20 Fun and Easy Chinese Reading Games and Activities for Kids

20 Fun and Easy Chinese Reading Games and Activities 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 different activities.

However, they are simple enough to whip up in the spur-of-the-moment!

Post-It Note Chinese word matching

1. 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 the above photo, we used heart-shaped Post-It notes for Chinese heart radical words.

Dot sticker activities that teach Chinese characters

2. Dot sticker Chinese word matching

Dot stickers are so versatile, and they can be turned into Chinese character matching activities.

See 25+ Chinese Dot Sticker Learning Activities for more examples and printable templates!

Fun Chinese Reading Games and Activities for Kids

3. Trace Chinese characters with small objects

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).

DIY tactile Chinese characters with puffy paint

4. DIY tactile Chinese characters

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 and can therefore help with remembering the Chinese word!

Chinese flashlight word finding game

5. Flashlight word scavenger hunt

Turn off the lights and search for Chinese words with a flashlight!

For kids who are not yet reading, you can adjust this in to a speaking game by shining a light on objects that you identify!

Chinese fishing flashcard game of kids

6. Fishing Chinese flashcards game

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

Chinese flashcards hit the words game

7. Swat-the-Chinese word

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

Chinese flashcards running and jumping game with Chinese teacher

8. Jump on Chinese words

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!

Chinese tic tac toe game

9. Post-It Note Tic-Tac-Toe

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

Scratch off secret Chinese word activity!

10. Scratch-off secret Chinese word

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

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

11. Chinese hopscotch and other sidewalk chalk activities

If you have a driveway or patio, write out the words your kids are writing and have them jump or spray water on it!

Here are 12 fun ways to play and learn Chinese with sidewalk chalk!

Chinese character SIGHT WORD SOCCER

12. Sight word soccer

Do you 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!

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

13. Radicals wheel with toilet paper

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

We’ve also done this with English CVC words (see on Instagram) and simple Korean CV sounds!

Practicing reading Chinese characters with sentence strips

14. Envelope with Chinese 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!

Chinese Lego word matching activity for kids

15. Lego word matching activity

Since many parents have Legos, Duplo, and Megablocks at home, you can quickly repurpose them into word matching activities!

You can also challenge older kids to build Legos into shapes of Chinese characters!

16. Build words with blocks or Legos

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

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

17. Chinese character 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 it’s easy to make at home!

Here are 7 fun ways to teach Chinese characters with play dough!

DIY Chinese puzzle with pumpkins and squash

19. DIY object puzzle

Trace around objects with a pencil.

Then retrace pencil with black marker.

Write Chinese character at the center so your child can see it while matching the object!

Paint resist activities with wax, white crayon, or tape

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

Kids love seeing words magically appear after painting over wax or white crayon and how the paint literally rolls away from the wax!

Tips for wax resist painting are explained in this post!

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 that your kids and students can have fun with these Chinese reading games!

If you try any of these activities, please let us know in the comments below!

On Instagram and Facebook, tag a photo @chalkacademy and use the hashtag #ChalkAcademy so our family can check out the action!

We’d love to hear about your learning experience!

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