Ultimate Chinese Gift Guide for Kids: Cultural, Educational, & Fun Toys

Chinese gift guide for kids, families, and teachers

If you’re planning present ideas for the holidays, birthdays, or special occasions, I hope my family’s Chinese gift guide can help! This list is based on what my kids have loved plus a few favorites from friends.

Chinese gift guide for kids and families

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Gift guide for kids learning Chinese

I first published this Chinese gift guide in November 2017. Each year, I update the list to include only gifts that have stood the test of time.

Per popular request, I’ve added suggested ages, but you know your child best. For reference, my daughter is currently 8, and my son is 5 years old.

Chinese gifts can spark a child’s interest in language and culture! Through gifting a book, toy, or artwork with Chinese characters, we send the message that this culture is important. And for bilingual families, Chinese gifts can remind parents, teachers, and caregivers to speak Chinese consistently.

Explore this: How We Transformed Our Play Area / Homeschool Room – Before and After Guide

Bookish gifts for kids and adults

daughter's library bedroom, printable Chinese happy birthday banners, cardboard number seven
Birthday gift: new books in my daughter’s bedroom library

Chinese books

For: All ages

Books are our favorite gifts for all ages, especially for bilingual kids! But no matter what language your family speaks, books are a wonderful way to introduce new characters, concepts and cultures. Books are one of the best ways to bring diversity and inclusion to your home and school.

Wordless picture books

We also enjoy wordless picture books to focus on observing and discussing the illustrations without any pressure of reading.

Special mention for the The Art of Clean Up: Life Made Neat and Tidy. It’s not a Chinese book per se, but the photographs are incredible and a true conversation starter. See the page below that won us over: the strokes of the Chinese words are deconstructed and arranged neatly by size!

The Art of Clean Up: Life Made Neat and Tidy
Luka Reading Companion
Luka Reading Companion

Luka Reading Companion

For: Ages 3-10 years

Reading experts agree that audiobooks can significantly improve fluency and literacy. Luka Reading Companion can read over 70,000 simplified Chinese picture books to children and is at the top of my gift-giving recommendation list! My kids adore Luka and have read hundreds of Chinese books with him over the past year.

Use coupon code CHALK_LUKA for extra $10 off orders at JoJo Learning.

Netease Youdao dictionary reading pen for Chinese-English learners; read and translate words and sentences
Youdao Dictionary Reading Pen

Youdao Dictionary Reading Pen

For: Age 7 to adults

The Youdao Dictionary Pen has been a great help for us to learn new Chinese characters while reading various books. My daughter also uses it to learn new English words and translate them to Chinese. Use coupon code CHALK_PEN for $5 off orders at JoJo Learning.

Explore this: How I Taught My Child 1000+ Chinese Characters as a Non-Fluent Speaker

Book stand with engraved Chinese design and poem
Book stand with Chinese design

Bookstand with engraved Chinese design and poem

For: Age 5 years to adults

This beautiful Chinese bamboo bookstand measures 13 inches x 9.4 inches. Every week, we use it to hold our iPad for online classes. The bookstand is also helpful for holding up large picture books.

Educational gifts for learning Chinese characters

Magic Water Calligraphy Cloth

For: Age 5 years to adults

This reusable water calligraphy cloth is definitely one of our favorite resources for children of all ages as well as adults! Water is the magic “ink” for painting Chinese characters!

If you’re debating between this and the Buddha Board, we personally use the water calligraphy cloth more often for writing practice.

If you’re looking a real calligraphy brush set with ink, check out this option with hundreds of 5 star reviews.

Original Buddha board water calligraphy
Buddha Board water art and calligraphy

Buddha Board Water Calligraphy

For: Age 5 years to adults

The Buddha Board can be used to practice painting and writing Chinese words. The board comes with a stand which you fill with water. Then dip the 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!

We gifted this to our Chinese teacher, and she said her husband and 10-year-old son use it for relaxing painting!

Chinese gift for children and teachers: motivational stamps
Chinese stamps – motivational sayings

Chinese motivational stamps

For: Age 4 years to adults

These Chinese stamps come in simplified and traditional Chinese and would be great for Chinese teachers or kids who use visual sticker or stamp charts.

The following phrases are included:

  1. 你真棒!(Nǐ zhēn bang! / You are awesome!)
  2. 赞 / 讚! (Zàn! / Awesome!)
  3. 棒棒噠!(Bàng bàng da! / Amazing!)
  4. 你进步了 / 你進步了!(Nǐ jìnbù le! / Big Improvement!)
  5. 极了 / 好極了 (Hǎo jí le! / Excellent!)
  6. 太棒了!(Tài bàng le / Fantastic!)
  7. 太好了!(Tài hǎo le! / Superb Work!)
  8. 加油! (Jiā yóu / Add Fuel!)
  9. 再努力!(Zài nǔlì! / Keep it Up!)
  10. 再试一次 / 再試一次!(Zài shì yí cì! / Try again!)
  11. 请改正 / 請改正 (Qǐng gǎi zhèng / Please correct)
  12. 请完成 / 請完成 (Qǐng wánchéng / Please complete)

Explore this: Why Our Kids Need to Hear These Affirmations Everyday (English / Chinese Printable)

Wood Chinese numbers board

For: Age 3 to 5 years

My daughter loved the 1-10 reversible Chinese numbers board when she was younger. One side is for tracing and the other is for fine motor counting practice. The wood is sanded smoothly and has no rough edges or sharp corners.

Please note: wood balls are a choking hazard for kids under age 3 years and those who are still mouthing objects.

