Looking for gift ideas for children learning Chinese? This Chinese gift guide is based on many items we’ve enjoyed in our own home or have been highly recommended by friends. Although I believe that books are the best gifts for multilingual kids, toys and other resources can help create an immersive Chinese learning environment! Scroll down to see what toys, music, movies, clothing, and educational products would make the best Chinese gifts for your family!
This post is the third of a 4-part gift guide series:
- 5 Reasons Books are the Best Gift for Multilingual Kids
- Favorite Educational Montessori Inspired Toys from Etsy
- Ultimate Gift Guide for Kids Learning Chinese!
- 10 Best Toys For Children That Promote Creativity and Learning
Important disclaimer: Remember that parents and caregivers who speak to kids in Chinese consistently will have the best chance at learning Chinese. No amount of Chinese learning toys will ever supersede this!
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Educational Chinese Toys for Kids
1. Chinese motivational stamps
These Chinese stamps would make a great gift for both students and teachers! You can get them in simplified Chinese in this link or traditional Chinese in this link. The following phrases are included:
- 你真棒！(Nǐ zhēn bang!) You are awesome!
- 讚！ (Zàn!) Like!
- 棒棒噠！(Bàng bàng da!) Amazing!
- 你進步了！(Nǐ jìnbù le!) Big Improvement!
- 好極了 (Hǎo jí le!) Excellent!
- 太棒了！(Tài bàng le) Fantastic!
- 太好了！(Tài hǎo le!) Superb Work!
- 加油！ (Jiā yóu) Add Fuel!
- 再努力！(Zài nǔlì!) Keep it Up!
- 再試一次！(Zài shì yí cì!) Try Again!
- 請改正 (Qǐng gǎi zhèng) Please Correct
- 請完成 (Qǐng wánchéng) Please Complete
2. Chinese brush writing
- Buddha Board – The Buddha Board is a simple and creative tool to practice Chinese words and enjoy drawing. The board comes with a stand which you fill with water. Then dip the included bamboo brush to create soft, beautiful images and calligraphy. When the water evaporates, the images fades, and then it’s time to create another masterpiece! Recommended for older toddlers, school-age children, and even adults! Click here to buy.
- Magic Water Calligraphy Cloth – We have the MasterChinese resuable calligraphy cloth with which you use water as “ink” to dip your brush and practice Chinese writing. One cloth has blank grids while the other has important Chinese character strokes. My toddler tried it but I think she was too young to appreciate it. However, I would highly recommend this for school age children or adolescents, and I enjoyed practicing with it myself! Click here for the detailed review and links for where to buy!
- Bilingual Puzzles – China Sprout has a collection of puzzles with photographs of certain objects and their name in simplified Chinese and English. The below photo an example of some of the bilingual puzzles! Click here to see the options on China Sprout.
- Chinese Characters Magnetic Game – These magnets are a wonderful hands-on way to learn simplified Chinese characters. With the colorful pieces and book provided, children learn how to read by building characters on the grid. This spacial relationship helps prepare them for writing. More photos, detailed review, and links for where to buy in this post. I haven’t been able to find this product in traditional Chinese, but check out this word building radical puzzle game on China Sprout.
4. Educational Insights Geosafari Jr Talking Microscope
This is actually a toy and not an actual microscope, and it’s a bit unconventional for me to recommend a plastic product! However, I love that the product has clear audio for Mandarin Chinese, Korean, and Japanese as well as English! Since it exposes my children to 3 of their languages, I couldn’t resist getting it. You can see a demo and detailed review of the video in our Chinese Montessori Facebook group by a wonderful parent who recommended this! In this Amazon link, make sure to select the “Asian Language Version.”
5. Wood Chinese numbers board
We love the 1-10 reversible Chinese numbers board from my favorite Etsy store, From Jennifer!! You can use the board for tracing and also fine motor counting practice! The wood is sanded smoothly and has no rough edges or sharp corners. You can find the wood board here!
6. Wood Chinese calendar
Growing up, I remember my parents bringing home a Chinese calendar from Chinese restaurants. My Korean in-laws also like to give us calendars at the end of the year! I’m not sure of the cultural significance, but I’m grateful for this beautiful wood perpetual calendar that you can use year after year. The Etsy shop, Treasures from Jennifer, translates her products in many languages! More information of the calendar can be found in the Etsy shop.
