Writing 棉球 with Pom Poms is a sensory activity that I set up a few months ago to keep my toddler daughter busy while I was taking care of baby brother! Although my daughter knew how to read the characters 棉球, you can never spend too much time studying the same character and each of its strokes. In addition, since she has not formally started to learn how to write, this activity is a great foundation for improving fine motor precision needed for Chinese writing skills. Finally, I knew this activity would be a big hit since my daughter loves sensory activities, such as our Writing with Velcro, Writing with Cotton, and Pom Pom Color Matching activities!
Although you can use pom poms to practice tracing or writing any word, it is important to consider the meaning of the word. For example, this pom pom activity would be appropriate for words like 软 (ruǎn / soft) and 圆 (yuán / round), since this object is soft and round. However, I would not use it for antonyms of these words. Since we make associations with all of our senses, the tactile input should match the word to make it an effective memory aid.
What you need:
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- Colorful pom poms
- Paper with 棉球 (or other related word) written or printed in large black font
- Black marker
What to do:
- Write or print 棉球 in large font. This is important so that there is plenty of space for each pom pom, otherwise the character will be difficult to read
- Trace the characters with glue. For emphasis on each character component, you could start by tracing the radical only.
- Place pom poms following stroke order. For younger kids, don’t worry about stroke order; simply aim for linear precision!
Note: My preference would be to use the same colors for each character component for easier readability. But I didn’t want to impose extra rules, and my daughter loves everything colorful! So my advice is to let this be a relatively open-ended, fine-motor activity while learning the Chinese characters!
If you try this activity, please let us know! Leave a comment or tag a photo @chalkacademy on Instagram. Happy learning, friends!