Top 35 Animated Christmas Decoration Ideas to Get the Kids Excited
Kids are fascinated by every twinkling light, so we asked parents how they may heighten the excitement and enchantment of this sparkling season.
Trick Out One or More Trees
It should be themed.
Choose a theme—candy canes, forest creatures, plaids—and embrace it wholeheartedly. Every year, Melody Peralta, a mother of two from Riverside, California, creates a mood board to organize her thoughts and inspiration.
Peralta explains, “Last year we had a Nutcracker dance theme and the year before it was mid-century modern, like The Jetsons.
“Santa’s Workshop and decorating the tree with miniature toys is one concept I’m pondering for this Christmas.”
Transcend the red and green
A surprising color scheme might be equally joyful. From the top of the tree to the bottom, hang a variety of ornaments in each color of the rainbow.
Instead, decorate it entirely in pastels. Kashia Palmer, a mother of three kids from Saratoga Springs, Utah, says that her family decorated for Christmas last year in pink, gold, and glitter.
Many households gravitate towards a single color, such as all blue (which works well if yours is a Hanukkah bush). A complete whiteout is also impressive.
Last year, Orlando mother-of-four Camille Lai turned white with a flocked tree.
Take inspiration from
Every year, the American Museum of Natural History in New York City shows an origami-adorned tree.
The tree was wrapped in 800 origami dinosaurs in 2019 and 1,000 folded cranes of various colors in 2020. A mother of two from Westchester, New York, Jodi Levine, adds, “We try to go see it every year.”
“My sons love to fold things, so we started storing a basket of their own folded works of art, which we then load our tree with.”
Homemade Christmas Decorating Projects for Children
Build a tree just for kids
For Kate Dreyer, who lives outside of Washington, D.C., there is the customary tree in the living room, and she also has a separate tree exclusively for her two children in their playroom.
For that one, we make the ornaments ourselves. Last year, we chose a “sweet snacks” theme and created ornaments that resembled doughnuts and gumball dispensers, according to Dreyer.
Install a tree of passion
While the presents may be placed under your primary evergreen, a second tree that honors a family tradition can be placed in the family room, den, or covered porch.
It’s never too early to indoctrinate the kids! Decorate it in the colors of your favorite sports club, or pay homage to a favorite family vacation site with Disney decorations or seashells, sand dollars, and starfish for the beach.
Rely on unbreakable ornaments
Children want to play with them, therefore its better if they are shatterproof, according to Houston mom of two Joy Green. The youngsters could play with the soft, puffy balls we received the previous year.
In the children’s rooms, go wild
For the season, Green explains, “We decorate each of our children’s beds first thing so they have a long time to appreciate them.”
You may switch their regular bedding for some seasonal colors and add on the party decor, as I once heard someone say, “My daughter Kai sleeps with her twinkling lights on, and the soft glow is so special.”
Peralta claims that she dresses up their bookcases with garlands and placards and adds seasonal titles regularly.
In “We Have Two Trees,”
We moved from South Carolina to Japan in 2015 as a military family, Victoria White explains, and we arrived two days before Christmas.
Now that we live in San Diego after the turkey settles in our stomachs on Thanksgiving, we decorate a big tree in the living room plus that smaller one that we call our “hotel tree” in the dining room or my office.
It’s a reminder that we’ve had to adapt and overcome, and that while some years look different, having one another is still the most important thing.
Make a statement by using multiples
The in-thing bottle brush tree has bristles that resemble small branches, is reasonably indestructible, and comes with a miniature stand.
According to Lauren Richel Kelly, a mother of two in Katonah, New York, “The kids help set out different-sized ones in a multitude of colors.”
The kids use tiny clothespins to attach new holiday cards to baker’s twine that I’ve strung over a window to display them.
Amplify the elation
In the holiday season, why not a balloon arch? A kit in any color combination is available on Amazon for about $20.
Keep it up until midnight on New Year’s Eve so you can pop the balloons. Mandy Roberson, a mother from Greenville, South Carolina, and co-founder of the Magic Playbook kids’ subscription, advises treating an arch like an Advent calendar.
She gets her three children going by having them assist her in building an arch around the entrance to their playroom. “We slide a tiny piece of paper inside each one with a fun holiday-ish thing to do as we count down to Christmas, like wandering the neighborhood to look at lights,” explains Roberson.
“The balloons are numbered for the days of the month leading up to the 24th.” I pop a balloon for them every morning to demonstrate how close Christmas is to be with them.
Create enormous snowflakes
We focus on nonreligious decorations in addition to the tree because Levine and her husband are a blended family and she is Jewish.
She enjoys recycling, and she makes painted snowflakes out of newspaper. Levine adds that painting the paper makes it firm and simple to hang.
We Place Our Menorah Outside
One-parent Somerville, New Jersey resident Daryl Rothman-Dick says, “The limitations we faced last year gave us a new, excellent idea.”
“We invited friends and neighbors to gather at the bottom of the stairs for a short while one night as we lit a new light, and we put a menorah with candles on our porch at the top of the stairs.
We explained the meaning of Hanukkah and gave kids goody bags with a wooden dreidel, a glow stick, a bag of chocolate gelt, an Israeli chocolate bar, and stampers in the menorah, dreidel, and Jewish star designs. It was lovely
Show some Hanukkah cheer
Consider putting some dried branches in a vase with some blue and silver balls dangling from them. Fill your gingerbread house with blue and white decorations.
We have a menorah that was given to us as an engagement gift, as well as others that have been passed down to us, built by our children, and more, says Marti Kerner.
