Children learn by doing, so combining crafts with history, customs and language can help children learn about France. While they make French flags, greeting cards with a few French words and necklaces in red, white and blue, talk about Bastille Day (French Independence Day, July 14), the Emperor Napoleon, popular French foods and French Impressionist painter, Claude Monet.
Collect a red, white and blue construction paper, watercolor paper, printed maps of Paris or France, French-themed pictures such as the Eiffel Tower, sidewalk cafes and flower carts (cut from travel guides and magazines), markers, French-themed rubber stamps as well as letters that can be stamped to make French words. Other supplies can include red and blue ink pads, assorted acrylic paints, brushes and red, white and blue plastic beads.
Create greeting cards with French themes and colors, make little impressionist paintings on watercolor paper and write Hello ("Bonjour"), Thank You ("Merci Beaucoup"), Happy Birthday ("Joyueux Anniversaire"), Get Well ("Bon rétablissement") or Merry Christmas ("Joyeux Noel "). Let the children glue French-themed pictures into a collage to frame. Make French flags and posters with markers of French national holidays such as Bastille Day, French scenes or even Impressionist-style paintings.
A Few Tips
Borrow books from the library about France, French cities, countrysides and gardens, historic people and books on French painting and cooking. Ask for expired travel and tour guides to France from travel agencies. Give a simple demonstration of Impressionist painting techniques Monet-style (dabbing colors on watercolor paper to create mood) for children to follow. Play French music while they're working and if possible, teach them a French children's song. Let them taste different French cheeses with croissants or baguettes and pretend they're at Maxim's in Paris. Hang a French travel poster.