Thursday, September 30, 2010

Teaching Your Child Mandarin Chinese at Home: Games, Songs, Books

Here are some quick ideas for play in Mandarin at home for young children. You will need a Mandarin speaker for this, but with the right guidelines any older Chinese student can help you out. You can usually find one at your local college!

Active songs:

Step and count in Chinese. Step, yi, step, er, step, san... Use yi (1) through san (3) for little children, and more numbers for older children. Follow the child's interest.

Drum and count. Tap your right hand, yi, tap your left hand, er, tap your right hand, san, and so forth. You can speed up as children learn the counts.

Make up songs. "Ni hao, mama, ni hao baba, ni hao meimei..." (hello mommy, hello daddy, hello little sister). Focus on having words repeated (ni hao) mixed with important new words (mama, baba, meimei). Add in the "gou" (dog), "mao" (cat), and others.

Make up question and answer songs. "Zhe shi shen me? (what is this?), zhe shi yi zhi mao (this is a cat)" Use nouns with the same counter words -- the "zhi" word before the "mao" (cat) is a counter word for animals. So, do this song with all animal words. Then write the character on a card and write the English on the back. For younger children, use picture and word cards -- picture of a cat, character for a cat. For English-speaking children, pinyin is confusing before they can read well in English. Use characters for this age.

Books on CD. This requires no Chinese speaker, so it's easier. We have some Disney books and our Popping Pandas Mandarin Chinese DVDs and Books site has some free material you can listen to now. I saw a few nice things in the local library the other day, too.

Suggestions? Send them along for us to share!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Draw a Character to Find the Meaning and Hear the Pronunciation

For those of you who haven't used nciku, it is my favorite of all the online dictionaries because you can draw in characters that you don't know instead of laboriously looking them up. Well, you'll see, but the drawing feature is fabulous. Some of the dictionary functions aren't as good, but, hey, not having to look up the characters is wonderful!

Did you find a great (free) Chinese tool online? Share it with us!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

McDull: A Funky and Odd Cartoon from Taiwan (Bilingual English and Chinese DVD)

Since I just filmed the DVD on my laptop screen, you will see the red flicker of the camera, but I wanted to share the clip so that everyone could see the show. What do you think?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Listen to Mandarin Chinese stories on our site

Just posted stories in Mandarin Chinese for a few book and story CD packages we are selling.

Listen to the Chinese part of these bilingual Disney stories here.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

New Montessori Bilingual Chinese and English Printable Flashcard Sets

We have more Montessori Bilingual Chinese and English Printable Flashcards for great prices!

These nifty little Adobe PDF flash cards were created in conjunction with Lori at Montessori for Everyone, who shared her collection of amazing color pictures and excellent PDF card designs with us.

These printable sheets contain tons of information including the Chinese character for each word, pinyin, English translation, and a color photo.

Do you like this picture? Right-click on it and save it to your computer to print out!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Back from China with lots of new Chinese DVDs for children

It was a long trip, but well worth it. I got to spend time with my students and, of course, browse for new Mandarin Chinese DVDs for children here!

What's new? Lots more Thomas the Tank Engine, another several Spongebob shows, plus Hello Kitty is back in stock!

Now I have to get some clips to share with everyone.

If anyone has requests for my next teaching trip, just send a note and I'll see what I can find!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Mandarin Chinese Language Camps for the Summer

A parent asked us for a recommendation, so we wanted to share a few with you here. If anyone has additional information, please send it in via comment form!

Sidwell Friends Summer Camp

Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth (they have a Mandarin component available)

UCLA and the Confucius Institute (high schoolers only)

Crossroads School in LA is always fun, but they have no Chinese program in the summer.

Friday, January 22, 2010

NEW: Bilingual English and Mandarin Chinese Number Blocks for Infants and Toddlers

You may have seen this post on our blog for Infants and Toddlers, but just in case... These fabulous blocks are handmade in Maryland, USA, by us at Montessori House!

Here's the description from our Montessori House Etsy store:
We lovingly hand-craft our wooden blocks here in Maryland. The blocks are made using hand tools and Crayola markers with an organic olive oil rubbed finish.

This set of ten blocks introduces the Chinese characters for numbers from 1 to 10 along with numerals, pinyin (the English language pronunciation for the Chinese characters), and quantity dots.

The characters are etched with hand tools into the wood, which is then sanded to a soft finish with rounded edges and corners. Your child will enjoy tracing the engravings as he or she learns to associate the quantities with the bilingual characters.

The numerals are colored green corresponding to the Montessori math system.

Safe for infants and toddlers of all ages.

Visit us at Montessori House for more Mandarin Chinese learning material for children.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Beginning Mandarin Chinese for Children by Montessori House

This binder introduces your child to important words using Chinese characters, English translations,
and pinyin with tones.

A serious study guide designed for the Montessori classroom, this program includes over 70 pages that include single pages for drills and tracing, large characters for tracing, and other material that your child can begin using intuitively and easily.

No experience with Chinese needed to help your child use this course! So, dive on in if you are interested in helping your child learn Chinese. This is also a wonderful place to start for beginners of all ages.

Whether you are officially homeschooling your child or just looking to give him or her a head start with languages, this is an easy-to-use and enjoyable program that will provide your child with a great introduction to Chinese as well as help him or her learn how to start learning a foreign language.

Buy this Montessori Beginning Chinese course for Children on the Montessori House site.