Kid Activities
1000's of Ideas for Childcare Professionals & Teachers!

France-French Theme

October 1, 2009 20:46 by Barbara Shelby

 

'Traveling Around the World' are great themes for multicultural experiences as well as popular for classroom, day camp and childcare programs!

Category resources available at this time are:
CHINA  •FRANCE  •MEXICO  •USA-PATRIOTIC  •USA-COLONIAL
  •All Multicultural Diversity Categories

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 Paris...one of the fashion centers of the world! So naturally let's HOLD A FASHION SHOW!

Following are three different ideas (From Drama Category)
This is fun for Day Camp, in stages for an event ...or full days of programming...

Props that would be helpful are: spotlights; a backdrop; if possible, a raised platform/ stage or catwalk; music and sound system…

#1 IDEA
First session: Putting on a fashion show can be fun for all players, especially if everyone gets to choose the role they will play. In the planning stages, have participants decide on a theme for the show (such as fall fashions or holiday outfits); plan music and which roles children will play. Both male and female models would be nice; you'll also need designers, emcees, a journalist or two, and photographer.

Help the players plan the set up; where youth will enter and exit---as well as where the audience will sit. Make a list of special clothing to wear during the show and any other props you may need. If you have the “#3-WACKY” version below---you’ll also have to make the outfits

Second session: Give members time to set up the show and get organized. Get the audience seated a let the show begin!
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IDEA #2: Rehearse a fashion show in which EVERYTHING GOES WRONG! (On purpose) It’s fun but not easy to do. Example: The emcee trips over the microphone cord, or models wear things that don’t fit---and don’t go together. Think of all the silliness you can!
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IDEA #3: One activity that I facilitated while managing a summer camp was to have a “WACKY HAIR-DO AND FASHION SHOW”.

The staff and kids “in fantasy fashion” back-combed, jelled and styled each others hair---while others designed, drew, cut-out and taped outfits using ROLL-PAPER. They also used paints/ markers, tape and accessories! Of course, there was also the fantasy make-up. It was great fun!!! (Barb Shelby) When the hair and costumes were complete...a show was held for the rest of the day-campers!

NOTE: Any of the final stage above ideas would be great for a family event.

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ART-CRAFTS-DECORATIONS

1. Put up MAPS  of France and make FRENCH FLAGS! ALSO...

Hang (or make) a large French flag on the wall; set up a PHOTOGRAPHY AREA in front of the flag where you can take photos of kids. (Be sure to first get parental permission to photograph)

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2. In big bold letters--write some of the French words (See below in teaching French words) and phrases on card-stock. Hang these  on the walls! You could write the words in French and English (or your language)... or put pictures below the French word! The children will literally be reading the walls!

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3. Get plenty of blue, white and red BALLOONS for your decorations. These represent the three colors of the French tricolor.

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4. Have all children and staff members wear versions of BLUE, WHITE, AND RED!

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5. Make EIFEL TOWERS using LEGOS or  TOOTH PICKS and MARSHMALLOWS or SPAGHETTI  and GUM DROPS...

You can  challenge the children to make Eifel Towers using any of the above materials! If using Legos...Gather all you can and see what the kids come up with...the tallest, straightest, most curvy, smallest, unique, realistic, etc.

There is also a great idea below under 'GAMES at #6'...where kids team up and build towers using 'STRAWS AND TAPE'!  

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6. Experiment with all kinds of PAINTING  (watercolor, finger paint, tempera, etc.)

Visit the 'Paint and Color Recipe/Idea Category' on this site as well as 'Art Activities Category'! Tons of wonderful ideas to try...

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7.  PAINT IMPRESSIONIST MURALS ...do this with small groups of kids for each mural. 

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8. String bleu-blanc-rouge PONY BEADS onto string, yarn or elastic for necklaces (Blue, white, red-the colors of France)

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9. Try some Papier Maché (See Pinatas-Paper Maché category) 

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10. For fun and an authentic French atmosphere, set up an OPEN AIR MARKET AND CAFE AREA.

• Set up tables covered in red and white cloth or roll paper. Have snacks and play board games in this area!

This would also be a great place to display your completed classroom/camp/program arts and crafts!

You could also decorate/fill this area with FLOWERS!

See 'Flower Category' for ideas on making paper flowers...

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11. PAINT T-SHIRTS

 

with French words such as 'Oui'!

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FOR FUN!

HAVE A BIKE DAY- (In honor of Tour de France -

This year the 99th Tour de France (2012) will run from Saturday June 30th to Sunday July 22th 2012...it will cover a total distance of 3,600 kilometers.

Have the kids bring their bikes and have a bike race--but make it the 'SLOWEST BIKE' IS THE WINNER!

SLOW BICYCLE RACE... How slowly can you ride a bike without touching the ground?
Safety Rules... 

You must wear a helmet on your head when you are on a bike and both wheels of the bike must be on the ground at all times, so...

  • NO Bunny hops 
  • NO Wheelies
  • NO flying through the air in general
  • Stay in your team’s track
  • Watch out for your classmates.

Directions: Each person will ride a bike through a track two times in a row. Make the track a rectangle about 20 feet (6 meters) long and 2 feet (60 centimeters) wide. You have to ride the bike through the track as slowly as you can. Use a stopwatch to time how long each ride takes:

  • Start the timer when the bike’s back tire enters the track.
  • Stop the timer when the bike’s back tire leaves the track or if the rider’s foot touches the ground
  • Record the time of each ride on the Slow Bicycle Race Data Chart: Give each person two turns in a row and record everyone’s times.

 To calculate how slow your team went-- you need to know:
  • How far your team went ....
  • How much time your team took to go that far. This idea is in the MIXING MATH AND FUN Category...

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BIKE IDEA: Using crepe paper and streamers, have the kids DECORATE THEIR BIKES with blue, white, and red crepe paper (Colors of France.) You can also attach playing cards to the frame so they hit the spokes & sound like a wheel of fortune.

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DOES ANY STAFF MEMBER SPEAK FRENCH?

 

To incorporate a foreign language into your curriculum, all one needs is first year language!

Teaching greetings, 'Thank-you and Your Welcome, 'Yes and No' --along with a few phrases and numbers is all that is needed for a theme!

If no-one speaks French-can you invite someone that does?

Great Idea...invite your local HIGH SCHOOL FRENCH CLASS to share in the festivities! Beside teaching simple phrases--there are many more activities they could share--both your ideas and some of their own!

• Have NAME TAGS with kids names WRITTEN IN FRENCH for them to wear (Peter would be Pierre) Purchase a French name book to look up names...Checking Amazon.com. -- There are French name books starting at 99 cents for used.

POLITE PHRASES
 
• Hell-o (good day) = bonjour (bone-je-or)
• Good evening = bonsoir (bone-swa-r)
• Please = s'il vous plaît (seel-voo-play)
• Thank you = merci (mare-see),
• Excuse me = excuse moi (x-kyoos-eh-mwa)
• Good night = bon nuit (bone noo-ee)
• Good-bye = au revoir (O rev-wa-r)
• I'm sorry = je suis dé solé (je swee des-o-lay)

COLORS

• Red = rouge (roo-je)
• Orange = orange (oh-ran-je)
• Yellow = jaune (je-awn)
• Green = vert (var)
• Blue = bleu (bl-oo)
• Purple = violet (vee-o-lay)
• Pink = rose (row-s)
• White = blanc (bl-an)
• Black = noir (noo-ar)

FOOD

• Bread = le pain (le pahn)
• Milk = le lait (le lay),
• Banana = le banane (le ba-nahn)
• Apple = le pomme (le pahm)
• Juice = le jus (le je-oo)
• Orange = orange (oh-ran-je)
• Tomato = le tomate (le toe-maht)
• Cheese = le fromage (le froh-ma-je)
• Hot dog = le hot dog (le oht-dog)
• Hamburger = le hamburger (le am-bur-ger)
• Sandwich = le sandwich (le sand-weech)

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TEACH AND SING 'FRÈRE JACQUES'

 

...Sing in French and then in English! When children know the words...get a round going!

