• Pia Decarsin

I started Les Petites Marionnettes to make learning French at a young age fun with hands-on activities involving music, dance, arts and crafts (and delicious treats). When our location had to close temporarily, I was worried switching to a virtual format would make the interaction with participants difficult. But I still decided to try it out with a small group and all my worries melted away when I heard the children singing our greeting song "Bonjour les amis" with big smiles. I have conducted online classes for 7 weeks now and would like to share the following tips with parents to make language acquisition engaging at home.

1) Play popular kids' shows in French and then ask basic questions about the story or characters . Peppa Pig en français , Dino Train, Sam Dynamite, le Village de Dany or Les Pat' Patrouilles are great examples.

2) Cook an easy French recipe with your child like crêpes or yogurt cake and have a little "goûter". You can also support local businesses and get French pastries or other delicacies for a French-themed snack.

3) Have a "fête" (dance party). For popular kids' songs, you can check the youtube channel les titounis. The whole family will enjoy 80 's tunes, including the song "voyage, voyage" that we played numerous times during our travel -themed class.

4) Make arts and crafts and get fun game ideas from those educational French blogs :

Tête à modeler, Hugo l'escargot , Pommes d'Api, Mômes.

5) Go on a virtual scavenger hunt by looking for Marie-Antoinette at Versailles or the Mona Lisa at the Louvre. You can also attend local events virtually like the popular EU Open House.

The key to making language acquisition engaging at this age is to cater to your child's interest and replace worksheets by interactive activities. Interested in having your child participate in our online program this summer? Check our enrollment page to register!

A bientôt!

  • Pia Decarsin

March is the month to celebrate the diversity and richness of the French language with the Francophonie festival and the spring season offers many opportunities to discover the French language and culture around town. We have selected events geared to families and encourage you to mark your calendars and take your little ones on cultural journey!

Francophonie cultural festival -March 2020

This year marks the 50 th anniversary of la Francophonie with no less than 30 cultural events in the DMV taking place in March. While most events are geared towards an adult audience, la grande fête on March 29 is always a lot of fun for the whole family. You can also registerto attend our special francophonie concert with singer Achille Ango on March 28!

France Pavilion Design and Lifestyle Family Day – Sunday April 5 and Monday April 6, 2020

This free event (registration required) organized by French Touch USA offers a selection of talent and savoir-faire from Gastronomy to design and interactive experiences. Parents are encouraged to bring their kids, discover the uniquely talented French Designers while their children will participate in exciting workshops.

Georgetown French Market - Friday, April 24 to Sunday, April 26 2020

Every last weekend in April, the ever-popular Georgetown French Market brings over 7,500 attendees to the charming Book Hill neighborhood of Georgetown as it’s transformed into a Parisian-inspired open-air market.

European Open House - Saturday, May 9 2020

The Delegation of the European Union to the United States and the Embassies of the EU Member States to the United States will open their doors to the Washington public during the EU Embassies’ Open House Day. This annual event is the highlight of the Washington spring calendar and will be celebrated on May 9th, 2020.

Degas at the Opéra - March 1- July 5 2020

Celebrating the 350th anniversary of the Opéra’s founding, Degas at the Opéra presents approximately 100 of the French artist’s best-known and beloved works in a range of media, including paintings, pastels, drawings, prints, and sculpture. This exhibition is co-organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington, and the Musées d'Orsay et de l'Orangerie, Paris.

L’heure du conte -

Every Friday from March 6 through May 29, 2020

Join Madame Pia for a bilingual French/English Storytime at the Shirlington library! L'heure du conte is geared towards children 0 to 5 and their caregivers. This storytime uses a mixture of stories, songs and rhymes.

Follow us on Facebook to stay up to date on French family events around town!

Amusez-vous bien!

  • Pia Decarsin

Our friend Coco stopped for a déjeuner at the Restaurant l'Escargot located in the lively Montorgueil street in Paris. Use the picture below to review polite words and engage in a French pretend play restaurant activity with your child. You can make your own menu, use play-doh and play money to make the interaction more fun. Amusez-vous bien!

Questions sur l'image :

Où est Coco?

Qui est le monsieur?

Qu'est ce que l'on peut commander au menu?

True or False : people in France eat snails.

True! Snails or escargots are considered a delicacy in France and usually prepared with garlic and parsley butter and served in their shell.

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