Language for Little Learners


Archive for April, 2009

French words of praise

April 19, 2009 By: Yvonne Crawford Category: Uncategorized

Throughout the day I find myself constantly encouraging my children to do this or to that and tell them that they’ve done well when they show me something they’ve built, colored or drawn. What I’ve been doing lately is try to take the English out of my praising and encouragment and only say those things in French.

For example:

fantastic! – fantastique!
You will succeed. – Tu vas réussir.
incredible! – incroyable!
pefect! – parfait!
excellent! – excellent!
good job! – bon travail!
very good! – très bien!

and my personal favorite – oh là là! The cutest thing is when your own kids start saying oh là là!

When your work pays off…

April 18, 2009 By: Yvonne Crawford Category: Uncategorized

In the United States we don’t get a lot of opportunities to speak French with other people, but today we had one and it was so rewarding. My husband, my kids and I went to a historical state park today. There were a ton of visitors as it’s a very popular tourist attraction. We went on this boat that was on the sites to see and my son heard a couple speaking French. He went up to them and said a few kind words to them in French and they were really touched. I was so proud of him for not being shy and busting out with his French. It warmed my heart to see all of my efforts so fruitful.

This summer we are taking a trip to Canada and I’m hoping we all get to practice our French a lot more there. It’s fun to put it to use in the real world.

Reusing old workbooks and activity books to teach French

April 17, 2009 By: Yvonne Crawford Category: coloring dot to dot teach kids children french

If you are like me you have a ton of workbooks and activity books laying around your house that you got free or bought or a friend gave you once upon a time. Your children probably did a few pages in each book and now you just have them sitting in a closet somewhere.

Well now is the time to get a few of them out and look for some activities that your children can do in French. The one that pops into my head first is a dot to dot page. As they connect the dots they can say their numbers in French. Also, coloring pages, you can tell them to use specific colors in French. Before each activity you can review the vocabulary this will enable them to remember it more quickly as they do the activity and in turn they will have more self-esteem in learning their new language.

Don’t have any activity books? Print some pages off the internet. Here is a site that has free dot to dots:

And as for coloring pages you can find them all over the internet. Whatever interests your child do a google search for that plus coloring pages (ex: train coloring pages) and you are sure to find a lot.

Head, shoulders, knees and toes

April 16, 2009 By: Yvonne Crawford Category: songs, teach kids french children

One way my kids love to learn French is by singing songs in French that they already know in English, like Head, shoulders, knees and toes. There are a few different versions on the internet, the one I wrote here is an exact translation, so your kids won’t get confused. If you feel you have too many syllables just take out the et (and) and it should flow better.

Make sure to point at all of the body parts when you sing it!

Tête et épaules, genoux, et orteils, genoux et orteils.
Tête et épaules, genoux et orteils, genoux et orteils.
Yeux et oreilles et bouche et nez.
Tête et épaules, genoux et orteils, genoux et orteils.

Head and shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes.
Head and shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes.
Eyes and ears and mouth and nose.
Head and shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes.


April 15, 2009 By: Yvonne Crawford Category: bingo teach kids french games

My kids love playing Bingo! They love it so much that after we finish a new group of French words we usually end the unit with a few games of Bingo. They love screaming out BINGO when they win. They have so much fun that they don’t even realize they are reviewing vocabulary that they have alreayd learned.

I made a bingo sheet that you can download from here:

The way my kids like to play is first we go over the group of vocabulary words. Today we did food. So as I said each kind of food in French they drew a picture of the word in a little box. We did this until they filled up their paper. If you use this method of creating a Bingo card before you actually play, you will be reinforcing the vocabulary twice as much so it’s very helpful to them in the long run. And if your kids are like mine they will love to draw their own pictures of le lait (milk), le pain (bread), l’eau (water), le biscuit (cookie), etc.

What I did for the winner of each game is they receive a little biscuit, which really made them extra excited about the game.


When should I teach my kids French?

