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!

 

Staycation: Messy Summer Fun for Families

summer fun

Summer is in full swing: long sunny days where the sun doesn’t set until late in the evening, and lots of hours to fill entertaining little ones. In some Scandinavian countries, in fact, the sun barely sets at all during July!

But never fear, we have LOTS of great ideas on how to fill those summer hours with plenty of messy summer fun for families, with the added bonus of a small price tag to boot.

In this round up, we have messy projects – the kind kids love, and parents are usually afraid of – but all of these are easily cleaned up as long as they’re done outside. Whether you have a balcony, picnic table in the park, or a grassy yard, we’ve got some messy fun for everyone!

MESSY STAYCATION FUN

Fun Foam Twister

What you’ll need:

  • * Plastic Twister board
  • * Foam soap in a variety of colors or shaving cream and food dye

Honestly, Twister is fun in any season. But you can amp up the laughs for your little ones by using colored foam soap (look for kid-friendly versions usually used in the bathtub) that coordinates with the colored circles on the board. Fill in each circle with the soap.

Then play away! This is guaranteed to be slippery, squeal-worthy, laugh-out-loud fun.

(Can’t find foam soap? Simply buy shaving cream, dispense into bowls, then add drops of food coloring to create colored soap foam. Warning: this version may stain light clothing.)

Finish up the game by having everyone run through the sprinklers, hose, or even the shower to clean off.

Variations:

Are your kids too young to know left from right? Use a washable marker to make a red circle on their right hand to differentiate the two.

Make it a bilingual, or trilingual, game by using a language such as French to yell out commands.

Here’s a quick French Twister cheat sheet:

  • Right— Droite
  • Left— Gauche
  • Circle— Cercle
  • Foot— Pied
  • Hand— Main
  • Red— Rouge
  • Blue— Bleu
  • Yellow— Jaune
  • Green— Vert

Ice fossil hunt

What you’ll need:

  • *Large plastic bowl
  • *Cooking Spray
  • *Small toys
  • *Water
  • *Plastic and/or wooden spoons

Note: Make sure you start this one the night before so you’re ready to play on a hot day:

Take a large plastic bowl (make sure it will fit in your freezer) and spray with cooking spray.

Then add an assortment of small plastic and rubber toys; think: dinosaurs, rubber duckies, anything you’d get in a party gift bag or at an arcade.

Then fill the bowl with water and freeze overnight.

The next day, take the bowl to any outdoor location. Unmold (this should be easy after the cooking spray). Hand out plastic or wooden spoons to the kids and let them dig for treasure.

Good, cold, wet fun!

DIY Slime

OK, you’re probably not going to like this one as much as your kids are – but remember, do this outside and clean up will be a breeze (consider lining whatever table you’re using with newspaper or wax paper).

There are a number of DIY Slime recipes around, but the ones that make plastic-y slime usually contain Borax, which isn’t safe for little mouths. This recipe is completely edible (although we don’t recommend eating it – yuck!), and plenty of fun to play with, too.

What you’ll need:

  • Plastic bowls
  • Water
  • Cornstarch
  • Food coloring

In a bowl, combine 1 cup of cornstarch and 1 cup of water. Mix until you have a good and slimy mixture.

Add 1 to 3 drops of food coloring (classic green is always a great starting point).

Repeat with other colors.

Then play away.