Let’s Visit France!
Food literacy for young children is all about understanding where our food comes from and how it is grown and eaten around the world. These days it may be more difficult for us to travel so let’s imagine visiting a different culture instead. France is a country known for its food traditions and connection to the land.
Where is France?
On the west side of Europe, France is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean, the Mediterranean Sea and the English Channel on three sides and also shares land borders with Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Germany and Belgium. It has a wide variety of landscapes from mountain ranges to fertile valleys as well as many busy cities like the famous capital, Paris. The language spoken in France is French which is also our 2nd national language here in Canada.
Here are some activity ideas to create a ‘visit’ to France:
• Decorate. Create a French landscape with French flags and photos or murals of mountains or the Eiffel tower in Paris.
• Make French art. Sculpture is a longstanding French art tradition. Using modeling clay or playdough, have children create a person, a building or anything else that inspires them.
• Make a French feast. Classic dishes include Quiche (an egg tart), Cassoulet (white bean stew), Ratatouille (summer veggie stew), Croque Monsieur or Madame grilled sandwiches, sweet or savoury Crepes (thin stuffed pancakes) or simply baguette with an assortment of French cheese. Childcare facilities with 8+ children should check with their Licensing Officer about what is needed to serve food.
• Enjoy French music & dance. Edith Piaf is one of the most famous French singers with her hits “Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien” and “La Vie en Rose”. Dancing is also very popular in France with traditional ones like the ballet step Pas de Bourree and the always fun Can Can, great for getting kids up and moving!
• Read a book about France and its food. Anatole by Eve Titus is a classic children’s book about a mouse who wants to earn his food by rating cheeses in a French cheese factory. Or the Madeline series by Ludwig Bemelmans are rhyming tales of a young girl and her schoolmates with beautiful illustrations of French city scenes.
For more ideas and resources
Learn more about French culture and traditions here.