How to teach french to a toddler – resources

How to teach french to a toddler

The first and most important rule when wanting to teach something to a toddler is to make it fun!

Toddler learning and adult learning are very different; you will not be able to sit a toddler down with all his focus “because it’s time to learn”.

If you have no idea how to teach a language to a toddler or don’t know where to start, just stop for a minute and ask yourself:

How did my child learn to understand me/the language I am speaking to him?

When they are young, the children’s capacity of learning is huge, they are eager to learn and can learn very fast. Which is why the best way to teach them a second language is by introducing it into daily activities as much as you can.

The more your child will be exposed to that second language, the more he/she will learn.

SONGS TO TEACH FRENCH TO A TODDLER

Starting with songs is a great idea, if you don’t speak French, look up the lyrics and try your best to sing along, your little one will copy. Learning a language together is a priceless bonding activity!

TOURNE, TOURNE, PETIT MOULIN!

This is one of the songs we’ve been singing through the term! Click on the button below to watch the video animation and practice singing along in French!

Song words

You can WATCH THE VIDEO here!

SI TU AS DE LA JOIE AU COEUR

You can WATCH THE VIDEO here!

MEUNIER TU DORS!

You can WATCH THE VIDEO here!

UN JOUR DANS SA CABANE 

You can WATCH THE VIDEO here!

PETIT ESCARGOT

You can WATCH THE VIDEO here!

AH LES CROCODILES

You can WATCH THE VIDEO here!

STORIES TO TEACH FRENCH TO A TODDLER

Audio books are great, there is a vast selection nowadays, some with just words and some with a whole story. Toddlers can be independant using them.

Stories are amazing for children to develop their vocabulary. Take a trip to the library and pick some French books together! And if you do not speak French, on youtube you can find storytelling videos where people read actual books.

Story: Un Grand Cerf, by Virginie Guerin

Un grand cerf

This is one of the books we’ve been reading this term!

Summary: In his house, a large deer watched a rabbit coming to him through the window. All children know this rhyme. Here it is today, in an animated book. Surprise and humor guaranteed! Materials to touch: Deer fur, Deer antlers, Rabbit fur, Bees Animations: Cutout window, Tree shaped cutout page, Door to open, Final pop-up, and many materials and surprise activities!

STORY ‘LE LIVRE EN COLERE’, BY CEDRIC RAMADIER

Summary: “Here is the angry book, so angry it’s all red! But the anger, fortunately, passes and the book calms down, gradually relaxes. Phew! That’s it, the book is no longer angry! This is a great book to talk about emotion and anger”.

Petit Chat Perdu, by Natacha, collection Père Castor

Summary: The little cat is lost and a little hungry. The dog advises him to go see the farmer and say “Woof! Woof!” to have a bone, or say “Cock-a-doodle-doo” to have grain… but what the little cat really wants is milk, and he is getting more and more hungry… Who is going to help him out?”

Story: Quel temps fait-il?’, by Mélisande Luthringer

Summary: “Interactive book with tabs to lift, turn and pull, and with other surprises to touch and feel. It is also a fun book to discover about the weather (wind, rain, etc.) as well as the seasons.”

Story: ‘De Toutes les Couleurs’, by Chuck Murphy

Summary: “Lifting squares of paper and pulling on tabs is always very funny, especially when you see penguins, a parrot, a tiger or a flock of butterflies, magically popping up. If, in addition, all these animals, big and small, allow us to learn the colours, the rainbow will no longer be needed! A very successful animated book where the discovery of colours is stimulated by true curiosity.”

Story: ‘Délivrez-moi’, by Alex Sanders

Summary: “Ah, thank you! That’s nice!” As you free the little bear by opening this book, it will take you into the woods, since Croco is not there… But what if it is still there, this big, green, and mean crocodile? Then you’ll have to run… to the last page: And clack! Good-bye, Mr Croco!

MORE TIPS ON HOW TO TEACH FRENCH TO A TODDLER

Try to introduce French whenever you can during the day:

  • use puppets or turn your child’s favorite plush toy into a puppet that talks in French;
  • Go to the zoo and call the name of the animals together in French;
  • Play hide and seek by counting in French;
  • Play board games in French e.g.:
  • snakes and ladders,
  • board games,
  • family games or play games by using flashcard games e.g.: Go fish, memory game;
  • You can also find cartoons in French on Youtube or online.

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