Free French activities for kids: Resources to teach children French and about French culture through craft ideas, recipes, stories, songs etc… More will be added as soon as possible!
1. Recipe for PÂTE À SEL
All French children know what pâte à sel is, just as British children know all about playdough, but creations made out of pâte à sel can last forever.
1 cup salt
1 cup warm water
2 cups flour
(make sure the same cup-size is used for all ingredients)
tooth picks (for decorating, making shapes, and for sticking shapes to each other)
tin foil – for filling out the inside of larger models to make sure they cook thoroughly
paint brush – use with tiny amounts of water to stick shapes together & for wetting the dough
acryllic paints and different-sized brushes for painting finished models
Mix the salt and flour together first, then slowly add the water and work to a smooth workable paste. If it is too sticky add a little more flour and salt which you should mix together first.
The dough will be easier to work with if the atmosphere is quite humid, and will dry out more quickly if it is a dry day. Have a paint brush handy to brush the mixture with a little water if it starts drying out. Also keep cling film or a plastic bag nearby to wrap the spare dough in, either while you are working with just some of the dough, or if you need a break. (The dough can be kept for several days in an airtight bag – just brush it with a little water to get it going again)
Be as inventive as you wish in your design, choice of materials, implements, food colouring etc.. Tip: If you want to dangle your creation, make a hole in it before you cook it.
Very slow oven (100 degrees) for several hours. Turn the models over during cooking and make sure they are thoroughly dried out on both sides.
Give the finished models 1-2 coats of wood varnish to preserve them. And finally, leave the varnish to dry for 24 hours.
Pâte à sel can be as intricate and detailed as you like. My children first made numbers for the age they were at the time and then decorated the number with a few tiny flowers and shapes.
In the video below you will see an angry bird being made!
2. 6th January – Galette des rois – Three Kings’ Cake
The 6th of January is an important day in the French calendar celebrating the arrival of the three kings. Bakeries are full of lovely cakes called ‘galettes des rois’. Do look at the video below which shows you an easy recipe for making one at home:
3. Free French Lullaby!
A lovely French nursery rhyme to sing with a young child: Meunier tu dors
4. Leeks, glorious leeks …! (Poireaux)
Here is a wonderful recipe for a French Leek tart. Not for younger students without supervision, but very delicious and worth introducing children to if you have time …
Tarte aux Poireaux – French Leek Tart
5. And how about making a French Strawberry Tart!
This tart is delicious and looks so impressive, but it is not actually that hard to make. If you can make shortcrust pastry and you have the ingredients and the right tin, you can make a French strawberry tart. It really is just a pastry case filled with a French custard called ‘crème pâtissière’ with strawberries cut in half and placed on the top and then brushed with a glaze. Here is the recipe: Tarte aux Fraises
5. And do have a look at this series of short stories for children in French which offer free, fun, and accessible listening practice: Maggie & Billy in French