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Le cirque

Before the Easter holidays, we learned and listened to some songs about the circus in our French classes for babies, toddlers and preschoolers. I think it's a lovely, joyful, just-about-spring kind of a theme.

This week we've started a new theme of springtime and gardening, but to keep practicing what we've already learned and in honour of World Circus Day (17 April actually but I had some things come up and didn't quite finish this post in time). I've put together some fun circus themed craft ideas so you can continue to use the vocabulary. Grab our cute circus printable to help you along, just click the image above!

When I started looking, I found such an abundance of circus themed ideas that it was difficult to choose. Luckily there are lots of round-ups and compilations so you can explore them further at your leisure. You could make a themed week and plan a few activities and projects, play games or even put on a little show! They would work equally well for a circus themed birthday party.

I absolutely adore this theme because it's loads of fun and super versatile. There are so many ways that you can use the circus to play, and of course play is the best way how to teach your child French (or to teach just about anything, for that matter!). As I've talked about previously, it's best if you combine different ways of learning as each reinforces and supports the other. For example, you could use the circus vocabulary in the context of crafting, and then again in the context of role play.

First up is this super craft from First Palette because every circus needs the Big Top! In France le chapiteau is rouge et jaune - red and yellow. And there are miniature circus characters as well, including clowns, a ringmaster, an acrobat, a tightrope walker, a trapeze artist, as well as circus animals! You'll find a printable template for le chapiteau here and the characters here.

While you are crafting, you could listen to the song - la chanson - Oh oh chapiteau by Eléa Zalé. We listened to this in our French classes as it's a simple yet catchy song, perfect for reinforcing the vocabulary and supporting your child's learning. The words are clear and the tempo isn't too fast. You'll find the lyrics as well as the chords on her website.

Cinq éléphants is a well-loved traditional French children's song that's a perfect fit for the circus theme. Practise counting in French, dance about like elephants and fall down! This one is a favourite in our French classes for babies, toddlers and preschoolers and enjoyed by both little ones and their grown ups.

Another fun idea from First Palette is this funny flip book. Print out the body template and your child can create and colour different characters. Then simply staple the sheets together and cut into thirds. Flip the pages to create mixed-up characters! This simple project is great for a giggle as well as to incorporate French vocabulary for colours and even body parts.

Artsy Craftsy Mom has compiled a list of ten circus crafts over on her site to choose from. There's something for everyone, from the littlest learners to older ones. The ideas range from simple printables to more involved projects such as paper mâche circus animals.

Over at Just Bright Ideas you'll find another round up of crafts as well as some circus themed activity ideas to develop motor skills which can add another element into your circus themed play. My favourite is the bean bag toss/ball toss. Simply set up some baskets or cups - you can even number each of the containers and count or keep score in French!

Have fun with these activities while practising French vocabulary with your little one! If you try any of them, please share on social media and let us see your creations.

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