December 13, 2011

Ways to Introduce your Kids to French Culture

We’re excited to have Julia Pimsleur Levine, founder of Little Pim as our guest blogger today. Little Pim is the ultimate language learning gift for babies, toddlers and preschoolers – to learn more, visit What is Little Pim.

As the creator of the Little Pim foreign language teaching series for kids, people often ask me if my own sons, 3 and 7, speak French. They do speak passable French, but what is more important to me than the number of words they know is that they have fallen in love, as I did, with the French culture, sights, smells and tastes. Learning conjugations can come later.

Below are some of the ways we introduced our boys to French culture, language, and of course, le chocolat, on a recent trip to Antibes, France. Take a little voyage right here avec nous! (with us)

When kids want ice cream is a great time to get them to use their foreign language words… Even the most reluctant young student of French, Spanish or Italian suddenly finds courage in the face of ice cream. “Une glace au chocolat, s’il vous plaît” rolled right off my children’s tongue when we got to France! By the end of our two weeks there, they could say all the flavors and colors, a yummy and lasting learning experience!


We also got to attend a traditional French marionette show, where we saw carefully crafted paper maché puppets made in the same way they have been made for the last 100+ years in France …. And probably told the same jokes they have told for the last 100 years too. My three year old laughed himself silly and my seven year old scowled and could only be persuaded to sit through it on the promise of mousse au chocolat after dinner.  C’est la vie!

No trip to France would be complete without a ride on one of their ornate and spectacular Carrousels. These are nothing like the US mall version and are a great place to teach kids words like avion (plane), cheval (horse) and unicorne (an easy one!).

Ever since the trip, both boys greet me in the morning with a half-joking “Bonjour maman!” in unison, and thank me for their Cheerios with “Merci maman!”. And they don’t even realize that with all the amazing things they experienced this trip, the best is yet to come!

What language would you like your child to learn? Answer below for a chance to win a Little Pim Gift set in the language of your choice.

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Congrats to Lisa Pelanne who will be receiving a Little Pim Gift set in the language of her choice!  Thank you to everyone who participated.  Please follow our Studio T blog  for more travel stories, contests, and our Behind the Design inspirations.  To learn more about Little Pim, visit their website at: http://www.littlepim.com/

Comments

  1. Kristen says:

    Merci, Julie – for a glimpse into sharing another culture with your children. We are hoping to add Japanese language and culture (on top of French and Italian), to our daughter’s world, since her cousin Sora, lives in Japan. I will definitely explore Little Pim!

  2. Tori Gamble says:

    We would love our girls to learn Japanese. The speak some Korean now, being 1/4 Korean and Daddy loves Japanese culture.

  3. Mary Beth G. says:

    I would love for my daughter to learn Spanish!

  4. Lacey says:

    Thanks for the wonderful blog! I would love for my children to learn Spanish to start, I feel it will be so useful to them later in life!

  5. Jessica says:

    Spanish and Chinese.

  6. Sujin K says:

    My kids know some Korean but we’d like them to learn Spanish too.

  7. Carola says:

    Spanish as this was my first language but I have not succeeded in passing it on to my kids.

  8. Laurel says:

    My husband minored in Spanish so I would love for my little ones to be bilingual like their Daddy.

  9. Aimee Porter says:

    My older children speak French, so I would LOVE my younger children to learn French also:)

  10. Lisa Pelanne says:

    I would love to teach my daughter French! I have only a passable French vocabulary, but her grandparents are French and Belgian. Merci!

  11. Fritter says:

    German! We hope to move there next year as expats.

  12. Louise says:

    So many languages I want my children to know – I want them to learn Latin first so languages like French and Spanish are easier when that time comes!

  13. Beth says:

    Both of my children are learning Spanish and English at home. I would LOVE for them to learn Italian!

  14. Paige W-B says:

    We have begun teaching our 3 year old daughter Spanish by introducing words. We need to keep this going as we’re headed to Honduras in September to do volunteer dentistry and our daughters (3 and 9 months) will be in the care of a Honduran “nanny” while we’re working.

