Learning any language is a multi-faceted process that demands patience and effort, yet is rewarding in so many ways. If you’re committed to the idea of learning Chinese alongside your children, you’ll be able to share this special experience with them and reap the benefits of knowing the language throughout life. The long-term rewards of learning Chinese will add to the richness of your children’s lives and give them the opportunity to explore a beautiful culture and make new friends.
One of the ways to help your children embrace learning Chinese is by making the process fun whenever possible. Here are 3 tips for incorporating Chinese into your family’s routine in unique ways:
1) Schedule a movie night
Spice up your family’s next movie night by choosing a popular Chinese film to watch. Younger kids will enjoy animated films like 2014’s smash hit “Meet the Pegasus.” Teens and adults will be glued to the screen for one of China’s recent intense fantasy films like “The Monkey King” or the critically acclaimed drama, “So Young.”
2) Play board games
Does your family get together for a Family Game Night on a weekly or monthly basis? You can spice things up by adding a new Chinese game to the mix and inviting your children to learn about its history. “Go” is an ancient strategy game that dates back some 4,000 years. You can buy a low-cost set online and watch a few instructional videos to help you get things started. You can also try some games your kids might already be familiar with, like Monopoly, that are printed in Chinese.
3) Plan a Chinese meal.
If your family is used to ordering Chinese takeout, they will be shocked at the huge variety of Chinese dishes they’ve never heard of or tried before. Look up recipe ideas online, create a shopping list, and then have a fun outing to your local Asian supermarket. Let your kids pick out some snacks–perfect for movie and game nights–in addition to getting the essentials for your homemade Chinese meal.