With two young children, I have tons of decorating ideas that will stay on the back-burner for several more years. Up until recently, I could not keep anything fragile within five feet of the floor. My older daughter was never a problem, but Miss Imp (as her name implies) is very inquisitive and loves to take things apart. An example......this past spring I planted a lovely display of succulents in teacups. One day I walked into the living room and found all the succulent "leaves" plucked and replanted in the Christmas Cactus pot! She was very proud of her little "garden" and even though I was annoyed, I could never punish her for being curious.
Planning my fall decor, I wanted to include items in the accessible areas of the living room that were both inexpensive and safe for the girls to play with. Plastic scarecrows and foam pumpkins may fit the bill, but are definitely not my style. Instead I decided to decorate with natural elements, which in addition to being free, also engage the girls' eagerness to learn!
I purchased the large wood plate at the thrift store and the jute twine placemat was a 90% off clearance find at Kohl's! Imp and I went for a walk outside and collected the acorns and other nuts, which I immediately baked in the oven to kill any insect eggs in them. Both girls now understand that glass is fragile, so I am comfortable using the apothecary bottles to display our treasures. Last year I would have opted for wood bowls.
I pulled out my collection of pinecones and selected a few interesting specimens....
.....and added a couple turkey feathers from my parents' farm.
This cute little guy was a surprise in our garden. I have no idea, is it a gourd or a watermelon? The seed must have been hiding in the compost I spread on the garden this past spring.
I found these magnifying glasses in the stationary aisle of the dollar store. I'm impressed because the lenses are real glass, not cheap plastic. I told the girls they could examine anything on the plate, but everything must stay on the coffee table. It would be very unpleasant to step on one of those sweet gum balls with a bare foot!
For babies and toddlers who put everything in their mouths, fabric pumpkins are a great choice. I made these pumpkins two years ago and the girls loved stacking them.
It looks like they still do!
It's also fun to try to balance them on your head!
I look forward to seeing what my children do with "their" autumn decor. I am always surprised by the imaginative games they play! How do you decorate with young children in the house?