Say “Oui” to Introducing a Language Early On

Actress Kellie Martin, owner of the children’s eBoutique Romp, shares tips on early language learning.

fam I love anything French. I love croissants, the Eiffel Tower, champagne, Degas … and I so hoped that my daughter would aspire to be a little Francophile too. Of course, like any proper 4 year old, if I said let’s read “Le Petit Prince,” she would insist on “Clifford.” And if I suggested an éclair, she would insist on—actually she’s good with éclairs (who isn’t?).

My family is full of English-speaking Americans, and I’ve always thought my friends who had to speak another language at home were really cool. Then I went to college where I had friends who spoke four, sometimes five languages. They were able to go to countless other countries and feel very much at home. Cool. So my husband and I decided that when we had a kid, she’d be introduced to a foreign language at a young age.

But it wasn’t until my daughter met Miss Sophie that she began to fall in love with all things French. Miss Sophie teaches French through the most delightful songs that she sings with her own children. You don’t have to speak the language to love listening to Sophie’s album “Bonjour,” but my guess is that you and your child will know every word by the third time though.

Here are a few of our other language-learning favorites:


French Flash Cards

Good old-fashioned flash cards are also helpful for building up basic vocabulary. While our high school flash cards might’ve bring back some stressful studying memories, it can be fun to engage a child in a game of pictures. This set has 56 cards, a pronunciation guide and ideas for using the cards for storytelling and play.

ABC Blocks

There’s nothing like starting young! Combine a basic kids toy (blocks) with language and here you have a language learning tool that’s also fun to play with. These heirloom quality blocks have an unique animal, a numeral or math symbol and four letters. Handcrafted with attention to detail, right here in the USA from Michigan basswood.

Sweet & Simple Bib

Lastly, there’s nothing like total language immersion. While learning French, why not live like the French. This simple and elegant bib is handmade of antique French linen, cared for and passed down for over a century. A fantastic baby shower gift!

Kellie Martin is the owner of the children’s eBoutique Romp, known for its curated selection of toys and gifts that encourage a child’s imagination and creativity. Kellie is also a working actress known for her childhood role on Life Goes On, as well as her role Emmy-nominated role in ER. She has the unique viewpoint of not only surviving Hollywood (as a child star), but also thriving. She graduated from Yale, married and has a 7 year old daughter. She will also be launching her first novel this February called Madam (Penguin Press).

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