Friday, June 19, 2015

Neighborhood Small Grants Program: Fun Mandarin For Kids [Recap]

I had the chance to attend the "Fun Mandarin for Kids" program that was funded by the Neighbourhood Small Grants that one of the moms applied for.  It was held Thursday morning (June 18th) at Clinton park. Because it happened during the school day, the older children could not participate, but there were several parents with toddlers.

Many of the parents communicated to each other in Chinese Mandarin (and some both Mandarin and Cantonese) as well as English. We introduced each other with those we haven't met before. The parents gathered the children from the playground and they all had fun blowing bubbles together. It was fun to see the children enjoying it.

After playing, we had craft session, making photo frames using popsicle sticks. I made one as well to give our little one to color and decorate his own.

We had circle time on the grass while we set our crafts to dry from the wet glue. During circle time, one of the moms had an interactive story prepared for the children. She told the story in Mandarin and sang songs. Our Little One loves storytime. Though he doesn't know Mandarin (I'm learning too), it would be a great opportunity to learn, have fun and get familiar. The children really loved the interactive board with the cute drawn animals.

When it was over, it was time for lunch. We had a small picnic. The organizers brought snacks, juice boxes for the kids, and sticky rice wrap (which is a Chinese dim sum with steamed sticky rice wrapped in banana leaves). The filling contains pork, salted egg yolk, and split mung beans. When my grandma was around, she used to make these when I was little.

Overall, it was a nice get-together for moms to met each other and to get to know each other better and fun for the children to be able to learn Mandarin through storytime and crafts. Also, it was a great time for the kids play together and bond with the parents/grandparents.

What I would have liked to see more from this program is other activities and game-based learning or even short lessons for learning Mandarin.

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