How to teach children Chinese

How to teach children Chinese

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1 Get fairy tales and storybooks in Chinese on Amazon or from your local library

Children love shared reading time and regardless of language acquisition they will always remember the time they spent with you reading books.Try to find books with good illustrations. Look at the pictures with your child, point to things they already know in Chinese.

As you come across new words ask the child what they think it is. If it is illustrated, have them point it out on the page.Use different voices for different characters.If your child has a favorite Chinese story encourage him/her to play different characters making up the words from memory. Help your child to use his/her imagination to change the story or change the ending.

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2 Use puppets or turn your child’s favorite plush toy into a puppet that talks in Chinese

Kids love puppets and puppet play is great for motor skills. You can tell much loved stories through puppet play, either using the whole body or make a puppet theatre from a box and use hand or finger puppets. Finger puppets are also fun when singing songs.

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3 Go to the zoo and call the name of the animals together in Chinese

If you have any, look at some animal books together, then go to the zoo for the day. Ask your child the names of the animals he/she has learned and point out the new ones. This is a great place to add in adjectives and colours. When you come home, encourage your child to draw pictures of what he/she saw and talk about them together using Chinese.

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4 Play hide and seek by counting in Chinese

Hide and seek is a great game for practicing numbers. You could start with 1 to 10 and gradually increase. When your child knows them well you could count down backwards. When ‘seeking’ your child it’s a good opportunity to repeat words without it sounding repetitive.

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5 Play board games in Chinese e.g.: snakes and ladders, board games, family games

Dice games are always good for counting and also simple addition. Board games played with the whole family can be a time for relaxed learning. Just playing a simple board game such as snakes and ladders teaches a young child so much more than just language. They also learn rules of play, understanding goals and of course, that family games equal FUN!

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6 Play games by using flashcard games e.g.: Go fish, memory game

Flashcards are one of your most valuable resources in teaching language to young children. With multiples of the same cards you can play well-known games such as Go Fish or the ‘memory game’.

Very small children may struggle to hold too many cards, so play games that have the child match one card to another. Match a sound with a picture, or two cards that have the same sound, or two pictures that match, any way you choose.

Lay cards out on the floor or table and have your child touch the card as you call out words/sounds. Encourage your child to be the caller and you touch the cards. Keep it playful and fun.

 

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7 Have a progress chart that tracks the words and phrases your child mastered

A simple progress chart teaches your child clear goals and kids love stickers. Let your child know when he/she is approaching a goal, make a big deal of reaching the goals, be excited to getting the stickers out. Praise him/her for their achievement with a ‘great job’, a hug or a ‘high five’ (or all three).

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8 Listen to children’s songs in Chinese together or reward your child for memorizing a short one

Listen to children’s songs in the 2nd language whenever and wherever you can. Keep CDs in the car or put a CD on quietly in the background when you are doing something else. Add actions to the songs, this helps kids remember the words. If it suits your child’s personality, encourage them to ‘perform’ songs for you. You could have a special ‘song night’.

Here is a playlist of Chinese children’s songs

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9 Listen to pop songs in Chinese together or reward your child for memorizing a short one

Teach your child some catchy pop songs that you both like. Something with suitable lyrics and a good chorus are easiest to remember. Sing it around the house as you do other things, when your child tries to join in, model the language and encourage them to sing with you.

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10 Find cartoons in the 2nd language on Youtube or Amazon

Cartoons are a great way to engage kids in the 2nd language. Kids can figure out the story visually without worrying about not understanding every word. It’s easy to buy DVDs from Amazon in almost any language or, alternatively, look for them on YouTube. Let your child guide you to which cartoons they like best. Watch them together and you will know which language to reinforce.

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11 Have an annual/monthly goal check list

Make a checklist of goals or ideas of where you want to be with the language learning over a year. Break it down into monthly mini-goals.

It will be help you stay focused on where you are going and also a great way to look back and see how far you and your child have come.

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12 Create youtube playlists or find playlists suitable for your child’s level

YouTube is a super resource. You can create playlists of Chinese teaching videos, these days people post from all over the world.

They might be short tutorials, or craft ideas you can incorporate into your language learning, or children’s songs you can sing together. Look for playlists already put together by others with the same goal.

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13 Join online support groups (forums, facebook pages, twitter lists, multicultural blog groups etc.)

Join some online groups to exchange ideas and information. Support is invaluable too. Teaching Chinese can hit some hurdles, it is important to be able to connect with people who are having the same difficulties or have successfully navigated these hurdles. Facebook and Twitter are great for immediate connections. Online chat groups or forums can give you a sense of community and common goals.

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14 Visit the website of China’s ministry of culture

Have a look at the website and find interesting information about China. Read about traditional food, dances and costumes. Look at statistics such as population. Find some fun facts about the climate, holidays and customs. Talk about them with your child and follow their lead on which parts they are interested in. You can also get all this information and more here

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15 Go to public libraries and check all the available resources in Chinese

Libraries are an excellent resource. If they don’t have things things in Chinese ask the librarian if it is possible to order them. Also check out the noticeboard and see if there are any kids groups speaking Chinese in the area. You might make some new friends too.

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16 Make use of language learning DVDs for kids

Language DVDs come handy , especially fro busy parents, as they repeat useful words and phrases in a fun and interesting way Check them out, Look for something that is specifically for kids, that uses games and songs and has well-structured levels.

