Christmas decorating with toddlers can be a challenge. Little hands just can’t seem to stay away – so why ask them to? We love to create a play tree, where the moving of decorations is encouraged!
We build the outline of a tree with green painter’s tape on our patio door, then use window clings to decorate.
Pro parenting tip: Buy half a dozen small sheets of these decorations during the Boxing Day sales and tuck away for next year. Bring out just one sheet when setting up your tree. We often go through a sheet a week in our house!
Want a similar play tree with less waste? Buy a large sheet of green felt and cut it into a triangle (or if you’re craftier than I am, try more of a tree shape; the less crafty can also just opt to buy a premade felt tree!). Make ornaments with coloured felt; simple circles (trace the top of a glass), stars, and stripes work great. You’ll want to secure the tree to the wall, but the ornaments will just stick to the other felt without any fancy crafting.
More tips for a toddler-friendly Christmas tree
- Buy a small table top tree and non-breakable ornaments. Present this as your child’s tree, to decorate and care for all on his or her own.
- Wait to decorate. Put up your tree with lights and leave it plain for a few days. Let the little ones explore and get used to the tree before the ornaments appear.
- Create a barrier. Some people put a baby gate around the tree. I’d suggest gift wrapping a few larger, empty boxes to create a buffer between baby and tree. You’ll catch them unwrapping the boxes before they reach the tree! Bonus: it looks great in photos! (Extra bonus: have a large, wrapped box open on top Christmas morning to collect all the wrapping and other garbage for less cluttered photos and easier clean up!)
Looking for another option? There are some neat plastic toddler trees available to purchase; they could be a lot of fun, too!
What are YOUR tips for keeping little hands from harming the decorations? Share below! Think these were handy? Please share them!