Teach Your Kids Chinese: The Ultimate Resource Guide to Start With

Teach Your Kids Chinese: The Ultimate Resource Guide!  Online and offline Chinese resources for kids and parents who are non-native speakers.  Let’s start!

When I first started teaching Mandarin Chinese almost all of my students were first generation Chinese Americans.  It has changed over the years.  It is encouraging to see that my Chinese immersion programs for babies and tots and my school programs for elementary school students are comprised of 99% non-native speakers and families in the last a few of years.  You will see similar percentage in the foreign language schools designed for children.  According to a report by the U.S. Department of Education (Mandarin) Chinese was the most popular dual-language education program implemented by individual states after Spanish.  With recent research on bilingualism, the benefits of being bilingual, and the language learning ability of babies parents are ready to head on the bilingual journey before their little ones hit the school age.

I have put together this Teach Your Kids Chinese resource guide with the non-native speaking parents in mind.

You can start with a program in a bilingual approach so you understand what you are teaching and saying to your child.  You can also start with an novice level immersion program.  You can pick and choose the best program(s) for your child.  You always have the flexibility of moving forward faster or stepping back with the program you choose.  You are going on an adventure with your child to explore a new language and a new culture.   How exciting!

Raising a bilingual child is a journey and you want to make sure you and your children are having a joyful time together.

 

Listen to Chinese songs, nursery rhymes, and stories:  Your Captive Audience 

You have a captive audience when you are in the car so this is a great place to share the Chinese learning fun in audio style.

  1. A Little Mandarin is a beautifully produced classic Chinese children’s songs album and is an excellent learning tool.

  2. Let’s Learn Mandarin Chinese with Miss Panda!” CD/MP3:  This album is produced by me, Miss Panda.  This top-rated audio program for ages 3 and up is available on Amazon and iTunes.  This album is in bilingual style to help families with no or limited Chinese background to start a playful bilingual journey with over 100 commonly used words, phrases, and simple sentences.  A companion learning guide of the album with 140 flashcards and resources in PDF format is available at Miss Panda Chinese store and TpT.

  3. My First Chinese Words by Better Chinese (CD and books): For ages 3 and up.  This is a Chinese curriculum set featuring 150 words in 36 books for non-Chinese preschoolers and up.  This set is available in simplified Chinese edition and traditional Chinese edition.

  4.  You can find more of my top Chinese for kids audio and visual learning material recommendations in this Gift Guide for Chinese Learners.

Miss Panda Chinese Gift Guide for Chinese Learners

Audio programs you can use during the commute

Read children’s book in Chinese:  Read, Read and Read More!

Start a Chinese language home library, basket or corner.  Create a bilingual literacy environment at home.  Let’s start with Chinese-English bilingual books.  Popular English broad books that your child has read and enjoyed are a good start.

I remember the very first time I read The Very Hungry Caterpillar in Chinese to my first grade students they yelled and shouted “I know the story!!” as I pulled out the Chinese edition of the book and showed it to them.  The online resource will help you with the reading.  I love books with simple basic sentences and a lot of repetition.  These books will build confidence in our young learners who is entering the world of a new language.  All the books listed below are popular English broad books Chinese edition.

  1. Good Night, Gorilla! [Chinese edition]

  2. Elmer’s Day [English-Chinese bilingual edition]

  3. Dear Zoo [English-Chinese bilingual edition]

  4. Good Night Moon [Chinese edition]

  5. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See [Chinese edition]

  6. For more books check out the list of 10 Great Children’s Books in Chinese and you can find the reading in Mandarin Chinese at Miss Panda’s Reading Playground.

Miss Panda’s Picks: 10 Great Children’s Books in Chinese .  Grab a copy of a book and head to YouTube Miss Panda’s Reading Playground!

 

Online English-Chinese Bookstores

  1.  Amazon has been adding more children’s bilingual books and Chinese books.  You can search and find the best price.

  2. China Sprout is a place you can find bilingual books, Chinese cultural and educational products. (based in U.S.)

  3. ChildBook has a collection of Chinese language curriculum materials, books and cultural resource. (based in U.S.)

  4. Book Depository is a U.K.-based bookstore with English and multilingual books including children’s books in Chinese.  Free shipping worldwide. (based in U.K.)

  5. Hanyu World is an online Chinese language and culture learning library with a wonderful collection of audio visual resource. (FREE & bilingual site – Taiwan)

  6. Confucius Institute Online (CIO) has programs in major universities in the U.S. and worldwide.  It also provides a great online language and culture learning resources. (FREE & bilingual site – China)

  7. You can see my collection of online bookstores for Chinese-English bilingual books and Chinese books here  Chinese-English Bilingual Bookstores and libraries.

Chinese-English Printable and Lessons

  1.  Theme-based learning units created by Miss Panda are in English, Chinese, and Pinyin.  They are a resource for daily target language learning.  The printable format of the units makes it easy for you to choose the pages you need.  Flash cards can be laminated and used for your home word wall to increase the visual exposure of a print-rich literacy rich Chinese language environment.  Fun worksheets and coloring pages can be used for mommy and me, daddy and me learning time and hands-on activities.  You can choose from Days of the Week or Numbers to start with.

  2. Daily Noodles has two well-designed Chinese-English bilingual activities books featuring numbers and animals.  These are great for craft time learning.

Learning Unit Printables

 

Watch Chinese YouTube Programs and Videos of Popular Shows

  1. Miss Panda’s Chinese Playgroup: Teach your kids Chinese is playful.  Join Miss Panda’s Happy Chinese Playground on Youtube for an interactive learning experience. (Mandarin Chinese with English and Pinyin subtitle)

  2. BBC Primary Languages – Mandarin:  There are 10 everyday topics currently.  You can see vocabulary list with audio, videos and play games in each theme.  This is a good resource for non-native speaking families.  (Mandarin Chinese with English, Pinyin, and Chinese in vocabulary list).

