My daughters are spending 4 weeks in Chinese camp this summer. This camp is run by the Chinese school they go to during the school year. My family speaks Cantonese (my husband and I speak very very little at home) but I want the girls to learn Mandarin because it is the official language of China and will be more useful to them in the future. I know it’s been hard for them to learn because they are only exposed to Mandarin for 45 minutes a week at school. So I enrolled them into camp because it is 6 hours a day and completely taught in Mandarin.
Every 2 weeks the camp puts on a performance and plans a field trip. The first trip was to Harbor Island Park. The performance was super cute. Baby is the youngest in the camp so watching her performance was also so funny.
She always seemed to be doing something different then all of the other children performing…
…she loves an audience so it didn’t matter to her.
All of the performances were so great.
The camp was small and intimate. They came home singing the songs learned at camp and practicing their speaking parts in the performance.
After the performance we all headed to the beach park for a day of fun. The first activity was a scavenger hunt. Everyone got a green card with things they had to find and say in Chinese.
During the instructions, the teacher said something funny and all of the children laughed. This reminded me of a day when the girls will make fun of me in Mandarin knowing I won’t understand them. I want them to learn the language so badly I’m ok with this.
The girls got a sticker for every item they found and said in Chinese.
The teachers walked around to help everyone.
I really like the camp because they play the same games kids in China would play. One of the games the kids played at the park was similar to duck-duck-goose but with a bean bag. One child with the bean bag (Child 1) would walk around a circle of children. Child 1 would drop the bean bag behind someone in the circle (Child 2).
Child 2 gets up to chase Child 1 around the circle and try to tag Child 1 before they sat in Child 2’s spot.
If Child 2 gets tagged, they have to sit in the middle of the circle.
The other game the kids loved to play was Da Yeah Ya, 打野鸭, or “hit the duck”. It’s a simple, silly game.
One half of the group forms a circle and are the hunters, the other half stands inside the circle and are the ducks.
The hunters throw balls and try to hit the ducks in the middle of the circle. If they hit a duck, they switch spots. Baby is a little too young to play the game so she walked around collecting the balls.
After the games, we ate lunch together.
Then we played at the beach.
The girls found a horse shoe crab at the beach. Baby felt like one of the big girls except she wasn’t tall enough to see the crab in the bucket.
After the beach the kids played in the spray park. The water was freezing but the kids didn’t care.
Baby wasn’t as excited about the spray park. She found a rock to play with. Over and over, she would pick up the rock.
Take a few steps into the spray park.
Feel a little spray and run out.
At the end of the day, candy was handed out to everyone who found everything on their green cards.
Even after just a couple of weeks at Chinese camp, the girl’s language has improved so much…even Baby.
Trying to Raise Chinese Speaking Children,
The Dumpling Mama xo