12 Days of Christmas Relay

Our 12 Days of Christmas Relay is a great Christmas game to get to get your group moving and interacting with one another.

PREP TIME – 5-10 Minutes

ITEMS NEEDED – Papers with Numbers (1-12) & 12 Buckets (bottles or cans work as well) with Names of 12 Days of Christmas Items/People Written on Them per Team

GAME TIME – 10 Minutes

PARTICIPANTS – Divide into Teams of 8-12


Before you begin the 12 Days of Christmas Relay, you will need to print off your 12 Days of Christmas Names & Numbers sheets. The numbers are 1-12 and the names are linked to the name of the 12 Days of Christmas you find in the song.

In case you’ve forgotten the lyrics, here is the list, beginning with Day 12:

On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love sent to me:

  • 12 Drummers Drumming
  • 11 Pipers Piping
  • 10 Lords a Leaping
  • 9 Ladies Dancing
  • 8 Maids a Milking
  • 7 Swans a Swimming
  • 6 Geese a Laying
  • 5 Golden Rings
  • 4 Calling Birds
  • 3 French Hens
  • 2 Turtle Doves
  • and a Partridge in a Pear Tree

Once you’ve printed these off, tape each of the 12 names to a bucket (12 buckets total) and set them up on top of the numbers you’ve printed, but make sure they are not matched correctly (i.e. golden rings is on the 8 instead of the 5). This can be done on the floor, roughly 20 feet away from the team.

Have teams line up in a single-file line and when you say go, the first person in the line can take two buckets and switch places (i.e. move the golden rings pic to the 5 and take the partridge in a pear tree to the 8). They can not move more than two buckets under any circumstance. If they can find two perfect matches, they can make that move, otherwise they are only allowed to correctly place one at a time and must wait to move the other until the next turn.

Once the first person goes, the next will then take their shot at it. This goes on until they think they have it right. They then call a judge over to verify. If they are incorrect, they must continue, one person at a time. If they are correct, you have a winner!


1. To simplify the game, print the labels off and tape or pin them to a wall instead of moving buckets around.

2. Have them sing the song when they are done before they are declared the winner (just one time through from Day 12).

3. Play some fun Christmas music during the game (probably not the 12 Days of Christmas!).

4. Take some videos and post them on social media for everyone to see.

5. Award the winning team with a Christmas themed prize!


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