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17 Play CDs when driving your child to school

Always play CDs in Chinese when you are in the car. It could be songs or a kids’ language learning CD, whatever your child likes. Do it consistently so your child comes to expect the 2nd language in the car.

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18 Play streaming radio in the background at home or make use of Spotify, Lastfm, etc.

Nowadays, there are a lot of resources that help you play streaming radio through personal electronic devices and laptops, etc. All you need is tuning into one of the local radio stations and have the radio or the song list play in the background all day long. Even if your child does not understand what has been spoken or the lyrics of the songs he/she will get used to the new sounds and intonation patterns.

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19 Make use of worksheets for beginners

There are a great many websites offering worksheets for beginners. Many are free and some you can pay monthly or a yearly fee. Kids love worksheets. Some may be simple coloring sheets (kids LOVE coloring), or sheets that help fine motor skills through pencil manipulation. Buy some stickers and put one on each sheet your child completes.

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20 Make use of Flashcards

There is no end to the fun to be had from playing games with flashcards even if you child is still too young to play a game that has structure and rules. You can make your own ‘games’ call out a card, have your child touch it/pick it up. ‘Hide’ the cards around the room and have your child find them and say what they are etc.

You can also put the flashcards up around the room. Change them each week in categories (animals/flowers/ fruit/etc. Look at them and say them often with your child. Ask them, “What’s this? / What’s that?”

Put them on your fridge with magnets or let your child do this.You call out the words and have them put them on.

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21 Get a picture dictionary to get started

A Children’s picture dictionary is a wonderful resource. Follow your child’s curiosity with it. Let him/her choose what he/she wants to know on any given day. Ask him/her more information about the words they do know. “What color is it?” “ Is it big or small? “ “Where does it live?” “What does it do?”

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22 Consider getting an alphabet book

Introduce your child to the shapes of letters with a simple alphabet book. This is especially useful if the Chinese alphabet is different to that of the 1st language. For young learners, get a very simple, ‘starter’ book, also great for fine motor skills and pencil control.

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23 Think about kinesthetic learning (learning by doing). Coloring books, sketchbooks or DVDs that children watch and dance are great!

The research is in that kids learn best by doing (don’t we all?).

Anything that gets kids moving their bodies or their hands helps them to learn. Watch DVDs together, make up dances, put on ‘shows’, even dress up. Encourage your child’s inner artist with a sketchbook. Color, paint, draw, and talk about the colors and your child’s pictures in the 2nd language. Coloring in pictures is a very relaxing activity (you should do it too!) Kids tend to be very relaxed when they are coloring, a good time to make some general chitchat in Chinese.

Mix paints and talk in Chinese about how colors are made.

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24 Consider getting a reading pen

The very latest translation tool. A ‘reading pen’ scans and translates. The translated text appears on a small screen on the pen and can also provide audio pronunciation of words or full sentences.

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25 Find some talking or singing plush toys

There are so many talking toys on the market these days. Try one that says greetings in Chinese (or multiple languages) or one that sings traditional songs/nursery rhymes from China.

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26 Make use of culture books prepared for little kids

Ready made ‘culture books’ are great for learning about different countries. Read them together, ask questions and encourage your child to ask lots of questions too. After reading one, you could make a simple one together using pictures from magazines, or encourage your child to draw pictures too. Gather information together at the library or from the internet.

27 Decorate your child’s room with learning posters (colors, numbers) or pictures from China (flag, the cities, etc.)

Get some large colorful posters to decorate your child’s room or the learning space you use. Point things out and ask questions, swap roles and have your child ask the questions too, this also helps model the pronunciation. Ask which is your child’s favorite poster and why?

Follow their lead on the things that interest them.

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28 Follow a simple syllabus prepared for kids

Use the simple syllabus prepared in your language learning system or make one yourself. Let your child know what it is so he/she can see what they will be doing. Children tend to do better when they know what is coming and what is expected of them.

29 Use stickers as rewards (stickers that say congratulations, wonderful, etc. in the 2nd language)

Kids love stickers! Use them liberally. Take praising your child as an opportunity to use the 2nd language. If you can find stickers with words of praise in the 2nd language use those and repeat the words a lot. Use a couple of words at first and add more as your child knows them.

30 Get some printed items related to the 2nd language: T-shirts, mugs, children’s silverware, etc.

If you have the opportunity to visit the 2nd language country buy goods with the language on. T-shirts, mugs and pens are useful as well as educational. Look for postcards, posters or bumper stickers with popular expressions on. Post these around your house.

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31 Arrange play dates or playgroups with other parents who want to teach their children Chinese.

Try to find other parents encouraging their children to learn Chinese, arrange to play together, go on picnics to the park or take a trip to a zoo or aquarium, great places to practice the language. Making new friends is of great benefit to you too!

 

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32 Video chat with friends and relatives who have a child that speaks Chinese

Encourage video chat with other children you know, that speak Chinese. It’s easy using Skype or Google Hangouts or something similar. Be nearby to help the conversation along. Be encouraging and resist the temptation to correct your child’s mistakes.

 

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33 Invite Grandma and Grandpa (who can speak Chinese) to stay over

Spending time with grandparents is valuable to all parties anyway but spending time with grandparents who speak Chinese is great for strengthening bonds and hearing natural language. Your child will come to associate Chinese with feelings of love and security.

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34 Hire a short-term or full time nanny or caregiver that speaks Chinese

If it is possible, consider hiring a nanny/caregiver/babysitter who speaks Chinese. Even a few hours per week would make a difference (and give you a little free time!).

