9 Last-Minute Elf On The Shelf Ideas For The Mom Who Just Can't

It's that time of year again, in which you have to remember to move the Elf on the Shelf every night at the risk of upsetting your kid. Love it or hate it, the scout elf has become a holiday tradition in homes everywhere. But what are you supposed to do on evenings when there just isn't time to create an elaborate scene with Mister Snowflakes? These last-minute Elf on the Shelf ideas for the lazy mom are perfect for anyone who needs to pose the little guy in a hurry.

Making your kid's holiday season magical can be as simple as shoving the elf into a sock and calling it a sleeping bag. Hey, Mister Snowflakes likes being rustic. By using a few household objects, craft gear, or your kid's vast supply of toys, you can create elf scenes that are still clever, cute, and unlikely to keep you up every night because sometimes the nightly elf pose is just not the first thing on your mind. Even if you really want to craft some fun and amusing scene with the elf every night, being short on time is just the reality for so many parents. That's why having a few very simple elf poses on hand is so crucial. These ideas are basically a holiday miracle all by themselves.


Home Repairs

Let the elf help out around the house. Pose your Elf on the Shelf ($30, Amazon) with a collection of toy tools, such as the fix it tool set ($25, Amazon). Make it look like he's repairing the toaster or a kitchen chair.


Sick Day

Even scout elves can catch a cold. Tuck your elf into a box of tissues and surround him with some Vicks VapoRub ointment ($6, Amazon) or whatever cold supplies you have on hand. Feel better, elf.


Googly Eyes

Googly eyes just make everything better. If you happen to have some adhesive wiggle eyes ($3, Joann) on hand, stick those on your scout elf. Otherwise, sketch or print out some silly eyeballs and tape them on your elf. He's sure to surprise your kids in the morning.


TP'd Tree

This scene is a bit naughty. Have your elf drape the tree, breakfast table, or refrigerator in a roll of toilet paper. Sure, you're essentially TP'ing your own home, but that's part of the fun.


Fancy Elf

Break out your most glamorous accessories. Hide the elf inside a shiny clutch purse ($14, Amazon) and drape on all your costume jewelry, such as the faux pearl necklace ($7, Amazon), and pretend that the elf is playing dress up.


Music Lover

Do you have an old iPod nano ($75, Amazon) or other mini music player laying around? Perfect. Grab some big over-ear headphones ($25, Amazon) to put on your elf. Now he's chilling to holiday songs all evening.


Underwater Elf

This one has been done time and again, but the sight of the elf inside a bottle always cracks me up. Plus, the execution couldn't be simpler. Put your elf inside a large water bottle ($13, Amazon) or jar. You can place sea creature stickers around the sides to make it look like he's in the ocean.


Wild Ride

Put your kid's toys to work. Have your elf ride a horse, an elephant, or even a Tyrannosaurus rex toy ($20, Amazon). It's an unusual way to get around, sure, but one that's certain to delight your kid.


Napping Elf

This scene will take literally seconds to put together, so it's perfect for the evenings when you really can't be bothered. Tuck the elf into a sock and place a cotton ball or pad under his head as a makeshift pillow. You get bonus points for using holiday socks, but any pair will do the trick.

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