I studied French in middle school, high school and college, and it’s always been my dream to raise bilingual babies! Since I am not completely fluent, this process is a little difficult for me. I just do what I can and take it one day at a time!
For me, raising bilingual babies looks like incorporating a lot of basic French conversation throughout the day. I find that bath time, meal time, and nap times are easy and convenient time for me to speak French to my babies. I also try to use a lot of French vocabulary when we are out walking or playing around the house! Vocabulary isn’t my strong point, so I do struggle with this a little bit.
Because I’m not entirely fluent, I mainly focus on reading a lot of bilingual literature to my babies. We always have a French chapter book on the go, and I try to read 1-2 French picture books each day. We also sometimes listen to French audiobooks, music, or podcasts during play time!
I’ve really had a difficult time finding French resources for bilingual babies, so I wanted to share what I have found. I hope it’s helpful for you if your looking to teach French to your kids!
L’Arc-en-ciel de Vincent
L’arc en ciel de Vincent is a beautiful book, completely illustrated by the artwork of Vincent Van Gogh! It is mostly composed of short, color themed poems about some of his more famous paintings. This one is a French/English edition, so it’s a great book to have around even if you don’t speak French yourself!
The French edition of Winnie the Pooh isn’t quite as endearing as the English edition, but we’ve enjoyed reading it anyway. And this binding is beautiful and so well made! It’s really holding up well.
La Maison de Winnie L’Ourson
If you read Winnie L’Ourson, you’ll just have to follow it up with La Maison de Winnie L’Ourson. I love this one even more than the first one!
Le Petit Prince
No French education is complete without Le Petit Prince! I love reading this book with my babies. They love the bright illustration and beautiful rhythmic prose, I love all of Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s wonderful thoughts. We’ll definitely be re-reading this soon!
Histoire de Babar
Histoire de Babar is a classic French story. My babies LOVE this one. It’s got bright, beautiful illustrations and they get so excited about the bright orange binding! This is a longer book, so it often takes us two sittings to make it through. And when reading with nine month olds… I just take what we can get!
Devine Combien Je T’Aime
Devine Combien Je T’aime is the French edition of “Guess How Much I Love You”. This is my favorite French picture book that we have. I love the sweet story and adorable illustrations. It also has just enough content that I feel like we really get some good French grammar and vocabulary in! But in all honestly, my babies are a little less interested in this one.
Bonsoir Lune is probably my babies favorite book! They love the bright, high contrast illustrations. We read this before every nap!
Je T’aimerai Toujours
This is a french translation of the classic children’s book “love you forever” is so sweet! We read this one at least a couple times a week.