Do you have a little one who has his or her heart set on decorating this Christmas? Do you have some ornaments you would really rather stay unbroken? If your little ones want to decorate but you’re not sure what they can do that will actually be productive, rest assured you’re not the only parent to face this problem. Seeing your child alight with holiday cheer and hoping to hang the holiday can be cute, but you have practical things to worry about, including your home’s and your child’s safety. That’s where these kid-friendly decorating ideas come into play.

Organize Decorations in a Kid-Friendly Way

This year, when you’re putting away decorations, do it a bit more strategically. Create one box full of decorations your little one couldn’t hurt if he tried his hardest. These might be Christmas stuffed toys and pillows, stockings, plastic ornaments or sprigs of plastic pine. Label this box appropriately, and store it with the rest of your Christmas stuff. Odds are, next year, he will be happy to note that you have saved a special box of decorations just for him. While you should consider an out-of-the way place to store the box, such as ceiling storage in your garage, make sure the box is with all the other Christmas supplies so your child can really feel like he or she is helping next year.

Get Crafting

Most kids love to make crafts, and Christmas crafts are among the favorites. If it’s too late to have your child help you by unpacking his or her special box this year, ask him or her to help you by making some special Christmas decorations. Put together a box of Christmas decoration-making supplies before you start decorating, and unveil it only when you’re ready to begin. Paper chains, ornaments from paper and glitter, painted porcelain figures, and Christmas sun catchers are all relatively easy to make. Your child will enjoy spending a festive time with you as you decorate and he or she crafts. As your child finishes each craft, find a special place to hang it together. After you’re done, keep the craft supplies in the box and store it somewhere easy to get to. The next time your child wants to help you cook or clean, you may be able to use the same strategy.

Disposable Decorations

Although it’s important to keep and store at least a few Christmas decorations each year for sentiment’s sake, you can get new decorations each year from an inexpensive place, like a dollar store, and donate last year’s decorations to a needy family or public building that wishes to decorate. This is a great tactic to use when your children are younger because you can ask your children to help you pick out the decorations and then allow them to decorate. Because the decorations are sturdy and not sentimental, you won’t have to worry about allowing them to decorate on their own, as long as you are supervising. Either leave the breakable and sentimental decorations in the box when you have very young children, or put them out after you and your child have decorated using your other, new decorations.

Telling your child that he or she can’t help you decorate is heartbreaking — no parent wants to do it, but thanks to these ideas, you and your child can have a fun time getting ready for the holidays together. Just remember that these ideas won’t work if you have a home so messy that you can’t find your decorations!

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