The quote “Do what you love and you’ll never have to work a day in your life” is often used for persuading us to follow our dreams and chase after a career we love. However, I’ve found it can be applied in most areas in our lives.
Like we’ve mentioned in previous articles learning a language as hard as Chinese can sometimes get you down to the point of giving up, especially when you turn learning Chinese into a chore. This is especially true when it comes to young children. Simply because they lack that determination drive that adults hold, although they more than make up for that in enthusiasm. One of the ways to help your children embrace learning Chinese is by making the process fun whenever possible. Here are some tips for incorporating Chinese into your family’s routine in unique ways:
The basic foundation of your language journey starts with your Chinese classes, if these do not captivate the students’ interest then the battle is lost. Fortunately, here at Lingo Bus, we ensure our classes are presented in an exciting way to fully engage and excite students to learn Chinese. Students follow characters through different Chinese cities through song, motion, and games.
I found memorizing Chinese characters difficult, that is until I started turning them into pictures or stories. This is very simple to do, there are already many books out there that have done this, or they explain the history of the character making it easier to remember. But with children, I like to show them a character and get them to create their own story or draw and color in the meaning around it.
Movies, books, and music
Next time you do family movie night, why not pick a Chinese children’s cartoon or an already loved western film dubbed in Chinese. Explore how Disney songs sound in Chinese, or what Kung Fu Panda gets up too. For books and songs, the same approach can be followed, either introduce books/songs that the child is already familiar with in Chinese for comparison or new Chinese children’s age-appropriate books/songs.
Living abroad doesn’t offer much of a chance to practice Chinese but if you live near a Chinatown why not head there for a day trip! Have your child talk with the shopkeepers to practice numbers, basic words, and phrases. It’s a great place to practice a lot of conversation in a short amount of time. Round off your experience by stopping off for food at an authentic Chinese restaurant.
Everybody loves games, so why not use this to your child’s advantage to learn Chinese. You can buy the Chinese version of most popular board games online; this can be used to practice Chinese. It’s also very easy to create words scrabble for children to complete or even turn a Rubik’s cube into a Chinese game by growing items like food, clothes, weather, etc into colors that children have to match.
There are many other ways to introduce Chinese in a fun and engaging way if there is a daily activity or game that your child enjoys we suggest turning that into a Chinese version creating the opportunity to develop the language.