Language for Little Learners


Archive for January, 2010

Things you say a gazillion times a day, but switch them to French!

January 31, 2010 By: Yvonne Crawford Category: common words French children preschool teach

There are so many words I find myself saying over and over all day long: Of course, no, yes, here, there, I don’t know, come here, please, thank you, etc.

One easy way to almost trick your childen into learning French, is to drop these reoccuring English words and only say them in French. You just say them and say them and eventually your children will pick them up because you will say them so often in the correct context. You can start out with one or 2 words and see if it works for you (and for your kids).

Here are a few translations to get you started:

Of course – bien sûr
no – non
yes – oui
here – ici
there – là
I don’t know – je ne sais pas
please – s’il vous plaît
thank you – merci

you’re welcome – de rien

Learning French and eating banana boats!

January 29, 2010 By: Yvonne Crawford Category: banana learn french children teach

It’s too cold outside to enjoy nice campfire fun; however you can still do some of the activities inside your house. When I was little and went to camp, we made banana boats. I had so much fun making and eating them that I decided to make them with my children today while teaching a little French at the same time.

Banana Boats:

What you need:
tin foil
chocolate squares (like a hersey bar that you can break into squares)
marshmellows (small ones work best)

What to do:
1. Take a banana that is still inside the peel and cut it length ways.
2. Stuff chocolate squares and marshmellows in it (you might want to scoop a little banana out if you don’t have room).
3. Wrap it up in tin foil making sure to close it tightly.
4. Put the wrapped banana on an oven safe pan and put it in the oven.
(You should watch the bananas closely in the oven, you don’t want them to burn. I cooked them in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for about 5 minutes, but all ovens vary. You can take them out of the oven and test them to see if the marshmellows and chocolate are melted.)
5. Take them out of the oven, unwrap them from the tinfoil and put on a plate for your child. They can get really hot, so be careful.

Here are some vocabulary words we used during this activity:

Banana – la banane
Chocolate – le chocolat
Marshmellow – la guimauve
Boat – le bateau
Cook – cuisinier
Eat – manger

M&Ms, French and YOU!

January 28, 2010 By: Yvonne Crawford Category: french children kids learn teach

Have you ever wondered how many red M&Ms are in a snack size bag of M&Ms? Maybe today is your day to find out.

What you will need:

M&M snack packs

What to do:
1. Give each of your children a small bag of M&Ms.
2. Ask them to sort the M&Ms into colors. Practice the French colors while you are grouping them.
3. You can make a chart to see how many M&Ms of each color are found in a bag.
4. Draw a row for color and a column for different amounts.
5. Ask your children to count out loud, in French, how many M&Ms they have of ‘bleu, vert, etc.’ 6. As they tell you how many they have, you can fill in the chart or for slightly older kids you can have them fill out the chart themselves.
7. Afterwards, you and your children can eat the M&Ms as a reward.

Variations – You can use skittles instead of M&Ms or any kind of colorful candy. You can even use a hand full of colored cereal like Trix or fruit loops.

Creating a Menu in French with your child!

January 26, 2010 By: Yvonne Crawford Category: food french teach kids preschoolers children

Hardly anything sounds sweeter to me than, “Mom will you teach me more French?” That’s what my daughter said to me today. She wanted to play ‘restaurant with here little toy kitchen, so we came up with a great idea together. We decided to make a menu in French. We took pictures of her various foods and printed them out, then we cut them out and put them on construction paper and wrote out the French names underneath the picture and of course we put prices for all of the food as well.

Afterwards we took places ordering and being the cook. It was a lot of fun. One way to simplify this idea is to have your child draw the pictures of food. It could save you a lot of energy and ink.

Here are some of the food vocabulary that we used:

Banana – la banane
orange – l’orange
bread – le pain
milk – le lait
grapes – les raisins
cheese – le fromage
cake – le gâteau

Teach your children numbers in French!

January 24, 2010 By: Yvonne Crawford Category: Teach french kids children colors numbers

Here is a worksheet I created to help my youngest daughter practice her numbers. Having the numbers spelled out gives her a chance to start learning how to read in French. In addition to using this worksheet for numbers 5-9, you can also have your child count their favorite toys. For my daughter it would be her dolls and for my son it would be his lego sets.

Worksheet for learning colors in French!

January 22, 2010 By: Yvonne Crawford Category: colors, french teach kids children

Attached is a little worksheet I made for my kids today. I thought some of you might like to use. It’s simple, but simple often gets the point across to little learners. All they have to do is color the color words and draw a picture in the oval of something that is that color. You can help your child read the words and brainstorm things to draw in the ovals!
Have fun and have a great weekend!

Learning fruit names in French

January 21, 2010 By: Yvonne Crawford Category: fruit french learn kids children.

I also have to lug my kids to the grocery store and they are usually so bored with it, but this today I took a few minutes and we learned some of the less known fruits in French. Then at the end of this quick lesson I let them each pick out one to try at home. My son chose a star fruit and my daughter a mango. It made the lesson complete when they asked for the fruit by its French name when we got home.

Here is a list of vocabulary to help you on your next trip to the grocery store:

star fruit – le fruit d’étoile

cantalope – le cantaloup

grapefruit – le pamplemousse

mango – la mangue

nectarine – la nectarine

Finger painting and making colors

January 19, 2010 By: Yvonne Crawford Category: Teach french kids children colors

Today was beautiful outside so I decided to let the kids fingerpaint outside on a big piece of paper. What we focused on in our lesson was combing 2 colors to make a new color. An example is: Bleu et Jaune fait vert. (Blue and yellow make green).

If it’s still cold where you live, you can do this indoors with finger paints, water colors or acrylic paints. Kids love painting so much you’ll have them speaking in no time. Here’s some color words you can use:

Blue – bleu
Yellow – jaune
Orange – orange
Green – vert
Red – rouge
Pink – rose
Light blue – bleu clair
Brown – marron
Grey – gris
White – blanc
Black – noir

Conjunctions in French for your children!

January 18, 2010 By: Yvonne Crawford Category: conjunctions French kids teach learn memory

Conjunctions are useful in any language because they combine 2 parts of a sentence. The two that are the most important ones to concentrate on in my opinion are: et (and) and mais (but). You might just want to start out with et because it’s easier to grasp and you can teach it easily. The pronunciation is [ay].

You can introduce it by using it with all English words: “Look, there is a black et white cat in the picture.” Sometimes slipping it in like that works and sometimes it doesn’t. If you need another plan of attack a fun way to introduce it is by playing the classic game of memory. I’m sure you have at least one deck of some kind of memory game and if you don’t, you can use a regular deck of cards or you can print out the memory game to the side. I found it on
When you play, you can use as many pairs of cards as you feel your child can do. Turn the cards upside down and you can take the first turn (if they let you). Say “I have a heart et a bear.” Then, turn them over and let your child have their turn. Prompt them to use et.

Question words in French

January 17, 2010 By: Yvonne Crawford Category: Question words in French children

Question words are a good way of increasing your child’s comprehension of French. You can just use these words through out the day instead of the English words and in no time your child will understand what they mean.

Qui? Who?
Quoi? What?
Pourquoi? Why?
Quand? When?
Où? Where?
Comment? How?

You can print out and put the list that is at the top of this post on your fridge. Everytime you feel that your child has grasped the concept of one of the words, you can add a sticker next to the word. In no time the list will be filled up and you and your child will feel great about the French they have learned!

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