Baby Hints & Tips

9 reasons Why Elf on the Shelf didn’t Move Last Night!

Elf On The Shelf Didn't MoveI won’t tell you how many times I’ve just put my weary head to the pillow and thought “Yikes, I forgot the elf!” and regretfully had to leap back up to relocate him.  So what do you say when the elf on the shelf didn’t move?

Like many a tired Mum there’s a few terrible times over the years I’ve just downright forgotten him. Shock! Horror! PANIC! In the heat of the moment I have then fumbled through explaining to my kidlets why ‘Ned’ may not have moved.

This year I hope not have the whole “Elf on the Shelf didn’t move” conversation, I’ll be prepared! Don’t worry fellow Mums, we have it sorted.

Here are our favourite (and most believable) excuses to explain why your Elf on the Shelf didn’t move last night!


The Elf Decided to Give You a Second Chance

Sadly your behaviour yesterday wasn’t great. <Insert Elf’s Name Here> decided that instead of going to the North Pole to tell Santa he’d just skip having to report it wasn’t your best day and let you try again today. Let’s make sure today is better!  We have lots of ideas here for using your Elf on the Shelf to promote positive behaviour


You must have woken up and disturbed him!

You know the magic only happens when we are asleep. Someone must have woken up and <Insert Elf’s Name Here> must have missed the magical window of time for flying home. That is why it is SO important that we go to sleep and stay asleep!

You didn’t go to sleep quickly enough

<Insert Elf’s Name Here> was waiting for you to fall asleep so he could head back to the North Pole. Unfortunately you mucked around for sooooo long going to bed last night he fell asleep himself and missed the chance to get home!


The Elf was stuck!

Dramatic voice: Oh no! <Insert Elf’s Name Here> appears to have his arm / leg / bottom stuck. Let me get the kitchen tongs to help him so he can make it home tonight! What a disaster for poor <Insert Elf’s Name Here>. Cue dramatic rescue with kitchen tongs.

The Elf was sick!

elf hospital

Soothing voice: Oh dear! Poor <Insert Elf’s Name Here> looks like he is not well. His cheeks are burning up! Lets get the Doctors Set out and check his temperature. Maybe he was just unwell last night. If we leave him alone today to get some rest I’m sure he’ll be better for tonight… (Pop a dolls blanket on him if you have one!)

It’s the National Elf Holiday

Oh silly Mummy voice: I totally forgot! It’s the <<Insert DATE Here> and that’s the National Elf Holiday! This is a very special date where they sleep all night and actually surprise you later in the day. How did Mummy forget? I wonder what might happen today. We’ll have to wait and see… (Make sure you move him during the day. Perhaps add a treat to add to the magic of the ‘National Elf Holiday Surprise!’)

The Northern Winds Came Blowing Through

Last night before you went to bed do you remember how windy it was? He must have got the memo from Santa that it was the famous Northern Winds. Elves can not fly under these conditions its simply too dangerous. I’m so glad he listened to Santa’s advice and did what he was told! What a good Elf!

It was Mum’s fault

Apologetic: I am sooo sorry. You know I fell asleep on the couch last night reading / stayed up late working / was watching a great movie and the fact that I didn’t go to bed early enough meant he couldn’t move. I am SO sorry. I will make sure that doesn’t happen tonight.

Someone touched the Elf (even if it was only the dog…)

Oh no. This is terrible. We all know that if someone touches the Elf the magic is broken.  The Elf on The Shelf didn’t move because there was no magic to move him! Was it you Child One? You Child Two? Dog? Well nobody seems to want to own up but I can only assume the magic was broken. Put the dog or cat outside with a flourish. (If you don’t have an animal husbands can be blamed also…)

Good luck! Here’s to hoping you don’t need these excuses but it’s always nice to be prepared just in case you do! Happy Elfing!

Still need an Elf On The Shelf? Look here

Get inspiration for Elf on the Shelf antics.

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