Looking for FUN ways to teach your child Chinese? Here is CHALK Academy's guide on how to incorporate creative and educational Chinese activities into your Chinese curriculum!
I recently discovered Mother Natured, an amazing website about nature crafts for kids. I was so inspired by the many beautiful nature crafts with no paper waste! Immediately, I felt compelled to think of a
Looking for an easy, last-minute Thanksgiving activity? This paper roll turkey craft is great for busy multilingual families. Discuss what you are thankful for in all languages!
巧虎 (Qiǎo hǔ) is the BEST Chinese show for children. The monthly subscription includes educational DVDs, workbooks, and toys so kids love learning Chinese.
A fun and easy way to teach 左 versus 右 - jumping on footprints!
Lacing cards are a great way for preschool or elementary school kids to keep up with their shoe-tying skills so they don't forget over the winter! Each shoe is labeled 鞋 (xié / shoe) as well as 左, 右 (zuǒ, yòu / left, right) - flashcards in disguise!
This activity is the perfect combination of nature, art, recess, and Chinese learning. We collected leaves from the park, discussed Autumn in Chinese, and traced the leaves with paint around important Chinese characters.
Simple ways to create with nature and use fine motor skills while reinforcing important Chinese words 秋天 and 叶子!
Building a home Chinese library is essential for any child who is learning Chinese. Here's a roundup of our favorite Chinese books for beginner/budding readers and early elementary children!
Are you ready for the most fun way to learn about 雨 (yǔ / rain)? Drip painting perfectly brings the 雨 pictograph to life - a cloud with drops of rain falling from it.
A Days of the Week Wheel and a Months of the Year Wheel to learn concepts of past, present, and future and important Chinese characters about time.
Building a home Chinese library is essential for any child who is learning Chinese. Here's a roundup of our favorite Chinese books for infants and toddlers!
Our laminated food flashcards are one of the most used Chinese "toys" in our home! Shopping, cooking, eating - these versatile cards can be used in many ways!
跳房子 (tiàofángzi / hopscotch) is one of my favorite ways to sneak in character reinforcement outdoors! All you need is chalk and kids who love to jump around - it's really a win-win for everybody!
Does your child know that there are several Chinese idioms for colorful? Here's an easy craft stick rainbow puzzle that reinforces the idiom 五颜六色 (wǔ yán liù sè / colorful).
Fill a sensory ball with colorful paper with sentences from a favorite book. Pull out each sentence one by one or shake and throw the ball and practice reading the sentence that comes out!
A printable emoji wheel to reinforce important emotions and their Chinese characters.
Colorful happy face stickers are a fun way to learn how to recognize Chinese words for happy. Your kids will love "tracing" the Chinese characters with stickers!
Emoji paper plate crafts that are educational while promoting pretend play!
After all those years of giving you grief about learning Chinese (among many things), you'd never guess that I'm trying to teach it now. It is difficult, but I have the cutest study buddies, and they're kicking my butt.
Why am I blogging about something outside of my realm of expertise and comfort zone? Because I hope this blog will give a fresh angle on Chinese education and inspire your family to do creative, hands-on Chinese activities together!
Clothespins are inexpensive yet very useful for building fine-motor skills and hands-on learning about counting.
Craft stick puzzles are a fun way to reinforce shape recognition and their names in any language! These bilingual shape sticks are one of my daughter's favorite busy bag activities!
DIY labeled cardboard stencils so that kids become familiar with names of the shapes while tracing!
Paper rolls and paint are the ingredients for learning shape names in multiple languages! My daughter loved being having all 3 of her languages mixed together into one super fun activity!
A simple outdoor activity that teaches shape names while encouraging exercise and creativity!
Matching felt shape pairs with Chinese characters written in puffy pain so kids learn with extra sensory input!
Practice counting in Chinese with shark teeth! 鲨鱼有尖尖的牙齿 (Shāyú yǒu jiānjiān de yáchǐ / Sharks have sharp teeth)!
Repurposing our paper place sun craft to create a count-and-thread activity!
Paper plate + paint + construction paper = 太阳 (tài yáng / sun) with numerous learning opportunities.
Simple DIY felt puzzle to learn the parts of the mouth in Chinese.
Super easy DIY felt puzzle to learn about the eye in Chinese!
Clothing flashcards for color matching, pretend play, and more! Free printables available in Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, English, & Korean.
Velcro texture provides sensory input to aid in remembering 软 and 粗!
Learning about soft and fluffy 棉 (mián / cotton) !
Fluffy 棉球 (mián qiú / pom-poms, cotton balls) are super fun for sensory play, color matching, and sorting! The soft texture is relaxing, and children can pick up the pom poms with tongs or chopsticks to improve fine motor strength and coordination.
A color transfer and mixing experiment with puffy paint, cotton rounds, and cotton balls to reinforce the colors of the rainbow 红, 橙, 黄, 绿, 蓝, 紫 (hóng, chéng, huáng, lǜ, lán, zǐ / red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple).
Pipe cleaners and crayons are a useful way to help with visualizing 木 (mù / wood) and 树 (shù / tree) and their definitions.
A great activity for children learning their first Chinese characters. 日 (rì / sun) and 月 (yuè / moon) are pictograph-derived characters with only a few strokes.
Seize the moment and use beach-side treasures to teach how to write Chinese nature words.
Chinese Sight Word Soccer was a huge hit with my toddler, and I know it will be a fun activity at any age! Great exercise for your body and brain!!!
This nature-inspired sensory activity marries the beauty of Chinese characters with that of fresh flowers. We decorated the character 花 with flowers as well as grass because of the 草字头 (cǎozìtóu / grass radical).
