Join us for a trip around the world as we “virtually” learn about different countries, cultures, foods, music and famous landmarks with crafts and activities. Each week we will post about a different country with tons of great activities to engage with children of all ages. This week we will be learning about France. Join us on an adventure around the world with French crafts and activities for kids! This unit is perfect for homeschool families, travel-loving families, and teachers.
Grab this fun passport kit as an add-on to our global adventures. The kit includes a “passport”, stamps, stickers and other items to get kids excited about their adventure. You’ll see our passport used throughout the lessons. It’s perfect for our homeschooling France unit.
Save this France Lesson Plan for the future.
- Interesting Facts about Japan
- Books for Kids to Learn about Japan
- Japan Map Activity
- Japan Flag Activity
- Japanese Recipes
- Japanese Folktales
- Japanese Music
- Japanese Animals
- Famous Landmarks
- Japanese Crafts & Activities
- Japanese Karate
- Family-Friendly Japanese Movies
- Learn Japenese Phrases/Words
- Learn more about Japan with Little Passports: World Edition
- Field Trip: Japanese Style
- Plan your trip!
Want to travel to more countries? Check out all of my previous travel units by clicking on the name of the country.
Be sure to read through all the activities, gather or purchase any needed supplies (most are what you have around the house) and then decide which activities you’d like to cover each day. Each activity has suggestions on how to modify it for younger and older children, but feel free to get creative and share your experience with us.
If you like a schedule, here is a suggested 3-day “schedule” to complete all the activities. It makes a great schedule for a France homeschool unit.
- Read Books About France
- Locate France on the map and do the map activity
- Create a French flag
- Listen to French music
- Learn some French phrases
- Make your own crepes for lunch
- Learn about famous landmarks and make an Eiffel Tower from Fruit
- Have fun with French Crafts including a Van Gogh painting
- Go for a bike ride (mini Tour de France)
- Watch Madeline, Ratatouille or The Hunchback of Notre Dame
- Read some French Folktales
- Enjoy a French dinner complete with Onion Soup, Quiche, and Macarons for dessert.
- Plan a Field Trip
Interesting Facts about France
- French is the official language of France.
- France is the largest country in Western Europe. France borders Spain, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland, and Italy.
- France has a diverse landscape with beautiful beaches to the South, mountains (alps) to the East and beautiful wide plains for agriculture.
- France is the most visited country in the world, with over 80 million visitors every year.
- The famous Eiffel Tower in Paris was built as the entrance point for the 1889 World Fair. It is one of the most visited monuments in the world.
- The most famous road bicycle race in the world, the Tour de France zig zags through the French landscape.
Books for Kids to Learn about France
We found quite a few great books for kids about France. We’ve included a few options that you can either purchase on Amazon via the links or you can reserve them at the library for a low-cost option. Grab a few options, even if the reading level is too high for your child, they can still look at the pictures and maps or have an adult read the book to younger children.
Do your kids enjoy watching YouTube? I know my son is always finding fun little videos. Here is a great intro to France. Julian and Rosie travel around Paris where they sketch with a French artist, taste crêpes for the first time and finish their adventure atop the Eiffel Tower.
France Map Activity
France is a country located in Europe. France is bordered by the English Channel and Bay of Biscay; Belgium, Luxembourg, and Germany to the north, Switzerland, and Italy to the east and Spain to the south. Paris is the capital city of France and also the largest city. France is about the size of Texas in the US.
If you have a globe, help your child(ren) locate France on the map. If you have the passport kit from Amazon, it comes with a fun colorful map that you can hang up.
- Ask your child what they know about France
- Write down any questions your child has about France
Print the map below (right-click on the image, save it and then print).
Color the map with different colors to show the various countries.
- France- Green
- UK- Yellow
- Netherlands- Dark Green
- Belgium- Brown
- Germany- Orange
- Switzerland- Purple
- Italy- Red
- Spain- Blue
- Luxembourg- Pink
Preschool Kids: Color the map
Elementary Ages: Talk about the various regions. Ask questions about the map:
- What is the Capital City of France? Mark the capital on the map with a star and write Paris.
- The highest point in France is Mount Blanc, which stands at 4,807m (15,771 ft), find it’s location and highlight it on the map with a mountain shape. Add the name “Mount Blanc”.
France Flag Activity
The French flag is a tricolor flag with blue, white and red and is called “Le drapeau tricolore ” in French. The flag has changed over the years, such as reversing the colors, making the colors brighter and making the stripes the same size.
