room with a Christmas tree on the ceiling. 3d concept
Check Out This List Of Ways To Toddler-Proof Your Christmas Tree

Save your curious toddlers from themselves and ensure your tree is still standing by Dec. 25 by implementing one of these ideas.

In lieu of hanging the tree from the ceiling upside down like the photo above (and let’s be real, this is impossible to do), it’s that special time of year where parents of toddlers everywhere are trying to figure out how to keep their toddlers out of the Christmas tree. Whether they’re trying to keep them from breaking Great Aunt Rhea’s porcelain glass angel that’s been passed down for generations or just keeping them from knocking the entire thing over and scattering pine needles and tinsel everywhere, something needs to be done to keep these curious (and quick!) toddlers at bay.

There’s obviously the skipping the Christmas tree until they’re older route, but what’s the fun in that? I know I personally couldn’t just not have a tree at Christmas. I did that when I was in college and when I lived alone. Talk about depressing — 0/10 stars, would not recommend. But there are some tried and true ways to keep your toddler and your tree safe this holiday season, so everyone can have a happy Christmas, according to these decorating experts and kid experts, AKA parents. Check out these different ideas and choose the ones that fit your family best. Toddlers are something else, aren’t they?

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Decorate Only The Top Half


The most obvious way to keep your toddler from destroying the Christmas tree — and one I have done in the past — is to decorate only the top-half of the Christmas tree and leave the bottom half blank. While it may look a bit odd (and not as perfect as you may like for your holidays), this is the best option for younger toddlers and babies for sure. Unless they can climb. Then this obviously won’t work and your tree may be down on the floor faster than Frosty the Snowman melts in the summertime. But for those of you without daredevil fearless toddlers (I envy you), this option works well until they hopefully grow out of this destructive phase. They do grow out of it, right? Right?


Purchase A Heavy-Duty Tree Stand

While securing your tree in this stand may not save your ornaments when trying to keep your toddler from destroying the Christmas tree, it will keep the tree from toppling over on them. So that’s a win.

Ace Hardware sells this Krinner Tree Genie XXL Metal Christmas Tree Stand that not only is heavy duty enough to keep the tree from falling, but it makes the pain of inserting the trunk of the tree into the stand so much easier than the traditional way. There’s a foot pedal you pump to get the claws to hold the trunk. Genius. Additionally, it holds 2.5 gallons of water (making it even heavier) and is wider and heavier than normal stands to provide more stability.


Craft Homemade Ornaments & Don’t Use Tinsel

In addition to how to keep your toddler from destroying the Christmas tree, it’s important to know how to keep them safe.

Deemer Cass, a Christmas tree installation and decoration specialist at Fantastic Services, tells Romper that tinsel is a high-risk choking hazard for little kids. “If you have a baby or toddler who puts everything they find in their mouth, then you don't want them anywhere near tinsel,” she says. Also, who wants tinsel strewn all over their house? Nobody, that’s who.

Plus, if you use handmade ornaments, they won’t destroy your ornaments that have been passed down from your great great great grandmother and they won’t shatter when they hit the ground because they’re paper/plastic/burlap, etc.

She adds, “Some ornaments come with sharp wire hangers. Аvoid these and use ribbon to hang up your ornaments. You can hang paper flowers, painted fir cones and hazelnuts.”

Safety first, y’all.


Make Or Purchase A Felt Tree Or Toy Tree For Your Toddler

Keep your toddler from destroying the Christmas tree by way of distraction. Distract them from the real thing with a felt tree or toy tree for them to decorate and play with. They’ll love to rearrange the ornaments over and over again, and hopefully, they’ll be so into their own tree they won’t care about the bigger tree for the family. My son loves the Step 2 Tree from Target that my mom bought him two years ago, and he still plays with it today. Another option is this beautiful Koala Crate Little Tree from KiwiCo if you’re looking for a non-plastic option. As for felt trees, this DIY felt tree from Amazon is really inexpensive and it hangs on the wall. And Etsy has so many felt trees for toddlers to choose from if you’re looking to support a small business instead of Amazon. Y’all. They even have a 3D felt tree on Etsy. My mind is blown.

Ivy, a mom over at the SAHM, Plus blog, tells Romper she made her own DIY felt tree for her toddler, and she included a how-to on her blog. She used felt adhesive strips to stick it to the wall, and even pipe cleaners for candy canes. Genius.


