Decorating the Christmas tree is more than fun tradition. It provides some great learning along with it! The most obvious is fine motor practice. If you try to have things spaced as well as a child can space things, you will also be focusing on some spacial awareness and pre-planning.
But allowing a child to help decorate isn't always as precious as those greeting cards and images in your head would lead you to believe. You can end up with broken ornaments and time outs...so I have a few tips to make decorating fun.
1-Set the tree up ahead of time. Don't expect children to wait patiently while you get the tree ready to decorate. Whether your tree is real or fake, small or large, you will need some prep time. Unless you plan to have the children help with lights, I would include stringing lights in your list of things to do before hand.
2-Pre-hang breakable ornaments, OR set them aside for later. Some children do great around breakable ornaments. Last year, Kaitlyn accidently dropped a few ornaments and broke them. She wasn't being crazy or doing anything she shouldn't; she was simply a two year old carrying something. So don't be like me; just because it is Christmas it does not mean your little toddler no longer toddles.
3-Have piles for what the child can put up. This year, we had certain ornaments that each child could put on the tree. We organized these before the decorating started.
4-Forget perfect. Don't stress out about where the ornament is compared to all the other ornaments. If you are allowing a child to help decorate, expect it to look like a child decorated.
When I was growing up, we had our family tree and a kid tree. We could decorate our tree with our ornaments however we wanted to. We also got to help with the family tree, but my mom was allowed to tell us where to put things or to ask us to move something somewhere else.
I am actually not particular about where things are on the tree (this is surprising I am sure; it surprises even me), but even so, I think a kid tree would be fun. Maybe we will watch after-Christmas sales this year for a small tree they can use next year.