Having a little fun with the play dough. See what else he can build!

The Gamer

Maybe your elf likes taking your son or daughter’s video games. They’ll just want to make sure Elf isn’t talking to their friends while gaming.

Trapped

Someone’s up to no good again. Guess he got caught by the army men.

Get Baking

Try these funny & hysterical elf on the shelf ideas to keep kids in the Christmas spirit. Most are simple & easy enough to do last minute.

Let elf bring over some cookie mix so you can have a fun baking night with the kids.

Falling On His Head

Is elf trying to do hand stands or did he simply fall off the mantle? This is a good reminder not to climb on high things because you could get hurt! I’d also put a bandaid on his head to show that he has a boo-boo!

Bringing an Activity

Try these funny & hysterical elf on the shelf ideas to keep kids in the Christmas spirit. Most are simple & easy enough to do last minute.

Have the elf bring a fun activity that your child can look forward to later that day or after school. You can have them make ornaments, bake Christmas cookies, wrap presents for friends and family, etc.

Marshmallow Catapult

This is actually a fun STEM activity for your little ones. Print out the FREE printable from Natural Beach Living and post it next to your elf. This gives the directions that your child can easily follow. You just may have marshmallows all over your house soon and find them into the new year..

Into the Snacks

Try these funny & hysterical elf on the shelf ideas to keep kids in the Christmas spirit. Most are simple & easy enough to do last minute.

Uh oh. Elf got into the snack pantry again!

Gone Fishing

Use some Goldfish and a small stick to make a fishing rod. Elf looks like he’s having a great time!

Movie Night

Elves aren’t always up to no good. Sometimes they come bearing gifts and fun family activities to do! Make it a movie night with this fun elf on the shelf idea.

Making Coffee

Try these funny & hysterical elf on the shelf ideas to keep kids in the Christmas spirit. Most are simple & easy enough to do last minute.

I guess elf needs his caffeine kick too.

Promote Kindness

Try these funny & hysterical elf on the shelf ideas to keep kids in the Christmas spirit. Most are simple & easy enough to do last minute.

This isn’t a funny Elf on the Shelf idea, but I had to add it because I love this idea. Have your child’s elf leave them some notes for acts of kindness that they can perform. This will really help to bring the meaning of the holiday to light.


I hope you enjoy making these new traditions with your family this year. Elf on the Shelf is a Christmas tradition that will never go out of style, giving your child more magic in the spirit of Christmas.

Use these hilarious Elf on the Shelf ideas to amaze your little ones and make their early Christmas years a memory that will last forever.

Try these funny & hysterical elf on the shelf ideas to keep kids in the Christmas spirit. Most are simple & easy enough to do last minute.

Hi I’m Marissa!

A mom of two little ones, here to provide some relatable experiences, tips, and tricks to the joys and challenges of pregnancy and childbirth through raising babies and toddlers.  Read more about me here.