Component Matching Activity

This week, we’ll be helping your children closely examine Chinese characters and the commonalities between similar characters. The activity is to help build observational skills, teach components and radicals, and help your kid understand the logic behind the building blocks of characters. Ultimately, this will help your child identify unique characteristics as well as help with their character recognition.


Your child will be sorting and differentiating character cards into groups with the same components. This is a more difficult activity in general, but your young children should still be able to participate.



- Flash cards (either your own, or you can try the new Sagebooks Study Cards)
- (optional) component cards - cards that have different radicals or components on them (eg: 耳石食言口手木目母)



- You need to either create or purchase flash cards for characters share similar components/radicals and pre-sort
- Also create component cards or write them on sheets of paper.



Component Matching Activity 1 (age 3+, single/mutli person)

1. Place 3-5 component cards in front of your child.
2. Give child 3-5 character cards and ask them to put the character cards on top of the matching component card.
3. If you have multiple kids playing, you can see who finishes placing all their cards first as the winner. You can decide whether you want the kids to have the same character cards, the same component cards, or not.

Depending on the age of your child, you can increase or decrease the difficulty level of the activity. If your children are really, young, start off with 3 character cards and 3 component cards. If you want to make it even easier, set out 3 component cards and give them only 1 character card. To make the activity harder, increase the number of character cards and/or increase the number of component cards.

Component Matching Activity 1

Component Matching Activity 2 (age 5+, single/mutli person)

1. Deal out 5-10 character cards to your child(ren).
2. Have them sort character cards into groups of shared components. (Note: there may be multiple combinations for the character cards depending on what characters you choose.)
3. If you have multiple kids playing, you can see who finishes sorting the cards first. If they have the same cards and their are multiple combination choices, you can also discuss the different choices available to the kids.

Component Matching Activity 2

My five year old loved the sorting activities so much that long after I was done doing our photoshoot, he sat there with the Sagebooks Study Cards and sorted and read the characters to his heart’s content.

We would love to hear your comments and see pictures of your kids doing the activities. Make sure you join our Sagebooks HK Parent Support Facebook Group and share with us!


Ask for help.

Teaching Chinese to children is hard. It’s a long road and often, there are both big and small obstacles that discourage you. Sometimes, it’s even your children who are discouraging you – either due to their developmental stage or personality. Sometimes, it’s family or friends who don’t understand why you’re expending so many resources on Chinese. Whatever the reason, it’s highly likely that other people have experienced a similar situation.
There is no award for the most stoic or independent Chinese teaching journey. Ask for help.
There are plenty of Facebook Groups and forums online where you can ask your questions. (But before you do, make sure you read each group’s rules and utilise their search functions. If it’s a common question, it has likely been asked before.)

In fact, our Facebook Group is full of other parents who are teaching their kids Basic Chinese 500 at all different ages and levels and a great place to ask your questions.