Music is one of the best ways to teach kids a second language like Chinese! It’s fun, affordable, and accessible. Chinese songs expose kids to rich language: words, phrases, and rhythm. When children listen to their favorite songs on replay, they learn common Chinese words while making happy memories.
I’m excited to share our favorite, non-screechy Mandarin music albums so your kids can learn Chinese from great songs.
If you have tweens or teens, check out our favorite Chinese Mandopop Music: Pop, Rock, and Hip Hop Songs!
This article was originally published in October 2017 and has since been updated.
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Teach kids to love Chinese with music
When my daughter was 2, I decided to learn Chinese with her. Initially, she was resistant to new Mandarin words and would demand, “No more Chinese, mommy!” Thankfully, Chinese music won her heart as well as little brother’s. Years later, Chinese songs continue to encourage my kids to speak the minority language. Now they’re often sing and dancing, putting on grand concerts in our living room!
Getting started with Chinese children’s songs
Take it day by day and learn one Chinese children’s song at a time. As your confidence grows, expand your playlist and explore more Chinese songs and albums in this list.
Over time, our family grew to love popular Chinese songs for kids. 我有一雙小小手 (Wǒ yǒu yī shuāng xiǎo xiǎo shǒu / I Have a Pair of Hands) and 一分钱 (Yī fēn qián / One Penny) was often on replay when they were toddlers.
Benefits of learning Chinese language with music
After initial resistance, my daughter and son now enjoy singing and dancing to Chinese songs. The kids will decide which CD to put in their CD player or request a Chinese song on my iPhone. Some of the amazing benefits include:
- Being playful and creative: They grab markers to serve as imaginary microphones and start belting out Chinese tunes together! And their silly dance moves crack are so hilarious!
- Bonding as a family: Every night, I sing the same Mandarin Chinese songs at bedtime. This special connection has been an important part of our daily routine.
- Boosting other language skills: Music has been a huge motivator for my daughter to learn how to write by copying favorite song lyrics.
I hope that your family can discover new favorite Chinese songs and learn lyrics together!
Common Chinese parenting phrases about music
For parents who are learning Chinese with their kids like me, here are common phrases we use in the context of music. Translations are in simplified Chinese, traditional Chinese, and Hanyu Pinyin:
- 儿歌 / 兒歌 (Érgē / Children’s songs)
- 唱歌 (Chànggē / Sing songs)
- 歌曲 (Gēqǔ / Song)
- 音乐 / 音樂 (Yīnyuè / Music)
- 让我们一起唱歌 / 讓我們一起唱歌 (Ràng wǒmen yīqǐ chànggē / Let’s sing together)
- 让我们再唱吧 / 讓我們再唱吧! (Ràng wǒmen zài chàng ba! / Let’s sing it again!)
- 我喜欢这首歌 / 我喜歡這首歌 . (Wǒ xǐhuān zhèshǒu gē / I like this song。)
- 你最喜欢的歌是什么？/ 你最喜歡的歌是什麼? (Nǐ zuì xǐhuān de gē shì shénme? / What’s your favorite song?)
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Best Chinese songs and nursery rhymes for kids
This list of the best Chinese songs should keep you covered for your kid’s childhood!
I have to start off by recommending the amazing MandaRhymes website with free Chinese music for kids. The lyrics are highlighted as they are sung. Traditional Chinese characters are accompanied by Pinyin to help with pronunciation.
A Little Mandarin
A Little Mandarin was produced by a Chinese-American mom of trilingual children! Years ago, this was the very first Chinese music album that I purchased for my family. The vocals are clear and pleasant! This continues to one of my top recommendations for families learning Chinese.
- Make A Phone Call – 打电话
- Two Tigers – 两只老虎
- Little Duckling – 小鸭子
- Sitting In A Row – 排排坐
- [Twinkle Twinkle] Little Star – 小星星
- Scale Song – 音阶歌
- Going To School Song – 上学歌
- Find A Friend – 找朋友
- I Have A Pair Of Little Hands – 我有一双小小手
- Rowing The Boat – 划船
- Pulling The Radish – 拔萝卜
- Doll And Little Bear Dancing – 洋娃娃和小熊跳舞
- One Penny – 一分钱
- Rock-A-Bye – 摇啊摇
- Happy Birthday – 生日快乐
- Happy New Year – 新年好
Shanghai Restoration Project – Little Dragon Tales: Chinese Children’s Songs
Little Dragon Tales is a collection of 12 classic Chinese Children’s songs with a modern twist featuring the voices of the Yip’s Canada Children’s Choir.
- Making Friends (Zhao Peng You)
- Where Is Spring? (Chun Tian Zai Na Li?)
