How to help your child learn mandarin?

Trust me, it’s never too late to help your child to learn Mandarin. Once you or your child think it is necessary, you’d better start learning right now.

Type kid/child learn Chinese in the search bar, you will find different situations or problems they meet:

  • How often do you help your child with Chinese learning?
  • How I Taught Kids to Read Chinese as a Non-Chinese Speaker?
  • What could I do if we don’t have a Chinese learning environment?
  • Why my child thinks it’s unnecessary to learn Chinese?
  • Do you also find your child struggling sometimes?
  • So on and so forth.

Read: How is a native Chinese child taught to read Chinese? more

Why should we help kids learn Chinese?

Living in an information era, you could find various online Chinese learning platforms and apps equipped with games, videos as well as flashcards.

Learning Mandarin could be fun

Never let your children feel that they are learning for a specific purpose, which is dull and boring. Or they might give up halfway.

Learning Chinese does good to the brain

Statistics figure out that it’s much easier for children to learn a second language than for adults.

Their brains are able to absorb more information than normal adults.

Learning Chinese helps develop other areas of study too

Considering Mandarin has 5 tons (a long flat tone, a rising tone, a dipped tone, a dropping tone and a neutral tone), learners have a better chance to do well in areas like music.

Build a solid foundation FIRST

Have you ever started learning Mandarin? If not, please stop and read the article first. We have what you want here.

To make it short, I need to tell you that it’s the Chinese Pinyin that plays as the critical foundation.

As long as you want to help your child learn Chinese, you need to bear on mind the significance of Pinyin.

The Loftiest Towers Rise From the Ground. Without grasping Pinyin, your kids’ Mandarin proficiency will be built on shaky ground.

As is known to all that Mandarin is a tonal language. A slight change of tone might lead to totally different meanings.

Determine a goal when your child is learning Mandarin

This is a must-to-do step for your child, since he/she need to know whether the learning is effective, and whether he/she is making progress.

No matter what your goal is, you need to let your child know that they are working hard to realize something.

The goal could be split into smaller ones, like daily goal, weekly goal, monthly goal, yearly goal and so on.

Not knowing what your goal is, but we share the same big goal: to help our child learn Mandarin.

To make it credible, I’d like to share an example here: You might set a goal of teaching your child to be fluent in Mandarin and literate in Chinese characters.

Grasping fluent Mandarin means your child could understand and speak Mandarin just like a native speaker. He/she can handle various Chinese speaking situations with the help of this ability.

While literate in Chinese characters means she could handle with simple Chinese characters without many barriers.

What I’ve talked about above means once you’ve decided your goal, you will know what to focus on when your child is learning Mandarin at home.

Read: Should my children learn Mandarin? more

How did I know that my daughter/son was ready to read Chinese?

This is also the same as Chinese children learn Mandarin, they are also struggling at a very young age, working hard to pronounce and write Chinese characters.

So how could you know when is the most suitable time to read Chinese when you are help you child with that?

For most of the time, language beginners, especially hieroglyph like Chinese, need to read with the help of Pinyin.

So if you don’t know whether your child is ready for this, why not prepare simple sentences with Pinyin? If he/she could handle it without difficulties, then you might provide simple sentences for him/her.

Your child’s performance will tell you if he/she’s ready.

children learn Chinese

6 ways for children to learn Chinese

Unlike adults, children can’t focus on a certain thing for a long time, so we have to take special actions to help them stay interested in learning Chinese.

And here are some practical suggestions for you.

Read: What is the best way to learn Chinese for kids over 3 years old? more

Word Guessing

Children are all interested in unknown things. With the interaction with the teacher, they are willing to give their guessing.

The only thing you need to do is to give clues on a certain Chinese word by moving your lips but not making any sound.

Some may regard it as a challenge, not easy to conquer. So as parents you need to help your children learning smoothly and effectively.

Singing songs

If you have some experience in teaching children aged around 8, you will find that they are crazy about listening & singing songs.

Thus it would make a huge difference in your children’s Chinese learning if you teach them to sing some simple Chinese songs.

During the process of teaching them some of the keywords, you are also helping them to learn Mandarin.

While if you think singing is not that useful, you might display them video shows of Chinese songs, these videos are more vivid.

Read: Chinese folk songs more

Making sentences

For some children, reading simple Chinese sentences is quite difficult, let alone making sentences in Chinese.

