Chinese Gift Guide for Kids: Culture, Language, and Fun Toys

Ultimate Chinese Gift Guide for Kids Culture, Language, and Fun Toys

Bilingual Chinese culture gift guide for kids

If you’re planning present ideas for the holidays, birthdays, or special occasions, our family’s Chinese culture gift guide can help! This bilingual gift guide is based on what my kids have loved, plus favorites we’ve given friends and our Chinese teacher.

I first shared the original Chinese gift guide for kids nearly a decade ago. Back then, it was slim pickings! Nowadays, there are many new and talented AAPI and/or mom-designed gifts to highlight. Each year, I update the list to include only gifts that have stood the test of time. Scroll through the options or tap on the menu to narrow your search.

Bookish Gifts | Chinese Toys | Food Culture | Language | Music Gifts | Red Envelopes

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Bookish Chinese gifts

As a pediatrician, I’m obsessed with educational gifts that promote reading. Here are the best bookish gifts that celebrate Chinese and Taiwanese culture.

Children’s books about Chinese and Taiwanese culture

Picture books about Chinese and Taiwanese Americans for toddlers and kids

Representation matters, and books are among the best ways to bring diversity and inclusion to your home and school. These picture books are a wonderful way to discover new characters, concepts, and cultures.

Habbi Habbi bilingual books and reading pen

Habbi Habbit Mandarin reading wand book set for toddlers

Recommended age: 1 to 6 years.

The Habbi Habbi board books are a gorgeous and easy way to start a bilingual library at home. A cute and durable reading wand can read each book in Mandarin Chinese and/or English. If you’re raising bilingual children, turn off the English audio to immerse your child in the minority language.

My children were too old when they became available, but I’m happy that other little ones can benefit from these engaging books. A set of Habbi Habbi books would be amazing for a baby shower, birthday, or holiday gift basket.

Luka Reading Companion

Luka Reading Robot Narrates Magic School Bus Books in Mandarin Chinese

Recommended age: 3 to 8 years

Luka Reading Companion is an audiobook player that has been a huge help for our family. Reading experts agree that audiobooks can significantly improve fluency and literacy. My kids have used their beloved robot to read countless Chinese books for the past four years.

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

LeLe Chinese Reading Pen Set

Le Le Chinese Reading Pen Series

Recommended age: 3 to 8 years

The LeLe Chinese Reading Pen set is a generous gift for families committed to Chinese language learning. It helped us with everyday vocabulary and reading practice with 1000 Chinese characters.

Use coupon code CHALKACADEMY for an extra 5% off orders at LeLe.

Human Body Learning Lab 天才小醫生的人體實驗課

Betty Choi best human body book for kids in English and Chinese

Recommended age: 5 to 12 years.

This gift idea might seem a little biased, but Human Body Learning Lab 天才小醫生的人體實驗課 really is the best Chinese and English science book for kids! 🙂

Don’t just take my word; Science Magazine described it as a “notable standout in the genre, and it’s a finalist for the AAAS/SB&F science book award!

Chinese culture bookmark gift set

Chinese bookmarks with lucky red knots set of 8

Recommended age: 5 to adults

This set of gorgeous Chinese bookmarks has lucky red knots and doubles as stencils.

An extra perk is that they come in a pack of eight, the luckiest number in Chinese culture. In the Chinese language, eight 八 (bā) rhymes with 發/发 (fā), as in “get rich” 發財/发财 (fācái).

Chinese bookstand gift

Chinese bookstand gift with culture design

Recommended age: 5 years to adults

This beautifully engraved bamboo bookstand features various Chinese-inspired designs. The size is perfect for various reading books and cookbooks.

The large size of the bookstand also makes it helpful for holding an iPad for online classes or watching Chinese shows. I also use the bookstand for Zoom meetings and Pelton exercise classes.

Chinese toys and games

These entertaining gifts invite kids into the wonderful world of Chinese culture. Keep scrolling to explore your child’s interests.

Chinese festivals LEGO sets

LEGO Chinese Lunar New Year Culture Gift Sets

Recommended age: 4 years to adults

LEGO bricks are amazingly educational, fun, and timeless! Did you know LEGO offers many sets dedicated to Chinese festivals and cultural icons?

Over the years, my children have had a blast building and collecting Lunar New Year LEGO toys. From the Story of Nian set to Chinese Lion Dance, kids (and parents!) have many amazing options.

