Here is a list of recommended Chinese YouTube channels for kids that I will be updating every few months. This list of Chinese YouTube channels includes live storytelling and performances with fluent people speaking and singing Mandarin Chinese.
If you’re considering screen time to supplement Chinese language learning, shows with real people are ideal (eg, not cartoons). Videos with people can potentially help your child learn Chinese words in the context of facial expressions, body language, and the surrounding situation. If you don’t have a native Chinese speaker at home like our family, media can be a way for kids to learn that there are other people who speak Chinese in this world! And this awareness might motivate children to get excited about Chinese language and culture!
For shows without real actors, I recommended simple graphics over flashy, fast-paced animation so that it is easier to focus on learning the Chinese dialogue.
Things to consider with YouTube videos
- Please do not use screen-time for infants as language teaching tool. Infants and young children learn best from person-to-person interaction. Also, excessive use at any age can negatively affect behavior, attention span, hands-on exploration, physical activity, obesity, vision, and sleep. To learn more about the effects of media on children, please watch this informative TEDx video by Dr. Dimitri Christakis. HealthyChildren.org also has a research-based advice about children’s health, including screen-time guidelines.
- Please watch these videos before showing them to kids to determine whether you think it is suitable for your family.
- Parents who prefer to avoid screen time can play the videos on your phone and turn your phone upside-down, effectively just using the audio.
- You may want to upgrade to YouTube Red for commerical-free viewing. Otherwise, be cautious about inappropriate YouTube commercials…
Mandarin Chinese STEAM YouTube Videos
- Khan Academy Mandarin: Educational math videos in Mandarin Chinese by the nonprofit organization Khan Academy. Text is in Simplified Chinese. (More Chinese math resources in this post.)
- 小主播看天下WOW: Children’s news program with 2-3 stories about world issues or things happening in Taiwan.
- CCTV (Central Chinese Television): China’s major broadcasting network has a few Chinese children’s channels:
Chinese Christian YouTube Videos
- Stream of Praise: Worship music with recorded performances. They have a wide selection of Christian music for adults and children in Mandarin Chinese and English, and you can watch children’s concerts on their YouTube channel. You can also order CDs and DVDs from their website!
- GOOD TV 兒童頻道: Taiwan’s Christian Channel has a show 烤箱讀書會 where two adults read a book and then teach the kids how to bake something related to the story. The downside of this channel is the frequent amounts of screencuts and angle changes and the excessively colorful backdrop.
Mandarin Chinese Stories and Songs
- 親子共讀故事館: Dynamic storytelling by a native Mandarin speaker.
- Mulberry House Mandarin Education: Dynamic storytelling by Chinese teachers at a Reggio-based school in Hong Kong.
- Tutor Time Int’l Nursery & Kindergarten: Dynamic storytelling by Chinese teachers at a bilingual school in Hong Kong.
- Peggy Lin: Dynamic storytelling by a Taiwanese-American teacher with unscripted, real life conversations from mother-to-daughter!
- 說故事花媽: Dynamic storytelling by a native Mandarin speaker. This channel is mostly audio, no video, but the audio is professional quality.
- Better Chinese: Stories in Mandarin Chinese (Chinese storybook playlist). They also have video previews of their online curriculum.
- Bonnie Liu: Dynamic storytelling from mother to child!
- Xiao Min: Lots of great resources here, including HSK teaching videos, Chinese mini-stories, Songs with Lyrics (+pinyin)
- Mandarin for Me: Learning videos, Chinese songs with piano music, and student performances by a Chinese American teacher. She also has a wealth of resources on her website.
- Wen Junior: Simple cartoons for popular songs and poem spoken in a clear and pleasant voice with lyrics in simplified Chinese. Although this is a cartoon, I am including it because the graphics are very slow and therefore it is easy to learn new songs as non-native speaker.
