In the past T and I have often themed our week of play as I find it helps me to be a bit more intentional and creative about how we spend our time together. Recently though, I haven’t been great at getting my act together and taking the time to plan ahead. However, after reading There’s a Dinosaur in my Bathtub last week and seeing how much Thea enjoyed the French element to it, I decided we would spend a week looking at all things French! France is one of my favourite places and I have a pipe-dream that one day we will move there (don’t worry Mum, it won’t be any time soon). So I had lots of ideas for sharing my love of France with T!
We began the week with some role play based on visiting a French market. This was such fun and provided opportunities for practising some simple vocabulary as well as building on number recognition and counting skills. You can find out more in my post, Bienvenue sur le Marché
We’ve also looked at some French books this week. One of my long-time favourite books, which I’ve had since childhood, is Édouard a perdu son Nounours. We read this book quite often to T, and although it is entirely in French, she really enjoys listening to it. It’s a really sweet story about a boy who loses his teddy, and imagines various scenarios about what tragedy could have befallen his bear. Don’t worry, there’s a happy ending!
We also borrowed Usborne’s Listen and Learn First French Words from our local library, which is a great book for hearing and learning some basic vocabulary. Read my full review here. The last book we read was Madeline in London by Ludwig Bemelmans. I happened across this last time we visited the library, and while I’m not sure I’ve ever read any Madeline stories, nor seen any of the film or TV adaptations, I’m aware that they are something of a classic. However, I can’t honestly say I’d rate it! I found it a bit of an odd storyline and some of the rhymes were a bit of a stretch. T seemed to like it, but I think that may have been due to the naughty horse who stole all the roses from the garden!
We’ve been doing some artwork this week inspired by French artists Matisse and Van Gogh. I love the finished pieces! This week she has created some of her best artwork yet. See how we created our own versions of The Starry Night and The Snail.
T really enjoys building towers but I decided that this week I would try and encourage her to think a bit more carefully about her construction by providing her with some inspiration in the form of the Eiffel Tower. We looked at a few pictures as well as watching a video of someone climbing the tower to give her an idea of what it was like inside. I gave her free reign over what she wanted to use to construct it, and she decided to use a combination of Sticklebricks, wooden blocks and Duplo! I don’t think we’ve ever mixed blocks before, and I had to ask myself, why not?! It actually worked really well and gave her much more opportunity to think creatively about what would work best.
Like I said, this was the first time she’d done something like this so I facilitated by asking questions and making suggestions. I was really impressed with how carefully she thought about her design and how willing she was to keep coming back to the picture to see what she needed to do next. I love the finished article!
At work, I sometimes teach songs in other languages to the children I teach, and there’s one in particular which T loves! It’s a song about fire called Au Feu Le Pompier, and she often asks me to sing it to her. I decided I would have a look for it on Spotify and have a look for some other songs. I found a decent playlist of various French songs for her sort of age, but T gained control of the iPad and found a brilliantly Europop version of Tête, Épaules, Genoux, Pieds (Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes) which she loved! She had so much fun dancing like a crazy person!
It wouldn’t be a French week without tasting some of the delicious things French cuisine has to offer! When I think of French food, the first thing that comes to mind is cheese, bread and some good wine. Sadly, however, T is a little young for cheese and wine parties, and of course I am expecting and generally avoiding wine and some cheeses. However, there is a lovely French delicatessen not far from us, so we made an trip early one morning and came back with croissants for breakfast, as well as Tarte aux Framboise and some lovely French biscuits. Yum!
We also had a go at making ratatouille – it was a major hit! I used this Jamie Oliver recipe and we all loved it. And yes, I do appreciate how lucky I am to have a three year old who will eat a meal which basically consists of entirely vegetables. This recipe made enough for supper for the three of us as well as lunch for the following two days. YUM!
It’s been so much fun to get back into my groove a bit with the themed play, and I’ve found we’ve had so much fun this week and it’s given us really good quality time together. Planning play like this is really just as much for me as it is for her – it really benefits both of us!
To see all the posts I’ve written about our France-themed week, click here. And don’t forget, if you’d like to subscribe to future posts, enter your email in the box to the right, or at the bottom of this page if you’re reading on mobile or tablet. Thanks!