Each week Poppette and I go along to a great playgroup where our time is filled with nursery rhymes, singing, dancing, interacting with fabulous puppets and playing with musical instruments (well, mainly rattles and maybe a few drums for the slightly older babies). Poppette loves it and I love that she loves it.
It is at this playgroup that we met Le Chat Français. He is one of the many life-like puppets that the host of the playgroup brings along from time to time. At other times there may a dog, a camel, even a spider... but none of these other puppets claims to hail from foreign lands.
I was over the moon when we were introduced to Le Chat Français as making his aquaintance was most unexpected at a playgroup for English children.
Each time Le Chat makes an appearance, the host plays her favourite French song which is called 'Les Oignons' (onions)...I have never heard of this song and neither have any of my French friends. It is very wordy and rather fast - certainly not a song who's words could be easily understood and repeated by youngsters.
So... I have offered to give some of my music to the group's host to bolster Le Chat's repertoire. My hopes are twofold - a) as Poppette gets older, she will be able to sit and sing these songs along with the other children which will be great fun for her - she may even have fun helping them learn the words and b) the other children will find these songs fun and want to join in.
It strikes me that if we start with something like 'tête, épaules, genoux et pieds' (head, shoulders, knees and toes) we can't go far wrong. It is sung to the exact same tune as the English version and it will be relatively easy for the children to pick up these new words and then go home and show off to their friends and family. They will be language learning without even really noticing.... and surely that's the best way of all to learn.