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35 Cook Chinese recipes together with your child

Kids always want to be a ‘little helper’ in the kitchen. Cook some simple dishes from China together. Us the 2nd language for instructions, wash, cut, wipe, mix…. Name the ingredients in a natural way as you cook. Here are some Chinese recipes

36 Go to community centers, cultural centers and temples with your child

Local places of interest are stimulating for your child and cultural centers often have exhibitions or music/dance performances. Look out for anything from China. Community centers are a great place to meet people, look at notice boards for anything from people interested or connected in some way to, Chinese. You could even offer to do something yourself, give a talk about the country or a traditional dance etc.

37 Visit Chinese supermarkets and Chinese restaurants with your child

Go around a Chinese supermarket and point out the foods from China. If your child is unfamiliar with them, ask questions. “How do you think it tastes?” “ Do you think this is hard/soft/crunchy/sweet/etc.?” If possible eat in ethnic restaurants. Talk about the food, how it is prepared, where it comes from.

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38 Have a word of the day activity

Pick a ‘word of the day’, you or your child could choose it, or have your child pick it at random from a pile of word cards. If the word is a noun, look for it around the house and when you go outside. Talk about where it might be found. If it is a verb, find ways to do the action either really or mime it, see if you can spot other people doing it? Or use adverbs and spend some time doing everything in the manner of the adverb, slowly/quickly/happily/etc.

39 Play Chinese online language games (memory, click&tell, etc.) with your child

There are plenty of free online interactive language games for children. Find one that appeals to your child and encourage them to do a little every day. You can check out 3 different kinds of free Chinese online language learning games here

 

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40 Try Skype lessons for children (may not be advised for infants and toddlers)

Many teachers are offering language lessons via Skype. Ask around and see if anyone can recommend a teacher to you. Sit in on the lesson too so you know what language to reinforce between lessons.

 

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41 Read bedtime stories in Chinese to your child

Books, books, books. Kids love books and stories. Read stories in Chinese before bed. Often when kids have heard a favorite story many times they know the words. Encourage your child to help tell the story.

42 Play Chinese children’s games

Many children’s games are the same the world over, play kids games your child already knows in their 1st language but play it in the 2nd language. Paper, rock, scissors has many variations; play it in the 2nd language. Hopscotch, skipping games, clapping games etc. can all be played in any language. For more ideas have a look at the games in the different ‘countries and cultures’ at Dino Lingo (to the right of this post).

43 Get comic books & children’s magazines from China

Ask if a friend or relative overseas can send you comics or children’s magazines in Chinese. Children’s magazines usually have lots of fun facts in them that you can talk about and further research. They also have quizzes and puzzles that are lots of fun to do.

44 Go to a national parade of the target culture

You could try to find where there is a large community of people from the target culture. They will no doubt have special events to celebrate the holidays of their country of origin. Take your child to their parades and festivals.

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45 Have a personalized notebook specially used for learning the2nd language(Don’t forget to use it to have your child draw whatever you say in the 2nd language

Let your child choose the notebook at the shop and decorate it anyway they want to make it special. Say words in Chinese and have them draw pictures, or even write the word or the first letter, depending on what level they are at. Go back over the pictures every few days. Talk about the pictures and praise your child’s drawing skills.

46 Do local crafts

If you are a native speaker of Chinese think about the crafts you did as a child and do them with your child (think also about how happy you were doing this activity with your own mother/father or your friends). Don’t worry if you have forgotten how, look on the Internet to refresh your memory. Perhaps you could send something your child makes to grandparents or relatives overseas.

47 Use chatting apps (WhatsApp, Line, etc.) to talk with friends and family who have same-aged children

Chatting apps are mobile and easy to use. Chat with friends in the 2nd who have children about the same age. Encourage your child to chat with them and their kids too. Ask their kids about themselves, their day etc. and encourage your child to talk about themselves.

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48 Sing lullabies in the 2nd language to put your baby asleep

Lullabies are so soothing for baby and parent. Sing some Chinese lullabies to help your baby sleep. You can buy wind-up crib music at a baby store. Play the music and sing in the Chinese. Establish is as a routine and enjoy the time holding your baby and knowing you are soothing him/her.

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49 Consider homeschooling by getting an online curriculum

More and more people are turning to homeschooling these days and there are plenty of resources online. Do some research and find something that suits you and your child. Depending on the school hours where you live, it may be possible for your child to attend the local school and follow a homeschooling curriculum.

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50 Send your child to a summer camp where he/she can study Chinese in a short time.

Summer camp is a great experience for children. It is often their first extended time away from home and a chance to make lots of new friends and try a variety of activities for the first time. ‘Language’ camps for kids usually incorporate study with lots of games/crafts/activities related to the 2nd language culture. Look online or on the notice board in community centers and other public buildings.

