Learn Chinese Heart Radical Words with Heart Puzzles and Washi Tape!

Chinese characters have radicals, usually semantic (indicates meaning of character) or phonetic.  This heart puzzle and washi tape activity focuses on Chinese words with heart radicals which are often related to emotions and thoughts.  The heart radical can be written in two ways:

  • 心 at the bottom of a character: eg, 想 (xiǎng), 恩 (ēn), 忘 (wàng)
  • 忄at the left side of a character [竖心旁 (shù xīn páng)]: eg, 快 (kuài), 情 (qíng), 忆 (yì)

Previously, my daughter and I reviewed heart radical words with this versatile felt heart activity.  Using heart shapes helps put these related words into context.

For review, I laminated and cut Chinese words with heart radicals, and my daughter taped them back together with washi tape.  Washi tape is not too sticky; therefore, the activity can be repeated many times until each word is memorized!  Even though my daughter already remembered most of these words, it was helpful for her to see each character with the radical component isolated.


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Important vocabulary: Chinese words with heart radicals!

  • 想 (xiǎng / think)
  • 念 (niàn / think)
  • 怒 (nù / angry)
  • 愁 (chóu / worry)
  • 恩 (ēn / grace)
  • 忘 (wàng / forget)
  • 您 (nín / you)
  • 息 (xī / rest)
  • 总/總 (zǒng / always)
  • 急 (jí / remember)
  • 怕 (pà / scared)
  • 情 (qíng / situation, emotion, feeling)
  • 忆/憶 (yì / memory)
  • 懂 (dǒng / understand)
  • 快 (kuài / fast)
  • 慢 (màn / slow)

Check out this post from Written Chinese or use the Pleco app for examples of how to use these words in phrases and sentences!

Chinese heart radical words

What you need

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  1. Printables for download:
  2. Printer
  3. Laminator and laminating pouches
  4. Scissors or paper cutter
  5. Washi tape or masking tape (optional)

What to do

  1. Print and laminate each sheet
  2. Cut out heart shapes
  3. Cut the heart so that the radical is separated from the rest of the word – Now you have a puzzle!
  4. Tape together matching pieces
  5. Remove tape (washi or masking tape is easy to remove and reuse)
  6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 as needed to remember the Chinese characters

Chinese heart radical words

  1. The main goal is to recognize this group of words as heart radical words with the puzzle activity.  Washi tape is not necessary but just a fun addition if your child needs to change things up for motivation for learning Chinese.  If your child is happy using just the printable, there is no need to use washi tape.
  2. If I was to redo this puzzle, I wish I used only 2 colors of paper, one for words and a different color for忄words.  If you would to color code the words, the 心 words are the first two pages, and the忄words are on the 3rd page of the printable for your convenience!
  3. You can have your child be involved with the cutting process and let them use scissors to cut the heart radical!

Have you tried this Chinese heart radical words puzzle with your kids?

If you try this activity, please let us know in the comments below! What age(s) are your kid(s), and how did it go? We’d love to hear about your learning experience!

Tips for boosting Chinese skills

Happy playful learning, friends!

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