How to Decorate for Christmas When You Have a Toddler

Learn some amazing ways to decorate for Christmas when you have a toddler running around!

There’s no doubt that having a toddler makes getting anything done near impossible.

Trust me, I know, I had two of them at the same time! 

When it comes to Christmas decorating, there are two challenges when toddlers are involved: getting it done and getting it done safely.

My twins loved helping me with Christmas decorating but sometimes I just couldn’t handle it!

To much mess, too much opening little packages or moving things around.

I had to learn to just let go and enjoy the time I had with my twins.

Pretty soon they may not want to help anymore!

Luckily, you can keep your little one safe, occupied and involved in decorating for Christmas by following these tips!

Safety First

Cords and Lights

There’s nothing more festive than shining holiday lights strung about your home, but those lights typically require extension cords that may run across the floor and through the room.

Tape down any loose cords to reduce the risk of tripping and falling because, as a parent of a toddler, you know they like to run and scoot through your home.

To prevent your little one from hauling the lights off the tree, consider running the lights up the center. You’ll still get that festive glow without worrying about your toddler grabbing and pulling on the lights.

As a matter of fire prevention, try not to use too many extension cords when plugging in your holiday lights.

The Christmas Tree

Consider anchoring the Christmas tree to the wall so it won’t topple over onto your little one.

You may want to choose a non-toxic artificial tree to avoid a potential fire hazard – as well as a mess.

When you hang ornaments from your tree, use ribbon instead of the metal hooks. Not only are the metal hooks easier to remove from the tree but they pose a serious risk of injury to your child.

Tinsel is another safety hazard and should not be used on your tree as well. Tinsel is easy to grab, mouth and potentially choke on or ingest. 


Heavy and breakable Christmas ornaments should be kept out of reach of children. Place these ornaments in hard-to-reach spaces or purchase shatter-proof ornaments for the tree. These ornaments look like glass but are virtually unbreakable.

Also watch out for ornaments with small pieces or small pieces that are easy to break off or include glitter and buttons. If it’s small enough to fit through a toilet paper roll, your child can choke on it.

Pay attention as well to decorations that look like food. Those sparkly apples may give your home a rustic and festive feel, but your toddler may mistake it for food and put it in his or her mouth.

If you like to burn candles for that warm festive glow, make sure you are not using any open flames that can be knocked over by your little one. Jar candles in hard to reach places are generally safe, but you can’t go wrong with battery-operated candles. Most give off a very realistic glow.

Lastly, think about adorning your home with Christmas-themed stuffies, pillows and blankets. These are safe decorations that your little one can play and interact with without worrying about harm or injury.

Festive Plants

Be wary of the plants you include in your Christmas decor. Plants such as holly, certain types of mistletoe, English ivy, yew, poinsettia and amaryllis can be toxic to children. Safe and non-toxic plants include Christmas cactus and the African violet.

How to Decorate for Christmas

Now that safety is taken care of, here are some ways you can entertain your toddler while you decorate as well as involve them in the decorating process:

Make a Felt Tree

Felt trees that you put on the wall are a great way to keep your toddler busy while you get other decorating done.

Use green felt to make the tree shape and stick it to the wall. Grab a variety of felt colors and cut out decoration shapes.

The great thing about this activity is that your toddler can decorate the tree over and over.

Use Window Decals and Wall Stickers

Much like the felt tree, your toddler can entertain themselves by placing and moving window stickers and wall decals over and over.

You can even buy some washable window markers for your little one to adorn your windows with festive art.

Bust Out the Christmas Classics

You’re probably tired of watching all the same shows and movies throughout the year with your toddler – so now is the time to break out the Christmas classics! Sure, you’ll probably end up watching these over and over too, but it’s only for a couple of months and it may give you enough time to get some decorating done without distractions!

Make Some Christmas Slime or Sensory Bags

Yay! Every mom likes slime, right? Right?

Even if you aren’t a big fan of slime, your toddler likely is and it may give you that much needed time to put the Christmas tree up.

Just be sure you are in the same room as your toddler as they play with the slime to avoid mouthing and choking.

A super easy recipe for non-toxic slime includes 12 ounces of white glue mixed with 1 ½ tablespoons of baking soda. Once those are mixed together, add drops of washable paint in some festive colors. Mix together again and add 2 tablespoons of saline solution. Keep mixing until the slime forms.

If the thought of slime makes you want to run and scream in the other direction, make a sensory bag instead. This simple mess-free activity requires only hair gel, food coloring, assorted shapes and objects and a large, sealable bag. Use duct tape to seal the bag tightly or packing tape to stick it to the window.

Make DIY Ornaments

They say the best gifts come from the heart and anything made by your child definitely does. Get them involved in creating some Christmas memories by making your own ornaments together.

(P.S. They make great Christmas gifts, too!)

Try a tissue paper candy canes by cutting out a candy cane shape from cardboard and allowing your toddler to glue scrunched up bits of tissue paper to it. You can make the candy canes small enough for the tree or large enough for the door or wall.

Or whip up the classic salt dough ornament! With this flour, salt and water mix, you and your toddler can create some beautiful and unique ornaments for your tree or as gifts for friends and relatives!

Decorate a Mini Tree

You can buy little artificial trees that stand only two feet high that are the perfect size for your toddler’s room! Decorate it with lights and let your little one go to town decorating it with toddler-friendly ornaments.

It will make such a festive night-light for their bedroom, by the way.

You can even start a tradition of leaving a new set of pajamas, a new Christmas movies and some snacks under the tree on Christmas Eve. Just tell your little one that the Elves left them a surprise!

Let It Go

This one’s for you, mamas. 

When your toddler haphazardly decorates the tree to the point where it looks like Christmas vomited all over it, make like Elsa and say this to yourself:

“Let it go.”

Resist the urge to “fix” the tree or other chaotically placed ornaments around your home. As long as your toddler is having fun, and staying safe, during the process – it’s all good.

Be accepting of your toddler’s decorating skills and enjoy the time spent together preparing for the beautiful and magical holiday season.

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Awesome tips Elna! My munchkins have grown up now, but I remember what a challenge it was and how much fun we use to have. Thank goodness for those “unbreakable ornaments”. Life savers they were! 🙂Reply to Jurrien