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Fun & Educational Chinese Activities - A How-To Guide

Fun & Educational Chinese Activities – A How-To Guide

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!
Chinese Thanksgiving Activity: Make a Turkey with Leaves

Chinese Thanksgiving Activity: Make a Turkey with Leaves

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
Chinese Thanksgiving Activity: Thankful Paper Roll Turkeys

Chinese Thanksgiving Activity: Thankful Paper Roll Turkeys

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!
10 Reasons Why 巧虎 (Qiao Hu) Is The Best Chinese Show for Children

10 Reasons Why 巧虎 (Qiao Hu) Is The Best Chinese Show for Children

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.
Footprint jumping!

Footprint jumping!

A fun and easy way to teach 左 versus 右 - jumping on footprints!
Shoe Lacing Cards {Free Printable}

Shoe Lacing Cards {Free Printable}

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!
Autumn Leaf Painting & Chinese Literacy

Autumn Leaf Painting & Chinese Literacy

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.
Writing Chinese With Fall Leaves

Writing Chinese With Fall Leaves

Simple ways to create with nature and use fine motor skills while reinforcing important Chinese words 秋天 and 叶子!
Chinese Home Library - Part 2: Favorite Early Readers

Chinese Home Library – Part 2: Favorite Early Readers

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!
It's Raining Paint!

It’s Raining Paint!

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.
Calendar Wheels {Free Printable}

Calendar Wheels {Free Printable}

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.
Chinese Home Library - Part 1: Favorite Baby & Toddler Books

Chinese Home Library – Part 1: Favorite Baby & Toddler Books

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!
Pretend Play Food {Free Printable}

Pretend Play Food {Free Printable}

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!
汉字 (Han Zi) Hopscotch

汉字 (Han Zi) Hopscotch

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!
Easy Craft Stick Rainbow Puzzle

Easy Craft Stick Rainbow Puzzle

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).
Interactive Chinese Reading Ball

Interactive Chinese Reading Ball

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!
Emoji Wheel {Free Printable}

Emoji Wheel {Free Printable}

A printable emoji wheel to reinforce important emotions and their Chinese characters.
Writing With Happy Face Stickers {Free Printable}

Writing With Happy Face Stickers {Free Printable}

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!
Bilingual Paper Plate Emojis

Bilingual Paper Plate Emojis

Emoji paper plate crafts that are educational while promoting pretend play!
A Letter to My Parents: Why I'm Teaching Your Grandchildren Chinese

A Letter to My Parents: Why I’m Teaching Your Grandchildren Chinese

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.
6 Compelling Reasons To Blog About Chinese Education

6 Compelling Reasons To Blog About Chinese Education

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!
Number Matching With Pegs - 3 Easy Ways

Number Matching With Pegs – 3 Easy Ways

Clothespins are inexpensive yet very useful for building fine-motor skills and hands-on learning about counting.
Bilingual Chinese-Korean Shape Puzzles

Bilingual Chinese-Korean Shape Puzzles

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 Bilingual Shape Stencils

DIY Bilingual Shape Stencils

DIY labeled cardboard stencils so that kids become familiar with names of the shapes while tracing!
Trilingual Shape Stamping!

Trilingual Shape Stamping!

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!
Bilingual Shape Jumping!

Bilingual Shape Jumping!

A simple outdoor activity that teaches shape names while encouraging exercise and creativity!
Matching Felt Shapes

Matching Felt Shapes

Matching felt shape pairs with Chinese characters written in puffy pain so kids learn with extra sensory input!
Counting Shark Teeth

Counting Shark Teeth

Practice counting in Chinese with shark teeth! 鲨鱼有尖尖的牙齿 (Shāyú yǒu jiānjiān de yáchǐ / Sharks have sharp teeth)!
Clock Face Threading Activity

Clock Face Threading Activity

Repurposing our paper place sun craft to create a count-and-thread activity!
Number Matching Sunshine Craft

Number Matching Sunshine Craft

Paper plate + paint + construction paper = 太阳 (tài yáng / sun) with numerous learning opportunities.
DIY Mouth Puzzle

DIY Mouth Puzzle

Simple DIY felt puzzle to learn the parts of the mouth in Chinese.
DIY Eye Puzzle in Chinese

DIY Eye Puzzle in Chinese

Super easy DIY felt puzzle to learn about the eye in Chinese!
Clothing Flashcards for Pretend Play & More {Free Printable}

Clothing Flashcards for Pretend Play & More {Free Printable}

Clothing flashcards for color matching, pretend play, and more! Free printables available in Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, English, & Korean.
Learning About Soft and Rough with Velcro

Learning About Soft and Rough with Velcro

Velcro texture provides sensory input to aid in remembering 软 and 粗!
Writing Chinese with Cotton

Writing Chinese with Cotton

Learning about soft and fluffy 棉 (mián / cotton) !
Pom Pom Color Match

Pom Pom Color Match

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.
Color Transfer Activity

Color Transfer Activity

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).
Chinese Nature Words with Pipe Cleaners

Chinese Nature Words with Pipe Cleaners

Pipe cleaners and crayons are a useful way to help with visualizing 木 (mù / wood) and 树 (shù / tree) and their definitions.
Sun & Moon Paper Roll Paint Stamp

