Snow has fallen and the cold weather is here, and Camp Tournesol can guarantee a happy holiday season sprinkled with la Francophonie!
What’s better than spending time with your family, drinking hot chocolate, creating memorable moments around a book, a movie, or an activity!
Just because it’s the holiday season doesn’t mean that your children have to stop improving their French and learning skills. In fact, the holiday season is a perfect time to show them how easy and fun it can be to continue practising their French skills even outside of school.
Of course, the key to effectively learning a language is to bring it outside of the classroom so kids don’t associate the language strictly with school but also with the fun and entertaining aspects of life.
Here are some suggestions from the Camp Tournesol team to entertain your family in French during your well-deserved winter break.
#1: French Holiday Karaoke Songs
Singing holiday music is a must this season! So why not do it in French!
Here is a great playlist of YouTube videos of Christmas carols and other holiday music, all complete with French lyrics so that your child can sing along!
#2: French Holiday/Winter Books
Nothing better to warm your heart during the cold winter than a good book! This winter break, take advantage of all the opportunities that rough Canadian winter weather gives us to stay inside and read. It’s an excellent opportunity to practice reading in French with your child! Our expert librarian compiled a list just for our parents:
For children in Grade 1:
- Joyeux Noël, Ollie – Oliver Dunrea
- Fafounet: Alerte au pays du père Noël – Louise D’Aoust
For children in grades 2 and 3
- Un Noël Hanoukka – Sharon Jennings (a beautiful story of children learning each other’s traditions)
- Tous les Noël du monde – Audrey Guiller
- Une grande joie – Kate DiCamillo
- Quel est le secret du Pere Noel – Marla Frazee
- La lettre au père Noël – Christine Palluy/Thomas Baas
- Pas de jouets pour Noël – Kim Norman
- Plume et les cadeaux de Noël–Rebecca Harry
- Le Noël du Hérisson – M. Christina Butler
- Labougeotte apprend à partager – Howard Binkow
- Le Noël du petit Gnouf – Dominique Demers/Gabrielle Grimard
- Les bêtises du père Noël–Louise Tondreau-Levert/Pascale Bourguignon
You can also find them at your local library, where we’re certain you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the wide variety of books in French! If you’re still unsure, we’ve also published a list of French Books Your Child Will Want to Read so check that out for even more ideas!
In 2019 we’ve also had the good fortune of a new Astérix comic book! The Astérix comic series has been one of the most popular francophone comic books over the course of its nearly 60-year run out of France. The newest edition, Astérix et La Fille de Vercingétorix, follows our lovable heroes but also features a unique young female heroine that your young daughter will certainly relate to. We’ve written up a little blog to help you decide whether your children would be interested in and capable of enjoying this entertaining and hilarious comic series, check it out here!
#3: Listen to French Radio
Many people would be surprised to know that you can find French-language radio right here in the GTA! We’ve found a few stations to toggle onto to practice your French this holiday season, whether you’re relaxing at home or driving through a storm to make it there.
One of these is CHOQFM 105.1, a francophone radio station that’s been servicing French Torontonians since 2006. The station features a variety of engaging French programs, check it out online and choose one!
Radio Canada has always been one of the leaders in French-language programming in Canada, and for good reason. They are known for informative and entertaining quality programs and the Radio Canada Toronto station is no different. They offer programming all day long in French on their channel La Première Chaîne.
If you have teenagers, they might be interested in CKOI 96.9, one of the most popular and hip French radio stations in Montreal.
#4: French Holiday TV and Films
Sometimes your kids just want to watch TV though, and that’s okay! You can still help them on their French journey by introducing them to some terrific francophone holiday TV shows and movies.
Télé-Québec is a great option with lots of different shows to choose from. Your child can join Tintin on one of his wild cases or enjoy one of many other fun French shows. No need to brood, there is a program for every mood!
If you decided the Asterix comic series was right for your children, then you’re in luck because Télé-Québec often screens Asterix films during the holiday season! Click here to check out their full programming.
Want more French TV?
TFO has a huge repertoire of family-friendly French films, music videos, comedies, cartoons, and much more!
Tou TV is also a fabulous channel where you can catch all the quality French shows they’re enjoying in Quebec! They have a special section just for children as well as special programming for the holidays as well!
For French-learners in their teens, the Rogers channel Unis or unis.ca on the web has an incredible selection of popular TV programs. If your child is between 7-12 years of age, we would also suggest trying their app, Francolab.
If it’s films your FI student is looking for, check out the ONF website to take your pick of French animated movies, educational films or documentaries. Need more help choosing? Refer back to our list of the top 35 French films for kids, we promise we won’t steer you wrong!
We’ve also got you covered with a great list of French holiday movies from the good people at Parents Momes that are perfect for children of any age!
#5: French Online Holiday Activities
Pleasure and laughter guaranteed from the comfort of your home! Since kids already spend so much time online, why don’t we try to make that time both educational and fun? There are plenty of great websites that are full of fun French games. Here are some of our favourite holiday-themed sites:
Kids and their phones and tablets these days! If you can’t get that device out of your child’s hands, you might as well take a look at our list of awesome apps that will help your child learn and have fun in French!
Of course, how could we forget the infamous Norad Santa Tracker? The website’s also available in French and includes a bunch of fun activities as well! Just select “French” as the language in the top right corner.
#6: French Holiday Treats
If there’s any time of the year to treat yourself to some sweet delicacies… it’s definitely the holidays! Of course, kids are always hungry for cookies, pastries, and cakes, so satisfy your sweet tooth during the holidays!
Once restrictions are lifted, take a family trip to a classic French bakery in Toronto and get a taste of French culture and atmosphere.
#7: FREE French Holidays Activity Workbook
As a special Christmas bonus for you, we’re also including our very own French worksheet to help your child learn the seasons, colours, and more – all in French.
Click here for even more fun and easy French holiday games you can play with your children at home with minimal supplies!
We hope you will find our suggestions useful in helping you enjoy this Holiday season in French.
What French activities will you plan with your child this holiday season? Share your ideas in the comments below.
And don’t forget to tweet this to help out other parents looking for French activities to do with their children this holiday season:
If your child is learning #French – check out this list of family-friendly French activities you can do this holiday season: http://camptl.ca/2AlakK7 @CampTournesol #frenchlearning (click here to tweet)
About Alex Murray: A recent graduate of Ryerson’s prestigious RTA Media program, Alex Murray is a passionate young writer with a variety of topic interests. He also spent four years as a camp counselor for Camp Tournesol and has performed various other duties for the camp as it has grown over the years. A lifelong French immersion student from a French home, he is now a contributing blog writer for the Camp and serves as a Social Media Marketer for the team, among other freelance work. To learn more about Camp Tournesol visit www.campt.ca
Contact Alex Murray at firstname.lastname@example.org | 905-891-1889