9 Easy Christmas Decorating Ideas for Kids

  • 01 of 10

    Holiday Decorating Kids Can Do


    When it comes to holiday decorating, kids often have a different sensibility than parents. Their Christmas decorating ideas may include giant snowmen and blinking lights, while parents may prefer holly and silver beads. Plus the oversight that kids may need for safety reasons can squelch their creativity. All this can make decorating may be one of a family's cherished holiday activities or a source for holiday stress.

    We'd all prefer fun, so keep in mind that Christmas decorating with kids means a lot of help from parents when they are small. However, as they grow, compromise and less direction from parents is in order. Let your kids' creativity shine and don’t expect perfection.

    These easy Christmas decorating ideas please both adults and kids.

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  • 02 of 10

    Basket and Bowls

    Christmas Decorations
    Getty/ Danita Delimot

    Kids can fill baskets, bowls and other containers with Christmas trinkets (think beads, garland, greens, linens, pine cones, ornaments, bulbs, etc.), putting their own signature style on their creations. And this activity can be done and re-done multiple times during the Christmas season. Kids can arrange pine cones in a bowl and then change it up by adding beads or garland. It becomes an ongoing activity. If kids are old enough to handle glassware, use vases, pitchers, cake plates and water goblets as festive containers too.

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  • 03 of 10

    Stringing Popcorn or Beads

    Christmas decoraing, stringing popcorn
    Getty/Blend Images/Kidstock

    Stringing beads or making popcorn garland is a fun holiday activity that produces a lovely Christmas decoration in the end. Because stringing popcorn is messy and involves a needle, only older kids can work on this independently. Beads, if they’re large enough, can be worked by very little fingers. The problem for little ones is keeping up a pattern, so make it an extremely simple pattern like alternating two kinds of beads. Or, take a random approach by pouring all beads together and encouraging kids to pick without looking.

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  • 04 of 10


    Christmas Lights

    Lights may well be the place where parents and kids part ways, whether it be because of difference in opinions on quantity of lights or in blinking. Remember, though, all the lights don’t have to go on the Christmas tree or on the front of your house.

    If your children have an insatiable desire for lights, spread the lights throughout the house. and let them hang them. String lights in the play room or their bedrooms, if they are old enough not to use Christmas lights safely. Put lights in house plants or even in the kitchen.


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  • 05 of 10

    Bows and Ribbon

    Christmas Bow
    Getty/Felipe Manzo EyeEm

    Bows add holiday flair to most anything. While kids (and many adults) are not necessarily very good at tying bows, purchasing pre-made bows makes it easy for kids to use bows to decorate. Kids can twist them on to balusters or candlesticks, hang them on doorknobs or put them on the Christmas tree. And ribbon, much like fabric, can be draped along with garland or laid across tables like a runner.

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  • 06 of 10

    Greens and Nature

    Gary K. smith

    Collecting holly or pine branches from the yard is probably as fun for kids as making decorations with greenery. If you don’t have these items in the yard, buy some holly, mistletoe or other greens from a Christmas tree seller or pick up fake greenery at the craft store.

    Don't throw out the branches cut from the bottom of your tree. Make a swag by wrapping a wire around the thick end, covering the wire with a bow, and attaching a few accents, like pine cones, feathers or beads. Maybe even give it a dose of glitter spray or fake snow.

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  • 07 of 10


    Boy with Christmas Candles
    Tatyana Tomsickova Photography

    At first blush, it seems the idea of candles and kids doesn’t go together. One Christmas decorating idea with no flame ever required is to combine Christmas balls and candlesticks. Mostly when candles are on display, they are not lit. Let the kids arrange and decorate with candles and candlesticks, but emphasize that they must never light them without an adult. Battery-operated LED tea candles arranged on a mirror or tucked into a tray of cranberries make an easy Christmas decoration. 

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  • 08 of 10

    Knickknacks and Mangers

    Boy and father with Christmas manger
    Getty/Mike Kemp

    With Christmas knickknacks or mangers, do the opposite of what you did with the lights. Instead of spreading them out to every available surface, give the kids a table to build a Christmas village. Layer green and white tablecloths to give it a snowy base and let them arrange (and likely rearrange) their village. For little ones limit them to unbreakable items and then let them use their imaginations.

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  • 09 of 10

    A Christmas Train Garden

    Christmas trains
    Getty/Dirk Linder

    Trains under the Christmas tree delight children and adults. Christmas train projects can be simple or complex. For an easy Christmas train, lay down a white cloth and ask your child to build a layout with his or her Thomas the Tank Engine set or other tracks. Add Christmas crafts like paper Christmas trees or a pine cone snowman. For a more polished Christmas train, buy a train set meant to go under the tree. But if trains under the tree just makes your holiday complete, learn model railroading and create a custom-made layout for your Christmas tree.

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  • 10 of 10

    Christmas Table

    Christmas table
    Getty/Sophie Delauw

    Make setting the table part of holiday decorating. My kids love to layer linens of different sizes and patterns on the dining room table. If you have a dining room that isn't used daily, kids can set the holiday table early in the season. Kids can make place cards and centerpieces too.

    And don't keep all your table cloths in the dining room! Layering tablecloths or draping fabric just about anywhere is a cheap and easy Christmas decorating idea that kids can do. Use old, mismatched napkins as the bottom layer in baskets and bowls. Drape fabric in Christmas colors across tables or over windows.