  15. Shannon Rains says:

    I would have my kiddos learn Spanish so they would know how to communicate with their nephew who lives in the Canary Islands and is Spanish speaking. Please pick us!

  16. Saija says:

    We are already teaching them Finnish. I would want them to learn Spanish and maybe German/French.

  17. Susannah says:

    I would love my kids to learn spanish!

  18. Sharon c says:

    definitely Mandarin, as my daughter is Chinese…she will take language classes next year, but this would make a good start…thanks for the contest!

  19. Kellie O'Shields says:

    I would like for my children to learn Spanish.

  20. Kari says:

    I would love for my kids to learn Spanish as I believe it would be very helpful to them someday!

  21. Suzanne says:

    Spanish! It’s very important to communicate with the people where we live.

  22. Rica says:

    I would love for my daughter to learn Spanish! I taught her sign language when she was younger and I truly feel it is extremely beneficial in the development of string language skills!

  23. Lola N says:

    german!!

  24. Lesley says:

    They are already leaning Spaish at school and love it! Now I could learn along with them!

  25. Zsuzsa says:

    I’d love my kids to learn some French for our upcoming trip to France, or some Japanese, because they would love to go to Japan someday.

  26. Trish says:

    We want our daughter to learn Mandarin!

  27. Aeli says:

    Definitely Spanish. It’s so prevalent everywhere in the US, it would be great for my kids to learn.

  28. betsy says:

    We went to China last year for Chinese New Years and my seven year old son wants to learn Chinese.

  29. Carolina says:

    Italian, of course!

  30. nikki says:

    I would love for my daughter to learn Spanish!

  31. Koren says:

    cantonese!

  32. Johanne M. says:

    We love our Little Pim set in Spanish! And would love our daughter to learn a little francais as well. We would love, love, love the French set! Merci!

  33. Margaret says:

    This is great! I will share with my friend who is looking to teach her daughter French! We’re teaching my daughter Mandarin.

  34. Michelle R says:

    I would like my girls to learn Spanish… it is the language my mother spoke to me and it reminds me so much of her.

  35. Dani Dingman says:

    Spanish!

  36. Tom Nord says:

    I’d love for my kids to learn Russian because I’m learning it and I think it would be fun for us to all learn it together.

  37. Michelle says:

    I want him to learn Chinese!!

  38. Melissa D says:

    French. We visited France this summer for the first time as a family, and have vowed to go back. I’ve bought French-language storybooks for my children and speak it serviceably, but my vow of teaching them a second language is slipping through the cracks and this would be a perfect way to jump-start the dream again.

  39. Carmen Van Deursen says:

    I would love for my children to learn Spanish. They both know some Spanish but are not fluent.

  40. Linda Ma says:

    We speak mandarin to our daughter at home and she will learn English once she goes to school. I would love her to learn French! I took many years of French in school, but unfortunately, haven’t practiced much. It would be great to learn the language with her and hopefully, we can visit France in the not too distant future!

  41. Irene Sun says:

    I would absolutely love for my children to learn ANY second language. Learning additional languages opens doors of all sorts and provides a broader view of out world, reminding us of just how similar we all are. If I had to choose one preference, I would be hard pressed, but Spanish or French are at the top of my list. =) This is a wonderful product for kids. Thank you.

  42. Ashlie says:

    I’d love for them to learn French and Spanish

  43. Moriera Bobst says:

    My Son would love to learn Spanish! I think it is such a beneficial language to learn here in the united states and I think he would benefit from learning it for the rest of his life! Thanks for the awesome giveaway! :)

  44. Eden Tamayo says:

    We love Little Pim! My daughter has 2 DVDs and I can not even believe how much French we can both speak now. Now that my son is here I’m dying to get some Spanish DVDs since that is such a commonly used language in our area, and his father can speak it. I just think it would be an amazing thing to have a multi-lingual family and I know Little Pim is the easiest, most fun and effective way to do that :)

  45. Katie says:

    I am trying to learn Spanish with my 5 and 2 year olds, there are so many beautiful places in the world to visit where Spanish is the main language!

  46. Heidi Dix says:

    My 4 year olddaughter desperately wants to learn Spanish & Chinese, thanks to Dora & Kai-Lan. She already knows a few words of each.

  47. Leah Liang says:

    My daughter just turned one and I have been talking to her in Chinese when i an alone with her and English when daddy is home since she was born. We have three little Pim Chinese DVDs and love them:-) I hope she can speak both later but would love her to learn some French too.

  48. amy pugmire says:

    I would love for kids to learn spanish since it is so popular in the us now

  49. Tricia says:

    French and Italian….
    really any language her little tongue desires

  50. Laura Nibler says:

    I’d love the Little Pim Spanish program! What an awesome collaboration between Tea Collection and Little Pim – thanks for the contest and great products you both offer!

  51. Elizabeth P. says:

    I would love for Kenzie to learn Spanish, then French :)

  52. Allison Ketchner says:

    I would love for my children to learn French! We have a French heritage ( our last name is Nice, as in Nice, France!) And I’ve always wanted to travel there to explore our heritage. Having them familiar with the language would be amazing!

  53. Bernice says:

    chinese!

  54. Moira Murphy says:

    What an inspiring blog! I would love to help my daughter learn Spanish!

  55. Jennifer says:

    espanol!! con un acento castellano!

  56. Denise L says:

    I love learning foreign languages. I’m pretty good at Spanish and Italian, so I think I would pick French. Besides, my little guy already sounds like he speaks French. He pronounces his name Henry like Henri, and two sounds like deux :) Thanks for the giveaway!

  57. Terumi says:

    I would love to know more about taking two boys to France-that’s my dream trip right now. We are learning Japanese, but I learned French growing up in Canada. Love that learning languages just opens up the world a little bit more:)

  58. Miyo says:

    The girls know some Japanese, but would love to have them learn it better for our trip to Japan next spring!

  59. Kristi says:

    I always thought Spanish was the most practical language – I was a major in college, however, my sister-in-law is Italian and I know our daughter will have many opportunities to travel to Italy, so I can’t decide. Perhaps one, then the other Romance language will follow! Her Zia has already taught her a few Italian words at only 20 months!

  60. Jia L. Mei says:

    I would like my daughter to learn Japanese.

  61. wei luo says:

    I would like my daughter to learn French, this where my wife always want to go shopping, maybe our daughter can translate everything for us!

  62. Alicia B. says:

    We would love to win the Italian series! I speak with her each morning, but it would be great for her to hear other voices speaking Italian!

  63. Rebecca says:

    Chinese because there’s a billion people speaking it!

  64. alejandra says:

    I would love my Emily to learn Sign language first and then maybe Portuguesse. I already speak fluent spanish.

  65. Rebecca Smith says:

    I want my daughter to learn Spanish– I speak it well enough to teach her, but somehow it is hard for me to do consistently. I am hoping she will fall in love with it and want to learn like I did, but I need some help!

  66. Kelsey Olsen says:

    I would love to teach my daughter French! It’s so beautiful…

  67. Amy B says:

    i would love for my kids to learn chinese – it is so important for children to learn about diversity and our world!

  68. Melissa says:

    Luckily our daughter has already learned to speak polish and I’m hoping she will learn to read and write it too when she gets older.

  69. Anne Lehnick says:

    I would love for my kids to learn Spanish.

  70. ReggieMann says:

    I would like to my niece to learn Spanish

  71. Diana Cote says:

    I would teach my little girl spanish first as she has spanish relatives…. later i’d also like her to learn japanese and korean. :)

  72. Kelly Clements says:

    Spanish!

  73. Lane Fowlie says:

    I would love for my little girl to learn Spanish. When I was her age I only spoke Spanish now I am not fluent enough to pass it on to her.

  74. Angelyn Smith says:

    I would love my daughter to learn Spanish and Chinese

  75. Megan says:

    Definitely español!