However, it’s also a good idea to ask kids to use their imagination and making sentences with the help of some simple words they have learned.

There is necessary, to be honest, to put an emphasis on the word order in a Chinese sentence.

Playing games

I’m not saying you can play any kind of games, but only those Mandarin learning games are recommended.

As long as your target is to help your children learn Mandarin, you need to focus on how the game help your children develop the habit of language learning.

After you play the games with your children, do your children really focus on the language or just on the game itself, which matters a lot.


This is a language learning method recommended for learners of all ages.

And it’s pretty easy for you to make physical flashcards on your own. You can use the flashcards to help your child memorize different word and sentences of Mandarin.

Remember that you can never be anxious in the step, you’d better start with the easiest characters. Then frequent repetition is also effective.


An old saying goes like practice makes perfect. You need to let you children practice Mandarin in front of people.

If possible, having a native Chinese speaker as a language partner would do good to your children’s Chinese learning.

Read: How to make learning Chinese fun for kids?

100 Simple Chinese characters for Mandarin beginners

1 的 (de) – particle used after an attribute

2 一 (yī) – noun one

3 是 (shì) – verb to be; adjective correct, right

4 不 (bù) – adverb no

5 了 (le) – particle used after an action that has taken place or changed

6 在 (zài) – preposition in, on, at; adverb indicating an ongoing action

7 人 (rén) – noun human, people, person soul

8 有(yǒu) – verb have, possess, get, there is

9 我 (wǒ) – pronoun I; 我的 wǒde my; 我们 wǒmen we, us

10 他 (tā) – pronoun he, him; 他的 tāde his

11 这 (zhè) – pronoun this, these

12 个 (gè) – general measure word for nouns without specific measure words; adjectiveindividual

13 们 (men) – pronoun used to form a plural pronoun

14 中 (zhōng) – noun center, middle, in the midst of; abbrev。 China

15 来 (lái) – verb arrive, come; indicate an intended action; particle indicate time period from past to present

16 上 (shàng) – preposition on, above, upper; verb go up, go to, leave for; adjective last, most recent

17 大 (dà) – adjective great, large, big; age; eldest

18 为 (wèi) – preposition for, in the sake of

19 和 (hé) – conjunction and; preposition in connection to, with; adjective gentle; noun total, sum

20 国 (guó) – noun country, state; adjective national

21 地 (dì) – noun the ground; land, soil; place, area

22 到 (dào) – verb arrive, reach, go to; preposition up until, to

23 以 (yǐ) – preposition by, for; conjunction and, as well as

24 说 (shuō) – verb to say, speak, talk; to explain; to scold

25 时 (shí) – noun period of time; time of day, hour

26 要 (yào) – verb to want, ask for, wish; must, should; shall, will; take, need; adjectiveimportant, essential

27 就 (jiù) – adverb at once, right away; already; precisely

28 出 (chū) – verb to go out, go beyond; exceed; to issue, produce; to happen

29 会 (huì) – verb can, be able to; would, might; to assemble; to meet; noun meeting, party; association

30 可 (kě) – verb can, may; conjunction but, yet, however

31 也 (yě) – adverb too, as well, also; used for emphasis

32 你 (nǐ) – pronoun you, yourself; your (used with 的 de)

33 对 (duì) – adjective right, correct; opposite; verb to answer, reply; preposition with regard to

34 生 (shēng) – verb to bear, to give birth to; noun student; adjective alive, living; unripe, raw

35 能 (néng) – verb can, could, be able to; noun ability, skill; energy; adjective capable, able

36 而 (ér) – conjunction and, as well as, to

37 子 (zǐ) – noun son, child; person; copper; adjective young, tender, small; affiliated

38 那 (nà) – pronoun that, then

39 得 (dé) – verb to get, obtain; be satisfied; be suitable; (of calculation) result in, equal

40 于 (yú) – preposition in, on, at; from; by

41 着 (zhe) – particle added to a verb or an adjective to indicate a continued action

42 下 (xià) – preposition below, under; verb to go down; to come; adverb down; noun next (in order)

43 自 (zì) – pronoun self; preposition from, since; adverb of course, certainly

44 之 (zhī) – particle used between an attribute and the word it modifies

45 年 (nián) – noun year; age; adjective annually, yearly

46 过 (guò) – verb to cross, pass; to exceed; to spend (time); adverb too

47 发 (fā) – verb to give, issue, emit; to start; to feel; to shoot; measure word for bullets and shells

