Character Recognition Games
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Do you have a game that you successfully play? Email info@playcantonese.com with your Chinese character recognition games (both traditional and simplified) and I will add them to this list. For more Chinese learning games to play, check out www.playcantonese.com
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Type of gameName of gameInstructionsEducation point
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ActiveRace to the wordPrint out / Write big A4 words. Stick the words in opposite corners of the room. Shout of a word and get the kids to run to the words that you shout outLink words to sounds
Increase speed of character recognition
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ActiveAct the wordPick a maximum of 3 words, display actions associated with each word (e.g. 大 the kids spread out their arms and legs, 小 the kids stand straight with arms at their sides), the teacher displays a word and the kids have to complete the action. Other examples: 手/ 足 (kids wave hands or feet), 吃/ 喝(kids pretend to eat and drink, perhaps give them an empty cup and some chopsticks)Link words to meaning
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ActiveFollow the directionMake signs that have single word instructions on them and get the kids to follow the directions. For example, have the kids pretending to row a boat, make 快and 慢 signs and have them row slower and faster accordingly. Or have the kids run 左 and 右, 跳 or 坐, moo with a 牛 card and tweet with a 鸟cardLink words to sounds
Increase speed of character recognition
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SedentarySpot the radicalTeach the kids one radical and then have them spot the radical in a block of textBreaking down words into component parts
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SedentaryShapes and picturesEncourage the kids to invent stories about words e.g. 四 may be a window with a pair of curtains, 只 may be the front of a train etc. Pick simple words for this activityBreaking down words into component parts
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SedentaryMake wordsUse common materials (string, paper, twigs, leaves, pasta etc) to make simple wordsBreaking down words into component parts
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Active / SedentaryMatch the wordWrite a sentence clearly on a piece of paper. Also write the words of the sentence on some post-it notes and stick them to the wall in a different order. Get the kids to take the post-it notes from the wall and put them in the same order as the sentence on the paperIncrease speed of character recognition
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SedentaryLabel the picture 1On a board write 5 words with a picture showing their meaning. Discuss each word. Now give each kid a picture and post-it notes with the same five words and get them to label the 5 things in the pictureIncrease speed of character recognition
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SedentaryLabel the picture 2Select two words e.g. 上 / 下 collect a selection of things that would usually be in the sky (e.g. aeroplanes, birds, clouds) and some that are usually on the ground (e.g. trains, dogs, trees) and get the kids to label each one with 上 / 下. A variation would be to give the kids magazines and they can find and cut out 上 / 下 items and place them around the words 上 / 下 that have been printed out. Other examples are 外面 / 裡面, colours, land and sea animals etcLink words to meaning
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SedentarySpot the differencePick two words that are mostly similar and ask the children to describe the difference. This should be kept very simple and can be done with a wide variety of words e.g. 口 / 日, 百 / 白, 玉/ 国Increase speed of character recognition
Breaking down words into component parts
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SedentaryComplete the wordDraw a word on the board and draw most of the word for each of the kids. Get the kids to complete the final stroke of the wordIncrease speed of character recognition
Breaking down words into component parts
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SedentaryDominosMake a simple domino set with Chinese characters instead of numbered tiles

An advanced version would let kids place any character with the same radical together
Increase speed of character recognition
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SedentaryMemoryPrint out 2 each of some simple words, cut out to make tiles. Place all the tiles, randomly, face down and get take turns turning 2 tiles over. If the tiles match then the player gets to keep them. At the end of the game, the one with the most tiles wins.Increase speed of character recognition
Improve memory
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