6 years old, Chinese Apps, Elementary Music, Preschool Music

Favorite Chinese Kids Music – 7 albums FREE!

My 6 y.o. is at the stage where he is outgrowing classic Chinese kids songs like 《两只老虎》and《拔萝卜》, but not quite ready for pop music. While I don’t think there’s anything wrong with exposure to “teen” or “adult” music at a young age (I remember listening to Mandarin/Hokkien radio a lot with my parents/grandparents), I’m on the search for music that is geared for kids.

A big THANK YOU to the mom who recommended the Taiwanese band Hoop Kids to me. Their music is just perfect, exactly what I’m looking for. It sounds like pop music (and hence more palatable to adult ears), but the content is all very healthy and kid-appropriate.

I recently discovered that all their albums are available for FREE on Ximalaya and I’ve downloaded them to put on my son’s MP3 player. I’ve compiled all the links here for everyone’s convenience.

You can listen to them online or via the Ximalaya app but if you’re like me and want to save them, refer to this tutorial by Guavarama – Technology: Downloading Audio from Ximalaya

 

  1. Children Playground 儿童乐园
  2. The Sky Tree 天空树
  3. The Sweet Home 宝贝我的家
  4. The Love River 孩子的暖暖河
  5. My Honey Baby 亲亲我的宝贝
  6. Welcome Happiness! 快乐,快乐一直来
  7. All is Love 爱你爱我

Enjoy!

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Audiobooks, Preschool Music, Preschool Reads

Free Chinese Audiobooks for Children

I’ve started compiling a list of audiobooks that I plan to listen with my son (5 years old). These are appropriate for preschoolers with Chinese background, or lower elementary immersion students. They are all available for free on Ximalaya! When you click on the links, you can choose to listen on the website or app:

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Classics:

I won’t bother describing these because you’re probably familiar with them from your own childhood. 🙂

奇先生妙小姐 Mr. Men and Little Miss (83 tracks)img_0536
青蛙和蟾蜍 Frog and Toad (20 tracks)img_0528
亲爱的小熊 Little Bear (17 tracks)img_0532
贝贝熊 Berenstein Bears (72 tracks)img_0531
神奇校车 Magic School Bus (22 tracks)img_0525
村长讲故事 Fairy Tales Collection (70 tracks) – This album contains classic stories like The Three Little Pigs as well as Chinese tales like The Moon Lady. Read by TV star Li Rui.

Translated Works:

青蛙弗罗格的成长故事 Frog and Friends (29 tracks) – This is a good series to start with as the stories are easy to understand and relatable for preschoolers.

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你看起来好像很好吃 You Look Yummy (1 track) – Such a tearjerker. 😥 A very moving story about a dinosaur and his adopted son. I hope they record the other books in this series. img_0535

我爱阅读 I Love Reading, Blue Series (42 tracks) – I bought this set of early readers for my son so we’ll try to listen to them first before reading. img_0537

Chapter Books:

The audiobooks above are all short stories and be listened to in any order. The two below are chapter books and are best listened in order (even though each chapter sort of stands alone). They are geared towards early elementary children and are written by Chinese authors. I’m always happy to find non-translated Chinese books because they are such a rare breed!

笨狼的故事 Stupid Wolf (34 tracks) – This is a popular series from China and is about the antics of Stupid Wolf and his friend Clever Rabbit. It reminds of Amelia Bedelia because the main character doesn’t know he’s doing something silly but the child listening can usually figure it out. img_0534
屁屁超人 Fart Boy (8 tracks) – These books are part of acclaimed Reading 123 series from Taiwan. I know my son (big fan of Captain Underpants) will love the potty humor. 💩 Ha ha.img_0533

If you’ve been following my Chinese Home Library posts, you’ll realize I bought 8 of the 11 series listed above. I like having both the book and audiobook because they really compliment each other. Last summer Little Man listened and read Nate the Great about 20x on repeat. He even read harder books like Wayside School after listening to them multiple times.

(Off topic: I highly recommend Nate the Great audiobooks in English. The narrator John Levelle does an amazing job making the characters come to life.)

