Would you like to introduce your kids to French? Maybe you are going on holidays or want to give them a head start for school? We have teamed up with Alliance Française to give you tips on fun ways to introduce French for kids to improve learning in an interactive way.
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Easy French Words
The best way to introduce French for kids is through learning some simple words or phrases. Look up French words for the days of the week, days out or items around the home. You could add labels to items around the house to teach children the French for everyday items.
Here are a few to get you started:
- Chair – Chaise
- Door – La porte
- Fridge – Frigo
- Window – La fenêtre
- Bathroom – La salle de bains
- Eggs – Des oeufs
- Egg – L’oeuf
- Cheese – Fromage
- Water – L’eau
- Milk – Lait
- Bread – Le pain
- Butter – Le beurre
- Doll – La poupée
- I love you – Je t’aime
- Hello – Bonjour
- Goodbye – Au revoir
- Thank You – Merci
- Exit – La sortie
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If your child is showing an interest in learning more French, how about sending them to a French class or workshop?
Alliance Française offer a range of options for kids from age 3+ right up to adults. You can go along for a taster class and also take part in fun French themed events and activities.
Online and Offline Games
While we are all trying to limit our kids screen time, educational apps and games are a fun way to help teach your child French or any other language. They can also help with getting the correct pronunciation, as listening to a language being spoken is a good way to perfect your accent.
Apps & websites to get you started include:
- La Souris grise abécédaire
- La Souris grise imagier
- La Souris grise spelling
- Kids Learn French app
- Fun French
- Petites Choses itunes app
- Petites Choses android app
- Miximal app
- Loopimal app
- Parlons Ensemble
- Duolingo app
- Penyo Pal app
- Little Pim app
Alliance Française run a Digital Discoveries session for children from age 3 where they learn French through activities combined with apps. And for toddlers from 12 months, check out Toddler Time, a fun French session of songs, stories and games. For older children and adults they run regular French themed events, cinema & reading sessions.
As vocabulary grows, you could try playing games like scrabble or hangman in French.
French books to read together
Ok so you may only have basic French, but start simple and go from there. Alliance Française have The French Library, a state-of-the-art multiform space with books, digital collections and a dedicated children’s corner. Or you could check out your local library for books to borrow.
The French Library team recommends the Première Lecture Collection by Nathan Publishers which includes the titles:
- Je déchiffre : J’adore le jus de rat!
- Je commence à lire : Je veux changer de prénom!
- Je lis comme un grand : Tu es super, Petit Hamster!
A good way to start learning a language with younger children is to use picture books. If you can’t find specific French books, look up the names of each picture and add them yourself or simply say them to your child and have them repeat the words back to you.
Alternatively see if you can find French audio books, which have the added benefit of helping with sounds and are a great way to amuse children while travelling in the car.
The Book Depository have a large selection of books to learn French for all ages including:
- Play and Learn French with an audio cd
- Colour and Learn Easy French Phrases for Kids
- The Everything Learning French Book – Speak, write and understand basic french in no time (comes with an audio cd)
- Learn French with Stories for Beginners with MP3
- Berlitz Play Sudoku, Learn French
- Listen and Learn First French Words from Usborne
- French Is Fun! A Guide for Kids to Learn French by Baby Professor
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Netflix Ireland have a great French selection in original version with English subtitles.
Netflix aAnimated series includes:
- The Adventures of Tintin
French films available on Netflix:
- Astérix: The Gaul
- Astérix: The 12 tasks
- The Little Prince
How about trying out a French recipe? We love this one for authentic French crêpes, wafer thin pancakes that can be topped with sweet or savoury fillings making them perfect for breakfast, brunch or dessert! Oh lá lá délicieux!
Basic French Crêpes Recipe
- 4 small eggs
- 8oz Plain Flour
- 8fl oz Milk
- Add all the ingredients to a jug and mix with a hand blender until smooth.
- Leave to rest for 30 minutes (or overnight in the fridge) before cooking.
- To cook simply melt butter to coat the surface of a non stick pan over a medium heat.
- Add your batter, swirling to ensure it coats the pan in a thin layer.
- Cook until the edges begin to brown (usually less than a minute)
- Flip over and cook for another 10 to 15 seconds
- Serve with your favourite toppings
Over to you now. Have you tried any of these methods to introduce French to your kids? Any other tips or suggestions? Please let us know in the comments box below.