 

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Download Chinese Worksheets for Kids

For more Chinese worksheets click here

Print Chinese Numbers Match Worksheet (8 x 11 ”)

Numbers Match

Numbers Match

Print Chinese Numbers Maze Worksheet (8 x 11 ”)

Numbers Maze

Numbers Maze

Print Chinese Drawing Numbers Worksheet (8 x 11 ”)

Drawing Numbers

Drawing Numbers

Print Chinese Verbs and Actions Worksheet (8 x 11 ”)

Verbs and Actions

Verbs and Actions

Print Chinese Coloring Numbers Worksheet (8 x 11 ”)

Coloring Numbers

Coloring Numbers

Print Chinese Fruit Match Worksheet (8 x 11 ”)

Fruit Match

Fruit Match

Print Chinese Coloring Dinosaurs Worksheet (8 x 11 ”)

Coloring Dinosaurs

Coloring Dinosaurs

Print Chinese Traffic Light Color Worksheet (8 x 11 ”)

Traffic Light Color

Traffic Light Color

Print Chinese Animals Match Worksheet (8 x 11 ”)

Animals Match

Animals Match

Print Chinese Counting Match Worksheet (8 x 11 ”)

Counting Match

Counting Match

For more Chinese worksheets click here

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Chinese Songs for Children – Chinese Culture for kids

 

1. 我爱我的幼儿园

我爱我的幼儿园,

幼儿园里朋友多。

又唱歌来又跳舞,

大家一起多快乐!

wǒ ài wǒ de yòu ér yuán

wǒ ài wǒ de yòu ér yuán ,

yòu ér yuán lǐ péng yǒu duō 。

yòu chàng gē lái yòu tiào wǔ ,

dà jiā yī qǐ duō kuài lè !

 

2. 玛丽的小绵羊

玛丽有只小绵羊

白色的小绵羊

玛丽有只小绵羊

可爱的小绵羊

mǎ lì de xiǎo mián yáng

mǎ lì yǒu zhī xiǎo mián yáng

bái sè de xiǎo mián yáng

mǎ lì yǒu zhī xiǎo mián yáng

kě ài de xiǎo mián yang

 

3. 小鸭子

我们这里养了一群小鸭子

我天天早晨赶着它们到池塘里

小鸭子见了我就嘎嘎嘎地叫

再见吧小鸭子我要上学了

再见吧小鸭子我要上学了

我们这里养了一群小鸭子

我放学回来赶着它们到棚里去

小鸭子见了我就嘎嘎嘎地叫

睡觉吧小鸭子太阳下山了

睡觉吧小鸭子太阳下山了

xiǎo yā zǐ

wǒ mén zhè lǐ yǎng le yī qún xiǎo yā zǐ

wǒ tiān tiān zǎo chén gǎn zhe tā mén dào shi táng lǐ

xiǎo yā zǐ jiàn le wǒ jiù gā gā gā dì jiào

zài jiàn bā xiǎo yā zǐ wǒ yào shàng xué le

zài jiàn bā xiǎo yā zǐ wǒ yào shàng xué le

wǒ mén zhè lǐ yǎng le yī qún xiǎo yā zǐ

wǒ fàng xué huí lái gǎn zhe tā mén dào péng lǐ qù

xiǎo yā zǐ jiàn le wǒ jiù gā gā gā dì jiào

shuì jué bā xiǎo yā zǐ tai yáng xià shān le

shuì jué bā xiǎo yā zǐ tai yáng xià shān le

 

4. 我们都是好朋友

小鸟天上飞,

小鱼水里游。

小朋友在地上走,

大家手拉手。

小鸟天上飞,

小鱼水里游。

小朋友在地上走,

大家手拉手。

面对面,点点头。

唱唱歌,拍拍手。

我们都是好朋友,都是好朋友。

wǒ mén dōu shì hǎo péng yǒu

xiǎo niǎo tiān shàng fēi ,

xiǎo yú shuǐ lǐ yóu 。

xiǎo péng yǒu zài dì shàng zǒu ,

dà jiā shǒu lā shǒu 。

xiǎo niǎo tiān shàng fēi ,

xiǎo yú shuǐ lǐ yóu 。

xiǎo péng yǒu zài dì shàng zǒu ,

dà jiā shǒu lā shǒu 。

miàn duì miàn ,diǎn diǎn tóu 。

chàng chàng gē ,pāi pāi shǒu 。

wǒ mén dōu shì hǎo péng yǒu ,dōu shì hǎo péng yǒu 。

 

5. 红绿灯

红灯停 绿灯行

黄灯亮就等一等

过马路要注意

交通规则要牢记

红灯停 绿灯行

黄灯亮就等一等

过马路要注意

交通规则要牢记

hóng lǜ dēng

hóng dēng tíng  lǜ dēng xíng

huáng dēng liàng jiù děng yī děng

guò mǎ lù yào zhù yì

jiāo tōng guī zé yào láo jì

hóng dēng tíng  lǜ dēng xíng

huáng dēng liàng jiù děng yī děng

guò mǎ lù yào zhù yì

jiāo tōng guī zé yào láo jì

 

6. 一字歌

一帆一桨一渔舟,

一个渔翁一钓钩,

一俯一仰一场笑,

一江明月一江秋。

yī zì gē

yī fān yī jiǎng yī yú zhōu ,

yī gè yú wēng yī diào gōu ,

yī fǔ yī yǎng yī chǎng xiào ,

yī jiāng míng yuè yī jiāng qiū 。

 

7. 人人叫我好儿童

青菜青,绿盈盈;

辣椒红,像灯笼;

妈妈做饭,我提水;

爸爸种菜,我捉虫;

好孩子爱劳动,

人人叫我好儿童。

rén rén jiào wǒ hǎo ér tóng

qīng 菜qīng ,lǜ yíng yíng ;

là jiāo hóng ,xiàng dēng lóng ;

mā mā zuò fàn ,wǒ tí shuǐ ;

bà bà zhǒng 菜,wǒ zhuō chóng ;

hǎo hái zǐ ài láo dòng ,

rén rén jiào wǒ hǎo ér tóng 。

 

