Year 2018. My son is now 2 years old. 25 months to be exact as I write this.
Last year, I decorated our home for Christmas by following his lead. This year is the same – but with a few changes and additions depending on his current interests and skills.
If you want to see how I decorated last year, go HERE.
Our living room looks similar from last year – still a fun game in the middle for everyone! I put balance rocks last year, but I changed it to this beautiful Connect 4 game this year. For my son, it serves as posting work. He also has blocks underneath the middle table for him to stack since he is currently so into stacking.
Let’s go to the right side of the photo: I used my chest of table cloths, fabrics, etc as a table for my son’s Christmas-themed work:
A parol (Star Lantern) is very common in Filipino homes. This is one of my favorite “magic items” for the Christmas season when I was a child, so when P started showing interest for parols, we bought two small, blinking lanterns for him. For details on where I bought our parols, you can visit THIS post. My husband put a switch so our son can turn it on and off by himself.
I used the same small Christmas tree last year but instead of letting him decorate it with wooden rings, I used the candy cane sets we got as a gift before and let him take them in and out whenever he wants to.
Lastly, I used one of our Grimms rainbow pieces and took out my Christmas Combi since 2013 (or 2014?) for open-ended play. He loves moving the trees, the “tunnel”/ “bridge”, and the van itself. This setup works so well for us since he loves vehicles and anything with wheels!
Now, let’s go to our Christmas Tree this year! I knew he would want to take things out of the tree (I mean, is there a curious toddler who doesn’t?), so instead of saying “No! Off limits! Stop touching this and that!”, I made the whole Christmas tree child-friendly! Except for a few wooden ornaments my sister gave me last year, I just hung his favorite stuffed toys and wooden vehicles. It’s the best idea — no one gets upset when he gets his toys, and he loves the idea of putting them back when he’s done.
By the way, I was able to score a book on a secondhand bookstore called The Christmas Robin, and P loves it so I ordered a Robin stuffed toy from Audubon. We will also include it in the tree when it arrives.
For our Christmas books, I put them all in one box and put the box under the tree. P’s favorites this year would be: The Christmas Robin, I Spy Little Christmas, Christmas Carols, and The Nativity. Right beside it, I also put his favorite vehicles to play with: fire engine and garbage truck from Green Toys (milk jugs are recycled to make these gorgeous toys). I’m so glad they happen to be red and green – fits this season perfectly!
We have also reserved a spot for our projector and screen so we can watch movies as a family for Christmastime. We are generally a no-screentime family, but I think the grown-ups would enjoy this, so we are adding it this year and we honestly don’t mind if our toddler watches Christmas films with us from time to time. 🙂
For our dining area, my husband put up our usual mini-Christmas Village, but this time, we added a parol. It’s also like the one my son has in his corner, but just plain capiz instead of the colored one. We made sure to include the Fire Station in the village because my son is just so into fire engines now.
Just around the corner, in his “kitchen” area, I put this up: a mini build-your-own Christmas Tree. I just made a guide on photoshop using squares and rectangles, then put 3 blocks of different sizes. I just got them from our blocks. You can also use different-sized Jenga blocks if you have them in different sizes (some sell mini Jengas, etc). He loves stacking this – oftentimes, as the guide says, but also, he stacks this his own way, and that is totally okay.
Last but not the least, I also decorated our rumpus for Christmas. Our aunt gave us a small pine tree years ago, and with Daday’s green thumb, it definitely blossomed into a beautiful tree. This space usually has a palm tree. I replaced it with our pine for this season, changed our throw pillow cases to whatever red pillow cases I have, and decorated his IKEA train set, too.
Usually, that table has nothing but his train set. But hey, we have lots of unused houses for our Christmas village, so I put some there as well as some trees. He not only moves his trains when he plays here, he also constantly moves the trees! And since he loves doodling with his chalk EVERYWHERE, I choose to view those white things on his tracks as snow. 😛 What a lovely touch, don’t you think?
So that’s it for this year. Maybe I’ll add what our table looks like when I already set it up.
EDIT: Adding it here – I decided to just put a simple Nativity set (from Educational Toys PH) on our main table as well as a wreath. Then, right before Christmas Eve, I asked my brother-in-law who’s a pastor to tell us the story of Nativity.
Hope this helps you set your house up for Christmas with a child around.