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Celebrate Valentine's Day the FranceABC Way

Over the last two years, our bonds and global communities have been more important than ever. Perhaps this Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to show each other how much we love one another. To make things extra special, turn to one of the most romantic countries in the world for this year’s celebrations. Let’s make it a French Valentine’s Day with some fun crafts and foods.

French Valentine’s Day

First things first, French Valentine’s Day isn’t so much about friendship and love generally as it is about romantic love. Your kids, of course, don’t need to know this. You’re more than welcome to adopt some French Valentine’s Day traditions and add in a Canadian twist.

Below you’ll find instructions for a Valentine’s Day card, but you’ll need some phrases to turn this day into an opportunity to embrace and encourage your child’s French education.

The first is “Joyeuse Saint Valentin”. Help your child write this on their card to wish their friends a Happy Valentine’s Day in French.

The second is “Tu veux être mon valentin / ma valentine?” This phrase means “would you be my valentine?” “Mon valentin” is the masculine version, for if they are asking a boy. “Ma valentine” is when the subject of their request is a girl.

Finally, the classic - “Je t’aime”, or “I love you”. A must-have for all Valentine’s traditions, whether to a friend, family member, or crush!

Valentine’s Day Crafts

Every holiday can be used as an excuse to make some crafts. Cards are a classic, of course. This heart card requires just some ribbon, scissors, a hole punch, construction paper, and the template that can be found here. The website includes step-by-step instructions as well as a video tutorial. Use fun coloured pencils to include those handy French phrases we provided.

Another easy craft idea are these heart bookmarks. If your child has advanced to enjoying French books, these add a little something to their reading routine. Make it even more educational by writing French words on them. For instance, if your child has a preferred genre of novel, write it in French. Some of these are:

  • Detective stories: les romans policiers

  • Fantasy novels: les romans fantasy

  • Sci-fi books: les livres de science-fiction

  • Comic strip books: les bandes dessinées

  • Manga: les mangas

  • Teen fiction: les romans jeunes

You could also write “From the library of (your child’s name)”, or “de la bibliothèque de ______”, on their heart bookmarks.

French Valentine’s Day Dinner Recipes

Enjoying an elegant meal isn’t just for couples - families can appreciate these too. Our readers know that we’re a big fan of learning French through our stomachs.

Talk to your kids about the menu, and help them create menus on folded cardboard with the names of each dish in French. Go one step further and have them list the main ingredients also in French - just like in a restaurant! Now, without further adieu, enjoy a French Valentine’s Day dinner.

The charcuterie board is a great one to enjoy with kids (like this kid-friendly board, for instance) and can be adapted any way you please. These are easy to get the kids involved with arranging the board and scooping out jellies and chutneys. If you plan on making these for your kids and their friends, here are some good ideas for making the boards Covid-safe.

This is another great opportunity to help your kids learn French food words. Write the French names for each item on the board on small cards and place these next to the item.

Valentine’s Day falls on a Monday this year, so you may want something a little simpler. And who doesn’t love a pot roast? This French Onion Pot Roast requires just a quick sear in the pan and 8 hours in the slow-cooker to get everything nice and tender. When it’s done, the recipe provides the method to make a quick French onion gravy to top it. Serve with potatoes, biscuits, and veg.

Speaking of slow-cooker recipes, this one simplifies a classic French dish: Cassoulet. However, beware that this recipe includes wine. While the alcohol will all be cooked off and therefore safe for kids, you may still not want to use it for younger children.

Valentine’s Day Treats

Now let’s talk sweets. One of the benefits of Valentine’s Day is being able to enjoy sweets with your sweetheart, or with your little sweethearts. The first one we’ll go over is made up of an abundance of cream and cream cheese and strawberries. It’s one you don’t want to miss - the Coeur à la Crème. You’ll need a special pan for this dessert, which can be found for a good price on Amazon.

For a slightly simpler French-inspired strawberries and cream recipe, this strawberry-stuffed croissant French toast adds a little sweetness to Valentine’s brunch.

Finally, the traditional mousse au chocolate is a must-have. Absolutely delicious and easier than pie.

These open up the conversation for enjoying French cuisine and culture on the day of love. Enjoy a French film alongside the meal.

For more ideas about how you can make meals, crafts, and holidays educational, speak to your FranceABC tutor for vocabulary ideas.

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