Xiao Bao 小宝 who will be turning 3 in December this year is my most successful Chinese speaker so far. I believe that is due to the fact that my parents who helped me babysit her when we lived in Singapore, and only spoke Mandarin to her for the four months that we spent there.
She refers to all the family member in Chinese. She can ask questions in Chinese, she labels shapes in Chinese, food in Chinese, animals in Chinese. She will happily pick up Chinese board books to read. She likes asking what they are “是什么？” , and repeating them back in Chinese to me. So it has been very encouraging results so far.
I have to admit though, that her bilingualism came at a price. She is still not very fluent in both English and Chinese. Out of my three children, she is the slowest to speak, and even now she speaks Chinese with a funny accent. It doesn’t help that Daddy is very confused when she speaks as she jumbles up her English and Chinese words (and Daddy only knows one language).
Xiao Bao currently loves watching this show, Rainbow Chicks. Each episode is only 5 minutes and the 7 chicks are as the title suggests, in cute pastel rainbow colours, and are referred to as Little Red, Little Purple and so on. It’s great for the kids to learn colours! Along with toddler bite-sized lessons about friendships, loyalty, sharing, teamwork and more fuzzy heartwarming virtues. At the end of each episode, the chicks do a cute song and dance routine which my 2 girls like to get up and dance to too. If your child is under 3, try it! I think he/she will enjoy it. The best part is, you can watch them on youtube for free.
What is your child’s favorite Mandarin shows? Please share them with me!