- Clay Doll (Ni Wa Wa)
- Two Tigers (Liang Zhi Lao Hu)
- Congratulations (Gong Xi Gong Xi)
- Sticky Dumplings for Sale (Mai Tang Yuan)
- Selling Newspapers (Mai Bao Ge)
- Finding Flowers in the Snow (Ta Xue Xun Mei)
- The Schoolboy (Du Shu Lang)
- Feng Yang Flower Drum (Feng Yang Hua Gu)
- Little Swallow (Xiao Yan Zi)
- Little White Boat (Xiao Bai Chuan)
- Dreaming of Home and Mother
Kids Learn Mandarin – I Can Sing in Mandarin!
I Can Sing in Mandarin! is a collection of Chinese songs about regular, everyday life. Since each song is focuses on one topic with lots of repetition, this is a fantastic album for broadening basic Chinese vocabulary.
- I Can Count In Mandarin
- Colors Outside My Window
- Little Animals
- One Red Apple
- My Family
- Head, Shoulders, Tummy, Hands
- Let’s Get Dressed for School
- Boats, Cars, & Planes
- Let’s Play!
- I have a Little House
- My Favorite Food
- Smile to the Sun
Kim Hsieh Chinese songs for kids 謝欣芷 幸福的孩子愛唱歌
Kim Hsieh’s music is always a big hit with my children! The lyrics are so sweet and beautifully capture the special love between parents and children. While the vocabulary is more complex, the gorgeous melodies can help everyone remember new Chinese words. This is just one of her many amazing albums for kids.
Disc 1: 1. 哈囉歌, 第一幕, 2. 五官, 3. 第二幕, 4. 禮貌歌, 5. 第三幕, 6, 幸福的孩子愛唱歌, 7, 第四幕, 8, 手指運動, 9. 第五幕, 10. 第五幕, 11. 親愛的, 謝謝妳, 12. 第六幕, 13. 水果歌, 14. 第七幕, 15. 音樂魔法, 16. 第八幕, 17. 數星星, 18. 第九幕, 19. 寶貝乖乖睡
Disc 2: 1. 哈囉歌, 2. 五官, 3. 禮貌歌, 4. 幸福的孩子愛唱歌, 5. 手指運動, 6. 親愛的，謝謝妳, 7. 水果歌, 8. 音樂魔法, 9. 數星星, 10. 數星星(bonus 童音版), 11. 寶貝乖乖睡, 12. 五官(伴唱版), 13. 禮貌歌(伴唱版), 14. 幸福的孩子愛唱歌(伴唱版）, 15. 手指運動(伴唱版), 16. 親愛的，謝謝妳(伴唱版), 17. 水果歌(伴唱版), 18. 音樂魔法(伴唱版), 19. 數星星(伴唱版), 20. 寶貝乖乖睡(伴唱版)
Chinese Christmas songs
If you’re looking for classic Christmas carols in Chinese, the Black Duck album is filled with popular holiday songs. These are great Chinese Christmas songs for kids.
- Silent Night (Chinese)
- Silent Night (English)
- Ode to Joy (Chinese)
- Oh, Susana (Chinese)
- Christmas Day (Chinese)
- Jingle Bells (Chinese)
- Jingle Bells (English)
- Edelweiss (Chinese)
- Edelweiss (English)
- Do Re Mi (Chinese)
- Serenade (Chinese)
- Merry Christmas (Chinese)
- Flowers in Bud (Chinese)
- Song of Boat (Chinese)
- Auld Lang Syne (Chinese)
- Song of Cradle (Chinese)
- Hand in Hand (Chinese)
Hoops Kids has lots of Chinese pop songs for children.
Here are some of their most popular albums.
- All is Love 爱你爱我 / 愛你愛我
- Children Playground 儿童乐园 / 兒童樂園
- My Honey Baby 亲亲我的宝贝 / 親親我的寶貝
- The Sky Tree 天空树 / 天空樹
- The Sweet Home 宝贝 我的家 / 寶貝 我的家
- The Love River 孩子的暖暖河
- Welcome Happiness! 快乐，快乐一直来 / 快樂，快樂一直來
Best Chinese Disney songs for kids
Best Chinese music books for kids
To give kids a hands-on experience of listening to Chinese songs whenever they want, check out these amazing Chinese music sound books!
Bao Bao Learns Chinese song books
Simple press a button to learn the most popular nursery rhymes in Mandarin Chinese! The Bao Bao Learns Chinese series features classic Western and Chinese children’s songs. Lyrics are printed in simplified Chinese with Pinyin and English translations.
Chinese worship songs for children
Chinese children’s songs with printable lyrics
To help you learn Chinese songs with your children, I’ve typed up popular songs in simplified Chinese, traditional Chinese, and Pinyin. Some of these Chinese songs have easy activities and crafts for parents and teachers looking for hands-on ideas.
What are your children’s favorite Chinese songs?
I’d love to know what Chinese songs your kids are enjoying! Please share your thoughts in the comments below.