Paris Culture for KIDS – Learn and Enjoy MORE
France is the MOST visited country in the world and has more than 80 MILLION visitors every single year. As one of the oldest nations on Earth, there are a lot of wonderful things to enjoy about Paris and learning before you go will make the journey even more fun and memorable.
Culture is how we make sense of the world and gives us an idea of what is important. Our own culture, the one we grow up with, teaches us who we are and how we fit into the world. Learning about our own culture give us roots – warm traditions and helps shape how we feel about ourselves.
Learning about other cultures teaches children how different and similar we really are as humans. We communicate with more than just words. Great Schools says,
“As little as 7 percent of a message may be expressed in words. The rest is facial expression, voice tone, body gesture, and overall posture.”
Studying world wide cultures and observing others is a great way to learn about others and how they communicate. This gives us the information we need to understand one another and avoid miscommunication. Don’t we need more understanding the world today?
Culture impacts the way a child learns. Educating for Diversity says teachers can benefit from cultural information, too,
“Our ability to give every child a chance to succeed in school depends upon a full understanding of culture and learning styles.”
Don’t wait for the school to catch up with this research. You can be the teacher! You can give your child an advantage by teaching them with travel.
Paris Culture for KIDS – Fashion
Paris being the center of the fashion world goes all the way back to King Louis XIV in the last 17th century. King Louis was a very fashional guy who had grande ideas and expensive taste! It was his idea to bring in industries like textiles which contributed to the national economy and put France on the fashion map for ever. Since the world’s finest fabric was created in France, this drew seamstresses and fashion designers.
Coco Chanel took normal clothing for women at the time which included uncomfortable designs like corsets and took them completely apart. He new designs were chic and comfortable! She created loose clothing designs which helped start the ‘flapper style’ of the 1920s.
Read about fashion before you go and you’ll appreciate Paris all the more!
Different like Coco by Elizabeth Matthews Once upon a time, Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel felt different from other girls. She was poor and didn’t have a family and felt like she was too skinny. As a young girl she sewed clothes for her dolls and as a young woman she designed clothing for her figure type – which was too skinny for what was ‘perfect’ at the time. Later, she channeled her work into fashion design. Thanks to her we now have the little black dress and her legacy of an enormous fashion empire. Written to inspire; that if you feel different you can overcome with spunk and determination. Excellent. However; there is a dark side to Coco Channel (nazi sympathizer and ‘kept’ woman) that is thankfully left out of this delightful book. If her political past or less than ladylike ideals offend you then you might want to avoid this book – though none of those things are mentioned. Written for grades 2-6 it is a nice overview of the fashion designer for any age. Lexile Measure: 990L Length: 40 pages
Designer Doodles: Over 100 Designs to Complete and Create by Nellie Ryan Use this book of prompts to get your fashion design juices flowing! Fun way to get your fashionistas excited about Paris! Written for 8-17 years. Lexile Measure: N/A Length: 128 pages.
So, You Want to Work in Fashion? How to Break into the World of Fashion and Design by Patricia Wooster There is a whole lot more to the world of fashion careers than a kiddo might expect. This book shows the big picture of all the different people who are involved like designers, models and even fashion cutter and colorist. Cool insight for kids! Written for kids aged: 8-12 years, but a cliff note for older teens and even adults. Lexile Measure: 1040. Length: 192 pages.
Orgami Chic: A Guide to Foldable Fashion by Sok Song What a fun way to think about fashion and pass the time on a long plane ride to Paris! Follow directions and fold your way to paper fashion. This includes everything you need. Written for kids aged: 9 and up. Younger kids won’t have the small motor skills needed for the folding. Lexile Measure: N/A. Length: 240 pages.
Where Did My Clothes Come From? by Chris Butterworth Excellent book taking kids from the raw materials to the clothes they wear every day. Great intro to the concept of fashion for the younger set. Written for kids aged: 5-8. Lexile Measure: N/A. Length: 32 pages.
Paris Culture for KIDS – Cheese
The French love cheese so much! They eat it, create it, and manufacture it. There are 350+ types of cheese just from France and nearly a BILLION tons of cheese are produced in France every year. Some common varieties include: Brie, Roquefort, Chèvre, Camembert, and the similar to swiss cheese – Emmental.
How much do the French love cheese? The average French person eats about 50 pounds of cheese a year while the average American eats only 31 pounds. How they eat all that cheese and still stay thin is a mystery many have tried to understand.
A famous quote from the French President, Charles de Gaulle in 1962, “How can you govern a country which has 246 varieties of cheese?”
Some famous french dishes include cheese! Try before you travel!
Croque Monsieur – a warm ham and cheese sandwich
Croque Madame – a warm ham and cheese sandwich with a fried egg on top
Fondue – melted cheese that you dip your food into!
Cheese Souffle – light and airy baked dish with cheese of course!
