If you and/or your children are learning Mandarin, you'll want to check out some of the sites listed below. I'll keep adding more as time permits, but here are a few of our (my) favorites:
I saw a video on YouTube of a teacher using their materials and I was so impressed. These materials are the best that I have seen for learning Mandarin as a second language. I ordered a couple of things, but my favorite was "My First Chinese Words," a set of 36 little books with a CD. The books are very simple with a repetitive sentence structure. They help me learn right along with the kids. The books (and several of their sets) come with CDs with native speakers. This makes it easier for non-native speakers to help their children at home. They also have a set of cards for games that cover vocabulary in a fun way!
Language Stars *
They teach not only Mandarin, but also French, Spanish, German, and Italian to children ages 1 to 10 using a play-based approach they call "Funimmersion." I have 2 children currently enrolled, ages 2 1/2 and 3 1/2. I attended the Parents and Tots class with my son and we love it! (2016 UPDATE: My children still attend Language Stars, even though I no longer blog for them.)
This is a great site for ordering movies in Mandarin. My daughter loves the Four Golden Princesses. I've even ordered a few for myself! I think they are based in Hong Kong, so your order takes a while to arrive, but it's worth it!
This is a US-based company (i.e. things arrive quickly) that sells all kinds of DVDs, books, and learning materials in Chinese. Our 2 favorites from this site have been Pororo (an animated series about a penguin and his friends that is my son's absolute favorite) and the Chinese version of "Brown Bear, Brown Bear." I would highly recommend Pororo. It is just adorable and it has subtitles so you can learn while the kids enjoy it!
My husband was kind enough to buy their video, "The River Dragon King," for us. At first, I made fun of it because it is a little forced. But, as I watched it several times, I realized how ingenious it is. The songs are simple and catchy and they focus on about 30 words, which is great for beginners. I check their site periodically in hopes of seeing a new video!
I'm still on Mandarin 1, but I cannot tell you how fast I am learning! These CDs have you speaking full sentences from the beginning. You will learn so much faster than taking a class. Of course, I'm going to do both, but these CDs are certainly a huge help.
Pimsleur's daughter developed these tapes for children. They have animated clips in between presentations of real people and children acting out the vocabulary. These DVDs give you a vocab boost right away.
This guy has videos on You Tube that are examples of his video series. I have learned quite a few words from just watching his sample clips.
Kids Learn Mandarin
These simple, yet effective video games are aimed at preschoolers. My kids love them.
These are just a few of the resources my children and I are using to learn Mandarin. I'll add more as I find helpful materials!
*I blog about LS (which I do actually love) and get 50% off my tuition. What could be better than that?!
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