Father's Day · Holidays · Teaching French To Children

Les Fêtes des Pères; French Father’s Day Card And Songs

As its Father’s Day this Sunday I’m busy teaching this to my little girl to sing to her daddy today and we’ve used the lyrics in her Father’s Day card. I thought I’d include some links and lyrics in case, if you have young children, you’d like to do the same.

imagePetit Papa

Petit Papa, c’est aujourd’hui ta fête,
Maman m’a dit que tu n’étais pas là.
J’avais des fleurs pour couronner ta tête
Et un bouquet pour mettre sur ton cœur.
Petit Papa, petit Papa!

Little Daddy, today is your day
Mommy told me you weren’t here.
I had flowers to crown your head
And a bunch to put on your heart.
Little Daddy, little Daddy!

Obviously in this traditional French Fathers’ Day song daddy is out working!

Alternatively there’s this one from Monde des Petits.

C’est Toi Mon Papa

C’est toi mon papa adoré ! image
C’est toi qui me fais rêver !
C’est toi qui fais mon bonheur,
Je t’aime de tout mon cœur.

Qui m’a appris les additions ?
Papa plus moi equals Plein de bisous !
Qui m’a appris les multiplications ?
Papa fois moi equals Plus de bisous !

Bon… maintenant tu connais mon secret !
Tu sais, si je sais faire du vélo,
ou si je sais nager sur le dos,
C’est grâce à quelqu’un d’important pour moi !


Qui m’a donc appris le français ? image
Papa, je t’aime, papa, bisous, bisous !
Et qui m’a donc appris l’anglais ?
I love you daddy, I love you ! Kiss ! Kiss !

You are my loved daddy!
It’s you who makes me dream !
It’s you who makes me happy ,
I love you with all my heart.

Who taught me the additions ?
Papa plus Me equals Lots of kisses!
Who taught me the multiplications ?
Papa times me equals more kisses!

Well … now you know my secret! image
You know, if I know cycling,
or if I swim on my back,
It is thanks to someone important to me!


Who taught me French?
Daddy, I love you , daddy, kiss, kiss!
And I therefore learned English ?
I love you daddy , I love you ! Kiss ! Kiss !



Learning French · Teaching French To Children

TFTC; Learning The Weather (Free Print Out)



La Belle Fille has already learnt the days of the week and knows her numbers quite well; but as with all things unless she constantly uses them they’re forgotten. So when it came to teaching her the weather I introduced the day, date and season at the same time. It’s a similar pattern that’s used each morning in her pre-school too.

She loves the bright pictures in the illustrations (which, as always, I’ve just found from the net – so if anyone wants me to take them down please let me know). Here is some guidance for those of you who may want to give it a go ( the free printout is here Weather)

  • If you are saying the day, date and month it needs to be introduced as, for example, ‘C’est lundi, 31 mai‘. If you want to say the date on its own you use this format, ‘C’est le 31 mai‘. Notice that all numbers, except the first of every month, are cardinal numbers i.e. they are said on their own, not in the format of 31st. The first is always ‘le premier‘, which I’ve put in numerical form; ‘C’est le premier mai‘.
  • The days of the week, months and seasons do not have capital letters.
  • The season has been written as ‘the‘ for the article + season. The spring, even though it’s written with an ‘s‘ in French, is singular. If this were in as the article all seasons would have ‘en‘ for the article, apart from Spring which would have ‘au‘.
  • I’ve added a number for 31 dates as it gives an opportunity to practise saying them in French by showing lots of them before finding the date. You may want to save on your printing bill by just doing 0-9, with 1-3 printed twice.
  • I haven’t used commas, as these can be confusing for children at first and as La Belle Fille is only 4 1/2 years old I don’t want to overload her.
  • The task can easily be broken up to start with the day, date, season first and then move onto weather or visa versa.
  • With the weather there are the symbols and statements – however there are imagemore statements than weather symbols. This is because some of the statements use adjectives, for example ‘Il pleut beaucoup’, as well as general statements about the weather such as ‘Il fait beau‘. I started with saying what each weather statement was in English and then having her choose the corresponding symbol. Then I started to just say what the weather statement was in the French and she chose the symbol without the translation. After we’ve put the laminates on our new white board (my parents door) I ask her the question in French and she reads the response.

Within 2-3 days she’s dropped the majority of English translations and learnt the adjectives – so it appears to be a successful activity. As always, feel free to give me any feedback.


Learning French · Preparations For The Move · Teaching French To Children

TFTC; Swimming Vocabulary (Free Printout)


I spoke last week about how I’d introduced activity vocabulary to La Belle Fille; this week I’ve extended that to include swimming vocabulary. In our forthcoming trip to France we’re planning on taking our little family swimming so our oldest daughter can have a positive experience to relate the move to. I would like her to continue the swimming lessons she’s already had back home (although I understand the lessons in France are very different from those in the UK). To make sure she understood what was happening I thought specific vocabulary would be helpful.

