I was sent an adorable Chinese World Village Playset from Whole Wide World Toys, and asked to check it out with my kids. These unique Chinese toys teach culture and encourage dramatic play and creativity.
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The well-made, Chinese World Village Playset helps kids learn about China and Chinese culture through creative play. I could see preschools, elementary schools, or libraries getting a set for their kids to play with- especially around Chinese New Year time! The set of Chinese toys comes with:
- a soft, fabric playmat with a Chinese village scene
- 32 page color story and activity book
- 14 storycards with phrases and prompts
- 13 bilingual (Mandarin-English) chunky, wooden puzzle with characters (that can walk around the playmat)
The China Deluxe Companion Pack features 3 structures that can help set the scene: a traditional Chinese boat, Canal House, and a Kit Shop. My girls are really into dramatic play, and they especially loved making the characters ride the boat up the river, or sell kites from the shop. I really haven’t seen many Chinese toys that introduce culture in such a creative way, and I hope this is the first of a series of different global playsets.
Extended Play Suggestions
- Find China on a map and notice how far away (or close) it is to where you live.
- Connect the elements in the book to you life at home. What do we find in our environment and landscape?
- Practice learning the words in Mandarin in the puzzle, and read additional books that teach Chinese.
- Discuss any connection your family has to China. Are there Chinese families in your community? Have you visited a Chinese neighborhood? Has your family tried Chinese food?
- Ask your child to bring other small toys (a small action figure or doll) and take them on a tour of China using your playset. Draw a picture or write a postcard of their “trip” to China.
- Read a story prompt on one of the story cards and start a new story by using your imagination.
If you have more ideas on how to discover cultures in your classroom or family, visit our facebook page and connect with globally-minded parents and teachers from around the world!