{seasonal style} Beautifully Kid-Friendly Christmas Decor

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Have you started decorating for Christmas yet? We put up our Christmas tree last night, with the help of our two young boys, and as we did so, I was reminded of the blog post I wrote a couple of years ago about how to keep Christmas decorations baby and kid-safe without sacrificing style.

I know a lot of moms and dads feel hesitant to decorate for Christmas when they have very young kids in the house, both out of concern for the safety of those little ones, and for fear of sentimental items getting broken. With that in mind, I thought it might be time to dust off and re-share the tips that help us safely enjoy the magic of Christmas with our kids each year.


My boys are now 4.5 and 3, but back when we were preparing for our very first Christmas as parents, a lot of people gave us advice on Christmas decorating that ranged from "just skip the decorations" to "enforce a strict no-touch policy." Neither of these seemed to make sense for our family, so we decided to find ways to decorate in a kid-friendly manner that we could all enjoy without stress or fear!

CREATE A HANDS-ON CHRISTMAS TREE

When it came to the Christmas tree, the most common suggestion we heard as new parents was to only hang ornaments on the top half of tree out of our son's reach. But even that seemed dangerous to me. Our son was nearly one on his first Christmas and was already walking. I knew that even if I stopped him from mischievously shaking the tree, he was still likely to reach out to grab a branch to steady himself or stop himself from falling while toddling by. And even a baby that is just learning to roll or crawl could easily tug on a lower branch, wiggle the tree, and knock an ornament off of a high branch.

Instead, we decided to decorate a tree that could have a totally "hands-on" policy. This meant keeping all of the ornaments baby and kid-friendly from top to bottom! But I still wanted the tree to be festive and stylish, so I began a search for beautiful, baby-friendly decorations.

When it comes to decorating a child-friendly tree, the "don'ts" are pretty simple: nothing breakable, nothing heavy or sharp that could fall, nothing small enough for a young child to choke on - including items that shed, like tinsel. With babies and toddlers around, it can be a lot easier to figure out what not to put on the tree than it is to figure out what to put on the tree.

What I ended up with was a whole lot of felt, from garland to ornaments - but I was surprised to discover just how beautiful a tree covered in felt could be! You can read all the details about our tree here, and I've included links to similar ornaments below...

Baby Proof Christmas Tree

Here are my favorite similar baby and kid-friendly ornaments that you'll find in stores this year {affiliate links}:


You'll notice that all of these felt and fabric ornaments have string loops for hanging. Avoid any ornaments with hooks that could poke little fingers{or eyes}, and if necessary, remove hooks and replace them with ribbon or twine.

Of course, no matter what you choose to decorate your tree, dangers will still exist, so it's important to never leave a child unattended around the Christmas tree.

LET THERE BE LIGHT

If you kids are like mine, they are fascinated by plugs and outlets. Our son's first Christmas, he saw us plugging and unplugging the lights on the tree, and soon he was trying to crawl under the tree to plug it in by himself so that he could see the pretty lights. To avoid this problem, we now have the lights on our tree plugged in to a simple, automatic timer {affiliate link} so that the lights come on and go off at set times.


By doing this, we are able to position the tree so that the plug in is hidden, and because our sons don't see us reaching behind the tree to plug it in, they are not so curious about it. We can even make it a special game for the kids by taking them to the tree to watch the lights magically turn on at the specified time!


GO AHEAD, DISPLAY THE BREAKABLE ORNAMENTS

Before we had kiddos, our tree was full or shiny and sparkly glass ornaments, but once we baby-proofed the Christmas tree with fabric and felt ornaments, the question that lingered in my mind was what to do with those delicate glass ornaments to keep them safely out of little hands without leaving them packed away for years and years. The answer was to hang them high in our windows where we can all enjoy seeing them sparkling and shining in  the light, but far out of the reach of our sons. Read more details about our glass ornament window display.

Baby Proof Child Friendly Glass Ornament Display


STOCKINGS HUNG BY THE CHIMNEY WITH CARE

Before we had kids, we didn't hang stockings by our fireplace, but after our boys came along, stockings were a must. I used to think those decorative, weighted stocking holders {popular at all the major retailers} were really pretty - that was before I read the scary statistics about how many children are injured ever year when they tug on stockings and those heavy holders fall down on them. Everything from bad bumps on the head to puncture wounds.

We just couldn't take that chance, so instead we screwed some small hooks into the underside of our mantle to safely hang our stockings.

Hang stockings safely from fireplace mantle

We picked small, dark hooks, and they are very inconspicuous against our dark wood mantle and dark tile fireplace surround. Since the hooks are screwed in, they are there year round, but are virtually invisible when the stockings are not hanging from them. I am pretty picky about things like that, and thought it would bug me having hooks there year-round, but I honestly don't notice them at all. And I feel so much better knowing that falling stocking holders aren't going to cause injury and put a damper on our holiday cheer!

Beautifully kid-friendly baby-safe Christmas decor

Looking for more baby-proofing / kid-safe tips? Read about the nearly invisible way that we child-proofed our horizontal railings!



1 comment :

  1. I love the hook idea! I might just have to copy that one. I've always wondered how those heavy mantel hooks could be safe? We've always tied stockings to the staircase.

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