48 后 (hòu) – noun behind, back, rear; after; later; last

49 作 (zuò) – verb to write, compose; regard as; noun writings; work

50 里 (lǐ) – preposition in, inside; noun inner; hometown; neighborhood; measure word unit of length

51 用 (yòng) – verb to use, apply; to consume, drink, eat; noun expenses; adjective utility, use

52 道 (dào) – noun road, way; method; Taoism; verb to say, speak; measure word for long, narrow objects; doors, walls; questions, orders; courses in a meal

53 行 (xíng) – verb to go; to travel; to cover; to do; to perform; to publish; noun conduct

54 所 (suǒ) – noun place; office; measure word for houses, schools, hospitals

55 然 (rán) – adjective right, correct; adverb so, like that

56 家 (jiā) – noun family; house; household, home; an expert

57 种 (zhòng) – verb to grow, plant; to cultivate; to sow

58 事 (shì) – noun matter, affair, business; work, job; trouble, accident; involvement, responsibility

59 成 (chéng) – verb to accomplish, succeed; to turn into, become; noun result, achievement

60 方 (fāng) – noun square; direction; place, locality; side; party

61 多 (duō) – adjective a lot of, many, more; verb to have more; adverb to what extent

62 经 (jīng) – verb to manage, deal with; to pass through, undergo, experience; bear; adjectiveregular, constant; preposition after

63 么 (me) – suffix for certain characters (pronoun 什么shenme / what; 那么nàme / then, like that)

64 去 (qù) – verb to go; to go to a place; to remove;

65 法 (fǎ) – noun law; method; way; standard; model

66 学 (xué) – verb to study, to learn; to imitate, mimic; noun school, college

67 如 (rú) – verb like, as, if; for instance; conjunction if

68 都 (dōu) – adverb all, both; even; already

69 同 (tóng) – verb be the same as; adverb together, in common; preposition used for comparison

70 现 (xiàn) – verb to show, to appear, to become visible; adjective present, current; nouncash, money

71 当 (dāng) – verb should; act as; accept; deserve; preposition just at

72 没 (méi) – verb to be without; not have; adverb not

73 动 (dòng) – verb to move; to use; to touch; to arouse

74 面 (miàn) – noun noodle; face; surface; measure word for flat things

75 起 (qǐ) – verb to rise, to get up; to grow, to begin; adjective upward, up

76 看 (kàn) – verb to see, to look at, to watch over; to look after, tend

77 定 (dìng) – verb to decide, fix, set; to subscribe; adjective calm, stable; adverb surely, definitely

78 天 (tiān) – noun sky, heaven; weather; time of day

79 分 (fēn) – verb to divide, part, separate; to allot, distribute, assign; measure word for minute, cent, fraction, point, mark

80 还 (hái) – adverb still, yet; even more; also, too; even

81 进 (jìn) – verb to advance, move forward; to enter, get into

82 好 (hǎo) – adjective good, fine, well; done

83 小 (xiǎo) – adjective small, little, minor; young, youngest; a bit

84 部 (bù) – noun part, section; headquarters, department; measure word for machines, vehicles; films

85 其 (qí) – pronoun his, her, its, their; he, she, it, they; that, such

86 些 (xiē) – measure word some, few; a little more

87 主 (zhǔ) – noun host; master; owner; adjective main; verb to manage, to take charge

88 样 (yàng) – noun appearance, shape; sample, pattern; type

89 理 (lǐ) – noun reason, logic, truth; verb to manage, run; to put in order

90 心 (xīn) – noun heart; core, center; feeling; mind; intention

91 她 (tā) – pronoun she, her, hers

92 本 (běn) – noun book, script; adjective current; adverb at first, originally measure word for books

93 前 (qián) – noun front; forward; ahead; ago; before

94 开 (kāi) – verb to open, open up; to begin, start; to operate; to hold (a meeting)

95 但 (dàn) – conjunction but, still, yet; adverb only

96 因 (yīn) – preposition because of noun cause, reason

97 只 (zhǐ) – adverb only, merely, just, but

98 从 (cóng) – preposition from, through, past; verb to follow; to comply, obey

99 想 (xiǎng) – verb to think, to ponder; to miss; to want (doing something)

100 实 (shí) – adjective solid; real, true; factual; noun reality, fact; fruit; seed