20 Fun and Easy Chinese Reading Games and Activities for Kids

Chinese characters reading games for kids

I’ve seen firsthand that fun Chinese reading games can make kids love learning Chinese! Both of my kids started to read Chinese at age 3 through the following key strategies:

My son and daughter have enjoyed the process and have rarely resisted learning Chinese characters despite this being a minority language in our area.

This post focuses on low-prep, hands-on, play-based strategies that have helped my kids memorize Chinese characters! You can try these ideas in other languages, too!

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20 Fun and Easy Chinese Reading Games and Activities for Kids

Easy Chinese reading games and activities for kids

These Chinese reading games take only a few minutes to set up. Busy parents can spend a weekend or the night before preparing for different activities. However, they are simple enough to whip up in the spur of the moment.

1. Post-It Note Chinese word matching

Post-It Note Chinese word matching

Most of us have Post-it notes at home, and these sticky gems can be easily turned into word-matching games! In this photo, we used heart-shaped Post-It notes for Chinese heart radical words.

2. Dot sticker Chinese word matching

Dot sticker activities that teach Chinese characters

Dot stickers are versatile and can be turned into Chinese character-matching activities. See 25+ Chinese Dot Sticker Learning Activities for more examples and printable templates!

3. Trace Chinese characters with small objects

Fun Chinese Reading Games and Activities for Kids

For kids ages 3+ who are past the mouthing stage, small objects can be used for tracing Chinese characters! Use anything you have at home, such as scrap paper, leaves, seeds, pom poms, mini stickers, and small rocks. You can even use Cheerios, beans, and macaroni, which can later turn into their snack!

To create these giant Chinese characters, type or copy/paste the focus word into Pages or Microsoft Word. Change the font to KaiTi, and increase the size as large as possible (eg, 460pt).

4. DIY tactile Chinese characters

DIY tactile Chinese characters with puffy paint

To encourage kids to interact with each Chinese character stroke, make tactile Chinese characters with puffy paint or glue. Once dry, the texture is interesting to touch, which can motivate a child to remember the Chinese word.

5. Flashlight word scavenger hunt

Chinese flashlight word finding game

Turn off the lights and search for Chinese words with a flashlight! For kids who are not yet reading, you can adjust this into a speaking game by shining a light on objects you identify!

6. Fishing Chinese flashcard game

Chinese fishing flashcard game of kids

Fish for Chinese words by putting paper clips on flashcards and create a fishing rod with a stick, string, and magnet!

7. Swat-the-Chinese word

Chinese flashcards hit the words game

Get some energy out by hitting Chinese words with your hands or a fly swatter!

8. Jump on Chinese words

Chinese flashcards running and jumping game with Chinese teacher

Another fun way to get moving while learning! Use flashcards or Chinese words on post-it notes and have kids race to the Chinese word!

9. Post-It Note Tic-Tac-Toe

Chinese tic tac toe game

We love Post-It Notes, and you can also turn it into a Chinese tic-tac-toe game/

10. Scratch off secret Chinese word

Scratch off secret Chinese word activity!

Create a secret surprise by covering Chinese words with these 1″ round scratch-off stickers.

11. Chinese hopscotch and other sidewalk chalk activities

Fun and Easy Chinese Reading Games and Activities for Kids with sidewalk chalk

If you have a driveway or patio, write words and have your children jump or spray water on it! Here are 12 fun ways to play and learn Chinese with sidewalk chalk.

12. Sight word soccer

Chinese character SIGHT WORD SOCCER

Do you have a backyard or live near a field? Try Chinese sight word soccer! Tape Chinese words to cones or trees, and have fun kicking balls to each word!

13. Radicals wheel with toilet paper

Teach Chinese radicals with fun spinning activity made from recycled cardboard rolls

Inspired by a brilliant mom, Cathy, we made spinning radical wheels with cardboard toilet paper rolls!

14. Envelope with Chinese sentence strips

Practicing reading Chinese characters with sentence strips

For extra spaced repetition reading practice, I have written sentences for my kids to review Chinese characters in different contexts.

Cut the sentences into strips so they can focus on one sentence at a time and not get overwhelmed by a full page of words! Then I put them in an envelope so that they can enjoy a surprise!

15. Lego word matching activity

Chinese Lego word matching activity for kids

Since many parents have Legos, Duplos, and Megablocks at home, you can quickly repurpose them into word-matching activities! You can also challenge older kids to build Legos in the shapes of Chinese characters!

16. Build words with blocks or Legos

If your kids like building with blocks, Legos, or Magnetic tiles, use those to create Chinese words!

17. Chinese character golf game

Chinese characters Chinese character 高山, toilet paper rolls on stepstools, DIY mini golf game

DIY Golf is the original activity that my husband created on a whim! In 5 minutes, he made a golf club with cardboard tubes while I quickly cut out mountains from green paper! For more ideas, please read 3 Fun Ways to Teach Chinese Characters 高山 with DIY Mountains (Printable).

18. Make Chinese characters with playdough

Playdough is a must-have for hands-on learning and easy to make at home! Here are seven fun ways to teach Chinese characters with play dough!

19. DIY object puzzle

DIY Chinese puzzle with pumpkins and squash

Trace around objects with a pencil. Then, retrace the pencil with a black marker. Write the Chinese character at the center so your child can see it while matching the object!

20. Paint resist activities with wax, white crayon, or tape

Paint resist activities with wax, white crayon, or tape

Kids love seeing words magically appear after painting over the wax or white crayon and how the paint rolls away from the wax! Read these tips for fun wax resist painting.

You can also try this with washi or painter’s tape! If you prefer to avoid paint, try using a marker.

Have you tried these Chinese reading games with your kids or students?

I hope your kids and students can enjoy these Chinese reading games! If you try any of these activities, please let us know in the comments below! We’d love to hear about your learning experience!

2 Comments

  1. great ideas! thank you!!!

    1. Thanks for taking the time to write. Glad to hear the ideas were helpful!

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