I’m always excited about discovering fun Chinese learning toys, and I was grateful when Joey from Play乐学 (PlayLeXue) gifted our family their Chinese Stroke Order Puzzle Set.
Both of my kids (2-year old-son, 5-year-old daughter) were excited about the Chinese activities immediately, and they had to learn to take turns on exploring the awesome puzzle! I’m going to show you a few ways that we have used these beautiful learning toys!
Disclaimer: We received these products in exchange for an honest review. All opinions reflect my family’s experience, and all photographs have been taken by me.
Why is Chinese stroke order important?
Chinese stroke order is an important of writing Chinese characters. Writing Chinese strokes in the correct sequence is most efficient, accurate, consistent, and legible.
Even if your child is not yet writing Chinese, a general understanding of strokes is helpful for learning to read Chinese characters. When kids can recognize the basic strokes, they’ll notice patterns in Chinese radicals that make up characters, which helps with memorizing Chinese characters.
Chinese Stroke Order Acrylic Puzzle Set
Created in Singapore, this is a highly versatile puzzle that teaches the Chinese stroke order in a fun, kinesthetic way.
- Fourteen Acrylic strokes with engraved stroke number and arrows
- Acrylic stroke board / stencil with engraved stroke names in simplified Chinese and Pinyin
- Coloring sheet with strokes, stroke order numbers, and stroke names in simplified Chinese and Pinyin
- Guide for learning and playing
You can also buy the accompanying Chinese stroke order play dough cards separately or as part of a bundle with the acrylic puzzle.
How to play and learn with the Chinese Stroke Order Acrylic Puzzle Set:
- Complete the puzzle by removing the acrylic stroke pieces and teaching your child how to properly orient each piece.
- Use the stroke board as stencils for writing and coloring Chinese strokes
- Trace the strokes and/or stroke board while learning the name of each Chinese stroke
- Stamp the strokes in play dough to create Chinese words
- Fill up the stroke stencil board or playdough imprints with loose parts (eg, buttons, rocks)
- Match the strokes with the Chinese strokes playdough cards
Important note: This product contains small parts. Recommended for children 3 and up. Parental supervision is strongly encouraged at all times.
Have fun learning with the Chinese Stroke Order Acrylic Puzzle
My main goal is for my kids to embrace Chinese language from a young age. When I see them playing happily with Chinese toys, I know that they are making good memories while subconsciously learning.
My 2-year-old son had fun trying to match the strokes with the Chinese strokes flash cards. Here he is matching the 橫 (héng / horizontal) stroke to 石 (shí / stone).
He also was very focused on trying to put the strokes in the correct location in the strokes board.
Chinese characters play dough stamping activity
We also had a lot of fun stamping homemade play dough and building Chinese characters with the acrylic strokes! Since I believe that it’s important to model handwriting for my children, I wrote the Chinese strokes on index cards. I also prefer to have a plain background behind Chinese strokes and characters that I am teaching my kids to reduce visual clutter.
For the below activity, when an index card is drawn, my daughter would come up with a word that has that stroke. In this example, she created 女 (nǚ / girl) in the play dough. The acrylic 橫 (héng / horizontal) stroke was too short for this character, so she stamped it twice to elongate it proportionally. I used a butter knife to help her carefully remove the strokes from the play dough.
Then we filled up the character with little rocks!
My 2-year-old son always wants to copy his big sister, so he tried to fill in the indentation. 女 is one of the first Chinese words that he learned from our other Chinese characters puzzle. After this, he went back to his typical play dough mashing, poking, and cutting! 🙂
Chinese strokes stencil activity
This is definitely my 5-year-old daughter’s favorite way of using the stencil. Although parents should model how to use learning materials, children should have a chance to explore and create independently.
Every day, my daughter likes to write 妈爸我爱你 (Mā, bà, wǒ ài nǐ / Mom, Dad, I love you) with different writing utensils, including the acrylic stroke order stencil. In addition, she enjoys filling in the strokes with different colored pencils!
While she’s focusing on her activity, I pop in intermittently to review the names of each stroke and the proper direction for writing.
In the next photo, notice that she wrote 妈 in the corner of the next photo. Since I always write a “normal” Chinese character whenever we do an activity, she has copied this habit and always writes it in the corner “just in case” for reference!
More ways to learn and play with the Chinese stroke order set
I love seeing great ideas from other bilingual parents who have generously shared strategies on how to teach kids Chinese!
Children Love to Play used the acrylic strokes as a guide to draw 福 in foam to make a beautiful Chinese New Year banner!
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Happy Tot Shelf used the Chinese Stroke Order Flashcards for sensory writing in a rice tray.
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Check out the Play乐学 (PlayLeXue) online shop for more information.
Teach kids Chinese reading and writing
I have successfully taught my daughter over 1000 Chinese characters before age 5, and I’m passionate about sharing our experience and strategies with other families.
In the following articles, you will find detailed, personal advice on how to teach Chinese characters to kids.
Tips on how to teach Chinese reading
- When and How to Introduce Chinese Characters to Kids?
- 5 Basic Tips for Memorizing Chinese Characters
- 10 Ways to Encourage Your Child to Read
- Create a Print-Rich Environment with Labels that Promote Literacy
- How I Taught My Child 1000+ Chinese Characters as a Non-Fluent Speaker
- When Should My Child Learn Hanyu Pinyin?
Hands-on, educational resources that teach Chinese reading and writing
- How to Teach Chinese with Montessori Sandpaper Characters
- Montessori Chinese Stroke Order Sandpaper Cards 汉字笔画砂纸板
- How to Make Tactile Chinese and Korean Flashcards with Puffy Paint!
- Montessori Salt Writing Tray – Fun Sensory Learning for Kids!
- 磁性拼字拼图 Chinese Characters Magnetic Spelling Puzzle