Sunday, July 29, 2012

French for Kids - Wrapping Up and Ratatouille!

I intended on finishing all of my French week blog posts immediately after our French week, but of course that didn't happen.  With my daughter's second birthday party last weekend, and the planning and prep that went into it I got majorly sidetracked from blogging!  But better late than never right?

We ran out of time to do all of the projects I had intended for our Introduction to France week.  I went a little crazy with the lesson planning, and I scheduled the activities for the week my birthday fell on.  Basically nothing preschool related got done that day!  However, since we are going to continue incorporating French into our regular preschool routine, I'm sure we'll get to all the other fun projects eventually.

Although I've been practicing my French with the help of a few free iPhone apps, I'm no where near at a level where I could read a book in French.  So I decided to hunt for a book about France geared for kids, and I found this gem on our last trip to the library.  The book is about a girl who travels to Paris and visits all of the major landmarks there.  It is a very cute little story and very simple for young children.  At the end is a two-page spread with more details about all the landmarks mentioned throughout the book.  It's a fantastic way to introduce (or reinforce) these famous places.

Written by Leslie Kimmelman and Illustrated by Sarah McMenemy

The unexpected surprise in the book is the cute little rat hidden on every page!  My son had a blast searching for it in all the pictures.  He wanted to go through the book several times to keep finding the little guy over and over.  I think this would be the perfect story to read before or after watching the movie Ratatouille and/or actually making ratatouille with your kids!

Ratatouille recipe from

I didn't have what I needed on hand so I haven't actually made this dish yet (I need to remember to include grocery shopping in the lesson plans next time!), however this is a beautiful and I bet delicious recipe from Smitten Kitchen.  Kids would have a blast helping to layer in the veggies and it would also be a great opportunity to discuss the names of the vegetables and the names of the colors in French while you are preparing it!

We don't currently own the movie Ratatouille so that was also off the menu (pun intended!).  We watched Beauty in the Beast instead.  We've watched it before but it was a great way to finish off a fantastically French week.  My son was able to pick up on some of the French words that are said in the movie, and I pointed out a few he missed.

Although we didn't make the ratatouille we did enjoy some other French foods during our French week.  I already posted about how we made quiche, but no French week would be complete with bread!  I LOVE homemade bread and even though we've been low carbing recently, I made the splurge!  Here's a great YouTube video on an easy French bread recipe.  I have no idea if this is actually a truly French recipe, but it is truly good bread!!

Here's a picture of one of my loaves using this recipe.  It was perfectly crunchy of the outside and soft and chewy on the inside.  We ate one loaf right away with dinner, just sliced with a little butter.  The next morning we enjoyed some French toast, or "pain perdu", made from the other loaf of the French bread.
A sliced loaf of French bread

And that was the end of our Introduction to France week.  We spent a lot of time that week on repetition that's not necessarily easy to portray in these posts.   In the last few weeks, we've spent at least 15 minutes or more each day working on words, numbers, or basic phrases in French.  And it's paying off, because my son is very eager to learn how to say everything in French now!  He likes to randomly come up and remind me how to say his colors in French.  I love it!.  I'm also still adding to my "en Francais" board on Pinterest whenever I come across great French sites and other France activities for kids.    Become a follower to keep up with all of my latest finds!  I hope you've enjoyed and are inspired to share a little French culture and language with your children as well!

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