Whistlefritz “Les Saisons” French-learning DVD

Help Your Kids Learn French with the Whistlefritz Les Saisons DVD


The last time Cub tried a Whistlefritz French language-learning DVD, he actually spoke more French than English. When we lived in Montreal, he was surrounded by French: from my husband, his relatives, his daycare and almost everyone around him. I was the only one speaking to him in English! Now that we live in Calgary, the situation has reversed. I was shocked by how quickly he stopped speaking French once English became the language of daily life. As for his little sister, she has only ever known life in English. It’s really just her father who speaks to her en français. I am a fluent French speaker and before having kids and becoming a blogger, I taught French as a second language. My husband and I met in Spanish class in Montreal when I was on exchange in my third year of university. Language is extremely important to us! While I spent my entire post-secondary degree perfecting my French (and I continue to be bamboozled by the gender of words and by choosing the correct preposition), I want my children to enter university already bilingual. I dream of them correcting my prepositions or reminding me that bicycle and vélo are masculine even though bicyclette (the exact same object) is feminine.

Cub is now in his second year of preschool in French. This September, we increased his attendance to three times per week, which gives him about eight hours of French instruction. Papa Wolf has been making a concerted effort to speak only in French to Cub, even though Cub typically responds in English. I am very happy to report that the extra day of preschool and reinforcement at home has shown noticeable results! Cub now sings songs in French, spontaneously counts in French and responds in French when we ask him questions. He can also swear remarkably well in French, but that’s another issue. I was asking him a yes or no question the other day about his cousins, and I was listing their names. I noticed that when I asked him about his cousins from Québec (and pronounced their names in French), he immediately switched to saying “oui” instead of “yes.” 

We’ve watched our new Les saisons DVD three times now, and it’s really reinforcing the French Cub is learning at preschool. As for Little Miss Cub, it’s a much-needed opportunity to expose her to the language until she too can begin preschool en français. Aside from delighting in pressing buttons on the remote, Little Miss pays very little attention to what’s on television. I don’t think she’s learning much of anything when Cub watches Pat’Patrouille (that’s Paw Patrol in French). The Whistlefritz DVD has simple, bright animation, plenty of children’s faces and a host with an engaging and enthusiastic voice that speaks right to Little Miss. When Marie is waving “Bonjour,” Little Miss waves back and grins!


Featuring vocabulary related to the four seasons (weather, season-appropriate activities and clothing), there is no English over the course of this 20-minute program. That’s because Whistlefritz uses an immersion approach to language learning: “Children can achieve fluency more quickly and more permanently by learning words directly from images and context.” Little Miss is captivated by the on-screen action, and although she isn’t even speaking words in English yet, I know that exposing her to French is valuable.

Help Your Kids Learn French with the Whistlefritz Les Saisons DVD

There’s plenty of repetition and clear, slow pronunciation. Gestures, images and footage of children at play help the viewer understand what is being said. Even if you don’t speak a word of French, you’ll be able to enjoy this DVD with your children! I notice that Cub answers and repeats in French as he follows along with the host, Marie, and Fritzi the mouse. I’ve also heard him singing some of the songs to himself.

Help Your Kids Learn French with the Whistlefritz Les Saisons DVD

The host and the children in this DVD speak a very “international” French. Cub’s French is definitely Québécois (his preschool teachers are also from Québec), so we noticed a couple of words that are different than what we’re used to, but that’s not a big deal. (For example, bonnet for a winter hat instead of toque; a ciré for a rain coat instead of imperméable.) I can only hope that my kids share my fascination with language and the ways vocabulary changes depending on region!

Help Your Kids Learn French with the Whistlefritz Les Saisons DVD

As a French teacher and a parent with dreams of bilingual children, I consider Whistlefritz’s Les saisons DVD to be an excellent tool for introducing young children to French. If your children are starting French immersion or have French-speaking family members, this is a great way to reinforce what they are already hearing. Even if your children have no previous experience with French, they’ll definitely pick up some vocabulary and pronunciation after a couple of viewings.

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14 responses to “Whistlefritz “Les Saisons” French-learning DVD”

  1. Kimberly Stoessel

    This would be great to have. I was doing French lessons via Duolingo with my son until my computer went kaput. I too believe that knowledge of more than one language is important and French is one of my favorite. I admit that this would also be for me if I won because I am very rusty.

  2. Carrie H.

    We have some board books en francais, but my older two definitely need something more.

  3. Sam C

    I’d love to use this to teach my daughter French since I’m the only fluent speaker in our family. This way she’ll have more exposure to the language!

  4. SusanneCMT

    We just borrowed Whistlefritz’ On Va Jouer from the library last week! I was unsure if I liked it since it moves quite slowly, but that’s great for my LOs who are unilingual (to my shame, I haven’t spoken to them in French much). My 4 year old was giggling along with some of the scenes, and since he was watching on my computer, he was able to rewind and watch his favourite parts again and again. I’m not sure that he learned anything from just one viewing, but he seemed to have a good idea of what happened and he wanted to watch it again. All good signs. My 2 year old cares nothing for TV and hasn’t seen it yet. Since Lil Miss likes it, maybe he will too. It would be great to have our own copy of one of their DVDs too!

  5. Amber Ludwig

    I love that it completely immerses them in the language by not using any english!! I actually feel like it’s easier when you aren’t “comparing” a language and just learning from repetition and surrounding yourself in it! This sounds just fabulous!! I love hearing that from a teachers point of view that you agree!

  6. Amy S

    I was trying to get the kids to absorb French by having them watch stuff on Netflix, which would then (in theory) require their father and myself to learn it out of self defense. Which worked for about 5 minutes, until the older one got bored of subtitled tv. But! I can now say several french words, including “seagull”, “shiny shell”, “beach”, and several other puffin-related and conversationally useless words. ? (Side note: You should add Puffin Rock to your Netflix queue for Cub and Little Miss. It’s completely adorable. And I actually like it better in French than English!)

  7. I would love to check this out. We have been tossing around the idea of including other languages in our “schooling”. (My older daughter is 4.) I’ve always loved French and took it for a few years in high school. It would be nice to have something structured like this in one language as opposed to mine and hubby’s random spouting of German numbers, Spanish greetings, and French curse words. ha!

  8. Amy S

    Oh, whoops! Forgot to say that since the Netflix ploy failed I’d love to try something that’s actually intended to teach the language.

  9. Nicole B

    This would be great. My oldest is in french school (grade 1) and flourishing. I don’t speak french myself so I didn’t give him any introduction to french before he started. Now my youngest will be starting french school in September and this would be great to give him a little introduction to french!

  10. Learning a new language is such a wonderful thing! This looks super helpful.

  11. Carole Dube

    What a great giveaway. It is so hard to keep your children speaking French in an English community! You have to constantly work at it. My children hardly speak french now. I would love to win this as I am trying to teach French to my granddaughters, and I don’t know where to start! I teach them words but would love to teach them more.

  12. Tera Penton

    Would love this to teach the children some French

  13. Kate

    We gave our child a french name. We are not french. She should probably learn some french to cover our butts.

  14. Dotty J Boucher

    What a great dvd, I love that they take the time to teach , using words and gestures. Sounds like a fun
    way to learn for the little ones.

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My name is Lindsay and I am a 40-year-old mama of four trying to live an eco-friendly, budget-friendly life! I am a substitute teacher and Child Passenger Safety technician in Calgary, Alberta. Join me on my adventures!

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