A few months ago, my daughter officially started writing in Chinese! Intermittently, we are using Chinese worksheets to reinforce a few characters per week in context with whatever she’s interested in writing.
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Chinese writing worksheets: don’t rush children into workbooks
Although my daughter started writing English and Korean since before she was 3, I have been relaxed about Chinese writing due to its complexity, stroke order rules, and lack of alphabet system.
However, she’s been copying Chinese characters on her own for a while, and she seems ready to learn how to write properly.
In the future, I will delve into details about how I taught her to write. For now, I wanted to share a few Chinese writing worksheets and tips.
How we are using Chinese writing worksheets
Caveat: We actually have not used any of the worksheets in this post due to lack of interest from my daughter. Context is everything for my daughter, and has not been interested in tracing random strokes and Chinese characters
Instead, she has been using our Chinese stroke order cards to learn the basic strokes and to look for familiar strokes in characters. She’s also had fun drawing words in a sensory writing tray. Copying interesting words and making cards have also been relevant and motivating strategies for her.
Child-led Chinese writing progress
For example, my daughter randomly was copying / writing moon phase names. At that time, she was really into moons for a few weeks and wanted to create a moon book.
I don’t think she can memorize writing complex Chinese characters (moon phase names aren’t high yield anyway), but it motivated her to feel more confident about trying to copy characters with multiple strokes.
Currently, we are practicing writing family member names and holiday terms since she is making Christmas cards for everybody. We also frequently play tic-tac-toe for writing practice and make greeting cards.
Quick tips for a positive Chinese writing experience
1. Chinese worksheet tray
Writing worksheets are in a labeled tray on the kids’ learning shelf for independent and easy access.
2. Chinese writing 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 in a sense, we have “mommy and me” Chinese writing worksheets: one stack for me and another for her! We parents must be the example for our children!
3. Small, frequent doses
Write the same Chinese word only a few times, but repeat every few days for retention.
For the writing worksheets above, I intentionally set the template to repeat each character for only 2 rows….Writing the same Chinese word for an entire page is too tedious for her!!
4. Bigger is better for beginners!
Use big writing grids! Even for me as an adult learner, I far prefer the large writing grids to the standard small size. It’s much easier to see each stroke, especially for more complex Chinese characters.
5. Freedom of utensil choice
Let your child choose her writing utensil of choice!
My daughter consistently chooses the standard number 2 pencil because she noticed that it’s easier to erase when mistakes are made. She also likes to choose her favorite colored pencils and markers when she wants to decorate her Chinese writing!
6. 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. You can do this in any language to encourage kids 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!
7. 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!
Healthy habits are important to establish at a young age!
Free Chinese writing worksheets for kids
Basic character strokes
Blank Chinese writing worksheets ( 田字格 | Field Grid Paper)
Sagebooks 500 supplemental learning material
- Traditional Chinese and Zhuyin Sagebooks Writing practice
- Simplified Chinese with Pinyin Sagebooks Writing practice
Please note that this is not an official Sagebooks product, and I have no relationship with the company.
Chinese writing worksheet generator websites
Brainstorming for future writing progress
- Practicing with Chinese writing worksheets uses up so much paper! I’ve seen many parents recommend resuable dry erase pockets, but we’re trying to minimize plastic. Also, dry erase markers don’t have as much friction/tactile reinforcement compared to pencil.
- Alternatively, I might get a binder for her worksheets if we ever use those Sagebooks worksheets…But otherwise I don’t plan on printing out that many at a time.
- I’d like to use our Buddha board and magic water writing cloths more often, but my daughter is in a sensitive period for writing and prefers to use pencil. Our open tray is currently working for us, so will reassess other options if things change.