Today, we did a quick bilingual shape jumping lesson!
This was fun a fun and easy outdoor learning activity, and I ope you enjoy the candid video at the end of the post!
We always have a large basket of chalk in our backyard, and my daughter 老大 (lǎodà / oldest child) loves drawing and tracing with chalk!
Thick and chunk Crayola chalk is our favorite, because they are easier for little hands to hold while they are gradually improving their pencil grip.
While my daughter is doodling on our concrete patio, I can quickly set up a quick “lesson” that seems like pure play!
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Important shapes vocabulary in Chinese and English
老大 currently speaks Chinese, English, and Korean, though her preferred languages are Chinese and English.
Today, she requested that the shape jumping activity involve Chinese and English.
Since Chinese is one of her minority languages, I try to make it as fun, if not more fun than English the dominant language.
Fun activities motivate people of all ages to pay attention which in turn helps us to remember new vocabulary better. This includes spoken and written words.
Here are basic shape names that we reviewed bilingually:
- 形状 (xíngzhuàng / shapes)
- 圆形 (yuán xíng circle)
- 三角形 (sānjiǎoxíng / triangle)
- 正方形 (zhèngfāngxíng / square)
- 长方形 (chángfāngxíng / rectangle)
- 心形 (xīn xíng / heart)
- 星形 (xīng xíng / star)
Bilingual shape jumping activity: What you need
- Concrete or tar driveway, patio, balcony, etc
Bilingual shape jumping activity: How to set it up
- Draw shapes outlines on ground
- Color in the shapes. 老大 and I did this step together.
- Write shape names clearly. I wrote each shape name in Chinese and English.
TIP: If you have light concrete, I strongly recommend using black chalk for the text so that the characters and letters are more visible and pop against the colorful background.
Now you’re ready to bounce, jump, skip, run, and learn shapes!
Bilingual Shape Jumping Activity: Candid photos and video
I strongly believe in child-led learning, and 老大 actually made up all the rules for this activity!
She wanted to have a 比赛 (bǐsài / competition) – who could jump father? Who could jump faster from shape to shape?
Then she decided the space between the shapes was a maze. We had to “stay on the path” and not bump into the shapes!
Lastly, she pretended the Chinese shapes were part of China and the English shapes were part of America. We pretended to FaceTime and then “flew” to visit each other!
The toddler imagination is truly amazing, and I’m glad that she led the game!
With engaging activities, the meaningful discussions last in our memories. As you can see in this video, positive, multi-sensorial experiences like this are extremely helpful for memorizing Chinese characters long-term.
My 老二 (lǎo èr / second child) joined in on the fun as well! He just started walking a little before age 11 months and he had fun toddling on the colorful shapes!
I can’t believe how fast he is growing and quickly learning new things! It really melts my heart watching him try to copy his big sister 🙂
Have you tried bilingual shape jumping outdoors?
If you try this activity, please let us know in the comments below! What age(s) are your kid(s), and how did it go? We’d love to hear about your learning experience!
More interactive learning activities for kids
- Educational outdoor activities
- Shape learning activities for toddlers and preschoolers
- Color learning activities for toddlers and preschoolers
- Counting activities for kids
To see all educational, hands-on learning activities organized by topic, bookmark our Activities Library!