Decorating for the holidays can be so much fun, but when you have little babies and toddlers you have to be careful. Here are some great toddler-friendly Christmas decorating ideas!
I love Christmas! By far, it’s my favorite holiday and favorite holiday season. I love the twinkling lights and cheery decorations, the warm feel and enticing smells, and the cheerful bright spot this season is in an otherwise bleak and dreary winter season in the Pacific Northwest.
My biggest challenge during this season of life (and holiday season) is keeping my 2 daughters (ages 3.5 and 1.5) safe while helping them enjoy life. Here are some things I’ve done (or am planning to do this year) to help my little ones enjoy the season safely.
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Paper or felt trees
A toddler-friendly alternative to the traditional Christmas tree is a felt tree (or paper tree). You can very easily make your own (it doesn’t have to be perfect!) or you can buy a nice felt one for a rather cheap price. A felt tree is particularly fun for toddlers because they can decorate (and re-decorate) to their little hearts’ content. You can also make a paper tree by cutting a tree shape out of butcher paper and putting it on the wall (or floor) and letting your little one color ornaments on it. If you have a lot of paper you can do this over and over (and recycle the old ones or just have multiple trees throughout the house!).
Special Christmas tree decorating techniques
If you have a Christmas tree already and you want to make it toddler-friendly all you need to do is decorate the upper half! Not necessarily pretty, but definitely easy and keeps little fingers from pulling off the ornaments! Make sure your tree is secure and the decorations are out of reach and everyone can still enjoy it.
Plastic (or wood or felt) decorations
Choosing simple, durable, safe decorations is your best bet when you have little children. Ornaments that are not-breakable and have no little parts are safe and fun for everyone. You can make simple ones very easily or buy some inexpensive ones. Large pinecones or wooden statues can be used to decorate.
Make some gingerbread cookie “decorations” (and eat them for dessert). Place whole fruits (small oranges/tangerines or small apples) on tree branches or in a bowl for decoration.
Plastic (or wood) nativity
A popular, safe nativity set for little children is the Fisher Price Nativity set. This is great for really little children and fun for preschoolers too!
My 3-year-old LOVES this Playmobil Nativity Set. She asks to play with it all the time. (We’ve celebrated “Christmas in July” many, many times with this set.) A warning though: there are small parts that are not suitable for babies or toddlers or little children who still put items in their mouths. Please be careful.
Crepe (Tissue) Paper
Tissue paper is a fun, easy, safe way to decorate with toddlers during the holidays. To be fair, this can get really messy, but I personally don’t mind this type of mess and find it fairly easy to clean up.
I love to gather items from walks in the woods or from our yard for our little girls to decorate with. Pinecones, large twigs, leaves. You can even gather large rocks, paint them, and use them to decorate. You can use greenery and hang holly around the house.
I don’t like using real candles at all with little children in the house, but a good battery operated candle can be fun! Just make sure that the battery compartment is secure and can’t be opened by little hands.
Decorating at Christmas when you have little children doesn’t have to be a complicated affair. Babies and toddlers love simplicity (and it makes our lives easier as moms!). You might not have the most sophisticated or fancy decorations in the neighborhood, but your children will appreciate being able to touch and explore the ones you have. I’d love to hear your toddler-friendly Christmas decorating ideas in the comments!