The holiday season is here, and now’s the perfect time to grab those last-minute gifts. It’s easy to find presents for kids who are on a sports team, play an instrument, love arts and crafts, or have a passion for STEM, but not all afterschool activities lend themselves to gift-giving so easily. Here’s a few creative gift ideas for the child in your life who is learning to speak Chinese! These great stocking stuffers are steeped in Chinese language and culture.
What kid doesn’t want a robot buddy? This adorable little robot owl is a wonderful partner for reading time. Place a popular Chinese picture book in front of him (he knows over 70,000 books) and sit back as he reads aloud to your child. Reading with Luka is a great way to perfect pronunciation and lets your child read books beyond their reading level. Plus, it’s so cute, your child might not even realize they’re learning.
This device seems like something out of a science fiction novel, but it’s real– and a great Christmas gift idea for an older child learning Mandarin Chinese. Scan a word or sentence with the pen and it’ll read it aloud for you, then scroll through translations and definitions on the pen’s small screen. Becoming fluent in another language is a skill fit for a super-spy, and this cool gadget is just the cherry on top.
Kids of all ages can spend hours enchanted by the Buddha Board. Simply dip the brush in some water to write and draw on the board. Then, it’ll fade away as if by magic! It’s a soothing and meditative way for anyone to pass time, but it’s also a fantastic way for kids to practice writing Chinese characters. A simple tool like a Buddha board can help your child master writing in Chinese!
This Chinese Yo-yo (or Diabolo) may be a fun toy, but it can also spark conversations about Chinese culture! This plastic Diabolo is a Westernized take on a Ming dynasty era toy that spread to Europe in the 19th century and caused a bit of a fad. You’ll often see Chinese acrobats and street performers using them. Many Chinese schools use diabolos for exciting performances around the Lunar New Year, and there’s even a diabolo museum in Beijing. Can your child master this tricky but oh-so-fun toy?
Who says that a play kitchen need only serve plastic eggs, bacon, and waffles for breakfast? These darling dumplings are a great celebration of Chinese culture and cuisine for the littlest kids! They’ll inspire hours of imaginative play where kids can practice Chinese words for food and dining. A dim sum play set can also be a fun way for kids to introduce their family’s culture and heritage to their friends, who may not be familiar with traditional Chinese food!
Okay, maybe don’t make this your ONLY Christmas gift this year, but kids who are learning Chinese in school or from a private tutor may enjoy the chance to practice their skills with old and new friends! Invite over a best buddy and share themed snacks for each virtual small group class, or meet new friends who speak Mandarin Chinese in the process!
A creative gift is a wonderful way to make a child get excited about learning a new language– and keep them practicing over the winter break!