3 Ways to Make Bastille Day As Much Fun As the Fourth of July

French for Kids

Bastille Day for KidsBastille Day is upon us! This July 14th presents a perfect opportunity to get you and your young ones excited about language learning through some French culture. While the topic of the French Revolution may seem like a dry subject to your average 0-6 year old, (or even to you), here are some great tips about how to make this another fun-filled summer holiday:

1. Build A Fort

The French working class stormed the Bastille, the prison, to gather ammunition stored there. 

Grab your kids and build a fort with lots of blankets and cushions and voilà you have your own make-believe Bastille. Make the password to enter to the fort a French word to incorporate some vocabulary. If the kids are having fun, you can quickly grab some French-inspired snacks to munch on inside the fort, like Brie cheese and crackers or macaroons. If you have the time and want to try your hand at some more serious preparation and cooking, check this these French recipes via Betty Crocker. This is the perfect Bastille Day activity if it’s raining outside or if you want to escape the sweltering heat.

2. Go Down To the Tennis Courts (or Out to the Sidewalk)

Soon after the storming of the Bastille, the members of the Third Estate, (working class men), were locked out of the Estates General meeting, which was supposed to be an assembly of all the French classes. They retreated to the nearby indoor tennis court and took an oath that demanded a new constitution.

If your family is on vacation or has access to a tennis court, bring the kids with you and have them make up their own game with the balls and/or racquets. This game can act as their very own constitution for the “republic of the tennis court.” Even if there isn’t a tennis court around, you can use some chalk to draw a small court on the sidewalk. This would be a great time to introduce your kiddos to some French sports vocabulary. Also, if the game is more active, you can have your kids “warm up” with some hops and jumping jacks, counting out loud how many they are doing in French. The “I Can Count” lesson from our French for Kids program (Vol II, Video 6) can help refresh their French counting skills.

3. Have a Picnic and Mini ParadeFrench Macaroons

On Bastille Day in France, there is a huge parade along the Champs-Élysées.

Picnic in the park and have the walk back be a mock parade. You can get the little ones excited by breaking out the red, white, and blue attire from the fourth of July- luckily American and French national colors are the same. For some red, white, and blue food options to bring on the picnic, refer to the previous Fourth of July blog posting! As you are picking out the clothes or preparing the food, you have the perfect chance to teach the kids the French words for various colors. Additionally, the Little Pim flashcards or coloring sheets are a great post-picnic activity in the park.

What’s Happening in NYC?

Here in our home of NYC, there are some more official celebrations all around the city. For more information visit TimeOut’s”Bastille Day in NYC” guide.

We, here at Little Pim, hope you and your whole family make great memories this Bastille Day while also getting a taste of France’s lively culture. We hope we can join you in helping your children experience more of the world!

 

5 DIY Halloween Costumes with Global Appeal

frida kahlo diy costume

Looking for some inspiration for your family’s Halloween costumes this year? Pull out the globe and give it a spin. With a little inspiration from our great DIY globally-inspired options below, and a few accessories, your kids’ costumes will be United Nations worthy in no time.

1. Harajuku Girls, Japan — Here’ an opportunity to open up the costume chest and go wild. Fun-loving Harajuku girls are known for their creative style of dress and love of all things kitsch — to channel their irrepressible style into a unique Halloween costume, think layers: Start with striped knee socks, layered crinoline skirts, and a Hello Kitty tee or the like. Then add HIGH pigtails tied with bows and layer on the plastic accessories. Add some glittery makeup and you’re ready to rock the trick-or-treat block.

harajuku diy costume
by Ethan Hein

 

2. Gondolier, Italy – This is an easy and memorable costume. To start, your little gondolier will need a striped shirt and black pants, plus a round-rimmed hat (party stores often have inexpensive Styrofoam versions). Take a trip to the trim department of the craft store for thick red ribbon (about 6 inches across) for a waist sash and a thinner red ribbon to tie around the base of the hat. Then add a broom, small oar, or even a long dowel to stand in for an oar. Extra points for crooning “Amore”.

gondolier diy costume
by Twinkling Jade, flickr

 

3. Frida Kahlo, Mexico – The beloved Mexican artist had a unique look that’s easy and fun to recreate. Pick up a felt mustache at the party store and stick between the eyebrows (conversely, use an eyebrow pencil to create a uni-brow). Tuck brightly colored silk, paper, or plastic flowers in a wreath around the hair. Add a fringed shawl around the shoulders and wear a peasant skirt and brightly colored shirt. Palette optional.

frida kahlo diy costume
Photograph by Aubrey Trinnaman for Oh Happy Day / Via ohhappyday.com

