Learning activities can be simple but effective during regular play! Last winter, when we were learning about transportation, we had a blast practicing reading while flying paper airplanes! My husband folded a bunch of paper airplanes for the kids, and I wrote the names of the 7 continents in Chinese, Korean, and English. Then the kids flew the airplanes into the pretend airport: 飞机场 (simplified Chinese) and 飛機場 (traditional Chinese). My daughter learned how to read several new and relevant words with this easy theme-based reading practice game! As usual, you can do this game with any language and tailor it to your child’s learning level. The paper airplane activity would be fun for a range of ages including preschool, elementary school, middle school, and high school! Even my husband and I had fun with the kids!
- 飞机 / 飛機 (fēi jī /airplane)
- 飞机场 / 飛機場 (fēijī chǎng / airport)
- 飞机票 / 飛機票 (fēijī piào / airplane ticket)
- 飞行员 / 飛行員 (fēixíngyuán / pilot)
We also focused on continent names since we did this activity before transitioning to our geography activities! Another way to stay on theme is to teach action-related words such as 跑道、起飞、降落、出发、到达, etc. On the other hand, if your child is learning numbers, colors, or the English alphabet, you can apply those terms to this activity!
What you need for Paper Airplanes Reading Practice Game:
- Paper. That’s it!
How to fold a paper airplane:
This YouTube video is in Mandarin Chinese and shows how to fold an paper airplane (纸飞机).
How to play Paper Airplanes Reading Practice Game:
Here are 2 ways to learn with paper airplanes:
- Write or print Chinese words in large font and hang over the “airport”. Race to see who can fly the airplanes to the airport, first!
- Make a few “airports” and write different words on each of them. Then write matching words on the airplanes. Ask the child to fly each airplane to the matching word!
This is how we set up the “airport!”
Next is a video of my kids throwing and playing with the paper airplanes…
And below is the result of our paper airplane racing game! Most of the airplanes ended up under the simplified Chinese words. From this reading practice game, my daughter learned how to read a bunch of new words through this without even realizing it, and my son was happy because he got to participate!
Lastly, this is how our transportation themed kids’ area looked like for the month! Can you spot our road tape activity as well as the matching activity on our easel? Click here if you want to try the road tape activity next!
If you try this Paper Airplane Reading Practice Game, please let us know! My daughter inspired by other kids and their hands-on Chinese learning activities! Leave a comment and don’t forget to tag @chalkacademy on Instagram and Facebook!
For more hands-on transportation activities, check out:
- Craft stick sight word matching puzzle
- Make-A-Sentence Post-It Note Train Literacy Activity
- Parking Lot Craft and Toy Car Matching Activity
- Writing 车 (chē) and 車 (chē) with Road Tape
Bilingual English and Chinese Facebook 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, hands-on activities, Montessori tips, and learning materials!
Happy playful learning, friends!