Sabobatage boba card game

Sabobatage Taiwanese boba culture card game

Recommended age: 7 years to adults

This fun card game was inspired by yummy Taiwanese boba (bubble tea or pearl milk tea). Win the game by collecting teas, flavors, and toppings to make five drink sets. But watch out for the health inspector!

Since it’s portable, it’s a great way to pass the time during long doctor’s appointments, restaurants, and travel.

Chinese play food toys

Chinese Dim Sum Play Food

Recommended age: 3 to 10 years

Who else is craving dim sum?! My kids have loved playing with their Chinese dim sum toys for years. The toys are made of felt, not plastic, and I love the realistic designs.

These play food toys have also been fun for friends to learn about Chinese culture through pretend restaurants and cooking play. Our set was from HeartFelt Makan in Singapore, but now you can order a similar set from LePetit Dumpling in the United States!

Tangram puzzles

Tangram puzzles bilingual English Chinese flashcards

Recommended age: 3 to 8 years

Traditional Chinese toys like the tangram puzzle are a fun and educational gift for kids. They help children learn shapes and develop problem-solving skills.

This set has the bonus of picture reference cards with bilingual Chinese and English translations. Over the last few years, my children have enjoyed exploring original designs, too.

Related: 10 Ways to Learn Math With The Hundred Board

Parents Are Human bilingual card game

Parents are Human Conversation Game

Recommended age: 8 years to adults.

Words cannot express my love for the mission behind Parents Are Human! The cards in the deck feature bilingual questions and action prompts. The aim is to spark meaningful conversations with family, such as over Chinese tea or dinner.

This bilingual card game comes in many languages, including English, Simplified or Traditional Chinese, and Pinyin. We appreciated their free digital decks and decided to get the physical cards for our Chinese teacher.

Buddha Board gift

Original Buddha board water calligraphy

Recommended age: 5 years to adults

Years ago, my sister gave us the Buddha Board for Christmas. We have also gifted this to our Chinese teacher; her husband and teenage son use it as a relaxing mindfulness activity.

The Buddha Board can be used for painting and writing practice. Dip the bamboo brush in water and make your mark. When the water evaporates, the images fade, and it’s time to create another masterpiece!

Boba magnet paint kit

Recommended age: 6 years to adults

Here’s a one-of-a-kind gift for kids and grown-ups who love boba and crafting! I love this adorable DIY boba magnet kit created by Leah, the Asian American mom designer of HooHoo and Mouse. It comes with three wooden boba drinks, six paint colors, and two brushes.

Chinese lanterns gift

Paper lanterns cultural decoration for kids and teachers

Recommended age: 3 years to adults

These colorful paper lanterns are a bright way to bring Chinese culture into the home.

My kids have had fun carrying these lanterns at night for the Mid-Autumn Festival. Lanterns are also pretty decorations for the Chinese Lunar New Year.

Emotional Support Dumpling Plushies

Emotional Support Dumpling Plushies Asian Culture Gifts

Recommended age: 3 years to adults

These huggable dumplings are a unique Chinese cultural gift for kids and grown-ups. The five dumpling plushies have cute emoji faces and are easily accessible in a soft “steamer basket.” Yes, to normalizing conversations about emotions!

Recommended: 10 Best Open-Ended Toys That Promote Creativity and Learning

Chinese doll gifts for kids

Growing up, the few dolls I had had blonde hair and blue eyes. These days, there are so many dolls with East Asian features in different shapes and sizes. Although my children prefer stuffies over dolls, these dolls are loved by my daughter’s friends and children of Chalk Academy readers.

Asian American Jilly Bing Doll

Asian American Jilly Bing Doll

Recommended age: 3 years and up

Inspired by her daughter, Chinese American mom Eleanor Mak designed the Jilly Bing doll to defy clichés and encourage young children.

This 14-inch vinyl doll comes with a chef’s hat that turns into a cute plush egg tart.

Chinese “Mei” Joeydolls

Chinese culture gifts for kids: "Mei" Joeydolls

Recommended age: 3 years and up

Joeydolls, a Chinese Canadian mom-owned company, designed this gorgeous cultural doll. Named “Mei,” the soft and cuddly doll is dressed in a red qipao with shining gold flowers. The traditional designs and colors represent good luck and prosperity in Chinese culture.

Chinese American Girl Doll

Gwynn and Corrine Tan Chinese American Girl Dolls

Recommended age: 4 years and up

Corrine Tan and her little sister, Gwynn, are recent additions to the American Girl Doll collection. A live-action movie inspired by the Chinese American Girl Doll sisters can be watched on Amazon.

