As a Chinese family living in the UK, it can be easy to lose touch of Chinese culture especially during the Chinese New Year times. So it is very important for us to teach and enlighten our children on our Chinese culture. Each year when it is near CNY, I would teach my children CNY crafts and also the story/meaning behind it. I am really pleased to come across this app called Miaomiao’s Chinese New Year (iTunes £2.29).
This is a fun story app to engage preschool children following Miaomiao and Doudou (Miaomiao’s sidekick puppy) as she prepares for Chinese New Year and strives to find the Nian monster to get back their dumplings to save the day. This is an interactive app with a variety of Chinese words. The words are not in Chinese characters but spelt out in Han Yu Pin Yin and are said aloud along with its definition.
In this app, you can either select read it myself or read to me with read along text. There are seven chapters in this CNY storyline and five mini-games that help advance the story: Making Dumplings, Connect the Stars, Build a Bridge, Dragon Dance and a Matching Card Game. It has great illustrations and over 70+ interactions to explore including fun animations, sounds, vocabulary and games! Also there are no in-app purchases or third-party advertising.
The pace of the reading is slightly fast and moves through the text quickly without a pause. There is no way to pause the text until all of the text is read for that page. This might be difficult for younger children. As for my children aged 5 and 7, they are able to listen and understand it quickly.
Both of my children enjoy playing with the app and using their Zebra stylus pen which also comes with a refillable 0.7 mm tip ballpoint pen. The stylus end of the pen can be used on touchscreen smartphones and tablets. They both love using it to play the mini games in the app.
I would describe this story as not the traditional story about how Chinese New Year came along – this is more like an adventure of Miaomiao and getting to know the different types of characters/items that are associated with CNY like the Nian monster, dragon dance, firecracker etc. If you are looking for the traditional CNY story, then this is not for your children. This is great for children who like to follow Miaomiao’s adventures, play the games in the app and to understand a bit more about CNY.
Along with Miaomiao’s Chinese New Year app, Mark Animation has launched an early education resource website for parents and teachers that helps teach kids about Chinese culture and vocabulary through fun activities and lesson ideas. The website can be accessed at: learnwithmiaomiao.com with free content and no registration is required to access it.
Or if you would like to make CNY crafts with your children, do take a look at these 8 CNY activities.
Disclosure: We received the samples for the purposes of writing this review, however, all thoughts and opinions remain our own