 

Frère Jacques,
Frère Jacques,
Dormez vous?
Dormez vous?
Sonnez les matines,
Sonnez les matines,
Din, din, don!
Din, din, don!

English Version:

Are you sleeping,
Are you sleeping?
Brother John?
Brother John?
Morning bells are ringing,
Morning bells are ringing,
Ding ding dong,
Ding ding dong.

A more literal translation of the French lyrics is:

Brother James, brother James,
Are you sleeping? Are you sleeping?
Ring the morning bells! Ring the morning bells!
Ding, dang, dong. Ding, dang, dong

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SNACKS -COOKING

• French bread
Cheese and cracker  platter
Crudités (veggies) with dip
Fresh fruit
Chocolate dipped strawberries
Pome Frettes (French fries) with vineger and oil
Crepes
French toast
Petite Fours (Very small  glazed cakes) 
Croissants
Quiche
Chocolate mousse
Petit beurre cookie (literally "little butter") A small rectangular cookie that can be purchased in French food shops...also Macroons, Madeline cookies

CHOCOLATE  SANDWICH...Karen, a middle school French teacher, shares that a favorite of her students on food days is the chocolate sandwich. 
Take two pieces of bread (French, bien sur!) and put a plain chocolate bar in between. Voila! A typical French child's favorite afterschool snack. 

ESCARGOT...Do you have an adventurous group of kids? Send home a permission slip for snail tasting... TAKE PHOTOS and award an "I ate an escargot" certificate!

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BEVERAGES...

Pink fizzy punch in plastic cups or wine glasses would be a fun drink--as well as...
Carafes of juice (Purple and White grape juice)

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GAMES...

 

 1. PLAY SOCCER

 

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2. STRIKE A POSE... A GAME to go with the above 'French Fashion' Theme

1. Form a circle. Each person chooses one other person in the circle to secretly watch.
2. Everyone closes their eyes and strikes a pose.
3. On "GO" -- everyone opens their eyes and begins to copy the person they chose to watch. (In posture, pose, stance, etc.)
    Watch as the whole team morphs into the same pose!

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3.  ON THE GAME TABLES... put French themed puzzles, card games, concentration games...

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4. Set up the COMPUTER CENTER with language learning games.

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5. PLAY 'Jacques Dit' which is 'Simon Says' in French

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 6. Have an EIFFEL TOWER BUILDING CONTEST!

• Split kids up into pairs or teams.
Give each team a set amount of straws and tape Example: 25 straws & 2 feet of masking tape (or more of each)
Set a pre-determined time to build the free-standing 'Eiffel' tower

For teamwork and creativity give certificate for the tallest, shortest, straigtest, most leaning, most authentic, most realistic, most unusual or unique, most original, most humorous, etc.

BE SURE TO LEAVE the towers on display in the 'Open Air Market' or 'Cafe' area! (Maybe a wide hall area or in the cafeteria of your camp or program space?)

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7. HAVE A SCAVENGER HUNT!

Select an older child, staff member or volunteer French Class student to be a tour guide. Have the 'Tour Guide"  facilitate a   scavenger hunt for famous Paris monuments. The monuments can be pictures, posters and postcards scattered around the inside and outside of the building!

Example: Mont St Michel, Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame,Moulin Rouge,The Louvre, France Miniature theme park,etc. Famous French works of art could also be included.

Most Popular French Artists:
   Paul Cezanne
   Edgar Degas
   Claude Monet
   Francis Picabia
   Yves Tanguy
   Henri Matisse

You could also include Picasso. Although born in Spain, he spent much of his life living and painting in Paris. Along with Henri Matisse, he is considered one of the greatest artists of the 20th century.

Pictures of famous monuments and art can easilty be found on the internet. This would also be an excellant learning opportunity! Discuss the monuments and art before children search!

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8. PANTOMIME

• Invite someone to TEACH-DEMONSTRATE MIME!
Play MIME DRAMA GAMES...See the PANTOMIME CATEGORY--all kind of ideas there!