The Corrine doll is 18 inches tall, while Gwynn is 14.5 inches tall.

Chinese Lunar New Year Barbie

Chinese Lunar New Year Barbie Dolls

Recommended age: 6 years and up

Barbie has two elegantly dressed dolls to honor the Lunar New Year: a red satin qipao dress (left) and a traditional Chinese hanfu gown (right).

Children who prefer everyday Barbie dolls might like the violinist, the tennis player, and the yoga enthusiast.

Chinese foodie gifts

Food-themed gifts are a fun way to spark an interest in Chinese cuisine.

Chinese menu book

Chinese food culture book by Grace Lin

Recommended age: 8 years to adults

Grace Lin’s latest bestseller is a new favorite in our home. As the title suggests, the Chinese Menu book investigates the history, myths, and legends behind your favorite foods. Chapter titles feature names of common dishes in traditional Chinese characters.

Although the book was written for upper elementary and middle school students, it’s also wonderful for teens and adults.

Bilingual dim sum t-shirt

Chinese Dim Sum T-Shirt

Recommended age: 6 months to adults

Designed by Jenny Yip of Muiji Studio, this bilingual dim sum shirt features the most delicious food! I love that traditional Chinese characters are written next to the English and Cantonese phonetic translations. Choose from toddler, youth, or adult unisex sizes.

Boba onesies and t-shirts

Born to Boba onesie

Recommended age: newborns to adults

Lil Asian Designs is a Chinese culture shop with onesies and shirts for boba fans and dumpling lovers of all ages. Their Asian foodie shirts have English phrases like “Born to Boba” and Born to Eat Dumplings.”

Chinese baking gifts

Moon cake molds and food-grade Chinese character stencils for baking

Recommended age: 4 years to adults

Want to bake Chinese mooncakes at home? Or do you want to have fun with playdough mooncakes? These gorgeous molds have Chinese characters.

For more cooking fun, Chinese character stencils are great for baking. We have used them with powdered sugar to add Chinese characters to pancakes.

Chopsticks

Training chopsticks for kids

Recommended age: 2 years and up

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

My younger child used these training chopsticks before graduating to mini bamboo chopsticks.

Chinese food ornaments

Growing up, I remember my mom finding a sense of community and identity when she worked with other Chinese people at a take-out restaurant. To families like mine, take-out boxes and fortune cookies are authentically Chinese American. These cute ornaments are from the popular Old World brand and glisten yearly on our Christmas tree.

Here are other adorable Chinese and Taiwanese foodie ornaments!

Bilingual Chinese language gifts

If you’re raising bilingual kids, gifts with Chinese characters can remind parents, teachers, and caregivers to speak Chinese. In addition to bilingual books and games, these gift ideas can help kids learn the Chinese language.

Bilingual family t-shirts

Bilingual Chinese family t-shirts

An AAPI-owned small business, Little Asian Designs, created these fun bilingual t-shirts with the finger heart symbols.

Order a matching family set or individual shirts for dad, mom, grandma, grandpa, brother, sister, and other relatives.

Chinese name t-shirts

Personalize Chinese name shirt culture gifts for kids

Recommended age: 2 to 5 years

Celebrate your child’s Chinese name with a cute customized shirt from Avery and Me. This Asian American clothing shop also offers cute Lunar New Year and foodie clothes.

Children’s clothing options include baby onesies and tees for size 5 and under. I wish they had bigger sizes for my school-aged kids!

Wooden Chinese calendar

Wooden interactive Chinese calendar for kids and teachers

Recommended age: 4 years to adults

Growing up, my parents brought home a Chinese calendar from Chinese restaurants. Instead of getting a new one each year, this interactive wooden calendar can be used forever.

Although this gift is a splurge, it’s among my top recommendations for teachers and homeschooling families. At checkout, leave a note with your request for this Chinese calendar.

Chinese motivational stamps

Chinese stamps language and culture gift for teachers

Recommended age: 4 years to adults

I bought these Chinese motivational stamps for my kids almost a decade ago, and I am so glad they are still around. They are a pragmatic gift for Chinese teachers, too.

The stamps come in Simplified Chinese or Traditional Chinese. If you are wondering what phrases are included, here is a list with Pinyin and English translations.

  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)

Magic water calligraphy

Chinese Calligraphy Practice: Magic Water Writing Cloth Culture Gift

Recommended age: 5 years to adults

This reusable water calligraphy cloth is one of our favorite resources for children of all ages and adults! Water is the magic “ink” for painting Chinese characters. It makes writing lots of fun.

