Friday, August 9, 2013

Only Two More Weeks of Summer - À Jouer!

Friday August 9 - Friday, August 23:  Ideas to help us all promote French language learning 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)

Bonjour everyone!  

The clock is officially ticking. With only two weeks until Zach starts kindergarten, I have eight links bookmarked for the elementary school, starred messages from a PTA president who I have never met, but already gets higher priority in my inbox than my friends and family, and the feeling that I had better finally get my kitchen paperwork organized before I am found out as the mother who can't find the medical records and doesn't know her son's social security number.

I am also painfully aware that my days of never having to worry about crowded malls, museums, shops, restaurants, and traffic when out and about with Zach are coming to an end and that our time doing fun activities will have to be squeezed into the hours after school and weekends (yes, I have been a very spoiled, ungrateful SAHM!). Given this looming end of an era, I feel enormous pressure to (I mean, I am so excited and happy to!) pack in as much fun, adventure, and culture as possible into the next two weeks.   

For example, next week we will be doing a bilingual nature hike at the Locust Grove Nature Center.  We can keep our eyes peeled for creepy crawlies: below is my bug word list from an April post: "Don't Step on the Coccinnelle!". We are sure to see a libellule (dragonfly) by the water!

While the summer wishlist is still only partially fulfilled, I try to remind myself it's not about checking off a list, and to be Zen and in the moment. And we have had many wonderful moments, many of these in French, mainly thanks to our playdate companions!   We have had many fun rencontres en français the past several weeks and I am thrilled Zach and I are meeting more friends and speaking more French!  As my son's primary French teacher for the long haul, I am especially grateful as I am depending on the support of our community to keep at this bilingual parenting life! 

To facilitate scheduling I have started posting playdates to the group: "Le Petit Groupe Français". I participated in  this group a few times when Zach was a baby and then sort of lost touch with as many of the activities were taking place too far away from us, and later seemed to be geared toward the 0-5 age range, which my rising kindergartener is quickly outgrowing. 

There is still a core group of French speakers who get together regularly for French-language playdates, and I am really hoping that because anyone can add activities and events that we can collectively propose a wide range of meetups that suit our kids' interests and schedules. To participate in group activities, please register (free!) on See below or on the calendar for a preview of scheduled events!

Happy end of summer everyone, and bonne rentrée!


At Home

Watch Muzzy online - a wonderful language-learning tool and free if you are a library patron in many places (including Montgomery County!)

Learn the words for all the healthy veggies in the garden in "Les Legumes" - a bilingual board book I just in on the bookstore that is great for little fingers - and tummies!

Prepare for school with Benjamin (la Tortue) va à l'école - very sweet and reassuring for little ones starting preschool or kindergarten.

Sing/Play: L'Arraignee Gypsy (similar to the Itsy Bitsy Spider). This video shows the hand motions.

Out and About

Saturday, August 10th, 9:00 am - 2pm: (WEATHER-PERMITTING) Bonjour Mama Book 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!  

Monday, August 12 10:30am -  Noon: Bonjour Mama / Le Petit Groupe Français BILINGUAL Nature Hike at Locust Grove Nature Center. RSVP Required via

Tuesday, August 13: Blackberry picking (ceuillir des mûres) à Butler's Orchard. RSVP Required via 

Friday, August 16: 10:30 am Noon: Jouer avec l'eau à St. Paul Park, Kensington. RSVP Required via 

Monday, August 19: 10:30 am Noon: Jouer au Parc. RSVP Required via

Check the calendar for more events around townLooking for other family and adult events en français? Take a look at the following calendars: 
Alliance Francaise DC

Maison de France
French American Chamber of Commerce
DC French Meetup Group

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