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One of the most beloved Christmas songs for children is the song 12 Days of Christmas. This song is perfect for children because of the repetition, silly words, and also the counting practice (the same reasons it’s not always a favorite with grown ups). My 3 and 5 year old boys have been singing the song for weeks, and between the two of them, they have the entire song memorized! Their love of the song inspired today’s post. I’m going to be sharing some simple ways to enjoy the song, and I also have a simple craft activity to go along with the song!
12 Days of Christmas is a cumulative song. As you sing about each day in the song, you’ll add on all of the previous days. In case you don’t know the words, here they are:
12 Days of Christmas
On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me a partridge in a pear tree
on the second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree
on the third day of Christmas, my true love gave to me three french hens, two turtle doves, and a partridge in a pear tree
on the fourth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me four calling birds, three french hens, two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree
on the fifth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me five golden rings, four calling birds, three french hens, two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree
*you continue this same pattern with the remaining days:
- six geese a laying
- seven swans a-swimming
- eight maids a milking
- nine ladies dancing
- ten lords a leaping
- eleven pipers piping
- twelve drummers drumming
If you’re doing a listening lesson, I’d highly recommend playing Sesame Street’s version of 12 Days of Christmas. The Sesame Street version is funny because they change the words of the song. My boys thought it was hilarious! It would be fun to listen to this version and compare to the original words!
12 Days of Christmas Books
- “The Twelve Days of Christmas” – illustrated by Jan Brett
- “The Twelve Days of Christmas Dogs” – Carolyn Conahan
Craft activity: 12 Days of Christmas Songbook
This craft is really simple. Each day, you will color a picture to go along with the different days of Christmas. For example, on day one, you’ll color a picture of a partridge in a pear tree. Each day (or every other day) you’ll add another picture until you’ve reached 12. You could make your own, or you can print off one. I found one online here.
- paper for coloring (you can have children draw them, or print off and color)
- crayons or colored pencils
- hole punch and binder (could also use sheet protectors)
We just finished the last day of our 12 Days of Christmas books today. Such a fun and simple craft!