Disclaimer: Sample issue of was provided by Apex Brilliant Child Development (A.B.C.D. Inc), distributor of Ciaohu in the USA. Opinions are my own.
Ciaohu 巧虎 is a popular magazine subscription from Taiwan (shipped worldwide) for young children from babies to 2nd grade+. I’ve heard many parents rave about Ciaohu and was excited to try it out. This review shows the 學習版 ‘Learn’ version for 5-6 year olds which I selected since Little Man is 5.5 years old.
Every issue comes with a magazine, activity book, interactive activities such as games, STEM, toys, and sometimes CDs/DVDs. The content and activities are tailored for your child’s age, e.g. pretend play toys for toddlers and more academics for older kids.
Video review of Ciaohu:
I found the 學習版 ‘Learn’ version to be spot on for my son’s developmental level. The content is just right for his comprehension, attention span, and in line with kindergarten curriculum for Math, Science, Phonics (zhuyin) etc. The activity book also contains ~30 pages of fun activities that kids love, e.g. stickers, mazes, spot the difference.
In my opinion, the main benefit of magazines (as compared to books) is the wide variety of topics and vocabulary. Most of the Chinese books we own are fiction and revolve around my son’s interests of superheroes and mythology. Ciaohu provides a diverse “diet” of non-fiction, various themes, and exposure to everyday vocabulary of native Chinese children.
When Little Man opened the package, he immediately wanted to get started with the Science experiments. I found the instructions very clear and my son was able to follow the directions by looking at the pictures.
I also love large clear font and plentiful illustrations! Large font is really important for beginning readers and my son was able to read some parts of the magazine with me. He particularly enjoyed reading the comic. With some practice, I expect that he will be able to read this magazine by himself.
Right now we use 95% Simplified at home but the Saturday school my son attends teaches Traditional. I feel that Ciaohu will be good for more exposure to Traditional text as well as practice reading 注音符號 (zhuyin), something that I am learning as well. Don’t be afraid to expose your child to both Simplified and Traditional! Kids can easily pick up both because they are just that smart.
They provide the entire year’s schedule so you can see exactly what materials you’ll be receiving each month and the topics. Schedule for 2018-2019 “學習版” (starts September) shown here. Click the links below for other age groups.
Check out the Ciaohu website for a preview of these other levels:
- 寶寶版 Baby version, 7-29 months
- 幼幼版 Yoyo version, 2-3 y.o.
- 快樂版 Happy version, 3-4 y.o.
- 成長版 Grow version, 4-5 y.o.
- 學習版 Learn version, 5-6 y.o.
- 小一版 First grade
- 小二版 Second grade
- 中年級 3rd-5th grade
Other blog reviews of Ciaohu:
- Beautifully Simple, Simply Beautiful: Qiaohu 2017-2018 Preview
- Chalk Academy: 10 Reasons Why Qiao Hu is the Best Chinese Show for Children
- Motherly Notes: Book Review: Qiao Hu First Grade Magazines
- 12-month subscription $345 USD ($28.75/month)
- 6-month subscription $188 USD ($31.30/month)
You will receive one of these free gifts when you subscribe! If these gifts run out, Ciaohu will substitute a different age-appropriate gift.
To subscribe, complete the form below. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.