Sun & Moon Paper Roll Paint Stamp

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.
Writing at the Beach

Writing at the Beach

Seize the moment and use beach-side treasures to teach how to write Chinese nature words.
Sight Word Soccer

Sight Word Soccer

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!!!
Decorating 花 with Flowers

Decorating 花 with Flowers

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).
Emoji Easel Education

Emoji Easel Education

表情符号 (biǎoqíng fúhào / emoji) easel messages and matching games for Chinese reading practice!
Emoji Sticks & Slots

Emoji Sticks & Slots

An creative and fun way to use crafts sticks, cardboard, and 表情符号 (biǎoqíng fúhào / emojis) to learn about emotions.
Rainbow Fish Literacy Craft

Rainbow Fish Literacy Craft

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.
Fish Anatomy Paper Plate Craft

Fish Anatomy Paper Plate Craft

A paper plate craft that reinforces fish anatomy: 鱼 (yú / fish), 鳞 (lín / scale), 尾 (wěi / tail), 鳍 (qí / fin), and 目(mù / eye).
Chalk Eggs!

Chalk Eggs!

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!
Writing Chinese with Seeds

Writing Chinese with Seeds

A sensory activity that focuses on the Chinese character 子 (zǐ / seed)
Writing Chinese with Food

Writing Chinese with Food

Sensory play + Chinese writing! Use dried pasta and beans to practice writing the characters 豆 (dòu / bean) and 面 (miàn / pasta).
Let's Make Butterflies!

Let’s Make Butterflies!

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!
Reinforcing Circle-Related Chinese Characters

Reinforcing Circle-Related Chinese Characters

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!
Counting Octopus Legs

Counting Octopus Legs

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
Bilingual Learning About Feathers

Bilingual Learning About Feathers

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!
Snake Slinky

Snake Slinky

Easy snake slinky craft to reinforce the Chinese word 蛇 (shé / snake)!
Planting Chinese Food Names

Planting Chinese Food Names

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!
Learning Yin-Yang with Weather Stickers

Learning Yin-Yang with Weather Stickers

YIN-YANG: 阴 (cloudy) and 阳 (light, sunny), two opposing yet interdependent forces of nature. We used weather stickers to introduce this concept.
Q-Tip Chinese Character Painting

Q-Tip Chinese Character Painting

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!
Learning About 雨滴 with Raindrop Stickers

Learning About 雨滴 with Raindrop Stickers

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
Planting Food Stickers - Version 2

Planting Food Stickers – Version 2

Remember the food sticker craft sticks from the last post?  Here's another interactive planting activity!
Planting Food Stickers - Version 1

Planting Food Stickers – Version 1

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),
Counting Watermelon Seeds

Counting Watermelon Seeds

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!
Interactive Chinese Calendar {Free Printable}

Interactive Chinese Calendar {Free Printable}

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!
Count with Craft Sticks

Count with Craft Sticks

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!
Peg & Stick Color Matching

Peg & Stick Color Matching

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
Peg & Color Matching

Peg & Color Matching

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
Pegging Clock-Face Numbers

Pegging Clock-Face Numbers

This clock-face pegging activity reinforces numerical order and offers an chance to practice telling time.
Counting & Color-Matching Popsicles

Counting & Color-Matching Popsicles

A fun 棒冰 (bàngbīng / Popsicle) craft to learn about colors and numbers in Chinese!
Number Paint & Stamp

Number Paint & Stamp

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!
Velcro Numbers Puzzle

Velcro Numbers Puzzle

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.
DIY Tactile Numbers Book

DIY Tactile Numbers Book

Easy-to-DIY numbers book with textural and visual contrast, perfect for babies and toddlers to learn Chinese numbers.
DIY Montessori Sticks

DIY Montessori Sticks

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.
Ice Cream Scoop Counting

Ice Cream Scoop Counting

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.
Counting Flower Petals - Groups of 2’s

Counting Flower Petals – Groups of 2’s

An educational craft with hearts as petals to learn number grouping in 2’s
Petals & Ladybug Counting

Petals & Ladybug Counting

Counting and cutting practice with an easy and cute flower and ladybug craft.
Our Language Journey - How It Began

Our Language Journey – How It Began

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
Color Sorting Laundry

Color Sorting Laundry

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.
Favorite Chinese Apps

Favorite Chinese Apps

Our favorite Chinese Apps organized by subject.
Recommended Chinese YouTube Channels

Recommended Chinese YouTube Channels

Looking for free and educational Chinese videos for your children? Here is a roundup of our favorite YouTube channels!
Paper Rainbow

Paper Rainbow

Simple paper craft to learn about 彩虹 (cǎihóng/rainbow) and 颜色 (yánsè, colors)!
Spoken Chinese Rhymes, Tongue Twisters, etc.

Spoken Chinese Rhymes, Tongue Twisters, etc.

Educational, melodic, Chinese nursery rhymes.  These are my recommendations for spoken recordings with catchy music in the background.
Favorite Children's Music

Favorite Children’s Music

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!
Favorite Mandopop

Favorite Mandopop

Catchy Mandopop with clear lyrics! Here are some of our favorites!

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