April 14, 2009 By: Yvonne Crawford Category: Uncategorized

“When should I teach my kids French?” This is a question that some of my friends ask me from time to time. My answer is: whenever you think your kids are the most focused. For me, it’s between about 9am and 11am. For others it’s right after nap/rest time. As a homeschooling mother it is easier for me to keep a routine, so I like to do it the same time every day. But I have lots of friends who do it whenever the mood moves them. So my advice to you is to not force it, but make it part of your regular routine. If you are someone who has a rigid schedule of homeschooling, then add a 30min slot for French. If you are someone who changes their homeschooling routine on a daily basis, then don’t plan on it and just do it when you want. The moral of the story is to do it, whenver you want to do it, for how long you want to do it. I think you’ll receive the best results if you teach French every day, this way you can continually reinforce the things that you have already taught your children.

Teaching boys French

April 13, 2009 By: Yvonne Crawford Category: teach boys french children train

Now it’s time for a little French for boys. What do boys like? My 6 year old boy loves cars, constuction equiptment and trains. So I try to throw some specialized lessons that are just right for him. One game I like to do is we set up all of the dining room chairs in a straight line and we pretend it’s a train. He usually wants to be the conductor and I’m usually a passenger. Then we say where we are going and what we see in French. This isn’t a game just for boys, my 3 year old daughter loves it too.

Je vois un oiseau. I see a bird.
Je vois un arbre. I see a tree.
Je vois une maison. I see a house.

One thing you can do with your train game, you can focus on 1 specific group of words for your train journey that day. Colors, numbers, family members, animals, whatever you have been studying that day or whatever you wish to review.


Teaching girls French

April 12, 2009 By: Yvonne Crawford Category: teach girls french princess doll

I’m a firm believer of teaching your kids things that interest them. What I do some days is have gender specific activities. My daughter like princesses and ballerinas, so I try to incorporate those themes into the activity. Sometimes it might be as simple as playing together with her dolls and telling her what their names are in French. Other times it might be something like coloring a picture of a princess and reviewing the colors while she colors the picture.

Here are some possible little girl vocabulary words (this really depends on what interests her:

the doll – la poupée
the princess – la princesse
the queen – la reine
the crown – la couronne
pink – rose

Making a train to help teach French

April 11, 2009 By: Yvonne Crawford Category: Uncategorized

All aboard!!!

Your little boys will love this activity like my little boy did. Well, he’s not so little anymore. He turned 6 years old yesterday. What we did was we built a train using construction paper. Each car of train carried something inside. I let my son decide what he wanted to put inside the cars. So we drew and cut/pasted some of those objects on each car. Then on the outside of the car we wrote the name of what was inside it. We hung up the entire train on our French wall. My son chose to put money, flowers, candy, marshmellows, leaves and straws in his train cars.

You can even just take real objects and glue them on your train. It would’ve worked well for what he chose, but he really wanted to draw them so he did. With this activity the sky is the limit. You can do anything with it and since all boys love trains, they will enjoy it.

Having trouble knowing the names of things in French for this activity? Go to:

Why blog about French teaching tips for kids?

April 10, 2009 By: Yvonne Crawford Category: teach kids french children resources

A lot of my close friends have asked me lately why I have a blog to help parents teach their kids French. My answer is because I have always loved the French language and I hope more people will teach their kids French.

My love of language occured at an early age. I remember going to the university library with my mom when she was working on her Masters Degree. I was about 12 years old and I wandered around the library. I came across some language books, at least one was French and some others were less known languages. I asked my mom to check them out and she did. I was glued to those books for weeks. Back then there were no other resources for learning a language so her University library was my only link. The local library in our town didn’t even have any language books. So today, I feel very fortunate to have so many resources in our town, library and on the internet that help me teach my kids French.

Another reason is that I think some times parents have an idea in their head about what they want to teach their kids, be it Teach French or Homeschool or whatever and before they try it they might search on blogs to see who is doing it so they can be pointed in the right direction. Why reinvent the wheel if you don’t have to? So if I can just even help 1 mother or father start in their quest to help their child learn French or any foreign language then I know that my blog was successful.

So have dive in and have fun teaching your kids French. They will appreciate it when they are older and probably even now!

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