How I Integrated Games into Teaching French to My Kid

Playing is the best way to integrate French and not see it as a constraint anymore. The first times Alice spontaneously spoke in French were during a game. The first times she made complete sentences were to ask for a card in a “7 familles” game. So, I tried to include games as much as possible in our daily routine.

How to Play: The goal being to use French, everything must be in French during the game, especially when counting points, changing turns, or to encourage and compliment your child:

  • “C’est à qui? C’est à toi. / A ton tour de jouer.” – “Whose turn is it? It’s your turn. / It’s your turn to play.”
  • “Joue, rejoue.” – “Play, play again.”
  • “Où sont les dés? Là. Je ne sais pas.” – “Where are the dice? There. I don’t know.”
  • “J’ai gagné, tu as perdu.” – “I won, you lost.”
  • “Tu as combien de points?” – “How many points do you have?”
  • “Bien joué!” – “Well played!”
  • “Tu joues bien!” – “You play well!”
  • “Comment tu as fait?” – “How did you do that?”
  • “Allez!” – “Come on!”

Here, I won’t really talk about board games, which are also excellent for using French, but rather about games you can create yourself. This involves the child in the creation process by drawing or writing.

Here are the different games we created:

Treasure Hunt

The treasure hunt consists of hiding notes in the house. Each note gives a clue to where the next note is until the treasure is found. On the note, there can be a drawing or a sentence in French. For example:

Note 1: “Boit le lait.” A glass of milk is on the table. At the bottom of the glass, I taped a note.

Note 2: “France.” Alice has to find France on the globe where another note is stuck.

Note 3: “Cléa.” Cléa is a friend of Alice whose picture is in the school year-end album. Next to Cléa’s photo, there’s another note. Etc.

You have to be creative and use various objects from the house. There are variations with a treasure map, outdoors, or with a fill-in-the-blank text.

The Post-it Game

Take about ten post-its with the name of an object and stick them on the wrong objects. Alice has to replace the post-its in the correct locations.

Memory Game

The memory game consists of flipping over two cards, and when you find two identical cards, you keep them. The goal is to use cards that represent everyday objects. For example, draw two stars (one star each), two princesses. During the game, enforce the rule of saying the names of the cards you won.

Dominoes Game

Cut rectangles in the middle and draw a line. Draw two different things on either side. Create about twenty dominos. Each drawing must appear at least twice.

The Little Chef Game

I don’t know what to call this game, honestly. It’s about giving performative orders like “Jump, dance, say hello, run, lift your hands, lift your foot, smile, open your mouth, turn off the light, turn your head…” Afterwards, if you’re not too tired, you can switch roles!

This game helps quickly assimilate French. And to make the child speak without feeling like they’re studying. Alice loves this game and always laughs when I say: “cours, reviens, cours.” If the child is less enthusiastic, you can introduce a points system.

It also allows introducing questions. Suddenly, you can ask:

“Quelle est ta couleur préférée?”

“Qu’est-ce que tu as mangé ce midi?”

Little by little, the game becomes a discussion without the child noticing the transition.


All these games foster a child’s communication in French. Any board games can be played in French, and they serve as excellent tools for integrating and enjoying the French language. The process also involves the child in creative thinking, which can further strengthen their connection to the subject. Alice’s laughter and enthusiasm show that learning French—or any language—need not be a chore but a joy. By integrating these methods into your teaching, you encourage a love for the language that will last a lifetime.

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