Summer is here and what better time to read the classic Chinese children’s story, 媽媽買綠豆 (Mom, buy mung beans!)
I have fond memories of reading this book with my mom as a child. This one was one of my favorites! I remember being mesmerized by its illustrations.
I loved how I was able to identify with the little boy in the book since the story took place in Taiwan, where I was living at the time.
Funny how pictures can leave such lasting impressions.
I always wished we made the mung bean popsicles too like the little boy did in the book. So, when I was planning activities for my daughter and student to go along with this book, I made sure to make the popsicles.
Below are 5 fun activities to engage your little ones in having fun learning Chinese through this wonderful children’s book.
媽媽買綠豆 Book Purchase Information
This book is available in both traditional and simplified Chinese.
- Traditional ISBN: 9789861612607
- Simplified ISBN: 9787533264062
You can purchase the book from:
Fingerprint Art: Literacy/Chinese Characters
Using a yellow marker, I wrote out the Chinese characters for beans, 豆子. Then I had my daughter and student go over the characters with a stamp pad and their cute little finger prints.
I love how it turned out looking like colorful cute little beans!
I actually got the idea from seeing what my daughter was creating with the stamp pad on her own.
Kids are so creative and such a great source of inspiration!
This is a fun hands on way for kids to learn Chinese characters.
Mung Bean Life Cycle: Science
Learning about life cycles is a great way to help kids get in touch with nature. This is also a great way to help them pay attention to the changes that are happening all around them in nature.
In the children’s book, 媽媽買綠豆 there are beautiful illustrations of the life cycle of a mung bean.
To delve deeper into its life cycle, we recreated it using finger prints, glue and yarn.
I then wrote the Chinese names of each of the growing process to expose the girls to new vocabulary.
Growing Mung Bean in a Bag: Science
To delve deeper into the growth process of a mung bean like the little boy did in 媽媽買綠豆, we grew some ourselves!
This was a fun and super simple way for the girls to engage in #booishplay and experience the life cycle of a mung bean.
Nearly every day, they would check their mung beans and see how they’ve changed. It was fun to see how much they enjoyed observing their bean’s growth and the discussions it ignited which means more Chinese conversation practice! Whoohoo!
For this activity, things you’ll need are:
- zip-lock bag (I used a snack size bag you can use a bigger one if that’s all you have at home)
- a few mung beans (we used 4 which was the perfect size for our baggies)
- a piece of paper towel
- “frame” made out of construction paper
To set these up, just fold a paper towel so it fits inside the baggie. Add some water so the towel is damp the place the mung beans inside. Tape the baggie and frame onto a window where the kids can easily see them.
You’ll only need to add a little water to them about once a week.
Plant Journal: Science & Math & Writing
I created a free printable plant journal to give kids the opportunity to record the growth of their mung beans or any seeds of their choice. My daughter really enjoys watching her little seeds sprout and grow.
A plant journal is a fun and practical way to encourage writing, observation and measuring.
Mung Bean Popsicles: Life Skills
A part of teaching and being a mom I love is the opportunity to relive my childhood.
Since I didn’t get to make mung bean popsicles like the little boy did with his mom in the story when I was little, I just had to do it with the girls. Besides, yummy food makes any type of learning more fun and memorable right?
With my instant pot, I just placed 1/2 cup of mung beans, 2 cups of water then cook at high pressure for 20 minutes. Then release the pressure once it’s done. Then add the desired amount of sugar to the green beans (keep in mind it won’t taste as sweet once frozen so you may want to make it sweeter).
Once cooled, pour into popsicle molds and enjoy once frozen.
Sadly, since my daughter and student aren’t used to the texture of mung beans, neither one of them enjoyed it.
Bean Art: Fine Motor Skills
We also glued mung beans as another fun hands on way to learn Chinese characters.
I simply wrote the characters on construction paper with a lighter marker. Then helped the girls put glue on the characters and had them place beans on the glue.
They turned out beautifully and was fun to hang up in the house and
I hope you enjoy these fun activities to help your kiddos engage in this classic storybook, 媽媽買綠豆.
If you have other fun activities you do to go along with this book, please share in the comments below!
If you give these activities a try, please tag me @spotofsunshineChinese so we get to see it too!
More Fun Chinese Learning Crafts & Activities
More Chinese Learning Resources
Don't Do it Alone
For more support in your bilingual parenting journey, please join us at Christian Parents Raising Bilingual Children in English & Chinese.
Other great FaceBook groups for parents raising bilingual kids:
Follow me on my FaceBook Page & my Instagram accounts where I share fun Chinese activities (@spotofsunshineChinese) we’re doing and encouragement for your heart rooted in Christ (@spotofsunshine).