Use Faux Gifts As A Barricade

Another way to keep your toddler from destroying the Christmas tree is to block it off. Elizabeth Hicks, mom of two and co-founder of the Parenting Nerd blog, tells Romper, “The easy way to protect your Christmas tree from the little munchkin is by fencing it. Place the tree in the corner and barricade it with faux gifts,” she says. “Not only does the gift fence prove to be a worthwhile baby gate, but it adds to the Christmasy vibe.” However, she notes, if your kiddos are climbers this may not be a safe option as it will not prevent them from climbing the tree and knocking it over. She adds if this is this case, you can wrap bricks in gift wrap and secure the base as well.


Go Ornament-Free Or Use Shatterproof Ornaments

Keep your toddler from destroying the Christmas tree by practicing the less is more approach.

Cass says, “If your toddlers and pets are mischievous, go minimalist. A simple ornament-free tree is also a beautiful solution.” Hicks says, “Pick shatterproof ornaments, like bells and plastic balls. Remember to invest in jumbo-sized decorations. This is because toddlers are always curious about what ornaments taste like, so small ones can be a choking hazard.”

Andy Birks, dad of two and founder of Simply Aquarium, tells Romper that their family replaced all the glass baubles on the bottom row of the tree with light plastic tennis balls for their son. “We managed to find a set of red ones, and with a quick spray of metallic — non-toxic! — red paint, they actually looked like the real thing. Especially with the lights down low. Much safer this Christmas as we know our baubles won't break - they bounce,” he says.


Involve Them In The Decorating Process

Blogger Charmaine Allen from Luv Me Kitchen says in her experience with keeping her toddler from destroying the Christmas tree, if you let them help you with the tree, they’ll have a vested interest in keeping it nice and leaving the decorations on the tree, so get their input.

Mom, blogger, and founder of Glad to be Mama Rachel says that in addition to splitting the tree in half — with shatterproof ornaments on the bottom and breakable ornaments on the top — she includes her toddler in putting the shatterproof ornaments on the tree. “By splitting our tree, our toddler feels included in decorating, and we still get to put out our special ornaments,” she says.


Buy A Baby-Proof Christmas Tree

A fiber-optic tree is a great choice for keeping your toddler from destroying the Christmas tree. A fiber optic tree can come in many different forms, whether just merely artificial, pre-lit with lights, or even with “needles” that are actually lights. Depending on the size of the tree, these can potentially be safer for toddlers because there’s no water at the base of the tree for them to get into like a real tree, and with the lights, you may not even need ornaments for them to break. I’d imagine depending on the size of the tree, they may be lighter and not as heavy, making it a bit safer for the toddler if it does happen to come down.

Walmart offers a 7-foot, fiber-optic, pre-lit Christmas tree if you’re in the market for one, and the reviews are really stellar. One reviewer said, “Perfect!! Wanted to do Christmas very early with one of my sons who was being deployed and was delivered quickly and was beautiful. Thank you!!” Another mentioned that the lights are very beautiful and bright, and you don’t have to add any lights to the tree — however, you can’t add ornaments either, because the branches aren’t very strong. Which works for you since you don’t want a ton of ornaments for a toddler to pull off, right?


Create A Barricade With A Playpen

Another way to barricade your tree to keep your toddler from destroying your tree is by using a playpen or picket fence. You can still make your tree look pretty and festive if you purchase a fence to go around it, like this white picket fence for your Christmas tree on Amazon.

This particular fence is being sold to keep your animals from peeing on the tree, but let’s be real, with toddlers, that can happen, too, am I right? Plus this fence is made with plastic material, not paint, so if something were to pee on it, it can be washed and won’t peel. In addition to protecting your tree from pee, it keeps kids and animals out by providing a barricade.

If you don’t care about the aesthetics, you can always use those gates and playpens you used to keep your baby “in,” only this time you’re keeping them “out.” Boy, everything really does come full circle.


Buy A Smaller Tree & Put It On A Table

If your toddler can’t reach the top of the table (and you don’t have cats), buying a smaller tree and setting it up on a table or shelf is another option for keeping your toddler from destroying the Christmas tree. There are plenty to choose from online, and most come pre-lit. If you’re itching to still include ornaments on there, I bet spending an afternoon crafting some with your toddler would be an enjoyable way to have ornaments on hand that would fit, all while making magical Christmas memories with your kid in the process.

Crate & Kids has this fancy whimsy table Christmas tree and it already includes little pom ornaments and a Santa Claus on top. Maybe if your toddler had this in their room they wouldn’t be as interested in a big tree because they have such a special one of their very own.