Mom! Dad! When is dinner going to be ready?
It’s one of the phrases that parents dread the most.
But what if your child wasn’t hungry for mac and cheese or hotdogs and instead was craving some appetizing French learning apps?!
And why shouldn’t they?
These days, kids grow up knowing how to work a tablet or a smartphone sometimes even before being able to spell or read. This is an unprecedented situation that has educators and app-makers scrambling to accommodate the generation of digital natives.
For families, that means it’s easy to give kids what they’re hungry for. There are tons of great kid-friendly French apps to choose from, teaching everything from basic words to reading skills to pronunciation.
So if you want your child to grow up fluent in French, language learning is only a click (or a tap! or a swipe!) away.
What Makes French Apps so Appetizing for Kids?
Like a good hors d’oeuvre to a delectable meal, apps are the perfect complement to any French learning program—even more so for our ultra-connected kids. No need to worry about letting your little one sit in front of the tablet or phone when you (secretly) know it’s helping them learn French!
Because apps are interactive, they force kids to apply new French language knowledge, which helps it stick in their brains.
They’re also designed to be attention-grabbing and exciting. They hide the science behind language learning and simply turn the process into a fun event that kids actually want to do.
Best of all, kids’ language apps are, by definition, age-appropriate. You won’t have to worry about them coming across any rude slang or adult themes.
8 App-etizing French Apps for Knowledge-hungry Kids
Check out this list of the top eight French apps for kids, and get your child playing their way to French fluency in no time!
FluentU is the best way to immerse kids in French language and culture from a young age, without having to shell out for a plane ticket!
FluentU uses real-world French videos, like animated movies, kids’ shows, music videos and more, that’ve been transformed into personalized language lessons.
Each video comes with interactive captions—kids can click any new French words for an instant definition, memorable picture and native pronunciation. The video will also automatically pause, making it easy for them to learn as they watch.
For example, tap on the word “suit,” and this appears:
Better yet, each video is accompanied by fun quizzes and activities to reinforce learned vocabulary and comprehension.
The videos are organized by genre and learning level, so it’s easy to find ones that work for your kids. You’ll find everything from Sesame Street-style vocabulary lessons to tiger face-paint tutorials! You can check out the full video library for free with a FluentU trial.
Jeux pour lire avec Sami et Julie (Reading Games with Sami and Julie)
This app is best for beginner French learners starting from the age of four. While this app aims to help kids learn how to read the French language by working with individual sounds and syllables, it’s a great adventure for kids of all ages! It’s like a gamified “Hooked on Phonics” for French.
Better yet, it’s actually designed for native French-speaking children, so it’s a totally authentic and immersive learning environment.
Kids navigate maps to learn to read with the characters Sami and Julie. There are four levels, starting with basics such as individual letter sounds and then working up to complete words. Ultimately, before long, children begin working with whole sentences!
Je lis et j’écris (I Read and I Write)
Available on: Android
From the same company that created Jeux Pour Lire avec Sami et Julie comes this fantastic app. In fact, the two apps can be used in tandem to help kids get the best well-rounded French reading and writing experience.
Instead of focusing on just identifying and reading individual sounds and words in the French language, this app allows kids to practice writing them with the in-app writing interface. The best part of all is that the letters also have rhymes and poems to help kids remember how to write them out.
In challenge modes, kids can test their speed and accuracy of writing French words while chasing a rabbit!
I recommend this app for children in kindergarten (ages four and above).
Boukili is an authentic French Canadian kids’ app developed by TFO, an Ontario-based French language and culture educational resource. It’s appropriate for kids around the age of six and older or those who have some basis in reading.
The app allows kids to access age-appropriate stories in French. Best of all, we’re not talking about a couple stories here or there in French. Boukili has 54 books, all of which include text and audio for kids to read along with.
Further, there are also games and other activities for kids to complete to test and reinforce their understanding of the stories.
Learn French by MindSnacks
Available on: iOS
MindSnacks’ French app transforms language lessons into games. There are 50 French lessons on the app so your child will have new challenges in French for a long while!
Topics in these games include everyday vocabulary such as numbers and common phrases for conversation. The app also uses native French speech recordings to help kids perfect their French listening and pronunciation skills.
With this app’s spaced repetition system, you can be sure that your kids will retain what they’ve learned through perfectly timed vocabulary revision. Spaced repetition uses an algorithm to show players the words they’ve had the most difficulty with at key moments to promote memory.
I recommend this app for kids aged six and older due to its reliance on primarily text-based activities.
Gus on the Go: French
“Gus on the Go” features a friendly owl named Gus as its main character. With Gus, kids can work through a map of France while playing games and puzzles that grow their vocabulary.
They’ll get familiar with common vocabulary topics such as animals and food. The interface itself is fun and colorful and the activities come complete with audio recordings for the French words as well as text.
Best of all, each lesson unlocks a special vocabulary review lesson so that all the new words and knowledge stay in your child’s brain.
StoryToys Red Riding Hood
This is a fantastic game for kids looking for an immersive French experience. While it wasn’t specifically designed for French learning, it’s great for a simple, interactive game where the language can be toggled into French for reading practice. And did I mention it’s fun?
Primarily, the app consists of the recitation of the story “Little Red Riding Hood.” In the settings menu, you can change the language into French and watch your child become enthralled in the story. The animations are complete with a big font and beautiful pictures.
Best of all, there are games built into the story at major moments that kids must complete in order to advance in the narrative. These games will help kids reinforce their understanding of the text and vocabulary they acquire.
I recommend this app for children aged eight and older because of the reading level of the story.
Who Is It?
Available on: iOS
This app is based on the classic board game Guess Who?. It’s great to teach kids how to describe people’s physical attributes in French with useful vocabulary and expressions.
While this app defaults to English, the language can be easily changed into French in the settings menu or when setting up the game.
While kids can play many versions of this game, the most basic, called Devine (Guess), allows kids to select pre-written questions in order to guess a character that the app has chosen. The game answers the questions in French to allow kids to guess.
The best part is that there are a few different versions of the game, and there’s a two-player option so you can grow your French skills alongside your child!
I recommend this app for children aged eight and older due to the complexity of some of the French expressions used.
Aren’t you feeling peckish? Don’t wait any longer! Make your kids app-ceptional in French today!
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn French with real-world videos.