Chinese Cultural Toys for Kids
1. Asian dolls
- Hape Asian Family doll set – We have had this set for a few years, and my kids have fun playing pretend with this family! You can buy it in this link and also get the gorgeous Hape Dollhouse.
- Miniland Doll – This is an anatomically correct doll with clothes that you can order separately. We do not have this doll as we are currently have too many toys, but many of my friends, including Montessori families, recommend this doll due to its relatively realistic features. Please note that there is a faint vanilla scent to the doll. Available on Amazon in this link.
Since many children play with dolls, it’s important that they are exposed to dolls with diverse features. Hape and Miniland have dolls of various ethnicities!
2. Chinese playfood
Heartfelt Makan is a Singaporean shop that specializes in beautiful felt food toys for children! Detailed review and information about where to buy in this post.
3. Chinese blocks for kids
- Uncle Goose blocks have a variety of educational options, including languages such as Chinese. Click here for the detailed review to see if your kids will like it!
- Chinese dominoes – Amazon and Taobao have a few variations of Chinese dominoes in simplified Chinese. We currently have these wood dominoes which my kids love to line up and/or stack and knock over. They help prompt me with speaking Chinese words, but I actually think the Chinese characters are suboptimally displayed. Instead, the single-sided version of this set appears to be for character recognition, because the Chinese character is black and more clearly visible. For those learning traditional Chinese, check out this scrabble-like Chinese word game!
Chinese music for kids
1. Music Players
- CD Player – My kids love the Jensen CD player. We have 2 that have been in great condition for over 2 years. You can buy it in this link.
- CD Cases – Case Logic is my favorite brand for CD organization. My kids can easily find our Chinese and Korean CDs with the Case Logic CD cases. Click here to see the one we have.
- MP3 Player – This Christmas, I am gifting my nephew this MP3 player so that he can listen to music and songs independently.
2. Chinese music CDs
- A Little Mandarin – A Little Mandarin is one of the BEST Chinese children’s music albums. The lyrics are clearly sung by a woman with a beautiful voice! This was the first album I downloaded when we began our Chinese learning journey a few years ago. Because of these fun songs, my toddler became very interested in learning Chinese!
- Little Dragon Tales: Chinese Children’s Songs – Little Dragon Tales is a fun, upbeat rendition of classic Chinese children’s songs that my children love dancing to. The music is sung by children with instrumental, catchy background music.
More Chinese children’s music recommendations can be found in this link!
3. Chinese music soundbook
- Pinkfong Chinese Story Sound Book – My daughter has fun singing and dancing to the fun Pinkfong Chinese music book! The sound book has 10 Chinese songs with lyrics that are easy to understand, and the book has bright cartoon images. The lyrics are clearly written in Simplified Mandarin Chinese, pinyin, and Korean Hangul. You can buy it in this link.
Movies dubbed in Mandarin Chinese
Many popular movies have been dubbed in Mandarin Chinese. Here just a few on Amazon listed in alphabetical order:
- Beauty and the Beast
- Finding Nemo
- Lion King
- Toy Story
- The Incredibles
- Trail of the Panda – This movie is highly recommended as it features real Chinese people, not a cartoon
My kids also love the Stream of Praise Music DVDs! Please see this post for a detailed review and links for where to buy!
Chinese books for kids
Books are our favorite gifts to give multilingual children! The Art of Clean Up: Life Made Neat and Tidy is not a Chinese book, but the wordless picture book is a visual treat and true conversation starter. This page is why I have included it on this list – the strokes of the Chinese words are deconstructed and arranged neatly by size!
This unique book is available on Amazon here.
Here are our favorite Chinese children’s books:
- Chinese books for babies and toddlers
- Chinese books for preschoolers and elementary school children
- Detailed reviews of all Chinese children’s books
Read more about why books are the best gift for multilingual kids in this post!
Other Chinese cultural products
- Chinese Red Envelopes – The red envelope is a special present given at holidays (eg, Chinese New Year) and weddings. Culturally, red signifies happiness, good fortune, and wealth.
- Chinese-Style Ornaments – Cute Chinese-style ornaments that would be fun to bring Chinese culture to your holiday decorations!
- Chinese Clothing – Beautiful traditional Chinese-style qipao for girls and outfits for boys
More educational products for kids
Check out our favorite Montessori inspired wood products on Etsy in this post!
What are you planning on gifting your children? Or do you feel like you have enough resources at home currently? Please share in the comments below!
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