8. 八只小狗抬花轿

八只小狗抬花轿,

老虎坐轿把扇摇。

一只小狗跌一跤,

老虎狠狠踢一脚。

小狗疼得汪汪叫,

老虎却在睡大觉。

花轿抬到半山腰,

想个办法真正好。

一二三向上抛,

老虎跌了一大跤。

一二三向上抛,

老虎跌了一大跤。

bā zhī xiǎo gǒu tái huā jiào

bā zhī xiǎo gǒu tái huā jiào ,

lǎo hǔ zuò jiào bǎ shàn yáo 。

yī zhī xiǎo gǒu diē yī 跤,

lǎo hǔ hěn hěn tī yī jiǎo 。

xiǎo gǒu téng dé wāng wāng jiào ,

lǎo hǔ què zài shuì dà jué 。

huā jiào tái dào bàn shān yāo ,

xiǎng gè bàn fǎ zhēn zhèng hǎo 。

yī èr sān xiàng shàng pāo ,

lǎo hǔ diē le yī dà 跤。

yī èr sān xiàng shàng pāo ,

lǎo hǔ diē le yī dà 跤。

 

9. 袋鼠妈妈有个袋袋

袋鼠妈妈袋鼠妈妈有个袋袋。

袋袋就是为了为了保护乖乖。

澳洲草原就是我的家。

蓝天白云和我做游戏。

拍拍手呀,点点头呀。

努力往前跳一跳。

不回头呀。不后悔呀。

我们最骄傲。

我们牵手。我们歌唱。我们跳舞。

幸福的妈妈。幸福的乖乖。

幸福的小乖乖和妈妈相亲相爱多愉快。

dài shǔ mā mā yǒu gè dài dài

dài shǔ mā mā dài shǔ mā mā yǒu gè dài dài 。

dài dài jiù shì wéi le wéi le bǎo hù guāi guāi 。

ào zhōu cǎo yuán jiù shì wǒ de jiā 。

lán tiān bái yún hé wǒ zuò yóu xì 。

pāi pāi shǒu ya ,diǎn diǎn tóu ya 。

nǔ lì wǎng qián tiào yī tiào 。

bù huí tóu ya 。bù hòu huǐ ya 。

wǒ mén zuì jiāo ào 。

wǒ mén qiān shǒu 。wǒ mén gē chàng 。wǒ mén tiào wǔ 。

xìng fú de mā mā 。xìng fú de guāi guāi 。

xìng fú de xiǎo guāi guāi hé mā mā xiāng qīn xiāng ài duō yú kuài 。

 

10. 一只哈巴狗

一只哈巴狗

坐在家门口

眼睛黑黝黝

想吃肉骨头

一只哈巴狗

吃完肉骨头

尾巴摇一摇

向我点点头

一只哈巴狗

坐在家门口

眼睛黑黝黝

想吃肉骨头

一只哈巴狗

坐在家门口

眼睛黑黝黝

想吃肉骨头

一只哈巴狗

吃完肉骨头

尾巴摇一摇

向我点点头

yī zhī hā bā gǒu

yī zhī hā bā gǒu

zuò zài jiā mén kǒu

yǎn jīng hēi 黝黝

xiǎng chī ròu gǔ tóu

yī zhī hā bā gǒu

chī wán ròu gǔ tóu

wěi bā yáo yī yáo

xiàng wǒ diǎn diǎn tóu

yī zhī hā bā gǒu

zuò zài jiā mén kǒu

yǎn jīng hēi 黝黝

xiǎng chī ròu gǔ tóu

yī zhī hā bā gǒu

zuò zài jiā mén kǒu

yǎn jīng hēi 黝黝

xiǎng chī ròu gǔ tóu

yī zhī hā bā gǒu

chī wán ròu gǔ tóu

wěi bā yáo yī yáo

xiàng wǒ diǎn diǎn tóu

 

 

Dinolingo.com

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Chinese Children’s Songs – Chinese Culture for kids

These are two popular Chinese songs. The first one is about making a friend.  The second one is a silly song about two very unusual tigers.  (A video and lyrics of the song are available when you click on the title of the song written in Chinese characters.)

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Hao Peng You (找朋友)

zhao z zhao a zhao peng you

Looking for a friend

zhao dao yi ge hao peng you

Find a good friend

jing ge li wo wo shou

Making a salute, shaking hands

ni shi wo de hao peng you!

You are my good friend!

 

 

LiangZhiLaoHu (只老虎)

liǎng zhī lǎo hǔ , liǎng zhī lǎo hǔ

Two tigers, two tigers

pǎo de kuài , pǎo de kuài

Run so fast, run so fast

yī zhī méi yǒu ěr duō

One has no ears

yī zhī měi yǒu wéi bā ,

One has no tail

zhēn qí guài , zhēn qí guài

So strange! So strange!


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Traditional Chinese Musical Instruments – Chinese Culture for kids

Traditional Musical Instruments

Ancient Chinese believed music cleansed people’s minds.  There were around 70 types of traditional musical instruments.  The instruments were string, wind and percussion. These are ten of the most common traditional instruments.

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Xun

The xun is one of the oldest musical instruments.  It is older than 7,000 years.  People first used a type of oval stone or bone to hunt.  They would throw these stones at their prey.  The stone made a whistling sound as the air flowed through the natural holes on the stone.  Now the instrument is made from clay or ceramic to look like an oval stone and the holes are added so music can be made by blowing in the mouthpiece of this flute instrument.

