If your the parent of a young child chances are you’re moving an elf on a shelf nightly this month.

Our Elf Lilly flies in with mouse ears because what else…

Just take a quick look around Pinterest and you’ll see tons of elaborate scenes of constructed mischief these guys are getting into.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. I’m gonna give you three methods of elf magic that take less than 10 mins a night.

On 12/1 Lilly always brings the advent calendar

1) Hanging Garland Method: our elf is pretty well behaved. I’m pretty anti mess, so Lilly doesn’t create messes. (Know what you can and can’t live with mamas) I can’t live with leaving a mess out all day.

So when I want Lilly to be a little mischievous I use a cheap $1 garland from Dollar Tree. I just get one and reuse it. We hang here from windows or light fixtures and secure with tape.

2) One Spot Toys: This easy peasy method takes up 1/4 of my elf days. Lilly brings a Christmas themed toy or item from Bullseye’s Playground with a quick little note. Definitely save these for when you’re busy or sleepy.

These play packs are $1 at Target and I always have some laying around.
Rubber Duckies are always a fun toy and also $1 at Target.
Target also had these $1 costumes this year!

3) Have your elf bring something you were already gonna do for your kid.

We make cookies every year, but letting Lilly take the credit for it helps me out.
Have your Elf bring gingerbread houses! http://liketk.it/3tSIo

Doing the elf doesn’t mean you have to drive yourself crazy this season! There are super simple ways to make it fun for your little and easy on yourself.

Cotton Balls make it easy to set up a bath time or a snowball scene.
Have your elf bring a new book and set up a quick toy story time
This is my favorite to do each year