Here is a list of our recommended Chinese YouTube channels for kids that I will be updating every few months as I learn of more options. 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. If you don’t have a native Chinese speaker at home, videos with people can potentially help your child learn how the mouth moves during speech in the context of facial expressions, body language, and the scenario. If used appropriately, high-quality programming can potentially help children get excited Chinese language and culture!
For shows without real actors, I recommended simple graphics over flashy, fast-paced images so that it is easier to focus on learning the Chinese dialogue.
Disclaimer: 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.
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.
Mandarin Chinese Stories and Songs
- 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!
- 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
- Wen Junior: Simple cartoons for popular songs and poem spoken in a clear and pleasant voice with lyrics in simplified Chinese
- Miss Panda Chinese: Fun Mandarin Chinese songs and stories by a Taiwanese American teacher
- Cantonese Mommy: Dynamic storytelling by a native Cantonese speaker with her son.
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.
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.
For parents who prefer to limit or avoid screen-time for their children, you may consider watching the videos yourself for teaching ideas and inspiration on how to read to children in an engaging manner!
Please note that I have decided to exclude cartoon-based programs from this YouTube list, because they generally are not as effective for teaching compared to the above 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. If you’d like recommendations for Chinese cartoons, Miss Panda Chinese has a list in this link.
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!
Happy learning, friends!