Chinese Chimes

Chinese chimes are made from different metals.  The chimes are made flat like two tiles pieced together with sharp corners. This helps to make the sound flow faster, making it possible to play them as a rhythmic instrument of several bells together in a group. The bells make two high pitch notes depending where you strike the bell.  They also have decorated patterns on them of humans, dragons and beasts.

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Xiao

The xiao is a vertically played bamboo flute with 6-8 finger holes.  The melody of this flute reminds the listener of a lonely moon in the autumn night sky.  This flute works on the same principle of blowing air over an empty bottle to make a noise.

Sheng

The sheng is a wind instrument made out of bamboo.  It was used to accompany dancers in their performances and is now used for melody in orchestras.  There can be many pipes, but the first sheng had 17 pipes with a curved mouthpiece.

Pipa

The pipa is a four-stringed lute with 12-26 frets on a pear-shaped body. The musician holds the instrument upright and plays with plectrums attached to each finger of the right hand. A smaller version is called a liuqin.

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Guzheng

The guzheng was first made with a bamboo frame and silk strings.  It is a Chinese zither of 18-23 strings and movable bridges.  This instrument is typically played by plucking the strings.

 

Guqin

The guqin is also known as the seven-stringed qin. The body is a long and narrow wooden sound box with seven strings stretched along the top of the box. On the edges are 13 inlaid jade markers. Catalpa wood is used for the base and there are two holes to help make the sound.

 

Erhu

The erhu is one of the most popular Chinese string instruments. It is a two-stringed vertical fiddle that plays both traditional and contemporary music in China today.

 

Drums

The drums have been used in Chinese culture for over 3500 years. One of their first uses was for sacrificial and worshiping ceremonies.  Drums were also used for farming and warfare.

Bamboo Flute

The bamboo flute or dizi has eight holes including one blow hole. It is widely used in folk music, opera and orchestras.  The flute is made from either white or purple bamboo.  The slender, lightweight instrument is a common one for many people in China.

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Traditional Chinese Music – Chinese Culture for kids

Chinese traditional music is played with instruments of the xun, chimes, xiao, sheng, pipa, guzheng, guqin, erhu, drums and the bamboo flute.  Often this music is played for ceremonies or to accompany dancers or other instruments in an orchestra.  This music is also played for the background of a play or opera.  It is enjoyed at concerts or by listening to recordings.  Many of the melodies are written about nature.  These songs often describe the different seasons and the weather, the mountains and waters, the sky and the moon, and various birds.

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These are some examples of traditional music titles.  Can you see that many of them are written about nature?

High Mountains and Flowing Water (高山流水)

Wild Geese Descending on the Sandbank (平沙落雁)

Plum Blossom Melodies (梅花三弄)

Ambush from All Sides (十面埋伏)

Flutes and Drums at Dusk (春江花月夜)

Dialogue between the Fisherman and the Woodcutter (渔樵问答)

Eighteen Beats of a Nomad Flute (胡笳十八拍)

Autumn Moon over Han Palace (汉宫秋月)

White Snow in Early Spring (阳春白雪)

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Chinese Language and Alphabet – Chinese Culture for kids

About 1/5 of the world’s population speaks Chinese.  Mandarin is the official language of China, Taiwan and   Singapore.  Other Chinese languages include (in the order of which they are spoken):  Wu, Cantonese, and Min.  There are over 3,000 dialects of Chinese spoken in China, but only one way to write Chinese.

The Chinese language has had a great impact on the Korean, Japanese and Vietnamese languages.  Chinese symbols are used in both the Korean and Japanese written languages. The first Chinese symbols were based on hieroglyphic pictures.

Today, there are about 20,000 different characters in the Chinese language.  Half of these are used in everyday communication.  Each Chinese word uses 2-3 different characters.  There are over 100,000 Chinese words in the Chinese language.

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You can see the beauty of how the symbols are written with these examples.  Twenty-six letters are chosen below to look like the English alphabet.  The Chinese word for each symbol is also included.  Can you see each of the 26 English alphabet letters?

Chinese Characters

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Chinese Travel Destinations – Chinese Culture for kids

China is a large nation and has many interesting places to explore.  You will see much of the tradition, culture and the beauty of the land by traveling to these recommended places. 

The Great Wall

The star attraction of China is the Great Wall. This large structure was built to keep intruders from coming into China.  The wall stretches about 8850 kilometers all across north China.

The Forbidden City

 

 

The Forbidden City is located in Beijing. This city is also known as the Imperial Palace Museum.  It was built in 1400s A.D.  The Forbidden City is the largest group of wooden buildings that has been preserved in the world. Beijing is the capital of China today.  It is the center of government and culture.

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The Terracotta Warriors, Xian

 

The Terracotta Warriors were discovered in 1974.  They were buried underground for more than 2000 years in the city of Xian. This city served as the nation’s capital for 13 dynasties.  That was more than 1000 years!  It is the largest underground military museum to display all of the warriors and their horses made in the Qin Dynasty (221 B.C.-206 B.C.).  The warriors include chariot warriors, infantrymen, cavalrymen, and horses.

The Yangtze River


The Yangtze River is the largest and longest river in China with a length of over 6,300 kilometers.  It is the third longest river in the world. The Yangtze River flows through 9 provinces across south China.  You can take a popular river cruise and see the beautiful Three Gorges and the Three Gorges Dam from the river.