Chinese calligraphy set

Chinese Calligraphy Brush and Ink Culture Gift Set

Recommended age: 8 years to adults

This is an excellent starter set for big kids, teens, and parents interested in learning real calligraphy. The Chinese calligraphy gift set includes four brushes, a brush rest, an ink stone, two seals, and a porcelain bowl.

Wooden Chinese blocks

Uncle Goose Chinese Wooden Blocks language culture gift for kids

Recommended age: 1 to 4 years

Uncle Goose has a variety of educational wooden blocks, including languages such as Chinese.

These were the first Chinese toys I bought when my children were little.

Personalized Chinese name necklace

Kinn Studio personalized gold Chinese name necklace

Recommended age: 13 years to adult.

Despite a childhood of bullying, I have been learning to reclaim my Chinese name. For my 40th birthday, I got a personalized Chinese name necklace from Kinn Studio. I wear it layered with another gold necklace and have gotten many compliments from non-Chinese-speaking friends.

Although Etsy and other shops have more affordable options, I can’t comment on the quality. I also wanted to order from Kinn Studio to support an AAPI woman-owned small business. They also have jewelry in other Asian languages.

Chinese music gifts

These musical gifts are a fun way for kids to learn about Chinese culture and language.

Chinese nursery rhyme books

BaoBao Learns Chinese Mandarin Nursery Rhymes Books for Kids

Recommended age: 1 to 5 years

The BaoBao Learns Chinese Nursery Rhymes Music Books are incredibly fun for little kids! With a press of a button, children can instantly hear popular Chinese songs like Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.

A Shanghainese American mom created these books. Lyrics are in Simplified Chinese and Pinyin with English translations.

Yoto audio player

Yoto Audio Player gifts for kids

Recommended age: 3 to 12 years.

Modern technology is amazing, and the Yoto player can empower kids to enjoy Chinese music and audiobooks independently. Upload your favorite Chinese children’s songs to the sturdy “Make Your Own” Yoto cards. Then, your child can take over the next steps!

Chinese music gift cards

For teenagers who enjoy Mandopop and other music, a gift card to Spotify or Apple Music is convenient and practical. A subscription to these platforms gives them access to vast libraries of songs without interruptions from ads.

Apple gift card for teenagers
Spotify Premium gift for teenagers

The best Chinese gift: red envelopes with money

Not sure what to give? Want to avoid clutter? The best gift is the iconic….(drumroll please)…Chinese red envelope 红包/紅包 (hóngbāo). In Chinese culture, the vibrant colors represent good fortune.

Lucky Red Envelopes 红包 / 紅包 for Chinese culture gifts

From a functional standpoint, nothing beats Chinese red envelopes with crisp bills for older kids and teens. (Hopefully, they can learn to save, spend, and donate their red envelope money to good causes.)

Red envelopes are also the best gift for Chinese teachers, weddings, and other special occasions.

Gifts to avoid in Chinese culture

As you finalize the perfect gift, remember that some families are more superstitious than others. In traditional Chinese culture, the following objects are considered “bad luck” and should be avoided:

  • Clocks: In the Chinese language, the phrase “giving a clock” 送钟/送鐘 (sòng zhōng) sounds the phrase for “attending a funeral” 送终/送終 (sòng zhōng).
  • Sharp objects: Knives and scissors could be interpreted as cutting off a relationship.
  • Shoes: The translation 鞋 (xié) sounds similar to “evil” 邪 (xié). 
  • Umbrellas: In Chinese, 伞 (sǎn) sounds like the word for “breaking up” 散 (sàn).
  • Number 4: Four 四 (sì) sounds like the word “death” 死 (sǐ).
  • Black or white colors: These traditional funeral colors in Chinese culture should be avoided for gifts. Instead, red and gold are festive and lucky colors for envelopes, gift bags, and wrapping paper.

In contrast, gift-giving in Korean culture is relatively relaxing. My husband and I have hardly any rules to worry about. However, one similar etiquette is that people do not usually open gifts in front of the giver.

Favorite Chinese culture gifts for kids and teachers

Which Chinese gift is your favorite?

Which Chinese culture or bilingual gifts were most appreciated by your kids, family, friends, and teachers? Please share your review in the comments below.

If these recommendations are helpful, please share this post with family and friends.

One Comment

  1. Thank you for always sharing thoughtful recommendations! You inspired us to get the Luka robot a few years ago, and my children love it. I’m going to ask my husband to order the name necklace for myself!

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