6 Ways to Toddler-Proof Your Christmas Tree

Young boy and girl decorating a small Christmas Tree in their home

The Christmas season; one of the most cherished times of the year, until you have a baby or two in the house.  Some may opt to skip the tree but for others, that option doesn't seem realistic. "It's just not Christmas without a tree" you might say. So here are a few ideas you can try. Keep in mind these ideas are just to help you get through this amazing discovery stage that your child is going through.  It may not be pretty, but you do what ya gotta do when you have a toddler or a mobile baby.

We are missionaries in Honduras and both of my children were born here. We have lived here for 5 years and last year was the very first Christmas we actually celebrated in our home. So for the first 3 years, I didn't decorate because as soon as the 15th of December came we were on the road headed to visit family. We are staying "home" this year again and I have decorated but we are now out of the toddler stage. So I am going to give you some ideas to help you this Christmas season to keep your toddler safe and still be festive. 

1. Furniture barricade
You decorate the tree exactly how you want it but you put it up in a corner.  Then, you put furniture around it so that no wandering hands can reach it.  When we visited my parents this was the route they chose to take and it worked fairly well.  Once it was time to open presents we just moved the furniture so there was an opening to the tree.

2. Gate
You can buy a few baby gates and make a barricade around the tree. This option is a bit more pleasing to the eye.  It doesn't block off the tree from view and is definitely more aesthetic. You may have to rig it well so that the gates don't collapse easily and watch out if your kids are climbers.

3. Lift it up
You can get a smaller tree and put it up on a piece of furniture.  I have two small trees that go on top of a buffet when they were younger they were not able to reach them.

4. Felt Tree
This can be an alternative or just a distraction. The first time putting it up my kids played a good 45 minutes. They love taking it all down and redecorating it whenever they want.

5. Kid's special tree
This has been a favorite in my house. I bought a small tree and kid-safe decorations and I let them have at it.  They love it and redecorate it all the same.  This is good because it takes the attention off of "your" tree and they don't feel as attracted to it because they have their "own".  This helps but sometimes doesn't work if your nice tree has ornaments that attract their attention, like a Spiderman. My 4-year-old was so intrigued by it that, even though I had it up high, he somehow managed to get it down start playing with it and you guessed it....he broke it. So if you have any sentimental ornaments put them away for a couple of years.
Aerial view looking down on a young boy and girl sitting on the floor preparing to decorate a little Christmas tree

6. Watch 'em like a hawk. 
You could just decorate like you always do and watch 'em like a hawk and nag until your blue in the face.  This one requires so much work because you can't take your eyes off of them. Or maybe other people's kids are more obedient than mine are. If you do go this route, I would suggest not to put ornaments on the lower branches of the tree.

So regardless, of which one you decide to try this year remember that while decorating it's always important to be over-protective with the types of decorations that you use.  I advise keeping all the breakable decorations put away until they are a little older and stick with soft ornaments that aren't easily destroyed. Make sure there are no little pieces that can be pulled off and choked on; this includes lights.

Soon enough your littles will pass through this investigative stage and you will be able to decorate to your heart's content without worrying about a tree falling down or someone breaking your favorite ornament.

Whether you are in the United States or in another country remember the real reason why we celebrate this season.  While you are decorating you can teach you kids generosity when society doesn't    This time of year shouldn't be stressful and burdensome but a time to slow down and focus on God and family. 

Have you done something different during the Christmas season to keep your tree and decorations safe? Please share in the comments below. 


  1. I love the felt tree and kids’ special tree idea. I have a toddler and 3 month old and the memories we get to make with them are far more precious than time spent trying to protect a perfect three. My toddler would love a felt tree.

  2. Love the idea of a felt tree!! We went with the gate option this year, and it has been perfect, but i love the idea of letting them in on some of the fun! :)