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Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Elf on the Shelf Held Hostage by Dinosaurs

It's late at night you're about to drift off to sleep and you suddenly realise crap I didn't move the Elf! So, you run downstairs desperately searching through all the kids toys, trying to think of a quick elf on the shelf idea using things you have in front of you. This was the exact situation that inspired this elf held captive by toy dinosaurs idea

elf on the shelf held captive by dinosaurs

Yep we've all been there late at night, usually half way through December when elf motivation and imagination is lacking. Don't worry you don't need to have elaborate props or grand plans to pull off the magic of Elf on the Shelf. A quick rummage through the toy box late at night can often provide some last minute inspiration.


In my late night haze the first toys I saw were my girls earth tiles and a bunch of animal figurines. Suddenly in my half asleep fog a light bulb went off in my brain. I had all the tools needed to set up an Elf held captive by toys scene. Our elf doesn't do naughty things, but she does do funny and I knew the girls would think this was hilarious. To recreate it at home you'll need:

  • Hollow magnetic tiles {Earth tiles or Magformers}
  • Dinosaur figurines {we used CollectA}
  • Novelty Christmas light necklace {optional}

I literally came up with idea on the fly late at night so I just grabbed toys we already had which happened to be magnetic tiles and dinosaurs figurines, but you could also substitute the magnetic tiles for wooden blocks and dinosaurs for any animal figurines or small dolls like Barbies or army men. I wrapped our magnetic tile jail in a Christmas light necklace because it made it look festive and like Elfie was even more trapped. We buy the novelty necklaces at dollar stores each year, however if you don't have one you could wrap it in tinsel or Christmas lights, or just leave it plain.


1. Build the bottom cube and then place the Elf on top {legs sticking through the front square} so you can build around it.
2. Poke the Elf's arms out of one of the tiles. 
3. Once your jail tower is high enough to cover the Elf add a roof with triangles.
4. Wrap the jail in Christmas lights or tinsel {optional}
5. Position dinosaurs {or other toys} around the jail like they're guarding it.

elf on the shelf in magnetic tile jail

elf on the shelf held hostage

The girls thought Elfie being trapped by the dinosaurs was hilarious. It looked even more effective when the necklace lights were flashing {see video below}.


If you're setting this up as a planned scene, instead of winging it at the last minute, you could also print out one of these cute elf jail printable signs, or get this set of 45 elf letterboard signs that includes a help I've been taken hostage board. To take it to the next level, dress the elf in this cute the dog did it top, or go all out and dress them in a prison uniform complete with mug shot board.

elf on the shelf prisoner outfit
Image: Etsy | Slick and Boogers


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