Friday, July 19, 2013

Vivre d'Amour et D'eau Livres! Live on Love (And Water) Alone...And Books!

Saturday, July 20 - Saturday, July 27:  Ideas to help us all promote French language learning this week including local activities for kids and families.  Please share any other ideas by commenting below or posting to Bonjour Mama's Facebook page!  Bonne semaine! (Scroll down to FRENCH THIS WEEK)

Palisades Spray Park

The French expression, Vivre d'amour et d'eau fraiche equates to our "Live on Love Alone".  The French version calls for some water as well, and this heat of Washington summer, I agree.

This past week we had our first two Bonjour Mama summer playdates, both of which involved water play (relief). On Monday we met at Norwood Park in Chevy Chase and played "1-2-3 Soleil (Statues), Hide and Seek (Cache-Cache) followed by a brief but very wet and refreshing water fight at Norwood Park in Chevy Chase. On Thursday we went to the newly renovated Palisades spray park in DC. 

This place was fantastiqueI didn't wear a bathing suit, thinking I would be an onlooker to the kids' splashing. In 90-degree weather this was unrealistic, and clothes and all, feeling that gorgeous cool stuff pouring down on me was magnifique!  One of the Mamans that attended sent me a note thanking me for the "moment de fraicheur!" My sentiments exactly.  

Join us for more fun in French (and eau fraiche!) next week! See below for details, and more summer playdates will be posted on the calendar and Facebook soon. Livres!
This summer is bringing back visceral memories of childhood summers spent by the pool, which entailed a daily regimen of  vigorous swimming and play and HOURS of reading books. I remember laying out my orange blue beach towel with a piano design, feeling the scratchy grass underneath and lying down with the smell of chlorine in my hair and skin, in pure heaven with a book. Laura Ingalls, Anne of Green Gables, Nancy Drew, the Judy Blume characters. At various times throughout childhood years these were my meilleures amies, and we spent hours together in the summer.

As a mother, I am doing my best to recreate these happy experiences with Zach. He is starting to read on his own and to encourage him (in addition to the somewhat overzealous step of starting our own bookstore;-)) I am packing books with our pool bag whenever we go, trying to keep them separate from the leaky sunscreen bottles. There is nothing more relaxing after running and swimming and soaking up sun to plop down on the grass (or concrete;-)) for a long, luxurious read.  Living without love or water would be tough, but vivre sans livres, impossible!

For French reading, check out the great selections at several of the local libraries (see the links I just posted to the right: they should take you directly to the French-language children's collections- the DCPL link doesn't seem to be working, but they do have a decent selection so take a look!).  Also....summer book picks on Bonjour Mama are here, and our next Book Party/Sale will be next Saturday, July 27th at the Bethesda Co-op market.  

In the meantime, stay cool! Restez au frais! 

Bonne Semaine:-)


At Home

Play (in a group): "Le Facteur n'Est Pas Passé". This is kind of the equivalent of "Duck, Duck Goose" and was taught to me and Zach by some delightful 7-year olds yesterday morning at the spray park.  Here's how to play: 

You all sit in a circle with your eyes closed, chanting: "le facteur n'est pas passé, il ne passera jamais: 1 heure, 2 heures, 3 heures...." as the "facteur" (mailman) walks around with an envelope (or anything). When he chooses the recipient of the letter (taps them on the back and drops it) he/she has to get up, grab the letter and chase down the mailman. If caught, the "facteur" sits in the middle until the next one is caught.  The kids loved this one, and I felt like what it must be to be in the "recré" (recess) at the French school!   

Joke in French: check out these "Monsieur et Madame" jokes:  

Monsieur et madame Nastik ont un fils, comment s’appelle-t-il?
- Jim. (Jim Nastik: gymnastique)
Monsieur et Madame Ouzi ont un fils, comment s’appelle-t-il?
– Jacques. (Jacques Ouzi: “Jacuzzi”)

Out and About

Monday, July 22
10:30am -  Noon: Bonjour Mama French Playdate at Chevy Chase / Livingston ParkBring swimming attire, sunscreen, water, and picnic lunch! Free. RSVP to or on Facebook Events page.

Thursday, July 25
10:30am -  Noon: Bonjour Mama French Playdate at Palisades spray park.  Bring swimming attire, sunscreen, water, and picnic lunch! Free. RSVP to or on Facebook Events page.

Saturday, July 27 
9:00 am - 12 Noon Bonjour Mama Book Party & Sale at the Bethesda Coop Market. Lots of books in French and English (Usborne & Kane Miller books) and a few in Spanish and other languages. Suggested itinerary: coffee at Starbucks, pick up croissants at the Michel Bakery inside the co-op market, then come outside for books and activities chez Bonjour Mama!

If any Mamans or Papas would like to volunteer to read stories and/or help kids play with the activities in French (for at least 30 minutes), you can have your choice of books up to $10!  I can take two volunteers (the first two people to respond will get the "job")  

See the calendar for full view of events this week, including regularly scheduled events and storytimes. Looking for other family and adult events en francais? Check the following calendars: 


  1. Hello, I think you are doing a great job in trying to teach a foreign language to children! I have myself a website dedicated to teaching languages to children by reading stories to them. I am doing French, Italian and English as a second language.
    I would like to join you in your summer party with my post you will find activities in French, as well as in Italian and English on the wordless book "Wave".
    My website is written in French but most of the reviews are translated in English too.
    I hope to meet you again on the web.

  2. Merci Michela - I'm so sorry for the late reply- it's been a busy month. I just looked at your site and love the idea of teaching languages through stories. This is my favorite way to expose my son to French and I love the fact that you post videos of your storybooks read aloud. I will look for more French stories from you! Merci encore! Grazie mille!