The white in the flag represents the Bourbon monarchy which ruled France from the late 16th Century AD until the French Revolution. It’s also the color of the Virgin Mary and Joan of Arc. Red and blue are the colors of the city of Paris.
Make a flag of France. The flag is quite simple.
For preschoolers, practice cutting and gluing with the instructions below.
Older kids can choose to paint or hand draw and color.
For this craft, all you need are: (if you need supplies, click on the links)
- pair of scissors (kids)
- glue stick
- 1 sheet of red and blue construction paper or cardstock
- 1 sheet of white paper (preferably cardstock)
- A flag of France to refer to
Step 1. Practice math skills by having kids figure out the proportions of the map. Three colors, 12″ wide paper construction paper. (The answer is each strip should be 4″ wide.)
Step 2. Measure 4″ strips in both red and blue using a ruler.
Step 3. Cut the strip of red and blue paper based on the mark. We used a paper cutter. Want one? Grab our favorite here on Amazon.
Step 4. Glue the red and blue strips of paper to the white background. Make sure blue is on the left and red is on the right.
Voila! Your child has created the flag for France. Hang it up somewhere or find a stick/dowel and attach it. We’ve been adding our flags on a string hanging between two walls.
Grab the kids and make your very own crepes! Your kids can choose between savory crepes like ham and cheese or sweet crepes with nutella and strawberries.
Crepe Making Supplies
Kids will love helping to make crepes. Get creative with different items to put inside the crepes. Here is the recipe we used to make the crepes.
Step 1: Place all the ingredients inside a blender. Blend.
Step 2: Put about 1/4 of a cup (depending on your pan size) and tilt your pan to spread around the crepe mix. Let it sit for 2-3 minutes per side.
Step 3: Once you’ve flipped the crepe, start adding your fillings so that they can heat up a bit.
Step 4: Fold the crepe in 1/2 and then in 1/2 again. Plate the crepe.
Not quite sure you are ready to tackle making your own crepes? Visit a French Restaurant to try new foods (or order take out). Some of our favorite French foods include:
- Crepes (thin pancakes)
- Quiches (pastry with egg filling)
- Croque Monsieur (grilled cheese with ham)
- Fresh Baguette (bread) with french cheese
- Cheese Fondue
Ready to cook a delicious traditional French dinner? Here are a few of our favorite recipes.
- French Onion Soup – a type of soup usually based on meat stock and onions, and often served gratinéed with croutons and cheese on top of a large piece of bread
- Beef Bourguignon – a beef stew braised in red wine, often red Burgundy, and beef stock, generally flavored with carrots, onions, garlic, and garnished with pearl onions, mushrooms, and bacon.
- Salade niçoise – made of tomatoes, hard-boiled eggs, Niçoise olives and anchovies or tuna, dressed with olive oil.
French fairytales and folktales were some of the first oral stories to be written down. Charles Perrault, a writer of fairytales and folklore, was known to have collected many stories from storytellers. He gathered them and then rewrote them for the upper-class who loved the stories and were eager for more. These original stories when on to inspire other notable storytellers, such as Brothers Grimm.
French fairytales were viewed as art by the upper class and were popular in Louis XIV’s court. The King wanted the world to see the intellectual culture of the people of France. The name fairytales actually originated from French folktales because the stories included fairies, as well as plenty of magic, dark and mystical elements.
Here are some of our favorite stories for children that you can read online:
Looking to add to your library collection? Here are some other books below.
Listen to traditional French music while you complete the activities. Ask Alexa to play “French Cafe Music“, or check out this youtube video with scenes from France with four hours of music to enjoy while you do crafts or cook in the kitchen.
Want to sing together? Kids love the “Frère Jacques” (“Are You Sleeping?”) song and it is easy to learn. Here are the lyrics in both French and English.
“Frere Jacques, Frere Jacques, Dormez-vous? Dormez-vous?
Sonnez les matines, Sonnez les matines,
Ding, Ding, Dong! Ding, Ding, Dong!”
“Are you sleeping? Are you sleeping? Brother John, Brother John?
Morning bells are ringing, morning bells are ringing,
Ding, Ding, Dong! Ding, Ding, Dong!”
Sing along with this fun YouTube Video.
France has a wide variety of wildlife because a large percentage of the country is still rural and/or forested, so there are many natural habitats for animals. To date, 120 mammal species have been recorded in the country.
Harbor seals can be found along the coastlines of France. They feed on fish such as salmon and squid. Roe Deer graze the countryside and are smaller than deer in the US. They can live up to 10 years of age.
