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[elf on the shelf ideas]Last minute quick and easy Elf on the Shelf ideas

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  The festive season has officially begun and for many this means the return of the Elf on the Shelf.

  The cheeky elves descend each year as a way to keep the little ones entertained – and behaving well – in the run up to Christmas.

  Since this year has been different than any other, there’s no doubt some parents will have let the pesky elf slip their minds.

  But not to worry, we’ve found some quick and easy Elf on the Shelf ideas you’ll be able to pull together in just a few minutes.

  Here are 17 simple Elf on the Shelf ideas to use:

  It's quick, its easy and a little bit genius if you're running behind.

  Vicky Brandon, of Bromborough, sent in this picture of Bella, aged four's elf and said:

  Vicky Brandon, of Bromborough, sent in this picture of Bella, aged four's elf and said: “Buddy is a very cheeky little elf, loves building snowmen.”

  All you'll need is a couple of toilet rolls, and a pen if you're in a rush.

  If you've got a spare five minutes, you could cut out some shapes and stick them to the toilet roll as above.

  It's 7am, the kids are about to come down the stairs and you've forgotten to set the Elf on the Shelf up.

  Sent in by Danielle Lamont, via Facebook

  Sent in by Danielle Lamont, via Facebook

  For a quick and easy hack, all you'll need to do is cut a small hole in the side of one of your cereal boxes – maybe use an almost empty one! – pop your elf's head through for the kids to find.

  This one is as simple as scrunching up some plain paper, literally.

  Whether you've got one elf or two – or more – this could work, you could simply make the second player yourself or your child.

  

  (Image: Elf on the Shelf)

  Scrunch up some paper to make snowballs, leave a note and that's another day done.

  All this one requires is a note and some plastic cups – and a small hidden treat, of course.

  It's up to you what you hide beneath one of the cups, but it will be worth it when your little one is excitedly looking for it.

  

  (Image: Elf on the Shelf)

  Does your child have a favourite toy or figure? Why not let them join the fun?

  Jayne Elizabeth's elf has learned not to mess with a frozen princess

  Jayne Elizabeth's elf has learned not to mess with a frozen princess

  Wrap your elf in some clingfilm and let the toys hold them hostage to keep them from being naughty.

  There's no doubt this one will be a hit with the kids.

  This is Elvis, who lives with Michelle Riley, playing Twister

  This is Elvis, who lives with Michelle Riley, playing Twister

  If you've got a spare five minutes, why not create a makeshift Twister board for your elf? All you'll need is paper and some colouring pencils!

  What could be easier than letting the elves have some play time?

  Jill Evans:

  Jill Evans: “Through the playroom”

  Set up some toys in the living room, pop your elf on top and let the kids enjoy.

  If you've forgotten to plan your Elf on the Shelf ahead of time, this might be one for you.

  Jodie Sheldon:

  Jodie Sheldon: “A few of ours! The Frozen one went down the best!”

  Pop your elf in your fruit bowl, grab a pen and write a funny message to the kids before they spot you.

  When you've got to go, you've got to go.

  

  Laura Elson's elf really needs to go potty

  If you're out of time, pop your elf on the potty – or the toilet – and there's no doubt the kids will laugh.

  If you've got a spare toilet roll, this simple trick could be the perfect Elf on the Shelf hack.

  

  We're not sure that's how bungie jumping works, guys. (Photo by Ashlea Harrison)

  Drape some toilet roll down your stairs, wrap your elf in some too, and place them on of the staircase.

  This might be the easier one of all.

  

  Hayley's elf has been scribbling on the mirror

  If you've got some lipstick hanging around, take a minute to write a note on your bathroom mirror and let your elf take the credit.

  If you caved and got the kids that pet fish they wanted, here's one for you.

  

  Stacey Brunnix's elf has gone fishing

  Pop your elf on top of the fish tank, add in a chop stick or something similar, add a piece of ribbon and set them off on their first fishing trip.

  This one is perfect for anyone who's already broken into their Christmas chocolate.

  

  But clearly he didn't learn anything! (Photo by Kelly Gemmell Hardiman)

  Whip the top off your Christmas chocs – take some time to eat a few, of course – and leave the wrappers scattered around. Best of all? You can blame the elf.

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  The kids will love this one.

  Elvis playing hide and seek. From Michelle Riley

  Elvis playing hide and seek. From Michelle Riley

  Pop your elf inside your washing machine, tell the kids he's playing hide and seek and see how long it takes them to spot them.

  All you need for this one is your elf and a cupboard.

  Melissa Logan sent in these photos of her elf, Ringo getting up to no good!

  Melissa Logan sent in these photos of her elf, Ringo getting up to no good!

  Let your elf try to climb inside your cupboards for the day and see what he can cling on to.

  Sweet and simple.

  Melissa Logan sent in these photos of her elf, Ringo getting up to no good!

  Melissa Logan sent in these photos of her elf, Ringo getting up to no good!

  Pop your lovable elf on a branch of your Christmas tree and let the kids wonder how on Earth he managed to get up there.

  You can do this one as you're getting ready for your day.

  Melissa Logan sent in these photos of her elf, Ringo getting up to no good!

  Melissa Logan sent in these photos of her elf, Ringo getting up to no good!

  Sit your elf down in front of a mirror, add in some makeup brushes and palettes and that's another day done.