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5 Natural Christmas Decorations for Kids

by Anna Harpe
October 1, 2022
Kids making eco friendly christmas decorations together

Create easy and natural Christmas decorations for kids. Build beautiful holiday traditions with your family!

Updated November 2022

Some of my fondest childhood memories involve tubs and tubs of holiday decorations. 

As soon as Thanksgiving leftovers were stored safely away, the rubbermaid bins were pulled up from the basement, and our home would be transformed.  Our once-ordinary house became absolutely magical with the addition of santas and snowmen, garlands and twinkling lights,

And as much as I love those memories, life looks different now that I have a family of my own.  Like many parents of my generation, I wrestle with ideas of minimalism and eco-conscious living. I’m hesitant to collect and find storage space for anything, even holiday magic. 

natural greens + snow
Photo by Rachel Withers

So are we forever doomed to bare-boned holidays?  Or can we find our own magical balance teetering somewhere between those stacks of rubbermaid tubs and a grinch-like existence? 

I believe we can!

christmas quote

So there’s our answer, friends. 

By embracing the lovely rhythm of seasonal family traditions, we can nurture that very same holiday magic from our childhoods, even without bins full of decorations.  

We can keep the traditions without keeping the stuff, celebrating the holidays in our own eco-conscious ways while still preserving that treasured holiday magic.

natural christmas pinterest

3 Tips for a Green Holiday

To keep our holidays a bit more minimal but still just as merry, I think it’s helpful to ask myself a few key questions:

  1. Can I make the process part of the tradition? (After all, that’s where the connection and memory-making magic happens, right?)
  2. Can I take advantage of natural, compostable elements?
  3. Can I use recycled, upcycled, or second-hand materials?

These simple reminders help keep my focus on the traditions rather than just the trappings of the season.  

Looking for more specific suggestions? 

Here are 5 eco-friendly Christmas decorations for kids that your family can try to create rhythm, form new traditions, and deck your home with holiday cheer!

Natural Christmas Decorations

cinnamon ornaments + dried orange garland
Photo by Rachel Withers

1. How to Make a Dried Orange Garland

I love how these cranberry and orange slice garlands add a beautiful pop of color to our winter days.  And with a large blunt embroidery needle, even young kids can help with the stringing to create a lovely, holiday decoration.

Hang your dried cranberry garland on doorways, mantles, or even your Christmas tree.  I find these garlands look especially lovely near a sunny window!  

They won’t last forever, but you can keep these garlands up for several weeks.  The cranberries may shrivel some, but they still look quite festive! 

Compost the berries and orange slices when the holidays pass.

Child placing natural greenery in vase
Photo by Anna Harpe

2. Natural Greenery or Natural Christmas Wreath

It doesn’t get much easier than this.  Use evergreen clippings from your yard or the local tree lot to add some holiday cheer to your home!

Take a look around your yard to find greenery.  This is a great way to involve kids of all ages, hunting for green in an otherwise brown winter yard. 

Of course any kind of pine works great, but consider other evergreen varieties as well; I love to use clippings from our boxwood bush during the holidays.  Trim off pieces, leaving as much length as possible.  

No winter greenery where you live?  Check out the local Christmas tree lot to ask for trimmings.  They’ll have piles of wonderful smelling pine just sitting around, and most are happy to have you take some! 

Take your findings inside and work together to create your arrangements. 

Little ones love having free-reign with scissors, and bigger kids will have fun using their artistic eye for the perfect arrangement.  In my opinion, there’s no wrong way to do this… you can’t go wrong with a festive jar of green!

You can also use your greenery to create small garlands, swags, or wreaths.  All you need is a little bit of floral wire and some creativity. Keep your containers full of fresh water and any other greenery spritzed with water during the holiday season.  Once your beautiful decorations have run their course, compost!

Family making cinnamon ornaments_ eco friendly christmas decorations
Photo by Anna Harpe

3. How to Make Cinnamon Ornaments

Since my children were small, we’ve enjoyed this holiday tradition. And although we don’t have many decorations that we keep from year to year, our annual cinnamon ornaments made the cut. 

We typically keep one each year, gift some to family, and compost the rest once the holidays are over. White glue (the only non-edible ingredient in these ornaments) is compostable–I checked!

These ornaments look lovely tied atop a gift, hanging on your tree, or even strung up with your orange and cranberry garland.  And they smell so wonderful!

4. Artful Bunting

If your house is anything like mine, you might have stacks of painted paper sitting around from old art projects.  It’s easy and fun to take those painted papers and turn them into a festive bunting! 

This project is from our online art club for families, Kids Art Spot.  (And speaking of eco-friendly holidays, a membership to Kids Art Spot might be the perfect zero-waste gift!)

orange and cranberry ice wreath
Photo by Jean Van’t Hul

5. Winter Ice Wreath and Ice Lanterns

I love this winter ice wreath project from The Artful Parent archives. Use a bundt pan and collect natural items to create an outdoor holiday decoration that’s perfect for the colder months. 

Or how about these gorgeous ice lanterns from Little Pine Learners? With a few cans from the recycling bin and beautiful greenery, you and your family will have some lovely winter magic right in your own yard.

And of course these holiday decorations will simply melt away when the weather warms.  The ultimate eco-friendly decor!❤️

Whether you’re unloading tubs of Christmas decorations or simply stringing cranberries each year, the heart of holiday traditions remains the same: these are the rhythms that keep us grounded and connected to one another.

And that’s the real magic, right? So choose your traditions, find your family’s rhythm, and enjoy some very happy holidays!

dried orange and cranberry garland and little village
Photo by Anna Harpe

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5 Natural Christmas Decorations for Kids