Chinese cultural gifts

Chinese Calendar made of high quality wood
Wood Chinese calendar

Wood Chinese calendar

For: All ages

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 we can use year after year.

This is definitely one of my top gift recommendations because you can use it forever. From Jennifer, translates her products in many languages! 

Try this: Fun Chinese, Korean, and English Calendar Activities for Kids

Chopsticks

In Chinese culture, a pair of chopsticks is considered a lucky gift, because 筷子 (kuàizi) sounds like 快乐 / 快樂 (kuàilè / happy).

For older kids and adults, these have high ratings:

We’ve had the Crate and Barrel set for years and have faded only minimally.

For little kids, my kids have these:

Chinese lanterns and modern Chinese qipao

Chinese lanterns

For: All ages

These colorful paper lanterns are a bright way to bring Chinese culture into the home. My kids liked walking around at night with these lanterns for Mid-Autumn Festival.

You can also make Chinese paper lanterns with our free printable template!

Try this: The Best 20 Chinese New Year Activities and Crafts for Home and School!

Chinese moon cake molds

For: Age 4 years to adults

If you’ve always wanted to try making Chinese moon cakes at home, a variety of moon cake molds are available on Amazon! For a fun, allergy-safe option, try making mooncakes with our play dough recipe!

Chinese character stencils

For: Ages 6 years to adults

These food-grade plastic Chinese character stencils are great for baking! We use them with powdered sugar to add Chinese characters to pancakes!

Chinese toys for kids

Pretend Chinese play food

For: Ages 3 to 10 years

Chinese Dim Sum Play Food
Realistic Chinese felt play food

Who else is craving dim sum?! We’re in love with realistic Chinese food toys made of felt, perfect for pretend restaurant and cooking play!

Related: 25+ English and Chinese Picture Books About Food

Chinese festivals Legos

For: Age 4 to 18+ years

Chinese Legos - Building bricks that celebrate Chinese culture, Chinese Lunar New Year, Monkey King, Dragon Boat Festival, Great Wall of China

LEGO bricks are among the most timeless toys! The popular brick company has been releasing Chinese culture LEGO toys that celebrate festivals like Chinese Lunar New Year and Dragon Boat Festival and cultural icons like Monkey King and the Great Wall of China.

Asian dolls

For: Age 1 to 10 years

Realistic Asian dolls for kids
Asian dolls for kids

If your kids love dolls, these toys have many beautiful, realistic, and diverse options.

Hape dolls - Asian family: cultural toys for children
Hape dolls (Asian family)
  • Hape Asian Family doll set: This is a cute set of mini Asian dolls with grandparents included! You can see how my daughter used them in her story diorama for The Fall of Freddie the Leaf 一片叶子落下来.
  • Miniland doll girl and Miniland doll boy: These anatomically correct dolls are popular among Montessori parents. Note that it has a vanilla scent.
  • American Girl: This famous brand has high-quality adorable dolls with a story about finding success in the face of challenges today. Some of my daughter’s friends collect American Girl dolls.
  • Barbie: The popular Barbie brand has Asian-appearing dolls that can move, such as doing yoga poses. Please note that many experts are concerned about the association between Barbie dolls and negative body image.
  • JC Toys: This is a highly-rated baby doll that we used to have when my kids were younger. We ended up donating it since we have too many toys, but it was well-made.

Try this: 7 Natural Ways to Improve Communication Skills Through Play

Wood Chinese blocks

Uncle Goose Chinese blocks

For: Age 1 to 4 years

Uncle Goose has a variety of educational wood blocks, including languages such as Chinese.  These are some of the first Chinese toys that I bought for my kids!

Talking toy microscope (multilingual)

For: Age 5 to 8 years

Although we usually avoid talking plastic toys, we couldn’t resist this highly-rated toy microscope. What’s unique is that the talking microscope teaches science in English, Mandarin Chinese, Korean, and Japanese! We bought it 3 years ago, and both of my children continue to explore it every few months.

I do wish that the Asian language microscope came with written phrases. The narration is quite fast and would be most suitable for kids who are fluent.

  • My 8-year-old daughter can understand the microscope’s Mandarin Chinese, but my 5-year-old is gradually learning more of the scientific terms.
  • Our former nanny who was conversational in Korean did not understand the microscope’s science terms.

Educational Insights also has a highly-rated Asian language telescope.

Chinese music gifts

Chinese Nursery Rhymes Musical Sound Book for Children
Son enjoying the BaoBao Learns Chinese Nursery Rhymes Music Book

Chinese music for children

Check out these 100+ popular Chinese songs on iTunes and Google Play and the engaging BaoBao Learns Chinese Nursery Rhymes Music Books!

For older kids, check out Popular Chinese Music: Mandopop, Rock, Hip Hop Songs.

The most timeless Chinese gift: red envelopes!

If you’re not sure what to give and don’t want to add clutter, the most useful gift is….(drumroll please)…Chinese red envelopes!

Chinese red envelopes with cash can be gifted to older kids so they learn how to save, spend wisely, and donate to good causes. Red envelopes are also the best gift to give Chinese teachers.

Which Chinese gifts did you decide to give to your kids, relatives, and teachers?

I’d love to hear what gifts were most enjoyed by your family, friends, and teachers! Please tell me in the comments below!

And if you found these recommendations helpful, please share it with a friend!

favorite open-ended toys for kids

Holiday shopping guide for kids

If you’re shopping for holiday gifts, check out our educational gift guides!

Happy shopping, friends!!!

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