  3. The Lingo Show: This is an educational and language-learning program produced by BBC’s CBeebies channel for preschool children.  You will meet Wèi, the little bug who speaks Mandarin Chinese!  It is a similar concept as the U.S. program, “Ni Hao Kai Lan.”  Sample The Lingo Show here. (Chinese-English bilingual program)

  4. Chinese Nursery Rhyme and Songs:  Three playlists featuring a collection of Chinese children’s songs and nursery rhymes here. (Mandarin Chinese with Chinese subtitle)

  5. Chinese Sesame Street:  Elmo speaks Chinese!  Chinese learning resource on YouTube includes videos of popular shows and cartoons.  You can sample Mandarin Chinese Sesame Street episodes. (Mandarin Chinese with Chinese subtitle)

  6. Chinese: Pippa Pig:  Do you enjoy it in English?  Pippa Pig is multilingual and Pippa Pig speaks Chinese as well.  Sample Chinese edition of Pippa Pig and see what your little one says about it. (Mandarin Chinese with Chinese subtitle)

  7. Chinese Masha and the Bear:  This animated series is originally in Russian.  So you see Masha is also multilingual.   Sample Masha and the Bear in Chinese. (Mandarin Chinese with Chinese subtitle)

  8.  Chinese Shima Shima Tora no Shimajirō :  This tiger is from Japan and it is loved by numerous young children in Japan (Japanese edition),  Taiwan and China (Mandarin Chinese edition).  Kids grew up with this cute tiger and his name is Qiao Hu 巧虎.  This is a program teaches kids about daily life, manners, and social skills with stories, songs, movements, games and crafts.  You can sample and experience Qiao Hu here. (Mandarin Chinese with Chinese subtitle)

 

Sing Eensy Weensy Spider in Mandarin Chinese!

 

Miss Panda’s Picks: Chinese Youtube programs and Videos of Popular Shows

 

Chinese Learning Apps for Kids

  1. Inkids has a flashcard app: Chinese Flashcards (Mandarin Chinese & multilingual) by INKids (Animal set/Mandarin Chinese version), it has nice illustration and it is appealing to young children.  I especially enjoy the Chinese characters that are included on each card for visual display.  You will have to go to language setting and select “Mandarin Chinese” to hear the correct pronunciation.  English, Mandarin Chinese, and Cantonese are three audio options for this app.

  2. You will also find  Gus on the Go  a good choice with its simple and easy learning structure.  Also available on iTunes.

  3. You can read the full list of my top 18 Chinese learning apps for children here. (2017 update)

 

Miss Panda Chinese – Chinese learning apps for children

 

Enjoy Chinese Craft Time

  1. Hands-on projects involve and engage your children in the learning process.  Join me and have fun dying Easter Eggs and learning Colors here!

  2. Online craft time:  Hana and Mr. Huusen’s playground! – craft time series

 

Learn Chinese Culture

  1. Language and culture go hand in hand.  Let’s visit the Asian Art Museum, take a look at Chinese cooking styles, understand the formation of Chinese writing and many more with Exploring Chinese Culture with Kids.

Exploring Chinese Culture with Kids

 

 Plan A Chinese Immersion Tour locally or overseas

  1. Chinese language and culture immersion tours to China and Taiwan will be a wonderful experience.  Your trip will immerse the whole family in the host culture.  There are many short-term kids camps designed for young visitors if you are interested in a summer camp style program.

  2. You will also be able to locate Chinese language Immersion summer programs domestically in major universities.

  3. There are also StarTalk programs featuring Mandarin Chinese for children in elementary school in different states.  Check out their website to see if there is one near you.

Perfumed sachets at the market

 

Have These Chinese-English Reference Tools Handy

Raising a bilingual child is an adventure and you will be growing the language and culture knowledge with your child.  For the words, characters, phrases or even sentences that pop up you can use the the tools here to find the answers.

  1. MDBG English-Chinese Online Dictionary (with audio) – You can enter in English, Pinyin, or Chinese.

  2. Arch Chinese Chinese – English Online Dictionary and more  (with audio) – You can see the writing of a Chinese character in stroke order.

  3. Yellow Bridge Chinese-English Dictionary

  4. Perapera Pop-Up Dictionary – Mouse over a Chinese word on a webpage and it will give you the pronunciation and definition!  It works as a free add-on for Firefox and Chrome.  This is a great tool for Chinese learners and parents.

  5. Google Translate App with your smartphone camera lens – This is a handy tool and it is free.   The accuracy rate varies and it works the best with simple words.

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    Bring Chinese Language and Culture Home

    There is one resource that can become a language and culture exchange opportunity and that is to contact the International Student Office in a university near you.  Ask if they have international students from China or Taiwan or if they have one or more Chinese student associations that you can outreach with.  International students who speak Mandarin Chinese are polishing their foreign language skill and are learning about the host country culture.  Many of them would be delighted to be invited to your home for an authentic American meal and see the American family culture first-hand.  You can let the student know that you are looking for an exchange of Chinese language and culture session for your child on a monthly or a biweekly basis.

    The Chinese Language Teachers Association is another good resource for you if you are looking for a tutor or a long-term partnership on the bilingual journey.

    If you would like to see more resources in any areas that is not covered here please feel free to comment below or send me an email.

I hope this Teach Your Kids Chinese resource guide will help you start your bilingual family journey! 

Share this with a friend who needs it!  

Leave a comment and let me know what is the first resource that you want to try!!

For more world language resource check out this wonderful collection with over 15 languages at Bilingual Kid Spot!

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6 Comments
  1. I love this collection, Amanda! Can’t wait to dig into these in our family! Thank you!

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