For the activity vocabulary I’d made posters around the home to refer to. But for this activity I’ve taken a more mobile route. You see when my daughter goes to her swimming lessons we are often very early – I’m a bit of a fusspot about timing. She’s often changed and waiting by the pool sometimes with 15 minutes to spare. As every mother knows, an excitable child by a poolside is a hazard! I have to constantly stop her from running round and things – eek!

One week I decided to distract her with French swimming vocabulary on my phone. We looked up the words, like swimming costume, and she pointed out where she could see them in the pool. Learning in an environment is a great way to teach as context helps so much.

So I decided to make her these laminated vocabulary cards. It means that whenever we’re finding waiting by the pool difficult we have something to do. You can download them here (Swimming).

I’ve done this now with the activities from last week too and they’re just as great – if we’re early for preschool we have something to do. We look inside the room that’s been set up for the day and she says what she thinks she will be doing. Then when I pick her up she can automatically refer to her French vocabulary cards to say what she’s been doing.

As La Belle Fille can read well in English she’s starting to feel comfortable transferring this skill into French which, after all, is a very similar looking language. The other week when I brought the swimming cards out for the first time she happily read out some of the vocabulary before I told her what they were! I think this is because these little expressions or simple words are not overwhelming – they’re really just the same as the 1000 first baby words books.

If you try these and find them useful I’d love to hear from you, or if you have any successful tips yourself. I’m happily starting to link up with many other mums trying to teach their children another language on Twitter now, so if this is your thing I’d love to hear from you there too.

Teaching French To Children

TFTC; Activities ( Free Printout)


A really simple topic that hardly needs an introduction. As we’ve embedded a lot of the previous vocabulary with everyday use I decided to make a list of activities based on what she does each day at pre-school, at home and in the park.

I’ve made these A4 posters which are put up in the house so we can refer to them all the time. You can see the ones one our kitchen window in the conservatory. When I pick her up from school I ask; image

Qu’as-tu tu fait aujourd’hui? 

As we’ve just started to use this vocabulary I bring up examples from our posters (available to download here French Vocabualry Activities) and I get her to say whether she’s done them.

At home whenever she wants to do an activity I encourage her to say it in French. The posters are written in the present tense, but I use the various tenses as you would in English – she gets the idea by deciphering the key words.

I’ve chosen this topic as I hope that, as these will be similar activities that she will be doing in l’école maternelle, she will have some useful vocabulary before she starts.image

If you download them and give them a try I’d love to hear what you think, and of course any suggestions you have.



Teaching French To Children

TFTC; Five French Childrens TV Shows You Can Get On YouTube


I’ve said before how I’ve encouraged my eldest daughter to watch French Childrens DVDs since she was about 2 years old. I think this is great not only for your budding linguist, but for any adults learning too. The pattern of speech is slower and more clearly pronounced so it’s easier to work out what they’re saying.

Here are my, I mean her, favourites!

Petit Ours Brun

From a series of books first produced in the 1970s, the tv series still have that feel. As an adult watching it’s great; the parents are proper parents. The mum’s matronly, the dad kind but firm. More in the style of the dad from ‘The Tiger That Came To Tea‘ than many modern depictions of fatherhood, where the dad is little more than a well meaning buffoon (I hate them).

Petit Ours is a typical child having real tantrums, to which the parents respond in proper 1970s fashion. In one episode he has a paddy in a shop because she won’t buy him a cake so she says – I’m going – and off she goes to a reasonable distance until he decides to follow her. They’re then shown walking together hand in hand down the street of the village. I expect her to whip out a 1970s wet wipe at any minute to clean his face (yes, that’s spit on a tissue, you youngsters don’t know how good you have it!).

Petit Ours lives in the country in a pretty, blue shuttered house. His mum has a black range cooker and dressers instead of a fitted kitchen. In the big garden is his dad’s vegetable patch – so basically the kind of place that the British move to France to buy! The whole feel of it is kind of like the original The Snowman cartoon, rather than the updated version.


Sort of a precursor to The Incrdibles, SamSam is a superhero child of superhero parents. Again he gets into all the usual childhood scrapes, but at the same time he fights tyrants and villains.

I love it most of all because of his parents. They are so French! So much in love and romantic despite being married with children! In one episode his dad, desperate to woo his mum, tries in vain to get SamSam to go to sleep. I genuinely don’t think this would work in a British cartoon!


Another little one with solid parents learning about life. This Time he has his buddy DouDou to help him understand things. In later series DouDou isn’t as present because T’Choupi has gone to school. Think a cartoon version of Wooly and Tig.


My daughter loves this. Didou has the ability to draw things that then come to life. He shows the young audience how to draw too, as each picture is broken down so the youngster can imitate it. While they’re distracted with learning to draw they’re learning French too!


