Franco-American Collection

Fun in French for Kids (Augusta)

Fun in French for Kids

NO PRIOR LANGUAGE EXPERIENCE NECESSARYFor children ages 3-10 Songs, puppet shows, and stories in a creative, total-immersion settingDates for fall session (Saturdays from 10:30-11:30 a.m.):September 24th, October 15th, November 12th, December 10th(all sessions located in the Honors Lounge of the UMA Randall Student Center)


Special guest on Oct. 15th: Jordan Benissan, drummer/musician from Togo

Find about more about him:


Materials we will use this year (available for purchase at UMA bookstore):

  • Play and Learn French : Over 50 Fun songs, games and everyday activities to get started in French (Book + Audio CD); ISBN: 0071441514

This purchase will help your child get the full benefit of the program.



  • Parent/grandparent/caregiver must be present during the camp and encourage the child's participation
  • A fee of $25 per child is due at time of enrollment (each additional sibling $15): all proceeds will cover program costs and support cultural activities in French at UMA

Let's have fun with our kids - in French!

For more information or to receive a registration form,
please contact: Chelsea Ray at or call 621-3487
Space is limited-please contact me to reserve a spot.

Make checks payable to: UMA
Send checks to: Joyce Blanchard/French at UMA/46 University Drive/Augusta, ME 04330




The most important aspect of language learning is the emotional bond between the child and the speaker. If your child sees that you are having fun, it is contagious. Keep the focus on connection, fun, and spontaneity. Of course, it is wonderful if your child can spend time with friends and family members who speak French.

First and foremost, reinforce what we learning each session by playing the audio book we are using (at least once a week, more if possible) and the program CD for your child (in the car, while cleaning up, before bedtime, etc).

You can also help your child by finding resources (music, films, etc.) in French (see lists below). The Lithgow Library has added to its collection of materials in French for children. If you do not live in Augusta, you may also want to contact your local library directly to request specific children's materials in French. For parents who do not speak French, DVDs and CDs can be very helpful in exposing your child to the language. In addition, many books come with an audio CD (see list of books that I have personally reviewed and found to be useful). Books that do not come with an audio component are of limited value for parents who do not speak French already.

Recommended materials (that I have reviewed):

Some of these materials are now available at the Lithgow Library as they acquire new materials in French for children. Materials with ** indicate that these are highly recommended, especially for parents who do not speak any French.

  • The Bilingual Edge: Why, When, and How to Teach Your Child a Second Language by Kendall King and Alison Mackey
    • If you want inspiration on the benefits of exposing your child to a second language, read this book! This book is written for a general audience and is a wonderful guide on the practical ways in which a you can help your child to learn (even if you don't know any French).
  • **McGraw-Hill's Easy French Storybook: Goldilocks and the Three Bears and Little Red Riding Hood 30-minute audio CD by Ana Lomba
    • These books are fantastic for parents who do not know any French. The story is read on the CD, complete with sound effects. In addition, individual words that appear in the story are pronounced separately before each story. The story is presented in French and English, so parents will be able to follow along and/or use the book in English as well.
  • **Play and Learn French 60-minute audio CD by Ana Lomba and Marcela Summerville
    • This book is very thorough and offers complete sentences. It also has a short introduction for parents on how to use the book. Each section is translated into English on the page, so the parent can follow along.
  • **Usborne Internet-Linked French Dictionary for Beginners (with pronunciation on the internet)
    • I wasn't sure if the internet-based pronunciation would merit the extra trouble of getting on a computer, but I think it is very useful! I found it very easy to find the right book and simply type in the page number that I was reading. One advantage this offers (over videos and CDs) is that each discrete word is spoken when you press play, thus slowing down the process and allowing the child and the parent to focus on one word at a time. If you like using the internet, this might be a great bet for you! This might also work well for older children, as the website can give them a sense of autonomy when reading the book. The parent can still be on the sidelines, encouraging the child and interacting as much as possible with the material.
  • **Chantons-Let's Sing (in French and English) by Michael Parent and Greg Boardman
    • We sang a song from this CD during the camp: "Michaud est tombé." This bilingual CD is wonderful for language learning, especially because the songs are slow and it is easy to pick out individual words once you are familiar with them. Contact: or call 207-782-7228 to order a copy.
  • Larousse Picture Dictionary English-French + an audio CD
    • This is a nice, basic book with good pictures. The audio has cute songs about colors, greetings, and other themes. These fast-paced songs are given in English and in French, with the words in the back of the book, which makes them user friendly. It does not offer, however, pronunciation for the words with pictures in the book. In addition, the book does not give the article for each noun (nouns in French are either masculine or feminine). Overall, a good starting book.
  • Un Deux Trois: First French Rhymes selected by Opal Dunn
    • This gives some basic songs that most French children would know well. They might be a bit difficult for repetition, however, as the songs are quite fast. It is a cute way, however, of introducing some short French songs, especially since children sing many of them.
  • Let's Sing and Learn in French CD Edition by Matt Maxwell
    • These songs move fast and could take some time to get up to speed. The music with the words is provided with the CD, which could help. This might be a better pick for a parent who already knows some French.

Materials that you may already have at home:

  • (search for Disney movies in French, French for children, French songs, etc.) and other websites geared for children in French
  • many mainstream films-include all the Disney films-have an option under "set up" or "audio options" for French (sorry, no subtitles here!)
  • browse or other movie rental option that has a lot of foreign films (subtitles available here!)

Let's have fun with our kids - in French!


Chelsea Ray (621-3487)