French Christmas Activities for Children
The festive period is a fantastic time of year to explore French Christmas Activities for Children! There are so many opportunities to bring in songs, games and to embed language in daily routines. Moreover, you can have a lot of festive fun with learning French Christmas vocabulary and it is a great theme for exploring phonics! We developed all of these activities, and more, in our French Christmas Lingobox! In this blog post, we’ll share some of these French Christmas activities as well as others on our Youtube channel . We’ll also share lots of activities you can just take forward yourself! These activities will be in French but are easily transferable to other languages. Likewise, they are designed for primary but could be adapted for secondary level. Explore the different areas below and let us know how you get on with these activities via our social media!
For info, this post followed on from our French Christmas Activities webinar in November 2023. You’ll find the full presentation and recording links below:
French Christmas Greetings
Christmas greetings are a great place to start when thinking about your French language learning at Christmas. Why not switch out your normal classroom greetings for Joyeux Noël (Merry Christmas) or Bonne Année (Happy New Year!).
You can even set this up as a fun challenge using our Christmas Joyeux Noël challenge sheet. Simply ask children to work individually, in pairs or in groups and use the greetings as often as they can with different people in school and at home!
These kinds of challenges are a great way to motivate children and young people to use language more frequently and to build their confidence in talking French!
Accents on letters: Ë and É
Bonus detail on the language: The double dot above the E in Noël is called a Dierisis or Trema (un tréma). It basically means that you pronounce the other vowels beside or around the letter. Listen out for this when you see it come up!
The accented E in Bonne Année is the acute accent. Or in French, accent aigu. This lifts the sound of the letter and almost pulls it upwards. Again, you can check this out in our short Youtube video on accents which explains how it (and its opposite, E accent grave – È) sound.
Ps. The accents are optional on captial letters so sometimes you’ll see them and sometimes you won’t! Both ways are correct. They are not, however, optional on lower case letters so make sure you remember to use them! 🙂
French Advent Calendar for Children
A fantastic activity to mark the start of the festive period is, of course, an advent calendar! This is a great way to build in a little bit of French in everyday with easy, fun activities! Our French Advent Calendar is packed full of fantastic 1 to 3 minute activities including animations, digital games, an open the present activity and how to draw a Christmas elf! You could, of course, create your own advent calendar with different activities and games. If you do, I would recommend including some of the activities in our Lingobox Christmas Youtube Playlist ! This includes some of our fun Christmas songs, crafts and our Christmas French Dance activity!
French Christmas Vocabulary Activities for Children
Our French Christmas Lingobox develop lots of French Christmas activities for children, with a focus on lots of fun French Christmas vocabulary. The reason for this is because these are really the key topic words, which then come up through craft activities, stories and games. You can also apply these fun phrases throughout lots of different activities including:
- Classroom language games – you can practice these in class and then include them at your class Christmas party!
- Making Christmas posters and labelling the Christmas characters
- Create a Christmas Card
- Christmas Craft Activities
- Christmas Colouring-in Activities – we have a full pack on in our Christmas Lingobox Download section. You’ll also find useful printable language colouring in packs here (to support early writing) and also some lovely, colourful French Christmas flashcards!
I love to introduce new language by adding actions, rhythm and a bit of melody! This really helps with creating a learning hook for children and with lots of repetition, it’s a great first step in learning new words and phrases.
If you’re hiding an elf – un lutin – in your class, you could use the phrase “Où est le lutin?” ? I would recommend chanting this with your class three times. The response to this is Il est là! – He is there. You’ll find the vocabulary and the audio pronunciation in our Where is the Elf activity here.
Songs are fantastic at Christmas time and whatever you do, I would recommend including one in the language you’re learning! We’ve got a selection on our Youtube channel including our:
French Christmas Rap – This is great for upper classes and is built on call and response in the verse with a repetitive chorus. You can learn the actions to go with it on our Youtube channel or ask the children to come up with their own!
Le Père Noël et Rodolphe (Santa and Rodolphe) This song tells the story of le Père Noël et Rodolphe as they fly across the sky and deliver the presents! It’s a great way to recap on some of the Christmas French vocabulary. I would recommend using this as a listening activity and following the story. With older classes, they could also work in groups to choose and recreate scenes as a class storyboard.
Jingle Bells – Counting to 30 in French version! I’ve always found the original version of Jingle Bells in French to be a bit tricky for young learners. Therefore, I came up with this adapted version which is designed to help practise the numbers and with the original chorus in French. It’s a fun, adapted version and a great way to practise the French numbers!
Whatever you get up to over Christmas, we hope you have a wonderful festive period in school and in the holidays! Wishing you all a Joyeux Noël from all of us at Lingobox!