Although my daughter has memorized the Chinese characters for 木 (mù / wood), 树 (shù / tree), and 森林 (sēnlín / forest), I thought it would be fun to show her how visualize 木 as a pictograph radical that is part of 树.
This was a helpful way to teach her that Chinese words with 木 are made of wood, such as 椅子 (yǐzi / chair)，桌子 (zhuōzi / desk, table).
If your child or student needs a break from the typical Chinese reading and writing workbooks, try this low-prep, hands-on activity! It’s an effective way to teach Chinese characters while building and drawing.
What you need for this Chinese learning activity:
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- Pipe cleaners or yarn
- Crayons or colored pencils – we love jumbo writing utensils for toddler hands
- Large sheet of paper (can also use cardboard if you prefer to recycle and conserve paper)
How to prepare this Chinese learning activity:
- Write 木 with brown marker and 树 with green marker all over paper
- Create 木 with brown pipe cleaner or yarn
- Create a tree shape with green pipe cleaner or yarn
- Draw a brown tree trunk over each 木 character
- Draw a green tree over each 树 character
My daughter thought the tree pipe cleaner could be a fun stencil, so she used it to trace a few trees! She also had fun drawing a few of her own trees. After drawing, she had fun cutting out the trees!
After this activity, look for the 木 Chinese nature character in other Chinese words in books or this Chinese 木 Radical Words Dice Game!
Have you tried creating Chinese nature words with pipe cleaners?
If you try this activity, please let us know in the comments below! What age(s) are your kid(s) and how did it go? We’d love to hear about your learning experience!
More hands-on nature learning activities for kids
- Sun & Moon Paper Roll Paint Stamp – Teach Kids Chinese Characters 日 and 月
- 4 Fun Printable Scavenger Hunts for Kids (Chinese, Korean, English)
- 10 Fun and Free Chinese Teaching Activities with Leaves! (Printable)