The alpine marmot is a species of mammal that likes to live in mountainous regions of France at a height of between 2,624 and 10,498 feet. The animals feed on vegetation like herbs and grasses as well as insects, spiders, worms, and grain. The European hare is one of the largest species of hare with an adaptation to the open countryside.
France has so many iconic landmarks, museums, structures, arches and UNESCO sites.
The Eiffel Tower is one of the most recognized. It is named after Gustave Eiffel, who was in charge of building the tower. The Eiffel Tower is 320 meters (1050 feet) in height and was the tallest man-made structure in the world for 41 years as well as a marvel for all of the people in Paris. More than 7 million people visit this iconic tower every year, according to the attraction’s official website.
There are so many fun projects to do with the Eiffel Tower. You can build it out of legos, food or paint its beauty. We decided to make an Eiffel Tower out of fruit, perfect for snack time.
Paris has many other notable sites including the Cathedral of Notre Dame with its towering facade and sky-high towers. This Gothic Cathedral was finished in the 14th century and has stunning rose windows and flying buttresses. There is a fun craft in the activities section below that goes along with the Notre Dame Cathedral.
The Louvre Museum is the world’s largest art museum and a historic monument in Paris, France. If you’ve ever heard of the Mona Lisa painting, she is located inside the museum. Take a virtual tour of the museum to see some of the beautiful art and sculptures.
France is also home to the famous French Alps where tourists and locals enjoy skiing, paragliding, and hiking. The area of Provence features lavender fields in June along with markets, stone villages, and amazing provincial food. Lastly, the coast of France is a hot spot for families escaping to the heat of the coastline.
France Crafts & Activities
There are so many fun crafts that you can do to learn more about France. I’ll share some of our favorites below. If you find more activities that you love, please share them with me and I’ll add them to this list.
1.Coloring Pages – Click the link for tons of great coloring pages
2. Make a Notre Dame window with stained glass
Notre Dame is an old cathedral in Paris, France. It is one of Paris’ most famous landmarks and 13 million people visit it each year. The cathedral is located on a small island on the River Seine. It is a very good example of Gothic Architecture in France with beautiful stained glass windows.
Step 1: Cut out squares of tissue paper from various colors. Crepe paper also works if you have that.
Step 2: Cut out a large section of contact paper, take off the protective layer so the sticky layer is exposed.
Step 3: Have your child add little squares of tissue paper all over the contact paper.
Step 4: Fill all the contact paper until you don’t have any clear contact paper showing.
Step 5: Time for the hard part, cutting out the Notre Dame outline. I promise it is easier than it looks. Grab your black piece of construction paper and follow along.
Step 6: Open up your design and place it over the tissue paper squares. Move your design around to make sure you like the window colors.
Step 7: Glue your black construction paper using Elmers Glue.
Step 8: Cut another sheet of contact paper and lay it over the top (covering the black construction paper fully).
Step 9: Cut out the Notre Dame design from the extra tissue paper squares.
Voila.. you have a beautiful Notre Dame stained glass window to display. We made a few different styles and added them to our bay window. Our pup Calvin says hello.
3. Van Gogh Painting
Vincent van Gogh was born in the Netherlands in 1853. Van Gogh enjoyed drawing as a young boy, but at the age of 27, van Gogh decided to devote himself completely to art. One of his most famous paintings Starry Night is the painting we are going to re-create.
Step 1: Layout all of your supplies on your workspace.
Step 2: Squeeze out a bit of paint onto the paper plates. Use a q-tip to create swirls of paint on the foil.
Step 3: Continue to layer various colors of swirls and wisps.
Step 4: Finish your painting by filling the foil.
How did I do? It was actually quite relaxing to paint with swirls and wisps of wind with pockets of light. Painting with q-tips made it a mess-free project and low cost.
4. Lavender Soap
France is well known for its lavender fields in the Provence area. It blooms from June until August and is absolutely stunning as well as a wonderful smell. France is also known for its luxury soaps and perfumes. Some famous and well-known brands are L’Occitane, Pré de Provence and La Maison du Savon de Marseille.
Looking for an easy solution? Buy a kit HERE.
Step 1: Layout all of your supplies in the kitchen (you’ll need the microwave).
Step 2: Cut off blocks of soap. We used 3-4 per mold. Place them in a dish that you can microwave. If it has a spout, even better. Microwave for 30 seconds.
Step 3: Add droplets of color and fragrance (if you’d like).