 

4. Ninja, Japan – A comfy, easy, and easily recognizable costume for boys or girls. Start with black pajamas, black sweats, karate gear, or a black fitted tee and soft pants. Take a plain black head scarf and wrap tightly around the head and covering the brows, and then another around the mouth and chin. At the craft store, purchase red masking tape and the use it to create a criss-cross pattern on lower legs and arms. Add a red sash, and you’re ready to stealthily sneak down the block.

ninja diy costume

 

5. French chef – Start with largest white chef hat you can find (party stores sell inexpensive paper ones you can personalize with glitter and markers to say FRANCE or the fine cuisine destination of your choice). A white chef’s coat would be perfect here, but you can improvise with a white karate top, or even long sleeve white tee and a large white apron. Tie a red kerchief tied around the neck, the use plastic measuring cups or spoons or plastic food to accessorize.  Bon appetit!

chef diy costume
by mayoff, flickr

The Little Pim Kickstarter is Live!

Little Pim Kickstarter project

Little Pim Kickstarter

Aaaand we’re live! We’ve only got 30 days to make our goal, so let’s make ’em count. We can’t do this without your amazing support so click below to learn a little more about the Little Pim ebook Kickstarter, make your pledge, and share with your friends!

Here! Ici! Aquí! Click here!

What Is Kickstarter?

  1. It’s a website where anyone can pitch a creative project. So we’re pitching our ebook!
  2. If you think it’s a good idea, you can back the project. Donations of ALL sizes are welcome
  3. If you back a project with a donation, you get a reward! Our rewards, which would make great holiday gifts, include pre-orders of the ebook, getting your child drawn in as a character, and lots of other surprises in between…
  4. If we reach our goal, we get the funds we need to make the ebook and you get your rewards!
  5. If we don’t make our goal, we get nothing and you don’t get a reward. You also won’t be charged. It’s all or nothing on Kickstarter.

Little Pim Is Making an Ebook!

Little Pim goes around the world

pim-plane_cropLeaves may be starting to fall, but it’s still somehow hard to believe that the holiday season is nearly upon us again. As you know, giving your kids the gift of a foreign language early will have a positive impact for years to come… and so will introducing your kids to the cultures and countries that speak those languages. This holiday season Little Pim is making an ebook that will feature beautiful illustrations of our favorite panda visiting his friends in Mexico, France, Brazil, and China!

…Maybe.

Unfortunately, airfare for pandas can be prohibitively expensive. That’s why we’ve decided to launch a Kickstarter to produce our first ever holiday ebook! The amazing rewards make perfect holiday gifts. Here’s a sneak peek at a few of our favorites:

  1. Pre-orders of the ebook! (Delivered in time for the holidays, naturally.)
  2. A special thank you included in every copy of the book!
  3. A copy of the ebook plus your child gets drawn in as a character! Wow!
  4. And lots of other surprises…

The campaign should be going live next week, so please keep your eyes peeled for updates… and tell your friends! We’ll be sharing more links and information in the coming weeks.

Looking back at some of our old blog posts, you can see that Little Pim has grown tremendously over the last few years, and your continued support will help us make our next big leap… over the ocean!

How Do Kids Celebrate Holidays Around The World?

In FRANCE families eat a special dessert at holiday time called Bûche de Noël (pronounced “booche de no-el”) which means “Christmas log”. It’s a very sweet cake, shaped like a log from the fireplace! It’s made of sponge cake and has lots of chocolate icing. Here is a picture:


 

Want to make your own?

 

 

In MEXICO a big party for children usually includes a Piñata, (pronounced Peenyata, for it has an ñ, not an n), filled with peanuts in the shell, oranges, tangerines, sugar canes, and candy. All the children sing while one child at a time tries to break the Piñata with a stick while he/she is blindfolded.

 

 

 

Although Piñatas started in Italy, today they are a Mexican tradition. Mexican piñatas are usually made out of cardboard and paper mache and decorated with crepe paper.

 


Decorate your own pinata:
: http://www.expertvillage.com/
video/14795_pinata-making
-warp.htm

Or fill a store bought
one with your favorite treats HERE.

 

In CHINA, s

ince the vast majority of the Chinese people are not Christian, the main winter festival is the Chinese New Year, which takes place toward the end of January. Kids decorate by lighting their houses with beautiful paper lanterns. Many Chinese children also hang stockings and await a visit from Santa Claus, whom they call Dun Che Lao Ren (dwyn-chuh-lau-oh-run) which means “Christmas Old Man.” Santa Claus may also be called Lan Khoong-Khoong, “Nice Old Father.”

 


 


Make your own lantern: