The best education is one that is not preachy, and the most beneficial education is one that is practiced. There are many simple and practical activities to teach children Chinese. We share some of these activities to engage your children in Chinese learning. It’s worth trying!
Recently, the TV series “Squid Game” has become a global hit. We can see many similarities to games in the show and games from Chinese origins. There is a game in the show that we have in China called “One, Two, Three, Wooden Man”. The game is also called “statue” or “Grandmother’s Footsteps”. When playing games with children, we can add our own Chinese words for “stop and move”.
Let your child learn one Chinese song every week and then a small family concert at home is a good choice afterward.
Take turns to ask questions in Chinese, such as “Clap your hands if you are happy”, which can quickly help children remember abstract Chinese vocabulary.
Think of a key word (someone, something, a place) and write it down without letting others see it. The child has to guess what the key word is by asking “right and wrong questions”, for example, “Is it a plant? Is it red? …”
Scraps of paper, buttons, stickers, beans, snacks, etc. can be used as Chinese character tracing activities. Just print or handwrite some larger Chinese characters and let your child use his or her imagination to beautify them with different materials.
Place cards or sticky notes with hanzi written on them on the floor and have your child race to see who can jump to the designated hanzi first. This is a great game for learning and exercising at the same time!
By attaching stickers with Chinese characters to Legos, you can let your child play with Legos while spelling out Chinese words and sentences.
Print or handwrite some Chinese characters on white paper, and then let your child trace the characters with various colors of highlighters or watercolor pencils. This practices the strokes of the characters and is more fun than having your child copy the characters.
Children usually learn Chinese characters visually, but tactile senses can actually help children perceive Chinese characters better. We can put rice, sand or salt in the tray and let the child write the characters on it with his or her fingers.
Letting your child make cards or write letters to family and friends is also a good time to practice writing Chinese characters. Not only does your child get to enjoy designing and playing, but he or she also gets to practice written expressions in Chinese, which is a great way to kill two birds with one stone.
Letting children copy their favorite lyrics is really better than copying Chinese characters!
Young children, especially in the early years, need companionship with love and wisdom. The Family Education Promotion Act establishes the principle of “personal parenting and strengthening parent-child companionship”, and it is important for parents to build a close attachment with their children in the process of raising them.
These methods are Montessori and homeschool appropriate and will build a great foundation not only for a Child’s Chinese learning but for a strong bond between caregivers and children. Try some of these games and see how effective they are for yourself!