When they’re born, children are tabula rasa. They’re like a perfect blank canvas that you get to paint. They are also fit for learning new things, faster and easier than adults. Just think of the way children learn their native language. They acquire it naturally, without learning a single grammar rule. They’re like little sponges who soak in anything that comes their way.
If you want to enrich your child’s knowledge and help them develop mentally, you should consider having them learn Chinese characters. This rather unique and specific alphabet could benefit your child on different levels. If you’re not sure about this idea, just keep reading.
Here’s why children should learn to write Chinese characters.
1. Enhance Observation
The written Chinese language consists of more than 100.000 characters. The average number of characters for a literate person is up to 6.000.
Naturally, when teaching your child the Chinese characters, you’ll start with the most simple ones that represent some of the things your child likes or sees every day.
By teaching your child how to write the basic Chinese characters, you’ll be enhancing their observation skills. Here’s why:
- Chinese characters are a combination of several small pictures
- each character may contain some visual similarity to the notion it represents
- each part of the character represents a notion, person, place, thing, or concept
That means that your child will learn to observe and recognize the smaller parts of each character. That way, they’ll create little pieces of the puzzle in their minds and find it easier to learn how to write them.
It’s almost like drawing little pictures.
2. Improve Their Memory
Since Chinese characters are far more complex than the English alphabet, they’ll open more doors for your children to develop mentally.
One of the things that your children will be practicing is their memory.
As we’ve already covered, Chinese characters are like little drawings put together to give one new concept. For example, the combination of characters for mountain (山) and water (水) gives you the character for landscape (山水).
For children, this could almost seem like a game. They need to:
- memorize individual pieces of characters
- learn how to write them
- learn about combining those characters with new ones
- experiment with different words and notions
This is why learning to write Chinese characters could be beneficial for practicing and boosting children’s memory.
The more they write and the more characters they learn, the more they’ll be willing to expand their knowledge even further.
3. Develop Graphomotor Skills
Graphomotor skills are those skills that are essential for us to write by hand, or even draw and paint.
When it comes to children, graphomotor skills are starting to develop from the moment they take a pen in their hand and start scribbling silly things on the paper.
Later on, children learn how to write straight lines, curvy lines, and repeatedly write simple shapes. This leads to them learning how to write the alphabet of their language.
The English alphabet has (only) 26 letters. And there are hundreds of Chinese characters children can learn to further develop their graphomotor skills.
By learning to write Chinese characters, children are:
- practicing their motor coordination
- improving motor planning and execution
- practicing how to properly hold and guide the pen over the paper
Their graphomotor skills are bound to improve as they carry on with learning more Chinese characters. It’s all about the practice, and Chinese characters are an endless source of practice materials.
4. Build Creativity
Some of you may feel like creativity is something we’re either born with or not. You can often hear people say, “I’m just not that creative”.
However, we need to beg to differ.
Creativity is something that we all have inside us, but not all of us find a way to express it.
With young children, it’s important that you teach them how to:
- get creative
- express their ideas
- be liberated
And since Chinese characters are as interesting as they are, children will start feeling creative as they write them.
If you combine learning the Characters with some fun learning games, the whole thing could turn into a fun activity for the kids.
So, use your creativity to make it all more interesting for the kids, and you’ll all have fun learning to write Chinese characters.
5. New Opportunities
Yes, your children are still young and immature, but sooner than you think, they’ll become adults who are looking for their place in the world.
Chinese is the world’s number 1 language, with around 1 billion people speaking it natively. This means that your child can only benefit from knowing some Chinese.
The knowledge you give them at this early age could:
- serve as a starting point for learning Chinese more seriously
- help them with future job opportunities
People who speak several languages have more job opportunities and can work as translators, interpreters, essay writers, tutors, and so much more.
One thing’s for sure- it can’t harm them in any way. Teach them to write Chinese characters, and who knows what doors it’s going to open up for them in the future.
As you can see, there are numerous reasons why your children should start learning to write Chinese characters. The benefits are immense, and this experience can be priceless for their mental development.
Hopefully, the list above inspired you to embrace the idea of your child learning to write Chinese characters. Give it a go and see where this new experience takes you and your child.
This guest post was provided by Diana Nadim Adjadj