A Toddler in Paris
We love to travel. That is not a secret. This pandemic has changed our ability to go and see the world. It has not changed our love of new adventures and exploring. We were inspired by the blog @3kidstravel to create our own trip. Lucia has always wanted to go to the “Lieffel” tower, so I decided France would be the first place we would “visit” during our quarantine. I adjusted some ideas from other blogs, and created one that would be fun for a toddler. Not any longggg activities, nothing too fancy, just some fun French-inspired time at home. It needs to be simple, with all we have going on around us now.
Lucia was very excited to get her French adventure started. She has seen pictures of Dave and I at the Eiffel Tower on our honeymoon, and had talked about going A LOT. We reminded her she was only going in her imagination, which was still hard for her to get. We started by reading the book “Everybody Bonjours”. She loved learning the word Bonjour, and pointing out all the pictures in the Eiffel Tower. This was her favorite book of the week, she asked to read it EVERY DAY. Then we moved on to watching Beauty and the Beast, singing “BONJOUR!” along with Belle at the top of our lungs. We even learned to “can-can” during Be Our Guest! We did color the French flag as well, even though it was not her favorite activity. She likes to be a little more free with her art…
Today we started our day with a new movie, Ratatouille. (You will notice movies are important here– it’s hard to keep a toddler constantly entertained, but it was fun to watch a movie and talk about some different French cuisine and Eiffel Tower sightings throughout the movie!) Then we looked at different pictures of macaroons, talked about what shapes and colors they were, and then moved on to making “Croissants”. I am no Chef, not a great baker, and I did not think this was the time to test my bread-making skills. So we used the tried and true Crescent Rolls to make our “Croissants” and they were delicious and easy. Lucia could even roll them herself!
What is France without art? We studied one of my mom’s favorite artists and periods– Claude Monet and Impressionism. We looked at the colors, and talked about what we saw. Lucia described the paintings as “fuzzy” which I thought was a very good interpretation LOL. We read our “Mini-Masters” book. (Which Lucia liked, but not as much as “Everybody Bonjours!”) Then we moved on to the most important activity of the day– watercolors! I put painter’s tape across a piece of construction paper to create the bridge from Monet’s famous “Water Lily Pond” and then let Lucia paint the rest. It was so cute, and even though it may never be as famous as the original, it is still parfaite to me!
This day was Lucia’s dream! We started with reading “This is …. Paris” which is a great book, but a little long for toddlers to be completely honest. Probably would skip that if you are looking for some short books to share with your toddler. The Eiffel Tower was all she continued to talk about, and we let her explore the Eiffel Tower with some videos from youtube:
These are specific links for toddlers– except the first one which does seem like it would appeal to older kids as well. Keeping the videos short and sweet was important, because Lucia wanted to move on and get to pretending she was AT the Eiffel Tower. I had bought a poster of the Eiffel Tower, and she stood is front of it and told us all about the Eiffel Tower. She had some interesting theories (unicorns were involved, because of the videos I believe), but it was fun to see her use her imagination and come up with her own ideas and this famous landmark.
Then we went outside, and her Aunt Caro drew with her an Eiffel Tower that she could go visit on our driveway! I was very impressed with my sister’s artistic skills, and Lucia is lucky because there was no way Mommy was drawing that!
Today was out final piece of the adventure, and I decided to dedicate the day to a French classic– Madeline! We read the book, watched the movie, and then made Madeline hats! It was really simple– a paper plate and paper bowl taped together and painted yellow with a black ribbon tied around in. Put on her yellow rain jacket and she felt like the real thing! Such a cute activity, and Madeline was fun for me to watch as well. (My pictures for this activity are not uploading right now for some reason, but I will update ASAP!)
Overall, the week was fun, the activities simple but still enjoyable for mommy and Lucia. Modify however you want, and enjoy your “traveling” during this pandemic. See you in a new place around the globe soon!