WHEN my daughter was planning to relocate to France we discussed the best way to prepare her children, then three and five, for the move.
We felt it would help them if they could have at least a few basic words of French to help them settle in.
The problem was how to do it in a fun way, then I remembered things I used to do with my children when they were small and games we would play.
My children loved to cook, simple cakes and biscuits. They also used to enjoy shopping and I turned both into games.
Firstly I suggested to my daughter she found a simple recipe the children could help make. Pizzas, cakes, biscuits. Then she could find the ingredients and note down the French words for them.
When she went shopping she would take empty packets of the necessary ingredients, or cut out pictures of vegetables or fruit for the children to find.
In France you could do the same thing and for the older children write down the French words. Both age groups can do matching games; either words or pictures.
At home look up the French words for the utensils and procedure and try and use them when making the recipe.
Chocolate Rice Krispies/Cornflake cakes
90g Rice Krispies/Cornflakes
3 tablespoons golden syrup
12 bun cases
Melt chocolate, either in a microwave or in a bowl over hot water
Cut butter into small pieces, add to chocolate until melted
Add syrup and stir
Add Rice Krispies/Cornflakes and stir gently
Spoon into bun cases
Leave to cool
Chocolate: Du chocolat
Butter: Du beurre
Golden Syrup: Mélasse raffinée (although Golden Syrup is available in the British sections of supermarkets)
Cake/bun cases: Caisesettes de présentation
To melt: Fondre
Bowl: Un bol
To cut: Couper
To add: Ajouter
To leave: Laisser
To cool down: Refroidir
To stir: Tourner
Milk: Du lait
Eggs: Des oeufs
Flour: La farine
Sugar: Du sucre
Bread: Du pain
Spoon: Une cuillière
Knife: Un couteau
Fork: Une fourchette
Oven: Un four
Another game she used and still uses is a treasure hunt. We did it this year for an Easter egg hunt.
As her daughter is now six and can read French but her son, at four, is not really reading yet she combined pictures and words.
She prepared some pictures of places the 'treasure' was hidden and wrote the word underneath, then hid things and gave the cards to the children with a bag or bucket to collect the 'treasure' in.
Some of the places the Easter eggs were hidden in:
The refrigerator: Le réfrigérateur (commonly le frigo)
In the shower: Dans la douche
Behind the cushion: Derrière du coussin
In the garage: Dans le garage
In the garden: Dans le jardin
Under the tree: Sous l'arbre (le sapin if it is a fir tree)
Under the pillow: Sous l'oreiller
Vegetable garden: Le jardin potager
Another setting could be nature walks, where children are given a list of items to find with a bag to collect their items in:
A leaf: Une feuille
A snail shell: Une coquille d'escargot
A feather: Une plume
Flowers: Des fleurs
A stone: Un caillou
I'm sure there are many more you can think of, fore example, around our village our grandchildren now know the names of:
A tractor: Un tracteur
A horse: Un cheval
A cow: Une vache
A bull: Un taureau
A calf: Un veau
A goat: Une chèvre
A sheep: Un mouton
These are a few ideas that you can use, and of course you can adapt games and activities of your own.
Next up my daughter and her children are preparing a forest hunt to see what animals and their tracks they can find.
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Thanks for the Cornflake Cake recipe. I made these ad
hoc, without a recipe, to take to my three year old daughter's halte
garderie for her birthday. They were such a success everyone,
including the nursery nurses, the nursery directrice, and several
parents asked for a recipe...which of course I did not have. Now I do.
Posted by: Parisgirl | 31 March 2008 at 17:44
I should add I couldn't find any Golden Syrup in time so I used honey. Not as good in my humble opinion but others seemed satisfied.
Posted by: Parisgirl | 31 March 2008 at 18:05
Of course if you really want to cheat just melt some chocolate and add krispies or cornflakes, as we have done when we are rushed or short of other ingredients!
Posted by: Coral | 31 March 2008 at 19:06
You can Coral, but the syrup/honey makes all the difference ! The girls at the garderie all wanted the recipe was because they wanted to know what the 'autre gout' was in the cakes. I have just found some maple syrup so will be trying that out next time.
Posted by: Parisgirl | 01 April 2008 at 22:24
Je suis désolé, mais je ne comprends pas bien le rapport de la photo avec l'article ?
En France on a des pequenots, mais j'ai l'impression que vous en avez aussi quelques uns au Texas.
Sinon, Paris, vous connaissez ?
Posted by: Mrique | 27 September 2009 at 20:05