What better way to kick off our 12 Days of Christmas than to read a book featuring the song, "The Twelve Days of Christmas"? The 12 Days of Christmas by Rachel Isadora is one of my favorite books! The text of this book is the traditional 12 Days of Christmas song, however, the story is set in Africa. (I had Christmas down in Africa, I diverge.) Africa is actually a great backdrop for this song. Imagine 11 lords a leaping in Mali or 9 ladies dancing in Swaziland. According to the author's notes, Isadora based her cultural illustrations off her actual travels to African countries. Each detailed and vibrant illustration depicts the cultures of Africa. Also, instead of repeating text on each verse, the book contains a rebus type repetition which makes it beneficial for younger readers. From the vibrant end pages to the detailed depictions of daily life, The 12 Days of Christmas by Rachel Isadora is a festive look at a traditional song.
The cover art on Isadora's 12 Days of Christmas reminded me of this serrated rectangle puzzle. I made this one out of green craft foam. We used 12 rectangular pieces. Logan (3) is able to order the pieces from largest to smallest on his red mat, creating a Christmas tree. You could also number the pieces 1-12, or put them in a pocket chart that is numbered 1-12-- matching the numbers. There are many ways to scaffold this activity to meet your learner's needs. This is an activity that he will hopefully want to repeat throughout the next few weeks.
You could also do this with construction paper and have your child glue it and decorate the tree for a keepsake art project.
Don't forget to come back tomorrow for Day #2 and go check out Reading Confetti for more great book suggestions and crafts. I'll be pinning all of our books and crafts to my Christmas Books for Kids Pinterest board. We'd love it if you'd pin our crafts or follow on pinterest!
You can also find me celebrating the season on Pinterest, tweeting on twitter, and chatting about the best holiday children’s literature on facebook and Google+.