Learn to count to ten in Chinese with a Chinese New Year-themed sensory writing tray.
Learn to count to ten in Chinese with a sensory writing tray
We’re using all our senses to learn how to count to ten in Chinese as part of our Chinese New Year activities.
Learning the numbers one to ten is a nice introduction to learning another language. It lets children see that they are a global kid, part of a big wide world of countries and cultures, where they will find many differences (such as different languages and letters) but also many similarities (such as how we all count, and celebrate festivals with our family).
This article is part of our Chinese New Year activities for children.
In this activity you can:
:: learn to count to ten in Chinese
:: make a Chinese-themed sensory writing tray
:: download a free Chinese numbers printable
:: find links to more Chinese New Year activities and crafts to enjoy with your children
Ready-made Chinese New Year lesson plans, all in one place
This Unit includes lessons on Chinese New Year and how it is celebrated; the animals of the Chinese zodiac; Chinese dragons and how to make your own dragon puppet; how to make Chinese-style paper lanterns; math and literacy activities including playing lucky 8s, counting to ten in Chinese and play red envelope games; explore sensory painting and taking a mandarin sensory taste test.
In this Chinese New Year Unit you’ll also receive bonus printables including a Red Envelope mat for math activities and three-part colour-in Chinese Zodiac Animals matching cards.
If you are not yet a member of NurtureStore’s Play Academy, join us here to get this and over 50 more ready-made teaching units.
How to make a Chinese-themed sensory writing tray
To help us learn to count in Chinese we’re going to be using a Chinese-themed sensory writing tray.
We’re making the tray using dyed salt. You can see how to make the coloured salt here – it’s very easy, using either paint or food colouring.
For our Chinese-inspired writing tray we’re using red salt with some added gold sparkles (you can use edible gold dust or biodegradable gold glitter) and Chinese spices mixed in for scent (star anise, cinnamon and ground cloves).
Printable Chinese numbers to learn to count to ten in Chinese
We used this printable set of Chinese numbers to make a set of number cards. We using them with toy gold coins to practice counting. (You can often find gold coins in the pirate-themed section of party supply stores.)
How to pronounce the numbers one to ten in Chinese
We listened to the numbers spoken out loud in Mandarin on the BBC site and tried to say them ourselves. Then we matched up the Chinese number cards with the correct number of gold coins, counting out loud:
How to use a sensory salt tray to learn to count to ten in Chinese
We also wrote out the Chinese numbers in our sensory salt tray. In this activity we’re working on numbers but you can also use the tray for letters, or simply to practise making marks if your children are at the pre-writing stage.
Use a paint brush, pencil, chopstick or your finger to write out the number in the salt tray.
This means every time your child writes a word they can:
see the number, on the card
feel the flow of the number as they write the it through the salt
smell the Chinese spices in the salt, giving an extra sensory boost to the activity
hear the number, as they say it out loud as they write
They’re combining four senses to help them learn the number.
By trying to write Chinese numbers they are practising how to look very carefully and copy a symbol – good skills that they can apply to any number and letters writing.
More Chinese New Year activities for children
See our full index of Chinese New Year activities for more ideas including how to make Chinese Lanterns, math and literacy activities using red envelopes, and sensory play activities for Chinese New Year.