Li River, Guilin


The Li River is known for its natural beauty.  The clear waterway flows along scenery of rolling peaks, steep cliffs and green hills.

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Potala Palace, Lhasa


The Potala Palace was built by King Songtsen Gampo in the seventh century.  It is built above much of the city of Lhasa.  “Lhasa” means land of the gods.  The palace is a landmark for the city of Lhasa.  The palace looks like a castle.  Inside, there are artist and creative decorations, scriptures, murals, jewels and antiques.  The Potala Palace was the religious and political center for Tibet.

Yellow Mountain (Mount Huangshan), Anhui

Yellow Mountain features peaks, interesting shaped rocks, steep cliffs and caves.

The Bund, Shanghai

 

The Bund is the waterfront of Shanghai which stretches 1.5 kilometers along the west bank of the Huangpu River.  You can see modern skyscrapers and an interesting mix of building styles.  The buildings are decorated with floodlights at night for a beautiful display.

West Lake, Hangzhou


West Lake is a long, narrow river located in the west part of Hangzhou.  It is a quiet place of natural beauty.  There are green hills on the sides of the lake.  Historical sites, traditional Chinese culture and native products can be seen.

Legend tells the story of West Lake being a heavenly jewel fallen to earth.  This lake is often painted by Chinese artists.

Jiuzhaigou Valley, Sichuan


Located in the northern part of Sichuan Province, Jiuzhaigou Valley has snow-capped mountain peaks all year round.  The valley also has thick forests and stretches of quiet lakes.  It is home to many birds and animals.

The water is a clear bright green filled with waterfalls.

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Chinese Songs for Children

  1. 我爱我的幼儿园
  2. 玛丽的小绵羊
  3. 小鸭子
  4. 我们都是好朋友
  5. 红绿灯
  6. 一字歌
  7. 人人叫我好儿童
  8. 八只小狗抬花轿
  9. 袋鼠妈妈有个袋袋
  10. 一只哈巴狗

1. 我爱我的幼儿园 

我的幼儿园

我爱我的幼儿园

幼儿园里朋友多

又唱歌来又跳舞

大家一起多快乐!

wǒ ài wǒ de yòu ér yuán

wǒ ài wǒ de yòu ér yuán ,

yòu ér yuán lǐ péng yǒu duō 。

yòu chàng gē lái yòu tiào wǔ ,

dà jiā yī qǐ duō kuài lè !

2. 玛丽的小绵羊

的小

玛丽有只小绵羊

白色的小绵羊

玛丽有只小绵羊

可爱的小绵羊

mǎ lì de xiǎo mián yáng

mǎ lì yǒu zhī xiǎo mián yáng

bái sè de xiǎo mián yáng

mǎ lì yǒu zhī xiǎo mián yáng

kě ài de xiǎo mián yáng

3. 小鸭子

我们这里养了一群小鸭子

我天天早晨赶着它们到池塘里

小鸭子见了我就嘎嘎嘎地叫

再见吧小鸭子我要上学了

再见吧小鸭子我要上学了

我们这里养了一群小鸭子

我放学回来赶着它们到棚里去

小鸭子见了我就嘎嘎嘎地叫

睡觉吧小鸭子太阳下山了

睡觉吧小鸭子太阳下山了

xiǎo yā zǐ

wǒ mén zhè lǐ yǎng le yī qún xiǎo yā zǐ

wǒ tiān tiān zǎo chén gǎn zhe tā mén dào shi táng lǐ

xiǎo yā zǐ jiàn le wǒ jiù gā gā gā dì jiào

zài jiàn bā xiǎo yā zǐ wǒ yào shàng xué le

zài jiàn bā xiǎo yā zǐ wǒ yào shàng xué le

wǒ mén zhè lǐ yǎng le yī qún xiǎo yā zǐ

wǒ fàng xué huí lái gǎn zhe tā mén dào péng lǐ qù

xiǎo yā zǐ jiàn le wǒ jiù gā gā gā dì jiào

shuì jué bā xiǎo yā zǐ tai yáng xià shān le

shuì jué bā xiǎo yā zǐ tai yáng xià shān le

4. 我们都是好朋友

都是好朋友

小鸟天上飞,

小鱼水里游。

小朋友在地上走,

大家手拉手。

小鸟天上飞,

小鱼水里游。

小朋友在地上走,

大家手拉手。

面对面,点点头。

唱唱歌,拍拍手。

我们都是好朋友,都是好朋友。

wǒ mén dōu shì hǎo péng yǒu

xiǎo niǎo tiān shàng fēi ,

xiǎo yú shuǐ lǐ yóu 。

xiǎo péng yǒu zài dì shàng zǒu ,

dà jiā shǒu lā shǒu 。

xiǎo niǎo tiān shàng fēi ,

xiǎo yú shuǐ lǐ yóu 。

xiǎo péng yǒu zài dì shàng zǒu ,

dà jiā shǒu lā shǒu 。

miàn duì miàn ,diǎn diǎn tóu 。

chàng chàng gē ,pāi pāi shǒu 。

wǒ mén dōu shì hǎo péng yǒu ,dōu shì hǎo péng yǒu 。

5. 红绿灯

红绿

红灯停 绿灯行

黄灯亮就等一等

过马路要注意

交通规则要牢记

红灯停 绿灯行

黄灯亮就等一等

过马路要注意

交通规则要牢记

hóng lǜ dēng

hóng dēng tíng  lǜ dēng xíng

huáng dēng liàng jiù děng yī děng

guò mǎ lù yào zhù yì

jiāo tōng guī zé yào láo jì

hóng dēng tíng  lǜ dēng xíng

huáng dēng liàng jiù děng yī děng

guò mǎ lù yào zhù yì

jiāo tōng guī zé yào láo jì

 