表情符号 (biǎoqíng fúhào / emoji) easel messages and matching games for Chinese reading practice!
An creative and fun way to use crafts sticks, cardboard, and 表情符号 (biǎoqíng fúhào / emojis) to learn about emotions.
This paper plate craft is a fun way to summarize the lessons learned from the Rainbow Fish Book. Ask your child to choose a few important words from the story and write them on the fish scales.
A paper plate craft that reinforces fish anatomy: 鱼 (yú / fish), 鳞 (lín / scale), 尾 (wěi / tail), 鳍 (qí / fin), and 目(mù / eye).
A creative way to use black paper, glue, and chalk to make beautiful eggs with Chinese characters! I am so excited about how they turned out and hope you like it too!
A sensory activity that focuses on the Chinese character 子 (zǐ / seed)
Sensory play + Chinese writing! Use dried pasta and beans to practice writing the characters 豆 (dòu / bean) and 面 (miàn / pasta).
We have done this butterfly craft several times with various colors and shapes for the wings. My daughter learned the word 翅膀 (chìbǎng / wings) very well after doing this craft many times!
Hole reinforcers are a fun way to reinforce circle-related characters. 圈 (quān) and 圆 (yuán) both refer to round and circle. However, 卷 (juǎn) is the act of rolling something up. The characters look so similar and are easily confused with one another, so this activity is helpful to repeat over and over again!
Save your toilet paper and paper towel rolls for this easy octopus craft! We had fun using cotton balls for painting as well as counting and playing with this upcycled octopus family! Do you know
哪些动物有羽毛？ Nǎxiē dòngwù yǒu yǔmáo? Which animals have feathers? Did you know that birds are the only animals with feathers? Let's learn the Chinese and Korean characters and make crafts that reinforce this topic!
Easy snake slinky craft to reinforce the Chinese word 蛇 (shé / snake)!
To reinforce food vocabulary that we learned last week with the sticker and craft stick activities, I drew pictures of food on the concrete and wrote the character name beside it. My daughter had a blast pouring water while calling out each character!
YIN-YANG: 阴 (cloudy) and 阳 (light, sunny), two opposing yet interdependent forces of nature. We used weather stickers to introduce this concept.
We had fun reinforcing the Chinese character 滴 (dī / drip, drop) with q-tip painting. Putting the characters into context is the best way to learn!
Stickers have been daughter's #1 favorite activity of all time. If she ruled the world, there would be random stickers stuck everywhere! Today, we gave stickers a purpose and honed in those fine-motor skills to
Remember the food sticker craft sticks from the last post? Here's another interactive planting activity!
I grew up in a small town in central New York with a large grassy yard where my mother could be found in the garden. We always had fresh vegetables (well, minus those long winters),
An educational spin to a classic summer craft: counting practice with watermelon seeds! Then my daughter used the watermelon slices for pretend play and ate lots of watermelon at her pretend picnic party!
月 (yuè / month) was one of the first words my daughter learned to read, and my sister made this interactive calendar activity to help her keep track of the months, days, and season. My daughter has fun updating this calendar every month!
Create your own math manipulatives with craft sticks (also known as popsicle sticks…or tongue depressors for pediatricians like me!) and anything around your house!
This color matching activity involving craft sticks and clothespins to reinforce Chinese characters 红, 橙, 黄, 绿, 蓝, 紫 (hóng, chéng, huáng, lǜ, lán, zǐ / red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple). Instead of memorizing
Fine motor skills meets character recognition. Bust out your collection of colorful clothespins, grab some markers, and find any piece of cardboard or paper, and voilà - another easy color and character learning activity. What
This clock-face pegging activity reinforces numerical order and offers an chance to practice telling time.
A fun 棒冰 (bàngbīng / Popsicle) craft to learn about colors and numbers in Chinese!
Painting, stamping, upcycling, and learning all in one! We put our art smocks on, used our whole dining table for this fun activity, and had fun stamping!
A fun DIY numbers puzzle, great for babies, toddlers, and school-aged kids! Number recognition is easy with this project through tracing, cutting, and matching.
Easy-to-DIY numbers book with textural and visual contrast, perfect for babies and toddlers to learn Chinese numbers.
Montessori spindle boxes do a great job of teaching the concept of zero, number sequence, and one-to-one correspondence. The activity is easy to DIY by upcycling toilet paper rolls, an old box lid for tray, and extra craft sticks.
Calorie-free and educational ice cream! There’s no such thing as too much ice cream with this activity. We used stickers for scoops to practice number recognition and one-to-one correspondence.
An educational craft with hearts as petals to learn number grouping in 2’s
Counting and cutting practice with an easy and cute flower and ladybug craft.
I had a few random days off of work this week and took my kids out for walks around the neighborhood a few time; baby 老二 (lǎo èr / second child) napped peacefully in the stroller
Chores and learning simultaneously? Yes, please! The main idea here is finding teachable moments in routine things around the house instead of sitting idle at a desk. Plus, activities like these are free, easy, and time-efficient, while teaching character recognition, organization, and quantification.
Our favorite Chinese Apps organized by subject.
Looking for free and educational Chinese videos for your children? Here is a roundup of our favorite YouTube channels!
Simple paper craft to learn about 彩虹 (cǎihóng/rainbow) and 颜色 (yánsè, colors)!
Educational, melodic, Chinese nursery rhymes. These are my recommendations for spoken recordings with catchy music in the background.
Our favorite, non-screechy Mandarin Chinese children's music. Please note that I have low tolerance for nails-on-a-chalkboard voices, so hopefully all songs are pleasing to your ears and that your children can learn from the lyrics!
Catchy Mandopop with clear lyrics! Here are some of our favorites!