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But the problem is… where to find time to listen to all these audiobooks?? 🤔

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Audiobooks, Preschool Music, Preschool Reads

Preschool Reads:《睡前5分钟童话》5 Minute Bedtime Fairy Tales Book/CD

I ❤️️ book and CD sets. This book and 《两只老虎》 are my best purchases from Popular bookstore from our last trip back to Singapore.

The book is nothing special but it’s really easy to understand, with only one sentence per page. Really good for younger kids (2+) and beginning Chinese learners.

The book contains four short stories. The 5 minute length of each story is just right for my active-boy-with-short-attention-span.

I was expecting the audiobook to be of poor quality, but much to my pleasant surprise, it is really good!! I enjoy listening to it as it helps me with 朗读 (reading aloud), which is really not one of my talents. Listening to the narrator makes me realize that I read much too fast and lack in expression and intonation. 

We listen in the car, which is when Little Man has the best attention because he is nothing else to do. He loves to read along with the audiobook. This of course is the best part. Improving listening and reading at the same time!

Are you wondering what the audiobook sounds like? That’s always my question when I buy CDs and not knowing if it’s a dud or a win. Click here to listen a little sample!

What I don’t like about it is… it’s soooo naggy! Never thought that I would be nagged to death by an audiobook?!! At the end of each story, the narrator goes on and on about how to be careful, don’t take stuff from strangers, don’t stray away from your mom and dad.. blahblahblah. Tempted to skip those tracks but Little Man didn’t complain so we just listened to it.

We have 2 out of 4 books in the series. I’d like to find other book/CD sets of similar lower listening levels, but not much luck so far. Little Man is not ready to listen to audiobooks without any pictures. Let me know if you have any suggestions!

Where to buy: Popular bookstore in Singapore or Malaysia. Popular Online, only ships within Malaysia.

Cost: $8.90 SGD

Publisher: Popular Book Corporation

ISBN: 978-986-301-332-7

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Preschool Music, Preschool Reads, Reviews

Preschool Music: 《两只老虎》Two Tigers (Book/CD)

This book came highly recommended by several members of a bilingual parenting group, so I was determined to track it down when I was in Singapore last month.

Well, they were right. This book/CD is all kinds of awesomeness. Probably the best purchase of the 70+ books I brought back to the USA with me.

Little Man (age 4.5 almost 5) LOVES, LOVES, LOVES this book/CD set. Ever since we came back from Singapore over a month ago, he has listened to only this CD in the car, on repeat, non stop. He has stopped listening to all of his previous favorite English CDs and only listens to this. Which is pretty crazy considering he used to flat out refuse Chinese music.

This book/CD set is quite ingenious really. There’s a picture that goes with every song, which really helps my boy understand what it’s about. I’ve noticed that his Chinese vocabulary improving steadily each time we listen to it.

It has many classic children’s songs like 生日快乐 (Happy Birthday) and 当我们同在一起 (The More We Get Together), and many Chinese classics.

And the lyrics and pinyin!! Super love! ❤️ Little Man loves to read/sing along and often excitedly tells me from the backseat that he sees some characters he knows. This book has a lot of the common characters that he is learning in《四五快读》. He is even self learning more characters. One time he said “there is a word that looks like an arrow pointing up”. I said “Is it ‘个’?” and he said yes. And just like that he learned a new word!


I also have these two other books that are from the same collection but I can’t tell you how they are. Like I said, Little Man does not listen to anything except《两只老虎》. I do not know why he won’t touch these two even though they’re the same style. In the meantime, I’m very happy about his repeated reading/listening because it’s really good for language development!

Jan 2018 Update: Little Man still loves this and listens to it all the time after five whole months, which is pretty amazing because he’s the kid who always wants new things. We have a lot of other Book/CD sets but this is the definite favorite. He enjoys reading and singing along and has learned a lot of Chinese characters and pinyin this way.

Amazingly he has also “forgotten” that he used to listen to English CDs in the car. We now listen to 100% Chinese in the car. WIN. 🙂

FYI, for the other two book/CD sets pictured above, the 拔萝卜one is okay and I don’t recommend the 说学逗唱 one, the songs are weiiird.

CD: 40 tracks, 72 minute

Buy from: Popular Bookstore in Singapore/Malaysia. Not sold online.

Publisher: Popular Book Corporation Ltd

ISBN: 978-986-301-337-2

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