6. 一字歌

一字歌

一帆一桨一渔舟,

一个渔翁一钓钩,

一俯一仰一场笑,

一江明月一江秋。

yī zì gē

yī fān yī jiǎng yī yú zhōu ,

yī gè yú wēng yī diào gōu ,

yī fǔ yī yǎng yī chǎng xiào ,

yī jiāng míng yuè yī jiāng qiū 。

 

7. 人人叫我好儿童

人人叫我好儿童

青菜青,绿盈盈;

辣椒红,像灯笼;

妈妈做饭,我提水;

爸爸种菜,我捉虫;

好孩子爱劳动,

人人叫我好儿童。

rén rén jiào wǒ hǎo ér tóng

qīng 菜qīng ,lǜ yíng yíng ;

là jiāo hóng ,xiàng dēng lóng ;

mā mā zuò fàn ,wǒ tí shuǐ ;

bà bà zhǒng 菜,wǒ zhuō chóng ;

hǎo hái zǐ ài láo dòng ,

rén rén jiào wǒ hǎo ér tóng 。

8. 八只小狗抬花轿

八只小狗抬花轿

八只小狗抬花轿,

老虎坐轿把扇摇。

一只小狗跌一跤,

老虎狠狠踢一脚。

小狗疼得汪汪叫,

老虎却在睡大觉。

花轿抬到半山腰,

想个办法真正好。

一二三向上抛,

老虎跌了一大跤。

一二三向上抛,

老虎跌了一大跤。

bā zhī xiǎo gǒu tái huā jiào

bā zhī xiǎo gǒu tái huā jiào ,

lǎo hǔ zuò jiào bǎ shàn yáo 。

yī zhī xiǎo gǒu diē yī 跤,

lǎo hǔ hěn hěn tī yī jiǎo 。

xiǎo gǒu téng dé wāng wāng jiào ,

lǎo hǔ què zài shuì dà jué 。

huā jiào tái dào bàn shān yāo ,

xiǎng gè bàn fǎ zhēn zhèng hǎo 。

yī èr sān xiàng shàng pāo ,

lǎo hǔ diē le yī dà 跤。

yī èr sān xiàng shàng pāo ,

lǎo hǔ diē le yī dà 跤。

9. 袋鼠妈妈有个袋袋

袋鼠妈妈有个袋袋

袋鼠妈妈袋鼠妈妈有个袋袋。

袋袋就是为了为了保护乖乖。

澳洲草原就是我的家。

蓝天白云和我做游戏。

拍拍手呀,点点头呀。

努力往前跳一跳。

不回头呀。不后悔呀。

我们最骄傲。

我们牵手。我们歌唱。我们跳舞。

幸福的妈妈。幸福的乖乖。

幸福的小乖乖和妈妈相亲相爱多愉快。

 

dài shǔ mā mā yǒu gè dài dài

dài shǔ mā mā dài shǔ mā mā yǒu gè dài dài 。

dài dài jiù shì wéi le wéi le bǎo hù guāi guāi 。

ào zhōu cǎo yuán jiù shì wǒ de jiā 。

lán tiān bái yún hé wǒ zuò yóu xì 。

pāi pāi shǒu ya ,diǎn diǎn tóu ya 。

nǔ lì wǎng qián tiào yī tiào 。

bù huí tóu ya 。bù hòu huǐ ya 。

wǒ mén zuì jiāo ào 。

wǒ mén qiān shǒu 。wǒ mén gē chàng 。wǒ mén tiào wǔ 。

xìng fú de mā mā 。xìng fú de guāi guāi 。

xìng fú de xiǎo guāi guāi hé mā mā xiāng qīn xiāng ài duō yú kuài 。

10. 一只哈巴狗

一只哈巴狗

一只哈巴狗

坐在家门口

眼睛黑黝黝

想吃肉骨头

一只哈巴狗

吃完肉骨头

尾巴摇一摇

向我点点头

一只哈巴狗

坐在家门口

眼睛黑黝黝

想吃肉骨头

一只哈巴狗

坐在家门口

眼睛黑黝黝

想吃肉骨头

一只哈巴狗

吃完肉骨头

尾巴摇一摇

向我点点头

yī zhī hā bā gǒu

yī zhī hā bā gǒu

zuò zài jiā mén kǒu

yǎn jīng hēi 黝黝

xiǎng chī ròu gǔ tóu

yī zhī hā bā gǒu

chī wán ròu gǔ tóu

wěi bā yáo yī yáo

xiàng wǒ diǎn diǎn tóu

yī zhī hā bā gǒu

zuò zài jiā mén kǒu

yǎn jīng hēi 黝黝

xiǎng chī ròu gǔ tóu

yī zhī hā bā gǒu

zuò zài jiā mén kǒu

yǎn jīng hēi 黝黝

xiǎng chī ròu gǔ tóu

yī zhī hā bā gǒu

chī wán ròu gǔ tóu

wěi bā yáo yī yáo

xiàng wǒ diǎn diǎn tóu

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