When we have folks over, it’s good to have a collection so everyone can participate, but often we just light one per night,” says Kerner, who also appreciates the eight-night component and only celebrates during that period.
We are organizing a party. I put dreidels and chocolate gelt in glass jars. I also pull out the Hanukkah-themed children’s books that are only available during this time of year. It feels like visiting old friends.
Become an elf
Cut out Santa hats using construction paper, then paste them into framed pictures of your family. Wait for the children to catch on!
Create a small scene
Many homes arrange a row of little dwellings or run a railway around the tree. Allene Troy, a mother of two from Sandy Hook, Connecticut, says that hers are passed down from her parents.
She also utilizes a couple of antique buildings that belonged to her father to decorate her mantel. Children can also create a miniature LEGO village (the company often releases new holiday houses), or they can use cardboard boxes or wooden sticks.
They also dress up their toys
Add a winter hat or reindeer antler headband to any doll or stuffed animal for some inexpensive and amusing decoration ideas.
You could even dress up one of the kids’ soft toys in your baby’s outgrown Christmas jumper.
For us, the holidays are the time when my daughters dress up their dolls in festive attire, according to Katie Wilson, a mother of three from Lake Forest, Illinois. For some extra cheer, we place the dolls near the tree.
“Put up a Homemade Garland”
Try stringing up these foods if you want to branch out from the typical popcorn and cranberries. Feel free to mix and combine. (To prevent any choking hazards, save small things for children 4 and older.)
- White snowflakes and simple paper shapes like red circles
- Baby socks with stocking-like decorations
- Attractive cupcake liners
- Slices of dried oranges
- Merry holla days and “Up to snow good” are written on paper letters.
- Pine cones with paint
- Bow ties
- Peppermints in packaging
Fake the Beautify
According to Lauren Comer, a mother of a toddler in Smyrna, Georgia, “We adore the smell of fresh garlands, but they’re also incredibly expensive.
For more look for less, I put a strand of an artificial garland on the banister, then fill it in with genuine greenery.”
Excess branch cuttings are frequently available for free at a tree lot or a hardware store. The same procedure can be used to give a faux wreath some aroma.
Create edible decorations
We use graham crackers to create miniature cookie cottages, placing them on cake stands with green gumdrops for landscaping and a bed of shredded coconut for snow, according to Levine. The cake stands are then used as table centerpieces for Christmas dinner.
We Don’t Have a Fireplace, So We Hang Our Stockings
According to Diana Baumgarte, a single mother from Norwalk, Connecticut, “We have a wall coated with chalkboard paint, and every year we design a mantel with chalk.
We put sticky hooks to it and hang our stockings.” You can stick those nice socks in a lot of locations, and Santa will definitely find them.
Stockings can be tied with ribbon to a railing, for example. Stockings can, however, safely dangle from a bookshelf, a kitchen island, a side table, or a bar cart thanks to the wonder of adhesive Command hooks.
Or put them on display inside your front door so the kids will be happy to see them as they leave the house.
Accept strong characters
We are all familiar with the enormous inflatables that decorate suburban yards from Thanksgiving to New Year’s.
It doesn’t matter if you don’t like them—kids adore them. (Author’s confession: We relented and bought one blow-up tree with a Santa, and now we have almost half a dozen inflatables, including a huge avocado that says, “Guacin’ around the Christmas tree. They succeed if they make you smile and energize the kids.
Bring a big entrance
The only season of the year when you don’t have to be afraid to go all out is now. A white PVC pipe book-ending the door with red duct tape that is striped in the shape of candy canes looks adorable.
Jenny Reimold, a mother of seven and a HomeGoods style consultant in Nashville, says that last year she found two enormous nutcrackers to stand on either side of the door, and then she and her family lined our walkway with Christmas trees.
Customize a wreath
A simple wreath (real or synthetic) for your front door may be dressed up in so many different ways.
Get a cheap one and add 3-D letters that spell out your family name painted or wrapped with yarn.
Try making paper snowflakes or ornaments with the kids. For a welcoming fragrance, include cinnamon sticks.
Brighten the porch
A massive, multicolored garland made of large balloons can be seen from the street. They resemble oversized string lights when you attach a cardboard collar to the base of each balloon and link them together with twine, according to Green.
Identify your primary point
Maybe you’re not quite at Clark Griswold’s level (yet). Instead of attempting to cover your entire exterior with the lights you have, focus on one area with twinkling lights, such as a single tree, a bush by the front door, or your mailbox. Make a huge red bow to brighten the day.
While using outdoor lights, put safety first
Scott Parrish, the proprietor of Illuminight Holiday Lighting in Highland Park, Illinois, a business that hangs lights for customers, advises choosing a day that is neither rainy nor icy and staying off the roof entirely if you are hanging lights yourself.
Don’t overlook the fundamental first step: Test your lights by plugging them in somewhere, such as the garage, to make sure they function before you go to the trouble of stringing them up.
Naturally, Parrish advises using a strong ladder and electrical tape to seal the junctions of the light strings. Employ plastic (not metal) ties, extension cords, and lights that are approved for outdoor use.
Make a false impression
You can use an animated projector to light up your home with what appears to be snow falling or glittering stars for less than $50 and with almost any effort.
Use the conventional
According to Candis Meredith, who co-stars in the Magnolia Network series Home Work with her husband Andy (and their seven children), a battery-operated LED candle combined with a wreath in each window creates a colonial-chic impression.
Each of their candles has a timer set to only light up at night. Andy Meredith adds that they installed a few halogen floodlights in the garden to illuminate their home, saying ‘Simple beauty is inexpensive too’.
The porch light’s regular bulb is replaced with one that resembles a flickering flame as a final touch.
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