Bali lives in a flat in the city with his little sister and cool parents. Well I say cool, they wear flares so…..

Each episode Bali deals with emotional issues like fear, insecurity, friendships etc. In the middle there is always a musical part which my daughter loves to dance along too.

Most of these shows are about five minutes long and free – what else is there to say?


Learning French · Teaching French To Children

TFTC; Daily Self Care Routines (Free Download)


I last shared how my little girl was starting to identify what clothes she was wearing in French along with describing them using colours and selecting the right possessive pronouns. This is going really well, primarily because she has been at home during the day recently as she was on Easter brake but, alas, the housework doesn’t follow holiday rules. As a result I had a marathon session of ironing to catch up on and, as my youngest was having her nap, I kept her entertained by asking what each item of clothes I was pressing in French. She had her little pile of clothes laminates in front of her and at the start would go through them to find the right item.

As she correctly identified them I would ask her whether they would use son, sa or ses to say hers or his. Although at first she got confused that items that were hers were considered ‘boy’ in gender, and there were lots of ‘that’s just the way the French do it’, eventually she got the hang of it. She loved doing it too as it meant I was giving her so much attention, whereas normally such an activity would mean she would have to entertain herself – kids are so loving aren’t they?

After so much repitition it’s really gone in and now, whenever she’s getting dressed and choosing clothing, she can pretty much tell me what it is in French even when we’re upstairs far away from the cards.

So, as she’s still not back at preschool for another week and her normal sentences of what she’s doing can’t be used, I’ve decided to go a step further and look at daily routines for self care (French Daily Routines). So far we’ve done everything in the second person as she liked seeing her name on our at home white board (i.e. the fridge). But now to introduce this idea I’m going to use the first person.

As these are the same things she will be doing each day, rather than create the sentence, I’ve decided to approach this differently. I’ve kept the picture to be printed separately and each day she forms the sentences and matches them to the picture.

This is helped by my describing our self-care in French to encourage consolidation of the vocabulary. Although the sentences are only in the first Person, as you can see, I’m talking about other people doing the activities to start to introduce these conjugations;

Pappa se brosse ses dents.

Nous nous brossons nos dents.

Elle se brosse ses dents.

I’m also using this as an opportunity to develop my French by focusing on different tenses, such as the past tense, in my head – so as not to confuse her.

Just a couple of things;

  • In the attached print out the full stops are some distance from the last word so they can be printed off and used seperately. This is a really good way of getting little ones to identify and use full stops as capital letters etc can be blocks to their ability to read a sentence. At first she called full stops ‘cool stops’ – so sweet!
  • I’ve used chalk duster script as this is a simple typeface and easy for those beginning to read to identify letters.
  • The pictures used are just downloaded from the Internet; as I’m just producing these for my own use and allowing others to share on a non-profit basis. If anyone wants me to stop using an image please let me know and I’ll emerge it straight away.

If you’re giving these ago, or are attempting to teach your little one French or another second language I’d love to hear about your experiences. Bon chance! 
SharingSaturdayoption2-150 photo SharingSaturdayoption2-150_zpsba88f805.jpg

Learning French · Moving To France · Teaching French To Children

TFTC; School Vocabulary + Free Printable


My husband and I have booked to go to France for a couple of days to see a school for our plus grande fille. It’s kind of surreal; we’ve wanted to move to France for so long that I can believe we’re actually at this stage. I’m expecting any moment now for something to happen which means that, once again, we have to put the dream on hold!

As our daughter is coming with us I have been racking my brains to think of what I can teach her in terms of vocabulary that will just give her a sense of recognition. It might seem an odd thing to do – after all I’m not going to be able to teach her enough in the time we have to make her understand what is happening. However I thought that just a few words can give her a sense of excitement about the visit. Recently we were watching a French video when she saw the words l’école maternelle and she was so ecstatic when she recognised it from her sentences. Also she heard the word jardin in another programme and recognised it from a French book we read together and reacted in the same way, so I’m sure this will help.

I’ve spoken before about the French channel for children I often put on for her through the Amazon link on our tv and one of the song is all about going to school. The lyrics are great and something we can sing throughout the day to reinforce vocabulary – and there are plenty of simple school based words in the song. From books, to clothes (which she is already getting used to of course) as well as references that we can discuss about how children go to school in France.

For example the animation shows the character getting ready for school which they go to on a bus – like America French school buses pick children up from near their home to take them (although I still see her as too little for that). The character also is reminded to take their goûter by their maman – something which is part of French childrens eating patterns.

So I’m intending not only to introduce the vocabulary with this, but to start to introduce this little part of French culture before we go.

The link to the video clip is here and I’ve added a free printable of the song lyrics, key words and a little colouring activity here ( Le Chanson de l’Ecole ). As always I’d love to hear how you’re getting on if you’re teaching your little one a second language.

Tu va y arriver!