- Miss Panda Chinese: Fun Mandarin Chinese songs and stories by a Taiwanese American teacher
- Daily Noodles: Videos for beginner learners. Lessons are introduced in English with just a few Mandarin Chinese words spoken or sung slowly. I would only recommend this for children who speak English and are gradually easing into Chinese. There are real people mixed with simple animation.
Mandarin Chinese Shows
- YOYOTV: YOYO TV is a popular Taiwanese program aimed for young children with real actors with an animated backdrop. We have not yet watched this channel as I think the pace and bright colors are too fast and stimulating in most episodes. However, I am including this since it is popular among many families and, most importantly, has Taiwanese people. Also, some episodes, such as this one, are more natural.
- 親子台 Momo: Similar to YOYO TV, Mom is a Taiwanese program for kids with a mix of actors and animation.
- Cantonese Mommy: Dynamic storytelling by a native Cantonese speaker with her son.
Mandarin Chinese Cooking Videos
- 甜悦Tinrry: Dessert-making lessons in Mandarin Chinese – this is my daugther’s favorite cooking channel! Subtitles are in simplified Chinese.
- 曼食慢语 Amanda Tastes: Cooking lesson videos from a Chinese food blogger in the United Kingdom. Subtitles are in simplified Chinese; English subtitles are available.
- 吳恩文的快樂廚房 Wu Happy Kitchen: Clear and simple “How To” cooking lessons.
- Dream Chef Home 夢幻廚房在我家: Asian food Cooking lessons.
Chinese Culture and Holidays
- ChineseClass101.com: This YouTube channel has many videos for different levels of learners. Some playlists are for beginners and have a mix of English & Chinese. They have 25 episodes about holidays that are completely in Mandarin Chinese! Below are just a few examples:
- Taoshu and Friends: This playlist from Peach Blossom Media has a series of videos about Chinese culture. Their channel has a variety of animation is mixed with real people presenting and discussing Chinese culture. Some videos are in English and others are in Mandarin Chinese. I have linked the videos that are in Mandarin Chinese.
Cantonese Cooking Videos
- 阿爺廚房系列 – This is a TVB series that teaches where to buy, how to pick ingredients, and how best to prep the dish. Although it’s not geared toward kids, it’s a way to introduce Hong Kong culture. Audio is in Cantonese. Subtitles are traditional Chinese characters.
- Mama Cheung – Cantonese cooking channel featuring many types of Asian dishes. Audio is in Cantonese. Subtitles are English and traditional Chinese characters.
If you’d like recommendations for popular Chinese cartoons for entertainment, Miss Panda Chinese has detailed list in this link. Please note that I have decided to exclude cartoon-based programs from this YouTube list which focuses on educational Chinese videos. Cartoon visuals may distract from the audio component of learning among other issues mentioned in the TEDx video. I do recommend the program Qiaohu for children, but I think Qiaohu is best with the monthly subscription, which you can read more about in this post.
Other Chinese learning resources for kids:
- Educational Chinese apps
- Chinese books for children
- Chinese music for children
- Fun, hands-on Chinese learning activities!
If you know of other educational Chinese resources for children, please leave a comment so we all can check it out!
Recommended articles about how to teach kids Chinese
If you need tips on how to teach your child Chinese, these posts are for you!
- Teach Your Child a Second Language at Home with 5 Key Steps
- Raising Multilingual Children as a Non-Fluent Parent: 7 Lessons Learned
- How To Get Your Child To Speak the Minority Language
- Encourage A Child to Love and Speak the Minority Language with 5 Strategies
- When and How to Introduce Chinese Characters to Kids?
- How to Learn Chinese as a Busy Parent: 10+ Strategies
- How to Find a Foreign Language Teacher for Your Child
- 10 Ways to Encourage Your Child to Read
Bilingual English and Chinese Facebook Parent Group
As always, please leave a comment with any questions, and I’ll try my best to answer them! Or better yet, please join our Facebook group! Montessori-inspired Kids Learning Chinese and English is a community of parents worldwide who are excited to share bilingual book recommendations, Montessori tips, and learning materials!
Happy reading, friends!