With small children in the home comes small changes in decorating for the holidays. Glass ornaments get put up higher, trees get anchored to a wall, and good linen might be removed from the table during a particularly stainable meal. Instead of removing your dining table’s centerpiece altogether, though, why not make it into something that is festive, interesting, kid friendly, and encourages exploration and development, too!
This year, I created a Sensory Christmas Basket Centerpiece for our dining room table. It’s a white wicker basket lined with a red and green dish towel. Laid inside are a host of objects all signifying Christmas time. Cinnamon sticks and scented pinecones create the base for this piece, followed by a variety of other things with various textures, scents, sounds, shapes, and colors. Silver bells that twinkle and ding, soft felt red drums, velvety bows, a bendable wirey silver garland, a bumpy, hard Christmastime teddy bear figurine, and a smooth victorian santa/polar bear ornament round out the basket. It’s not only engaging to the eye, but delightful for people of all ages to sort through as they experience all of the different contrasting sensory input!
Easy to create, a great educational spin on decorating, and affordable as all getout because you probably already have everything you need to create your own Sensory Christmas Basket Centerpiece. Remember to include different textures, colors, variations of pressure (hard to soft), reflections of light (like a shiny bell vs. a dull cinnamon stick), scents, and even pieces that the children can manipulate (like the garland I used). Have fun keeping your decorations simple so you can focus on the reason for the season!