Each year I decorate the house in much the same way. It’s a habit after almost forty years of getting ready for the holidays. This year I knew I had to think differently. Our eldest grandson, Blake, is now nineteen months old and running. The younger grandson, Gavin, is nine months old and doing the army crawl. So how could I decorate but make it so I didn’t really have to worry about things getting broken? I don’t want to be that grandma that says don’t touch. It wasn’t that hard. Over the years the cats have batted various ornaments off the tree so we always place the unbreakable ones near the bottom. Cute handmade ornaments such as the one above are placed high on the tree and the tip of the branch is bent slightly to ensure its survival. I don’t want to lose an ornament given to me by a friend.
This crocheted snowflake can go down where the children can reach it. Many people would say to tell them not to touch the tree. What I have found is children like to touch and feel things. Its part of their learning process.
Blake loves this silly ornament. It’s a golden bird with a feathery tail. He loves to touch the feather. When I tell him its a bird he looks at me and goes ‘tweet-tweet’. I adore this kind of cuteness.
Another favourite on the tree is the owl. Every time Blake sees an owl, I get a ‘hoo-hoo’ from him. He loves it. We talk about the owl and its sounds on most days. He loves them.
I placed the unbreakable decorations along the lower part of the tree using felt ones and plastic shiny balls to complete the look. Many inexpensive kid friendly ornaments can be found at the local thrift shops. If the cost is minimal then it’s not a big deal if its broken by a toddler.
I used to placed glass bowls filled with balls on the shelves in the livingroom. This year they are placed a shelf higher and well out of reach of toddlers. Instead I have a Santa and Mrs. Claus on the lower shelf. Blake met the Santa yesterday and hugged him and said, ho,ho, ho, which sounds more like oh,oh,oh but I knew what he meant. He kissed Santa quickly before seeing the next new toy in sight. At this age the attention span is short.
Here is the lower shelf with stuff that can’t really be damaged. The blocks are made of wood and pretty worn. They won’t break if dropped. Glass decor is up above out of reach, at least for this year.
The mantel in the family room has been decorated with birds this year. I still need to add some greenery and remove the clock. The grandsons love anything to do with animals so the birds and owls work well for us.
The toddlers can’t reach the advent banner I made. I haven’t sewn in ten years and probably shouldn’t have. I think I spent more time relearning the sewing machine than actual sewing. The lesson I have learned is to stick with things I am good at like gardening and leave sewing alone.
Christmas cards have been placed on side tables where the walking toddlers can see them. It turns out Blake treats them like a book. He takes one and sits down to look it over closely. Once finished he grabs another one. They may end up on the floor but that’s okay. They are easily picked up.
I have picked up some vintage Christmas books to read to him. From board books to regular, he likes them all. Now to see how baby Gavin makes out when he sees the tree.
How have you made your home toddler ready? I enjoy sharing the Christmas traditions in a different way and watching the children enjoy the decor. Its better than fighting with them and worrying about what might get broken. After all, is it really worth the hassle when a child’s smile can brighten your day? The holidays are where memories are made.
For a closer look at my memorable Christmas decor check out A Tree Full of Memories