Learning About Soft and Rough with Velcro

Velcro activity

My kids love sensory play, and I’m always thinking of ways to mix in Chinese learning.  Chinese characters can be hard to remember, but texture gives extra sensory input which in turn can help your memory. This Velcro activity is one of our favorites for learning new Chinese words and also teaching kids Chinese stroke order.

Both sides of a Velcro are perfect for kids to feel the difference between rough and smooth. It’s a wonderful way to learn the Chinese words and !

Important vocabulary:

  • (ruǎn / soft)
  • 柔软的 (róuruǎn de / soft)
  • 粗 (cū / rough, coarse)
  • 粗糙 (cūcāo / rough, coarse)
Velcro activity

What you need:

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  1. Velcro dots
  2. Scissors
  3. Block character template (free download in simplified Chinese and traditional Chinese)
  4. Pen

Please note that I used Velcro tape as shown in the photos.  While Velcro tape is more cost-effective, it was a big pain to cut and cause adhesive buildup on the scissor.  If you prefer to use Velcro tape, I recommend cleaning the scissor with an adhesive remover.

Velcro activity

What to do:

  1. Print out templates on color paper to give contrast to Velcro
  2. Write 软 and 粗 on the template so child can see the normal appearance of the characters
  3. Tape soft pieces on template
  4. Tape rough pieces on template
  5. Feel the contrast of both characters.
  6. For those who are learning how to write, you can add arrows to indicate 笔画 (bǐ huà / stroke order) and ask your child to use his or her finger to trace stroke in the correct order.

Here’s a video of my daughter tracing 软 following 笔画!

If you try this Velcro activity, let us know!  Leave a comment in the comments below!

If your child likes sensory learning, I highly recommend the following Chinese activities:

Happy learning, friends!


  1. Could you share how you make these block characters?

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