If the thought of writing Chinese characters freaks you out, know that you aren’t alone! Learning Chinese requires tons of practice for children and adults alike. While you gradually develop muscle memory with writing, try to be patient with the process and make it as enjoyable as possible. I hope that our printable Chinese writing worksheets can help, and keep scrolling for more tips that have motivated our family along the way.
Decades ago when I was in middle school, I learned how to write Chinese characters – and then promptly forgot. Then a few years ago, I started learning again with the best study buddy – my daughter! This time, the process has been much more positive.
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When to use Chinese writing worksheets
The order of learning a second language generally follows the first language. Just as a baby learns to observe, listen, and talk first, a solid verbal language foundation sets the stage for written language learning. This is especially true with children.
Keep in mind that learning to write is much, much slower than other aspects of language. However, many adults learn how to read and write while learning how to understand and speak Chinese. While the act of writing can help with absorbing information into long-term memory, it shouldn’t bog you down from the other parts of language.
In modern times, despite the benefits of handwriting, we don’t need to physically write Chinese. Thanks to texting and typing, we can still communicate visually while avoid writing all together. So if you’re learning Chinese as a second language, keep this in mind as you consider your language goals among other life priorities.
What kids should do before using Chinese worksheets
When teaching young children how to write, you might want to wait before using printable Chinese worksheets.
Build fine motor skills and confidence
First and foremost, fine motor skills are the prerequisite to writing. To strength pencil grasp, pre-writing activities like picking up small objects and collecting treasures at the park or beach are more valuable than they might seem.
Giving kids room to scribble and doodle without worrying about being “correct” also prepares their confidence with using paper.
Explore Chinese stroke order
Without any pressure to write, kids can learn basic strokes with Chinese stroke order flashcards. A fun and popular strategy is to let kids use their finger to draw words sand or in a salt writing tray.
Discover the special meaning of handwriting
If Chinese writing worksheets are the sole exposure to writing, then learning can be quite dreadful. Don’t make this mistake!
Instead, the focus should be on the purpose of handwriting – the way it connects people and brings us closer.
Blank versus grid Chinese writing worksheets
There are 3 main types of Chinese writing worksheets:
- Blank squares
- 田字格 (Field Grid Paper) The shape of the grid guidelines look like the Chinese character for field 田.
- 米字格 (Rice Grid Paper) The shape of the grid guidelines look like the Chinese character for rice 米.
Some learners get distracted by dotted guidelines and need the freedom of a blank square. Others may find the background lines helpful for figuring where to put each part of the Chinese character. Personally, we prefer blank or field grid Chinese writing worksheets.
7 Quick tips for a positive Chinese writing experience
Learn Chinese writing with a study buddy
What better way to encourage a child to practice writing if I work on it as well? God knows I need to improve, too!
So if you’re learning with your child, have “mommy and me” or “daddy and me” Chinese writing worksheets. One stack for you and another for your kid! Your actions speak louder than any advice you give to your child.
Small, frequent doses
Write the same Chinese word only a few times, but repeat every few days for retention.
Writing the same Chinese word for an entire page can be sooooo boring!
Bigger is better for beginners!
Use big writing grids! Even as an adult learner, I prefer the large writing grids to the standard small size. It’s much easier to see each stroke, especially for more complex Chinese characters.
Freedom of utensil choice
Let your child choose her writing utensil of choice! My daughter consistently chooses the standard number 2 pencil, because words are easier to erase and make corrections. She also likes to choose her favorite colored pencils when she’s feeling more creative!
Grade with hearts and smiles
Rather than “grading” writing, my daughter’s self-assessment is by drawing a “heart” or “smiley face” next to the character that looks best. This is an uplifting strategy that you can try in any language!
Encourage your child or student to reflect on their work and develop self-awareness without the stress of being judged. My daughter also requests that I choose my favorite of her writing, too.
Many thanks to our Chinese teacher for this wonderful idea!
Relax while writing Chinese
Make sure to take breaks so the shoulders, arms, hands, and wrists can relax and stretch. I used to journal a lot during high school, and that coupled with piano practice resulted in severe wrist tendonitis.
So let’s teach our children to have healthier habits starting from a young age!
Printable Blank Chinese writing worksheets for kids and adults, too! ( 田字格 | Field Grid Paper)
Choose the grid size that works best for your learning needs!
If you want to save paper, consider putting these printable Chinese worksheets in these reusable dry erase pockets.
What if your child hates Chinese writing worksheets?
The good news is that Chinese writing worksheets are not the end-all, be-all of learning Chinese.
To be very honest, other than the pictures in this article, my children have rarely never used the Chinese writing worksheets that I created.
We’ve had fun using magic water calligraphy writing cloths and painting Chinese characters.
We’re huge fans of dictation and copywork as well as progress over perfection.
And no matter your child’s age or developmental stage, keep in mind all of the writing tips that I shared earlier.
Take the pressure off and remember that the fundamental purpose of language is connection.
Chinese writing worksheet generator websites
Want to make your own Chinese worksheets? Check out these websites: