Friday, December 4, 2009

12 Days of Christmas Fun -- A Review


I love them.

But I rarely complete them. I am known to download everything, spend hours printing the individual items to be meticulously glued onto this homemade creation, and then peter out when I am only half done with all of the cutting.

But . . . this time around I had a goal. I HAD to complete the 12 Days of Christmas Fun for grades PreK-2nd (a $20.00 E-book) published by In the Hands of A Child.

I was doing a review.

Celebrate the Twelve Days of Christmas with your PreK-1 student with the Twelve Days of Fun Project Pack from In the Hands of a Child. This 84-page Project Pack includes 12 days of lesson plans with a day-by-day supply list to help your twelve days of lessons be truly fun! Our largest PreK unit yet, the Twelve Days of Fun includes 24 activities plus 7 BONUS activities to help your child complete a lapbook and 12 days of ornaments. This unit includes both religious and secular activities that correlate to the Twelve Days of Christmas song.

My first step was to become organized. I printed the ENTIRE download. Yes, I know that this wasn’t very granola of me . . . but in my defense it was recycled paper. I hole-punched the packet and ACTUALLY read the instructions. It was a beautiful moment.

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The unit or lapbook is meant to be used AFTER Christmas and follows the seemingly nonsensical song (more on that later), The 12 Days of Christmas, which is sure to drive you batty if you listen to Donald Duck sing it repetitively 24 times in a row for 12 days, not that I would know anything about that.

The lesson plan comes with a supply list that is broken down by day and includes items that you probably have presently in your home. For the next 12 days you are given an activity with how to complete the craft or game, the list of supplies (again), followed by instructions and additional bonus activities. The last few pages of the unit include directions for how to create a lapbook base and what a 12 Days of Christmas lapbook actually looks like when completed.

With proper organization in place, and taking time to pre-cut the items to be used the following day, this lapbook becomes very easy to use.

I enjoyed how the activities provided compelled me to leave my comfort zone and get out the glitter, sequins, and liquid glue. Our vacuum got a lot of use the past 12 days. Still even today, no one can enter and leave this house without taking some glitter with them.

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However, many of you know that I try to make learning a part of everything we do. I don’t just do something to do it. There has to be a reason why we are studying something. What skill are we gaining . . . what new fact will add to our world view . . . how does this fit into the Bible.

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So as I was putting our lapbook together the night before we began, I probably scanned the lapbook 3 or 4 times searching for the song . . . you know the 12 Days of Christmas. But it wasn’t included. (Yes, I know that most everyone has this song memorized BUT ME!)

And then I searched for the learning and application portion of this unit. What on earth did this crazy song mean? But it was nowhere to be found. Ekkk!!!! What was I going to do? I didn’t have time to research this before morning Tot School hit?!!

Come to find out that the Pre-K thematic units do not come with a research guide. Is that a problem? For most people . . . probably not. For former teachers who are living out their profession through their dining room schoolroom . . . yes.

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A partridge in a pear tree--Jesus

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But did the boys still have fun even though they didn’t know that each of the “gifts” symbolically stood for various Christian elements?

You decide.

2 Turtle Doves = The Old and New Testaments

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3 French Hens = Faith, Hope and Charity, the Theological Virtues
4 Calling Birds = the Four Gospels and/or the Four Evangelists

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5 Golden Rings = The first Five Books of the Old Testament

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6 Geese A-laying = the six days of creation

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We were supposed to have created some egg goose cups. Umm . . . it wasn’t going to happen. I don’t know if I was mentally challenged in some of these crafts . . . well . . . I think I was mentally challenged because I didn’t always understand how I was supposed to complete or construct the craft.

Since I botched the goose up, I printed a goose from

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7 Swans A-swimming = the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit

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8 Maids A-milking = the eight beatitudes

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9 Ladies Dancing = the nine Fruits of the Holy Spirit

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10 Lords A-leaping = the ten commandments
11 Pipers Piping = the eleven faithful apostles
12 Drummers Drumming = the twelve points of doctrine in the Apostle's Creed

Our beautiful and completed lapbook . . .

View 12 Days of Christmas

I have used other products from In the Hands of A Child and been impressed with the quality and content of the unit studies. In hindsight, I probably would have made sure to have an audible version of the song OTHER THAN Donald Duck and have gone to the library to provide an artistic rendering of the song to help the Granola Boys understand that we were physically creating the song we were hearing Donald Duck sing 50 times in a row.

And when I really think about it . . . do the Granola Boys really need to know that the song was used as a memory aide when the Catholic faith was not allowed to be practiced? Would they understand that the 12 drummers symbolize the Apostle’s Creed? OK . . . I get it. Lighten up, Jodi.

OK . . . I need to get off of my high horse. It is fun to make crafts because it simply is fun to play with glitter, get glue all over our fingers, eat pears with sprinkles all over them because Granola Mom NEVER lets them do such an unhealthy thing, and listen to Donald Duck 100 times.

And one more thing . . . the font used for tracing in this unit study is not how I am instructing the Granola Boys. So . . . I just jumped on over to and printed out our version of whatever was supposed to be traced.

For more reviews of products from In the Hands of A Child visit MamaBzz! This is a Mama Buzz review, written by Granola Mom 4 God (Jodi). The product was provided by In the Hands of A Child for this review.

Thanks so much In the Hands of A Child!


Mamma James said...

Looks like fun, but I was cracking up at the ever growing number of times you listened to the Donald Duck version of the 12 Days of Christmas!!! I'm sure it felt like a million times by the end of the twelve days!!! Hahaha! I would be interested in doing this with my kids. I have not heard how this song can be related to the Word before and it has intreged me. :) Thanks for sharing your reviews. I know they have to be hard work sometimes, but it gives me glimpes into things I would never touch w/o your infromation. I appreciate your reviews...I am not at all annoyed by them! :)

3boysmom said...

Love it, Jodi!! I have been using ITHOAC for a few years in our homeschool and we loved doing this one a few years ago...I guess it's time to dig it back out of my files and have another go at it!

Kristen McG said...

Hey! I learned something(s) from you teaching your boys! I had no idea what the song really symbolized... pretty interesting! Thanks for sharing!
Oh- and Relient K has a version of the 12 days of Christmas, but interjects about halfway through, "What's a partridge? What's a pear tree? I don't know so please don't ask me. But I can bet that those are terrible gifts to give." haha JD and I listened to that and laughed lots last year, so I happen to (kind of) enjoy the song. :)
I love all the things you do with your boys! Keep sharing, please. :)