Chinese Christmas activity with English can be an excellent great way for bilingual kids to play and learn Chinese. It’s even better when it’s FREE!
Being in Perth, I feel incredibly grateful and appreciative to be able to have our safe, peaceful, and no-virus Christmas. In contrast, the coronavirus that stormed around the world in 2020 is still doing its damage. Millions of people are still suffering and unable to be with their loved ones.
For this reason, every Friday until the 18th of December, I’ve decided to GIVE and make FREE but FUN Chinese Christmas activities for my community. Hopefully, my little gifts can bring some joy to you and your family.
After the 18th of December, I won’t be sending anything relates to Christmas anymore as most of you would be ready for a well-deserved break. We’re going to have a couple of weeks off too during Christmas, yah!
As I’ve explained in my last post The Sun and the Wind, after teaching my daughter Pinyin for one year and a half to where she’s now mastered 95% of Pinyin, we’re moving on to learn more Chinese WRITING and READING.
That’s why the Chinese Christmas activities I create here will cover READING and WRITING and some Pinyin as well.
So, for the activity today, there’re three steps involved:
Step 1. Download your FREE Chinese Christmas activity templates.
There’re three files (35 pages in total) in the downloads.
- One file is for Santa’s family templates (19 pages). As we’re only a family of three, so you only see three of us in the post image with my daughter’s Chinese name. However, the elves’ outfit you get will only show the Chinese words for younger brother(弟弟dì dì) and sister (妹妹mèimei) and older brother(哥哥gē gē) and sister (姐姐jiě jiě) on them. That way, the templates are suitable for all families.
- The 2nd file (4 pages ) are Santa’s socks with Merry Christmas (圣诞快乐shèng dàn kuài lè) in Chinese.
- The 3rd file ( 12 pages) include eight double-sided flashcards and ten Chinese writing sheets. All Chinese words have stroke order numbers (笔画顺序bǐ huà shun xù), and stroke directions (笔画方向bǐ huà fang xiàng) marked for easy tracing.
Step 2. Teach your child to READ and WRITE ten Chinese words from this activity.
Once downloaded the Chinese Christmas activity templates, don’t cut them yet. We have some learning to do.
First, is to teach your child to READ the following ten Chinese words in Mandarin:
快乐kuài lè (Merry), 圣 诞shèng dàn (Christmas), 爸Bà (Dad/Father), 妈mā (Mum/Mom/Mother), 哥gē (Older brother), 姐jiě (Older sister), 弟dì (Younger brother), 妹mèi (Younger sister).
If you’re not sure about the pronunciation of above words, you can watch my short video below when I was speaking these words with my daughter, or copy and paste the Chinese texts to Google Translate, which will show how to pronounce.
To reinforce your child’s learning, you can also play the game as I showed in my video above, and ask your child to read aloud these words in Mandarin.
Whatever you do, make it FUN and cheer for your child. Reward your child using the ideas I’ll share below.
Second, is to teach your child to WRITE the ten words in Simplified Chinese using the tracing sheets I provided.
If you’re new to Chinese writing, two things you must insist on when using these tracing sheets:
your child needs to follow the stroke order numbers (笔画顺序bǐ huà shun xù) and,
the stroke/arrow directions (笔画方向bǐ huà fang xiàng).
Why so? It’s because when children are learning to write Chinese, their muscle memories are yet to set. By insisting on the stroke orders and directions from the outset, your child will learn the CORRECT SEQUENCE of writing a Chinese character and build up his writing skills upon that.
As a guide, here is how I would introduce these writing sheets:
- To start with, I’d only ask my daughter to trace two of these words a day so that she learns the correct sequence first.
- Then, I’d ask her to trace these same two words on the corresponding Santa family members’ sheets.
(I’ve also thrown something else in the mix by cutting out some green triangle papers. You can use these triangle papers to make either a Christmas tree as we did, or make Christmas flags as well).
- Once she finished writing, we glued the two triangle sheets together and stuck them on the blackboard to make a Christmas tree.
- The 2nd day, repeat the same steps until your child finishes the ten words.
Your child might react differently to your teaching method, and that’s ok. The whole idea of homeschooling is to personalise your teaching to suit your child. So, go with the flow.
Here’s what happened to us:
I remember the 1st time when I showed my daughter the tracing sheets. She didn’t seem to be interested much because, well, they didn’t look that exciting as she’s seen that type format before.
But as soon as I showed her the Santa family outfits, the socks and the green triangle papers, she was like, ooh, what’s that?
So I explained we’d make Santa family decorations, socks for our fireplace and a Christmas tree with Chinese writing on it. But we must trace the words first on the white sheets (learning) before writing on the outfits, the socks and the green sheets (rewards).
Then, she happily grabbed the white tracing sheets and did about six words in one go until we ran out of time. The motivation? She wanted to finish the Christmas decorations!
Step 3. Let’s make some decorations with these Chinese Christmas activity sheets.
Now it comes to the FUN time children love.
But wait, there is one more step before you can make the Santa Family Christmas decorations. You need to select, copy and paste your family members’ faces to match the oval shapes that I’ve provided in the templates to make elve’s faces.
Don’t forget to ask your child to colour the four socks too. I laminated the four socks before cutting for extra durability.
Once you’ve had everything ready, then it’s time to cut all the shapes off and glue them together. Then it’s done!
Tell you something funny. Right after we put the Santa Family up, my daughter’s front tooth fell off! She said that didn’t look good. I said why don’t we paint our front tooth BLACK like hers so we all look the same. Before I knew it, she painted our teeth and moles on her dad’s face with a black beard too! But we all love it because these are the precious memories that we cherish.
This Chinese Christmas activity took us about a week to finish at approx. 30 minutes a day. Depending on your time, it could take you longer or shorter. Just goes with what your child desires. For me, an activity like this is more meaningful than those bought from the shop. If you’re an educator, you can use these sheets in your classroom too. Kids don’t need much to be happy. What matters to them and to us is that they’re learning and creating with parents or their peers!
How do you help your child to learn Chinese during this festive season? Love to hear your thoughts. It’d be even better if you could share some images or videos with us in the Panda Mama Chinese Facebook community.