Curious about how to make cheese? Look no further than A Better Whey Cheesemaking. LOVE the name, don’t you? Have you ever wondered why cheese taste different since they are all made from the same thing? It all has to do with PH and calcium….go here to learn more about how one cheese differs from another.
Paris Culture for KIDS – Food
We get a lot of yummy food from France. The French love good food and are protective of their creations. France’s gastronomy was awarded UNESCO World Heritage Status in 2010.
See if any of your favorites are on the list!
Crepes – Crepes are very thin pancakes with all sorts of fillings. They can be savory and have filling like cheese and ham. They can also be very sweet and filled with things like chocolate cream or jellies.
Croissant – Croissants are a type of bread roll. They are buttery and always shaped like a crescent moon.
Quiche – A quiche is an egg dish that has veggies in it. It has a pastry crust like a pie.
Omelet – An omelet is an egg dish that can be plain or full of meat, cheese, or vegetables.
Chocolate Mousse – A chocolate mousse is a dessert like a pudding.
Unusual things are eaten here, too.
Pate – Goose liver
Snails – The French love snails and eat around 30,000 TONS a year. Even though they love snails they do not allow them to ride on trains without a ticket. It is against the law for a snail to ride on a high speed train in France without its own ticket.
Paris Culture for KIDS – Language
The French people are very proud of their language. So much that they are trying to preserve it. Radio Stations are required to play at least 40% music that has a French origin. Also, there is an organization that is trying to stop non-French words like ‘hashtag’ and ’email’ and ‘weekend’ from creeping into the French language.
They enjoy when people make an effort to communicate with them in French and it is fun to learn a few words. Since French is the most commonly studied language after English, you’ll be in good company! Try these common phrases as you will have lots of opportunities to use them. You can find a few French phrases you might want to memorize here.
Hello – Bonjour
How are you? – Ca va?
Thank you – Merci
Good bye- Au revoir
Poisson Un Poisson Deux Poisson Rouge Poisson Blue: A French Edition of One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss Dust off your high school French and get the kids’ ears in tune to French with this classic. Written for kids aged 4-8 years, but useful for any age dusting off their language skills. Lexile Measure: N/A. Length: 64 pages.
My First French Book: A Bilingual Introduction to Words, Numbers, Shapes, and Colors by Mandy Stanley Great introduction to French for both the youngest kiddos or those refreshing their memory of high school French class. Written for kids aged: 2-5 years. Lexile Measure: N/A Length: 48 pages.
Paris Culture for KIDS – Greetings
The French are warm and friendly people BUT they are more reserved in the way they express themselves. For example, to a stranger they seem reserved and don’t smile as much as Americans.
When you enter a store or restaurant ALWAYS greet the sales person by saying, “Bonjour”.
When you leave a business ALWAYS say, “Au revoir”.
Greet people by saying, “Bonjour” and not by saying hello in your language. You have come a long way to see Paris and this small gesture means a lot to Parisians and is worth learning.
Paris Culture for KIDS – Sports
The Tour de France is the most famous bicycle race in the world!
The French Open is a famous tennis event held every year in Paris.
The second time the modern Olympic games were held – they were hosted in France.
Soccer is very popular in France and the national team Is Equipe de France de football, but they are nicknamed: Les Bleues, Les Tricolores, and La Selection.
Paris Culture for KIDS – Inventions
Some of the world’s cool stuff has been invented in France. Do you use any of these?
Canned Food – Preserving food by canning was invented by Nicolas Appert in 1809. He used glass jars but later using tin cans was the idea of another French man, Pierre Durand.
Hair dryer – The world’s first hair dryer was patented in 1888 by Alexandre – Ferdinand Godefrey. Millions of moms the world over rejoiced because as a mom will tell you if you go outside with wet hair, “You’ll catch your death of cold.” ***That was proven false by the way but I’m not sure I would argue with a mom about it. 😉
Etch-a-Sketch – This classic game was an accidental invention during research on electrical light switch plates by Andre Cassagnes.
Metric System – Whether you love or hate this system….it started right here in 1793 and began with the original kilo measure called Le Grand K. Copies are made every so often of Le Grand K and used around the world. The last time Le Grand K was measured though it was o.o5 milligrams lighter than the copies. Is Le Grand K smaller or are the copies larger? A real french mystery.
Paris and Culture: The Educational Tourist’s Adventure books
Be sure to download your copy of The Educational Tourist’s Adventure in France book to take with you on your adventure! Great to keep young minds interested, engaged and busy during slow spots in your trip like the long plane ride there or while you wait for dinner.
No visit to Paris is complete without a visit to the world’s most visited museum – the Louvre. The Educational Tourist’s Adventure in the Louvre book has information about what they kids will see and keeps them engaged and interested!
Enjoy your travels with the kids! Vive La France!
Happy French travels,
Natalie, The Educational Tourist