I won’t lie, the hunt for these inclusive French children’s videos made me sad. It was FAR too difficult to come up with this list and I’m hoping that from this day forth, it will only get easier as French tv shows and content for children becomes more inclusive. Representation fosters inclusivity- parents and educators, please keep this in mind when choosing shows for your children/students to watch. Here’s to hoping this list helps you!
I will continue to add to this list as I come across more videos, please feel free to email [email protected] with recommendations. As we teach French to families with 0-9 year old children, I have stuck to preschoolers & primary schoolers for these recommendations.
"The adventures of a group of neighbours who treasure each other's similarities and differences." This show was made with preschoolers in mind and the characters are composed of a variety of different ethnicities and family compositions. Click the image to be taken to "Içi Radio Canada" to steam the episodes for free!
Another wonderful show brought to you by "Içi Radio Canada" (which, side note, I have noticed to be one of the best resources for inclusive French videos for children). As unfortunate as it is to report, Alicia is one of the rare children's tv shows en français that I've managed to find with a non-caucasian main character. This show is super sweet- we follow Alicia and her friends around as they solve mysteries.
Mini TFO has together a series of mini clips that show children completing daily tasks, and explaining how to do so as they go about it. The one I'm linking you to is "Préparer mon sac à dos" (Preparing my backpack), but there are several other videos to check out. This series is a great French resource for preschoolers & young primary children and you can tell they've been mindful in their casting to include children of various ethnicities.
If you're looking for fun songs & music videos, Mini Doremi tends to be quite inclusive in their casting. The one I'm linking you to is "Laisse-toi aller" and is a catchy song and video that discusses going outside to play instead of staying inside to play video games! Be sure to check out their other videos as well. This is another resource by TFO, which also tends to have inclusive French content.
Comptines d'Afrique is a great YouTube channel for French children's songs from Africa. The song I'm linking you to is "Doucement" (Gently) because it was my son's favourite (3yrs). He found it so funny how they spot different animals and then the child's face changes to represent them. Other action songs found on their YouTube channel that I highly recommend: "À pas de chenille" (gets children crawling on the ground like caterpillars- so fun!), "Maman a fait zim" (catchy tune that gets children dancing), "Le Zèbre qui danse" (The Zebra that dances), "Tape tes mains" (Clap your hands)
A beautifully inclusive song and video by Kids United, enjoyable for adults as well! The song's overall message: hope and peace for all and the creation of a word fit for all children.
A spin off of Mr. Roger's Dany Tigre, "Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood" is about a 4 year old tiger and his friends who have fun learning practical skills for growing and developing. African Americans are well represented among the human characters.
Mini ABC, another amazing resource by TFO, has plenty of videos on their YouTube channel and include a diverse cast. My favourites are their Mini Yoga videos for childre, but be sure to check out all the others that they have to offer.
"The series boasts standout messages about self-esteem and creativity, and its protagonist, Ben, is always willing to go out of his way to help others and to do the right thing. The show is set in the fictitious place called Motown (clearly intended to suggest Detroit) with homages to its historic musical and automotive past all around. Urban scenery and the characters' ethnic diversity reflect the city setting as well. With Smokey Robinson on board as music producer and among the talented contemporary voice cast, and prominent themes about family ties, creativity, and embracing individuality, this exceptional series is a great pick for parents and kids to enjoy together." - Review by Emily Ashby of Common Sense Media (photo links to full review)
Dottie "Doc" McStuffins is a nurturing 6-year-old girl who cares for stuffed animals and toys in her playhouse clinic. When she puts on her stethoscope, something magical happens -- toys, dolls and stuffed animals come to life and she can communicate with them. The link takes you to a small clip on Disney Junior's YouTube channel.