Summer is here. This the perfect time to learn Chinese in a more casual way, and you can even include your family, friends, and neighbors. Today I want to offer you a FREE Chinese Summer 2017 Activity Calendar with over 60 activities to prepare, maintain, and engage your child’s Chinese knowledge, interest while making family memories! Want to know more? Come and take a look.
*This post contains affiliate links.
If you don’t have the chance to send your children to any Chinese summer camps or workshops or to travel with them to China, I’ve got another option for you. Why don’t you hold a mini-Chinese summer camp at home for your young children?
Can’t believe that you can hold a mini-Chinese summer camp at your house? I totally understand how you feel because I felt the same before, but it’s possible!
I’m here to provide some very simple ways including fun games and activities that you can easily do at home with your little ones. The best thing is these activities involve families and friends, so you can do these as a family activity or as a series of Chinese playdates with your friends.
The Purpose of the Chinese Summer Activity Calendar
In summer 2014, I was invited to hold summer classes for the elementary students that I taught during the school year to help them maintain their Chinese and had fun. I thought it was a great idea, but I didn’t know what I should do to make the classes useful and fun. I realized it would be difficult to have each student experience Chinese culture in a normal class, so I decided to focus on helping my students learn more about Chinese culture through Chinese kids’ games and sports. I taught them to play basic ping-pong, Chinese pick-up sticks, and traditional Chinese board games and chess. I was amazed by how much the kids enjoyed it and how they were more willing to speak Chinese while playing the games.
Summer is a great time for your children to study and review Chinese outside of the classroom through fun, unique learning experiences. Here are some of the benefits for them and you!
For Our Kids
- Learn Chinese without stressful tests and exams
- Gain unique learning Chinese experiences
- Get daily Chinese input
- See that learning Chinese is fun
- Enjoy learning Chinese at home with family and friends
- Learn how to provide different Chinese experiences at home, even if you don’t speak Chinese
- Enjoy learning Chinese at home with your kids
- Discover how your child learns Chinese
- Find more Chinese learning resources
Summer 2017 Activity Calendar
The activities on this calendar will help you and your children:
- Try Chinese cultural foods and activities
- Practice listening, reading, speaking and writing skills daily
- Experience a variety of methods and resources for learning Chinese at home
- Enjoy learning Chinese with family and friends
- Be ready to return to regular Chinese studies after the summer holiday
Here’s how you can use the calendar this summer:
Step 1: Download and Print the Chinese Summer Activity Calendar
This calendar is 2-sheets: July and August. I put the calendar in a cute folder with their monthly reading log and piano practice sheet, this way my kids can be responsible for keeping track of their own process. I suggest putting the folder somewhere you kids can get it themselves. In our home, I put their folders on the lowest shelf of the bookcase.
To access the links in the activities, you may open your summer calendar (pdf) on your computer. Then you can click on each link and it will take you directly to a webpage.
I explained to my 4 and 6-year-old that this is their Summer folder with all the things that they need. Every morning after breakfast, they get their Summer Folder, and we talk about which summer activities we should do first. Even though they are young, I let them choose and plan because they’ll be more interested and willing to do and complete their tasks. It also helps teach them to be more responsible for their own things.
Step 2: Things you will Need
- A Computer with internet access
- A Printer
- Basic Stationary
- Basic Art Supply (e.g. paint, paint brushes, glue, scissors…)
- Playdough (You will need the Chinese colors: red & yellow.)
- Chinese Sensory Bin (Check HERE for the details)
Step 3: Things you may want to purchase
These following 6 items/games are included in the Chinese Summer Activity Calendar and are used at least a couple times during the summer. They are educational, cultural, and super fun. I used some of them in my Chinese summer camp for the elementary school, and my students loved trying all the new Chinese games.
If you are thinking of getting some board games or toys for your kids to learn Chinese, I strongly recommended these items.
- 7-pieces Big Tangrams Sets Brain Training Geometry Puzzles Games
- Chinese Traditional Pick-Up Sticks Game
- 12 Finger Puppets Chinese Zodiac Animal Zoo
- Wooden Wonders Kung-Fu Stunt Stackers Balancing Game (7pcs.)
- Chinese ink
- Chinese Calligraphy Brush
* You can also use these for family game nights or other activities. They are great items to add to your educational toolbox.
Step 4: Schedule are regular Chinese time
I understand summer can be hard sometimes because schedules are irregular with different summer events and activities. However, it is important to make time to do your Chinese activities regularly. Some of these activities are short (less than 30 minutes), or and some are longer (field trip or eat in a Chinese restaurant), so feel free to move things around to fit your unique schedule.
If possible, I recommend scheduling a specific time each day to make it a routine, for example after breakfast, or before dinner. If it is part of your daily routine, your kids will be more willing to do it each day.
Step 5: Mark activities as you finish them
It is very important for kids, and even for adults, to receive an instant reward after they accomplish any tasks, so I let your children mark each activity they accomplish right after they finish the task. Stickers, stamps, markers, or a hole-punch are fun ways for kids to mark their calendars, and it will boost their confidence as they mark their progress. They will also be more excited about finishing their calendar because of the satisfaction they have felt as they mark things off.
Step 6: Complete your calendars
This is the most important step of all! After your kids have finished 95% or more of the activities from both calendars (it’s ok to miss one or two activities), please scan or take photos of the calendars and post it on my Facebook Page or email it to me. Anyone who sends their completed calendars to me between September 1st to September 22nd 2017 will receive a completion certification and a coupon from Fortune Cookie Mom.
Want more? Additional Summer Activities
Most of these activities are designed for very young kids to gain interest in learning Chinese at home. If you have older kids or you would like even more activities to add to your day, here are some suggestions for you.
What other activities do you do to help your kids/ students have fun learning Chinese during the summer? Do you have any suggestions I can add to my list?