This book was made in request by another parent. I’m so happy to share with you another activity book. This one is geared towards young children (toddlers, preschoolers, kindergarten, early primary). It includes a lot of first words that your child will find helpful. This activity book was designed to be interactive and to be used more than once so that they can really learn the vocabulary. Kids learn best through repetition, consistency and through play. You may have seen this kind of book available in English. It goes by other names such as busy book or learning binder. If you are unfamiliar with these types of books, please read on.
Essentially, the pages in these books work like a puzzle. There is one correct position for the pieces and the child has to match it to the correct spot. I have included many hints to help your child do this independently such as, colour coding pieces to its correct spot and including silhouettes or outlines for your child to match. Every pieces has its corresponding Chinese character to help your child learn to identify characters. For this book, the Chinese characters that were chosen were Colloquial Cantonese words so the child can use them in speech. Jyutping is included for parents who are unable to read Chinese characters. Also, a QR code is available on each page that provides the audio from a native speaker for each word as well. You might recognize the voice. It’s from one of the co-founders of Little Kozzi, Charing. With these, I hope that you and your child are able to expand your vocabulary and become more comfortable including Cantonese apart of your everyday speech.
In addition to the matching pages, I have given your child an opportunity to start on writing. You will find two pages with the eight most common Chinese strokes. Your child can practice writing them in a fun way by finishing the picture. The page that introduces numbers also includes a colour coded stroke order to help your child learn about sequence and learn that Chinese writing follows an order. For the car page, the page with the large 車, your child can use the cars provided, and drive the car following the stroke order. The map page, your child can have fun driving the car to its destination or just draw the path they would like to go.
The book covers a range of topics, sample pages below:
- 12 Zodiac Animals
- Calendar, weather, seasons
- Emergency and construction vehicles
- Map, direction and common destinations
- Continents and oceans
- Chinese strokes and character symmetry
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How to Construct the Book
There are many ways that you can construct this book. I will write some recommendations here. Please note, the hard part of constructing this book is cutting out each individual piece. You do not have to complete it in one sitting. If time is an issue, I would start off by cutting the pieces for the main pages that you want to learn first, and as your child starts to master the vocabulary, add on more pages and pieces so that you and your child is not overwhelmed.
• You will need Adobe Reader to open the PDF file. It can be downloaded for FREE at: http://get.adobe.com/reader/
To assemble this learning binder you will need:
- color printer
- white paper/cardstock
- a laminating machine (like this) and laminating pouches (like this or like this) *See notes at bottom of page
- clear velcro dots (hook and loop dots)(like this)
- paper fastener (brad fastener/split pin)(like this)
- ring binder
- Prepare your materials.
- Print all the pages with a colour printer (*at home or printing services).
- Laminate the pages (*at home or laminating services). Cut out pieces you may choose to laminate whole page and then cut. Alternatively, you may choose to cut, laminate and cut again.
- Cut out pieces. For some of the pieces, you can choose to cut close to the image or leave some extra space around the image (i.e. continents cut out pieces).
- Affix velcro dots to the worksheet and pages. Use clear hoop and loop dots to have words or images still visible.
- Punch a small hole into clock hands and centre of clock. Fasten the hands with a paper fastener.
- Insert pages to a ring binder.
- Use a dry erase or washable marker for written tasks.
There is no one correct method of utilizing a learning binder. Find what works best for your family. Here are some suggestions to guide you through the process.
- Find a quiet space that is free from clutter.
- Choose a time that your child is ready to learn (nourished and rested)
- Work through one page at a time.
- Place activity in a tray or work from the binder.
- Your child can remove the pieces themselves (fine motor skill strengthening). You may also choose to have the pieces removed and placed on the table or in a small tray.
- Invite your child to join you in a new activity.
- Point to a piece and call it by the correct name. Example, red colour, say “紅色” (red colour in Cantonese is hung4 sik1). Invite your child to say the new word. Look at the worksheet together. Point out the red colour. Say “red” again. Show them how to place it on the worksheet connecting the velcro dots so it sticks. Let your child choose a piece. Call it by name if child doesn’t say it. Encourage the child to do the tasks independently while introducing new words if child does not voice it.
- Repetition is apart of learning. Allow your child to do the activity again if they want to before moving to a new page.
*If you do not own a printer or laminator, you can bring the file to a specialty store that can help you print and laminate it. You might find printing services at your local library, pharmacy, courier store or technology store. Please call to find out about pricing. There are also self laminating sheets (like this, like this, or like this) where you do not need to use a laminating machine. I have not use these before, but they look like they should be fairly easy to use. You may also use sheet protectors (like this). Please note, with sheet protectors it is harder for the child to pull the pieces off with the velcro since it’s more flexible and movable. This only works for the full pages and not the individual pieces.
*You may also choose to use this one time by just making this a gluing activity. Once they are complete, you can make it into a book to read.
You can purchase this digital book on Little Kozzi online bookstore. Link here. I really hope you and your little ones enjoy the book and learn something new. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.