Introduce Mandarin Characters To Children In 4 Easy Ways
We have to admit that Chinese characters in the Mandarin language can be a little overwhelming for people with zero foundation or background in it, not to even mention young children. Nevertheless, with the right steps taken, we can still immerse them into the beautiful world of Mandarin. Here, we share 4 easy-to-do steps to introduce your child to Mandarin characters at an early stage.
STEP ONE: Label Items with Mandarin Character at Home
The fundamental way to start learning something is to gain exposure to it first while the easiest way to expose your child to Chinese character is to have them at home. Home, a place where they roam about freely the whole day is the best location to start.
You can start with the bigger things or items that your child interacts the most with such as the sofa, dining table, toilet, bed and more. This is definitely not a one-day thing and we don’t expect young kids to start recognizing the words after a few days. Instead, this step builds up the fundamental and vital part of language learning by setting up a conducive Chinese learning environment.
*Having the labels in both English and Mandarin will be good too, especially for those with children that can already read English words.
STEP TWO: Putting Up Educational Chart & Poster
The next addition to having in an immersive Chinese learning setting is to put up educational wall charts or posters around the house. The content of the poster is not the priority, any pre-school learning content that you find is age-appropriate like a color chart, animal poster, table of fruits are all workable. The important part is to have a big, readable font of Mandarin character accompanied by pictures.
STEP THREE: Mandarin Books
Once you have your ‘Mandarin environment’ all set up, the next source of exposure to more Chinese characters will be from the Mandarin book. You can start easy on books that have little characters and more illustration or interactive features like flip-a-flap, pages with holes or sensorial and more to interest children.
If you have no idea on how or what book to start, there are plenty of sharing and resources that you might find it handy here or if you are unsure where to get good quality Mandarin books for children, you can simply browse through the selection of our curated reading materials here at MyFirstMandarin.
STEP FOUR: Pictograph Flashcards
Last but not least, the essential and most basic learning aids for picking up words – Flashcard. Even for grown-ups, for whichever language or study content, flashcard never fails to help us in better retaining and recalling of the information learned. Therefore, I personally think that a flashcard is good learning material for young ones as well.
However, for children with little or no Mandarin background, a set of Pictograph flashcards works exceptionally well. Unlike typical flashcards that provide just words and pictures, the pictograph concept of character learning helps children to learn the structure of individual words in a fun illustration that depicts the meaning of it!
You can continue reading on what exactly is Chinese Pictograph and why is it useful for kids learning. Or, you can simply understand more about its benefit from here!
Image Credit: Pinterest, Google & Unsplash
- Garfield Smith