Valentine’s Day is in less than 2 weeks, so we are focusing on Chinese words with the 心 (xīn / heart) radical! To reinforce the 心 radical, I made heart felt valentines (heartfelt…no pun intended hehe!). For extra sensory input, I wrote each word with puffy (dimensional ) paint! Since puffy paint gives texture to each stroke, children will remember the words more easily. As an adult learning to read Chinese, I also enjoyed making these felt valentines because it helps me memorize each character. At the end of the post, I will show how we integrate the valentines with regular paper homework and sentence practice.
This is a very easy activity to prepare! The other great thing is that these felt shapes last a long time and durable for reuse. For example, last year, my oldest child and I did a similar activity with felt shapes which my younger child is now enjoying!
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- 您 (nín / you)
- 想 (xiǎng / think)
- 息 (xī / rest)
- 恩 (ēn / grace)
- 怒 (nù / angry)
- 意 (yì / meaning; idea; thought)
- 思 (sī / think; consider; deliberate)
- 必 (bì / must)
- 总 (zǒng / always)
- 念 (niàn / think of; miss)
- 感 (gǎn / feel; sense)
- 忘 (wàng / forget, overlook, neglect)
- 愁 (chóu / worry)
What you need:
- Colorful felt (Note: if you don’t have felt, you can use index cards or upcycle cardboard)
- Pen or marker
- White puffy (dimensional) fabric paint – make sure to get the one in this link because the tip is narrow and thus writing is easier to control (see image below).
How to make 心 Heart Felt Valentines:
- Cut heart shapes; make sure each heart is large enough to write each Chinese character carefully
- Write Chinese character with pen
- Use puffy paint to trace each Chinese character; suggest gently and slowly squeezing the paint.
- Repeat step 3 until desired thickness is achieved
- Set aside to dry and keep away from curious hands!! Some of our words were a little smudged because my kids couldn’t wait! 🙂
- When paint is dry, child will naturally be curious about feeling each stroke and thus learning the Chinese characters with 心!
If your child just beginning to learn Chinese, you can adjust this activity by just focusing on 心. For those ready to learn more characters, you can extend learning by making 2 of each word to turn it into a matching game!
Although my daughter knows most of the words on this list, we have not really focused on radicals. Therefore, I want to start making sure she understands this key component of each character. On a large sheet of paper, I wrote each of these words for her to circle the radical. I taped it to the wall so she can’t overlook it, but you can also do this on a regular sheet of paper.
Another fun way we reinforced the characters was by tracing hearts around the words, matching the felt hearts, and then coloring in the big sheet of paper! This was really fun for both kids to participate!
Here’s the finished product! This is currently hanging in my daughter’s closet!
In addition, for the next couple days, I am writing sentences on our easel containing the new words 怒 and 愁. I also noticed that she knows 息, 意, 思, and 必 only in the context of a sentence. But when they are presented individually, she is not confident. So we will focus on each of these words as shown in the example below.
Following up on my last post about the felt heart valentines, and also want to share some other thoughts ❤️We are currently focusing on words with the 心 (heart) radical. We haven't focused much on radicals before, but I want to start making sure 老大 understands this key character component. 1️⃣ On the easel here (close-up in picture 2), I wrote sentences containing a new word 怒. I will do the same with 愁, which is also new. In addition, I noticed that she knows 息, 意, 思, and 必 only in the context of a sentence, but when they are presented individually, she is not sure. So we will review by reading while touching the puffy paint. 2️⃣ In picture 3, I wrote words with 心 for her to circle the radical. I used a large sheet of paper and taped it to the wall so she can't overlook it, but you can also do this on regular paper. 3️⃣ I only do activities in Chinese (our wonderful nanny does Korean) because they are minority languages and English will naturally be more fun. In fact, today she did not care for any of this for several hours because she got new Montessori English letters and wanted to explore that first (she was pretending to bake alphabet cookies☺️). Which is fine because English is our family language, but it is one of many examples of how minority languages take much more effort. Thus, I try to find ways to mix Chinese learning with art, crafts, and play! 💕 . . . #chalkacademy #chalkacademy_home #trilingual #bilingual #homeschoolcollective #homeschool #montessori #montessoriathome
If you use these Heart Felt Valentines to teach Chinese, please let us know! Leave a comment and don’t forget to tag @CHALKAcademy on Instagram and Facebook! We love to see how other families do Chinese activities!
If you want to try other activities with puffy dimensional paint, you’ll love these easy and educational activities:
- Felt Shape Matching
- Mystery Color Transfer Activity
- Learning Yin-Yang with Weather Stickers
- Counting Watermelon Seeds
Happy learning, friends!