How to Successfully Decorate the Christmas Tree with a Toddler

young boy and girl decorating a christmas treeAs I prepare for Christmas with my daughter (now 18 months), it occurs to me that the execution of our prep work is slightly different from the grand dreams I’ve had floating around in my head for the past few weeks. For one thing, I was excited to decorate the Christmas tree with my toddler. Bailey is a little older now and showing signs of her own excitement about the holiday.

But it turns out a toddler’s help hanging priceless ornaments that have been passed down for years is less like a scene from White Christmas and more like one from Dodgeball. Well, I suppose we didn’t need the handcrafted snowman Dad made when he was 5, after all. At least we know you have a great throwing arm, kiddo.

I may be exaggerating. But the fact remains that 1 1/2 might still be a bit too young to partake fully in all of the holiday decorations. As an alternative, however, I found a great online tutorial for a felt Christmas tree especially for little ones to decorate on their own.

While I absolutely love the idea of taping a felt Christmas tree to the wall so my daughter can rearrange the ornaments and presents as she likes, I’m just not the crafty do-it-yourselfer type. If I could find a ready-made one for sale, on the other hand – I’d be all over it.

Instead, my husband and I opted to hang the more delicate ornaments ourselves. Strategically, placing the ornaments a bit higher and out of reach of tiny hands on the big tree. We did, however, try to let her put the star at the top. But she wasn’t too keen on being that close to the ceiling.

Bailey wasn't exactly interested in our tree topper.
Bailey wasn’t exactly interested in our tree topper.
Decorating the Christmas Tree with a Toddler
Bailey admiring the finished product.

We also have a smaller fiber optic Christmas tree on the floor that’s the perfect size for Bailey to enjoy. (Of course, her “enjoyment” varies between excited “Whoas!” and smacking the lights a bit harder than Santa would like.)

Look at all those lights!
Just her size!

Another way we encourage her to get involved this season is by taking her outside nightly to enjoy the neighborhood Christmas lights. She loves walking across the street to see the neighbors’ inflatable Santa. It melts my heart every time she waves at their nativity scene with a sweet, “Bye-bye Jesus”.

Even if your kids are too young to join in on all of your holiday traditions, there are plenty of ways to keep them involved and excited about Christmas.

What are some tricks you’ve learned for helping your toddler feel more involved during the holidays? Anyone decorate the Christmas tree with their toddler?