Seek-and-find books are a favourite in our house! Understandably so because there are many reasons to love them. Search-and-find books keep children (and even adults) of all ages engaged as they use their visual perception and discrimination skills to find specific objects or characters cleverly hidden in a scene. My daughter, Surya, often spends a great amount of time on her own engrossed in these fantastic books, but we also like to browse them together, giving me an opportunity to teach French in a fun way at home.
As parents, it can sometimes be hard to justify buying books for kids, especially when they seem to get too old for them, too fast. However, in my experience, since seek-and-find books can be used in so many creative ways, children remain interested in them for a long time.
How can you use seek-and-find books to teach French to kids?
1. Introduce vocabulary in the book
You can find a wonderful variety of search-and-find books for young kids that focus on a multitude of themes such as animals, vehicles, or seasons.
Point to the image of the object and ask your P’tit Loup to find it in the picture.
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Observe l’image et trouve l’étoile de mer.
2. Practice French vocabulary your child is already familiar with
After pouring over the book several times, your child may find looking for the same items no longer challenging enough. You can then use the book to practice French words they already know.
Using the same image from the book P’tit Loup, Cherche et Trouve: Vive les vacances, for instance, you can ask them to find the boat, the sun, the ball, or the umbrella.
Your little one can identify colours in French as they look for the yellow house or practice counting as they count the number of sandcastles in the picture.
3. Provide descriptive hints
If your petit chou is having a very hard time finding the objects, ask them if they want a hint.
Tu veux un indice?
For example, on the pages above, if they can’t find un poussin, you can use this moment to provide them with a helpful clue that also gives them a chance to practice prepositions.
The chicks are next to the hen.
Les poussins sont à côté de la poule.
4. Take turns finding items
This is probably Surya’s number one way of using find-it books now. She bursts with excitement when it’s her turn to ask me to find the items in the book. She loves giving me with hints as I try to find the hidden objects.
I love watching her use her French language skills to help me in my search. It’s not only a way of using the same book to continue to teach French, but it is also an amazing bonding moment for us.
5. Promote creativity and storytelling
Another way of using search-and-find books is to create stories about the people and items in the scene. Why are they at the farm? Where’s P’tit Loup’s baby sister? Is the goat happy? There are so many creative ways of practicing French while using your imagination.
How do you use French seek-and-find books to practice French at home?