 

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9. TEACH/PLAY THE TRADITIONAL GAME OF PETANQUÉ or French lawn bowling...The game of boules, otherwise known as petanqué, is perhaps the sport that is closest to French hearts. Similar to British lawn bowling or Italian bocce. However, with bocce--the ball is rolled and with pétanque the ball is thrown. Click here to learn more about the game--it WILL  take you away from this site. 

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10. Honoring both the ART AND FASHION OF FRANCE--PLAY 'ARTISTS AND BLOBS'.

Have children work in 2 or 3 person teams. Ask each team to pick an 'A' and a 'B'. 'A's' are the artists...and 'B's' are the blobs.

The artist (s) forms his/her partner into some kind of statue. The blob relaxes as much as possible until the statue is formed, then tries to hold that pose. (TIP: PLAY MUSIC while artists are forming blobs. It goes a lot better with music in the background.) When art works are complete have artists walk about and admire each other's creations!

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The following ideas come from a visitor to KidActivities who happens to facilitate a French Club for High School Students!

 

Hello, I just wanted to add some suggestions to the French Page of your site. (I stumbled upon it looking for ideas for my French Club in high school this year) 

A good french-like beverages are sparkling cider & Oragina. Oragina is particularly favored in France.
 
A good children's book is "Mr Chicken goes to Paris" by Leigh Hobbs. I bought this book at the Louvre in France. I though it was ridiculous, but I couldn't put it down. It is an adorable book, with humor I've found people of all ages love.
Best Regards,
-K. Leann

Thank you for taking the time to send this Ms. Leann! Barb

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BOOKS

LIST OF CHILDREN'S BOOKS-SET IN FRANCE


(All books can be purchased at Amazon.com-starting used at .01 cents!)

 

•A Brave Soldier by Nicolas Debon

A Poodle in Paris by Connie Kaldor

Adele & Simon by Barbara McClintock

Anatole by Eve Titus

Andy Says ... Bonjour! by Pat Diska

Belinda in Paris by Amy Young

Charlotte in Paris by Joan Knight

Chloe's Birthday . . . and Me (Anne Schwartz Books) by Giselle Potter

Crepes by Suzette by Monica Wellington

Eloise in Paris (Eloise Series) by Kay Thompson

French Kitty in Kitty Goes to Paris by Mighty Fine

Happy Orpheline by Natalie Savage Carlson

I, Crocodile by Fred Marcellino

Jeanne-Marie in Gay Paris by Francoise

Linnea in Monet's Garden by Claude Monet

Madeline, Reissue of 1939 edition by Ernesto Livon-Grosman

Marie: An Invitation to Dance (Girlhood Journeys) by Lyn Durham

Mirette on the High Wire by Emily Arnold McCully

Moi and Marie Antoinette by Lynn Cullen

Ooh-la-la (Max in Love) (Picture Puffin) by Maira Kalman

Pancakes - Paris by Claire Huchet Bishop

Postmark Paris: A Story in Stamps by Leslie Jonath

Remy's Adventure in Paris (Ratatouille) by tk

Secret Letters From 0 To 10 (Puffin Books) by Susie Hoch Morgenstern

Suzette and the Puppy: A Story About Mary Cassatt (Young readers) by Joan Sweeney

The Cat Who Walked Across France by Kate Banks

The Cows Are Going to Paris by David Kirby

The Family Under the Bridge by Natalie Savage Carlson

The Giraffe of King Charles X by Miche Wynants

The Glorious Flight: Across the Channel with Louis Bleriot July 25, 1909 by Alice Provensen

The Happy Lion by Louise Fatio

The House of the Four Winds by Colette Vivier

Miss Panda in France by Ambika Mathur-Kamat

The Mona Lisa Caper by Rick Jacobson

The Shadow Children by Steven Schnur

This is Paris (This is . . .) by M. Sasek

Tino Turtle Travels to Paris, France by Carolyn L. Ahern

Tosca's Paris Adventure by Abby Wasserman

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'Traveling Around the World' are great themes for multicultural experiences as well as popular for classroom, day camp and childcare programs! Category resources available at this time are:
•CHINA  •FRANCE  •MEXICO  •USA-PATRIOTIC  •USA-COLONIAL
  •All Multicultural Diversity Categories

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