Sensory play + Chinese writing!
I have a drawer with expired, dry pasta and beans dedicated for sensory play. When I need to cook dinner or take care of the baby, I set out a large aluminum mixing bowl and a bag of uncooked pasta. My daughter picks out some cups and scoops and voilà – 30 minutes of quiet time while she peacefully scoops, pours, digs, sorts, and count!
To promoted self-directed literacy, I printed out the Chinese characters of the food names 豆 (dòu / bean) and 面 (miàn / pasta), and my daughter kept herself busy “writing” each word!
This activity is fun, very easy to set up, and involves all senses!
You can also practice counting number of beans or seeds per character and compare which character has more!
- 豆 (dòu / bean)
- 面 (miàn / pasta)
What you need:
Amazon affiliate links provided for convenience
- Dried pasta and beans
- Block character templates (free download – simplified Chinese, traditional Chinese)
- Laminating pouches + laminator (recommended for repeat use)
- Optional: spoons and tongs
Note: If your child is just learning these Chinese characters for the first time, I recommend printing out the characters in regular, solid font.
In contrast to block font, solid Chinese characters provide more visual input to what the character is. Some children can recognize the outlines of Chinese characters quickly, but others may find it too difficult.
What to do:
- Fill the inside of the character with the related food
- For older kids, can add arrows to show stroke order
- Use tongs and scoops for added fine motor fun!
- Count number of pieces in each character for more learning!
If you try this activity, let us know! Leave a comment and don’t forget to tag a photo #ChalkAcademy on Instagram and Facebook.