Trying to decorate your Christmas tree with a toddler or keep your baby away from it afterward? Here are 8 great ideas to make it easier to trim your Christmas tree with a toddler.
Like many families with small children, we’re facing two challenges in our household this holiday season when it comes to the Christmas Tree — trimming the tree with a toddler and blocking the baubles from the baby. We posted our dilemmas on Facebook and asked for ideas. Here’s what we found:
OUR QUESTION: Decorating the Christmas tree with our three year-old went well despite the sugar buzz from our morning waffles. The problem now is that the majority of the ornaments are only 3 feet off the ground and many are backward or bunched together. What ideas do you have for how we can tactfully fix this without our son thinking we didn’t like the job he did?
IDEA 1: LEAVE THE CHRISTMAS TREE AS IS.
“I think you might consider just leaving them and take plenty of pictures to capture the “issue”. In future years bring the pictures out to help strategize the decorating. Twenty years from now the photos from year to year will be fun to review and see the progression.” – Tom, Michigan
“Don’t change a thing! It looks great! You know the saying “don’t sweat the little stuff”? I learned a long time ago, to just let go of my “control issues” when it came to my kid’s creativities, and let it be! And I’ve learned it’s more fun and a lot more giggles!” – Alison, Pennsylvania
“Why do you need to ‘fix it’? I say leave it as it is and he can be proud of it for weeks! (and by the time he’s like 10 you’ll have a more spread out tree)” – Karen, Ontario
“[Our son] put all of the blue ornaments in one focal spot….I left them…. Adds character to the tree!” – Teri, Florida
“Don’t move them. Take lots of pictures, and make memories… it adds character, and it’s something HE (and you) will remember always.” – Pam, Colorado
IDEA 2: REDECORATE THE CHRISTMAS TREE WHEN THE TODDLER’S IN BED.
“Tell him that after the kids go to bed, Mommy & Daddy play a decorating game just for big people because they need to have some ornaments that they can see without bending over.” – Bonny, California
“Our kids didn’t notice when I turned things around, I don’t think. And some of our ornaments were people (angels, etc.) and I was able to talk about what *they* wanted–to be higher for a better view, to be with their friends…. The challenge is to avoid setting the expectation that the tree is a plaything–that you can always be rearranging things! Plus I think I let go of “standards” pretty early…” – Lois, Michigan
“If you have an elf on the shelf he can be on the tree one morning- blame the elf for playing tricks.” – Jessica, California
IDEA 3: INVOLVE THE TODDLER IN REDECORATING THE CHRISTMAS TREE.
“My mom always rearranged the decorations after we went to bed. It wasn’t until years down the road that we realized it. Kids are so much smarter these days!! Would he accept: You did an awesome job decorating the tree with me yesterday but how about we spread some of them out so that all of the spots of the tree can have some decorations? Then you can ask him to help you pick ornaments to move and then move it to the spot you would like and ask him how it looks there.” – Cindy, Michigan
“You could get a step ladder and let him do some at the top himself.” – Nixie, Pennsylvania
IDEA 4: HAVE SEPARATE SECTIONS FOR ORNAMENTS.
Add some other ornaments to the top that would even things out. – Ty, Michigan
“I had a kids section then the rest of the tree was the adult section… I told them as they get bigger the section will grow bigger..” – Diana, Ontario
PROBLEM #2: BABY FRIENDLY CHRISTMAS ORNAMENTS
OUR QUESTION: What ideas do you have for how we can protect the Christmas tree from our curious soon-to-be one year old? He’s everywhere these days and into everything.
IDEA 5: PLACE FRAGILE ORNAMENTS AT THE TOP OF THE CHRISTMAS TREE.
“We have some old little mermaid and other such stuff ornaments. I put the ones I expect to be pulled off on the bottom and my most fragile ones near the top.” – Melissa, Michigan
“It’s kinda the same as protecting your tree from your naughty dog….I put all the ornaments with sentimental value on the top of the tree where she can’t reach them!” – Heather, Michigan
IDEA 6: PUT NONBREAKABLE ORNAMENTS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE CHRISTMAS TREE AND SECURE IT TO THE WALL.
“We bought all nonbreakable ornaments and put them on with ribbon (no hooks!). We then tied a thin barely noticeable wire to the upper part of the tree and ran the wire to the wall so the tree couldn’t fall over on them. Then we had a 3′ tree that we put on the dining room table where we put all of the special ornaments I still wanted out.” – Amber, Illinois
“This will sound genuinely awful of me, but… my oldest, when very young, was afraid of balloons, so I put a few of them under the tree! (I’d forgotten about that…) In later years, we made sure our unbreakable ornaments were on the bottom of the tree, and we have wired our tree to the wall… although that was more for cats than kids. I don’t recall having a lot of success protecting the tree, although I know once it’s been up for a while it recedes a bit into the background…” – Lois, Michigan
IDEA 7: MAKE YOUR OWN CHILD SAFE ORNAMENTS.
“When [our son] was just a year I made these little cloth pillow like ornaments with ribbon loops to hang for the bottom of the tree. He redecorated the bottom of the tree many times!! There’s no sense fighting a curious toddler!! Have fun!! The fabric store had patterned material. I only had to cut, sew, and stuff.” – Mary Jo, Pennsylvania
IDEA 8: BARRICADE THE CHRISTMAS TREE.
“Fill large shipping boxes with heavy items (books, whatever) and wrap them. Put them around the tree to create a barrier! Pretty and functional.” – Jessica, California
“We used one of those baby gates that can bend around into any shape (like a circle). It is easy to put up & can be easily taken down when it’s just adults.” – Amy, Texas
“I had a friend who set up the tree *inside* a playpen one year.” – Lois, Michigan
“We had the hexagon gray fencing (for kids) and bent it around the tree.” – Jenny, North Carolina
We appreciate all the great ideas shared with us for trimming the Christmas tree with our toddler and blocking the baubles from the baby. In the end, we decided to follow the crowd that encouraged us to leave the Christmas tree just as our toddler decorated it.
He has been so proud showing off the Christmas tree to anyone who visits that we don’t have the heart to move the ornaments. And quite frankly with two small children at home, the “do nothing” approach was easier than redecorating! Plus the fact that he helped decorate it himself makes for such a cute toddler Christmas picture idea.
We did try negotiating with him as we put the ornaments on the tree, though and gently suggested he move or place some higher so our Christmas tree doesn’t look quite as bottom heavy as it once did.
As for the baby, we put the Christmas tree in the family room in our basement this year rather than in our main floor living room. This at least minimizes the number of times a day we have to pull him away from it. He’s starting to think his name is “No No!” If you have any other great ideas for us, please comment below. We’d love to hear from you.
“From time immemorial since people have put Christmas trees in their homes, this has been an issue for mothers and toddlers. Even Einstein didn’t know the answer to that one.”
– Fred, Washington
If you liked these Christmas Tree Decorating Tips for kids, please share with your friends or pin them for later:
This post was shared as part of the Trim the Tree Blog Hop, where you’ll find over 35 inspiring ideas and tips to decorate your Christmas tree this year:
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