Step 4: Mix the soap to mix the colors and fragrance. Then pour the mixture into a mold. Wash the Pyrex container in between colors.
Step 5: Let kids get creative with adding fresh flowers, lavender flowers, lego miniatures or toys. The items tend to “float” so push them down until the soap dries a bit.
Step 6: Wait 40 minutes and then gently press the soap out of the molds. If you are having trouble, but the soap in the freezer for 5-10 minutes.
Soaps work great as teacher gifts, for mother’s day or a fun gift for friends. They are easy to make a cost-effective. Turn them into a gift with these little sachets.
Kids Tour de France
The Tour de France is a multiple-stage bicycle race for men that is held annually in the country of France. It consists of 21 day-long stages over the course of 23 days and covers 2,200 miles.
The bike race includes various terrain and each cyclist is timed each day. The cyclists all start with one minute between each rider. The first-ever Tour de France took place in 1903.
Kids can have their own “mini Tour de France” with their friends or you can do it together as a family.
Grab all the members in your family, invite some friends or if you have a small family like ours, mom and dad get to play too!
You can either just enjoy a bike ride together over a variety of terrain or you can set up races between each other to see who can bike the fastest. It’s a great way to get outside and get some exercise.
Make sure everyone wears a helmet and you check your bike’s for loose joints or rust.
Family-Friendly French Movies
There are so many great family-friendly movies set in the country of France. The hardest part is picking which option to watch! We had a few rainy days, so we picked three.
Madeline (rated PG)- is a fun lighthearted movie about a little girl who has been orphaned and lives in a school for girls in central Paris. She gets into plenty of mischief after she finds out her school is going to be sold. This is the 1998 version with real actors (not the cartoon). There is also a book.
Hunchback of Notre Dame (rated G)- a deformed bell-ringer must assert his independence from a vicious government minister in order to help his friend, a gypsy dancer. There are some intense scenes including Quasimodo being bullied and the Gypsy at the stake.
Ratatouille (Rated G)– A rat who can cook makes an unusual alliance with a young kitchen worker at a famous restaurant. The best option for toddlers and children who like lighthearted movies.
You should be able to find the movies on Amazon, Netflix or Hulu. If you’d like to buy the DVD, click the photos below.
Learn French Phrases/Words
Learn more about France by practicing a few French words. France is a language made up of letters like the English alphabet, but they have feminine and masculine words. The French language is as old as the 8th Century BC. The video below will teach you some common phrases and when to use them.
Want to learn more French? Download the Duolingo app for daily practice.
Learn more about France with Little Passports: World Edition
My 5-year-old is a huge fan of Little Passports, a monthly subscription service for kids focused on global learning. They have two versions, Early Explorers is meant for ages 3-5 years of age and it focuses on various themes such as music, oceans, and dinosaurs.
World Edition is meant for children 6-10 years of age and it focuses on a different country each month. One of the countries that is included in the series is France, which is a perfect pairing with this week’s lessons.
After the first month (when kids receive their world map and suitcase), your child will receive souvenirs, activity sheets, photos, stickers for their map and suitcase, and access to more activities online.
Field Trip: French Style
Expand your learning with a visit to an Art Exhibit to see paintings by famous artists like Claude Monet, Vincent van Gogh, and Paul Cézanne. Attend a French festival in your area or visit a local French restaurant to immerse yourself in the culinary delights.
Plan your trip!
If you loved learning about France and are looking to plan a trip, check out these great resources from our family travel blogger friends. They’ve got all the best insider tips and tricks.
- Not sure where to even start? Check out this post for places to visit in France with Kids or grab some recommended books about France to get you excited about your trip.
- Have your sights set on Paris? Here are our friends’ Preethi’s tips on what to do in Paris with Kids.
- Looking to visit Disneyland Paris? Don’t miss this Disneyland Paris tip sheet with fast track tips, where to stay and more.
- Looking for a bit of History? Head to Normandy with kids during the D-day celebrations or venture over to Mount Saint Michel.
I hope you’ve enjoyed taking a virtual trip to France with your kids. Learning about new countries and cultures can be a fun experience for both children and adults. I created this travel blog for families to inspire others to travel and create memories with their family.
Don’t miss our first Virtual trip to Greece, Virtual trip to Japan, Virtual trip to Switzerland and Virtual trip to England. Click the link to head to that post.
Please share your fun activities with me on Facebook or Instagram. Looking to plan an adventure with kids, but not sure where to start? Check out my top posts on my homepage to discover more of our favorite places to travel with kids around the globe.
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