Tag: qiao hu

Qiaohu 巧虎 2018-2019 Preview

Hi friends,

Next month we will have completed our 2nd full year of subscribing to Qiaohu, so I’d like to look back at what our experience has been with the levels 幼幼版 (youyouban), 快樂版 (kuaileban),and 成長版 (chengzhangban).

We started in 2016 and purchased the last three months of 幼幼版 and then advanced to 快樂版 but we were given a full subscription’s worth of DVDs when my twins were born from a friend with a few of the toys. I recommend starting your subscription in September if possible to get the full year scheduled content.

Of all three levels, my favorite is 成長版 . Let’s go through each one.

幼幼版 (youyouban)
I loved the toys of 幼幼版 initially and they are really cute and usually well designed, but as we moved more to a minimalist lifestyle, I realized all the toys were plastic and not complementary to the open ended toys we were buying as I would have liked (our new toys were unit blocks, balls or nesting bowls.) I still keep the Qiaohu favorites in storage (mostly play food) and bring them out every once in a while, but these toys are no longer our standard go-to (always out) toys. The only exception is XiaoHua 小花妹妹 toy. My 2 year old twin daughter really loves her XiaoHua and it is her favorite stuffed animal. The rest of the toys have gone into closet storage and are rotated. I feel these toys should be viewed as a kind of a fun short term activity rather than a long term keepsake toy.  It’s also my opinion that child will likely outgrow them faster than other toys made for open ended play.

That said, I still might subscribe the latter six months for my twins because I do like the stories, songs and the sticker activity workbooks.

快樂版 (kuaileban)
快樂版 has a good introduction to science but from our past subscription, it’s done in a childish way and sometimes uses cartoon animals with real footage or photos. From a Montessori perspective I wish they would use solely photos and/or realistic art. This level also has some safety topics which feel really unnecessary and overcautious, like “Don’t push the shopping cart. You may run into people.” “Don’t run indoors. You might slip.” “Don’t take in large bites of food.” In America, we have kid sized carts at Trader Joe’s and most kids are allowed to run inside within certain limits. And shouldn’t kids know by experience they will choke on large amounts of food without us telling them? We allow them to run and push carts, but just teach them the proper way to do these activities first. Safety is emphasized, sometimes over-emphasized. The toys are less appealing than before except for the wood stacking circus animals; I love that idea and the story about the circus animals is really cute.

I feel like 巧虎 really shines in 成长版 . There is still some EQ (“emotional IQ” is what they term it) teaching important social skills but they are not as childish about it; they uses short audio with books to teach an EQ lesson. I love that the 2017-18 subscription had 6 natural science topics of the month that came in a smaller book, and that math topics (counting on, dividing, symmetry, 3D shapes, telling time) were briefly introduced for all 12 months using a workbook and DVD segment. D has a very math oriented brain and this introduction to math catered to his interests. I believe their math topics to be more advanced than most K and pre K math programs in the US. They also break down zhuyin into groupings and teach them to the kids. We have non-Qiaohu flashcards with photos and a dry erase workbook both from Taiwan but we don’t emphasize zhuyin. Even so, D has learned most of the zhuyin symbols using Qiaohu zhuyin toys, poster and songs.

This level also teach a series of Tang dynasty poems using song (I’m not sure if 2018-19 will have the same content) and D learned several of these building off what he learned in 幼幼版. The songs for zhuyin and the Tang poems are actually very catchy. There are even fewer  “toys” or activities for this level but these are really used even less than the toys of 幼幼版 simply because D already has other toys and his playtime is more imaginative and on a larger scale. He enjoys watching 成长版 on some homeschool days after his lessons are completed. They are fun and entertaining but educational. Because of the increase in academic content, I’m willing to continue subscribing to Qiaohu for a couple more years, our next level is 学习版 (xuexiban):

Remember each year is slightly different but the lower levels mostly stay the same in content. The above schedules are for 2018-19.

The yearly subscription rate is $345. The six month rate is $188.

If the information has been helpful, please consider adding me as a referral when you order. Here is the website. The order form is here. If you have additional questions, please contact their office phone number 714-888-5190.

My referral ID is 2600018310 and my name is on the account (Kyleen Gene).

Referrers get a small Qiaohu toy or game; it isn’t much but my kids will love you forever. Thank you!

Advertisements

Qiaohu 巧虎 2017-2018 Preview

I’ve received many responses and feedback from my previous Qiaohu posts, so I wanted to share the new updated subscription information.

This is the QiaoHu (CiaoHu) 幼幼 Youyou (Yoyo) version. Remember that the website and the version names use Taiwanese pinyin not hanyu pinyin, so if you search online for “Qiaohu”, it will only give you information for the mainland China not Taiwan version.

UPDATE: Do you know there is also a Cantonese version of Qiaohu too? Contact their California office for more information!

Twin Baby B is OBSESSED with 小花 XiaoHua. She loves her like a baby doll. She has played with XiaoHua literally every day for the last year. It’s kind of annoying. But it is the perfect size for toddlers. We took it to visit family and a 2-year old cousin M (a boy, I might add) loved to hold and play with her too. D still loves it whenever XiaoHua is in the DVDs. I don’t get why she’s so cute, I just know it’s cuteness overload for all kids!

D still plays with the restaurant food from this version; it’s cute and small, way smaller than our Learning Resources food. But it’s really the perfect size for them, small enough to develop some fine motor skills too.

Yoyo “Toddler” ban for ages 2-3

Here is 快樂 (kuaile) or Happy ban for ages 3-4. I LOVE the talking pen in this version, it is really a great teaching tool. D loved it and the books have some very advanced topics: the book on the hospital was a huge surprise. I don’t know if the books are different this year than last; if they are different, I’d be tempted to order just the books.

Kuaile “Happy” ban for preschoolers ages 3-4

Below is Chengzhang 成長 ban, the current version we get for D. It’s pretty awesome. It started to teach zhuyin and has more math and science covered in it. Before this version, the only math covered is number recognition for 1-10 and some basic counting skills (some basic dividing).
It is starting to teach more advanced language skills. This version also has zhuyin written in the workbooks, which makes it actually easier for me (as an ABC) to read. If you have gaps in your Mandarin Chinese reading skills, but learn zhuyin, you will be able to “spell out” the words.

I’m not stoked about the toys in this year’s Chengzhang ban subscription but we have PLENTY of Qiaohu toys at our house, so it’s not a big deal. I like that it is more academic in content; I am excited about a new talking pen with similar technology to the one included in kuaile ban.

Chengzhang “Growing” ban for preschoolers ages 4-5

The rate has also gone up from my last post. I am still willing to subscribe, but it is getting pricey. According to recent emails, the yearly rate is $345.

If the information has been helpful, please consider adding me as a referral when you order. Here is the website. The order form is here. Their phone number is 714-888-5190.

My referral ID is 2600018310, first name’s Kyleen.

Referrers get a small Qiaohu toy or game; it isn’t much but my kids will love you forever. Thank you!

Qiao Hu 巧虎 and Fortune Cookie Mom

Just wanted to share some of my new discoveries for teaching kids Chinese at home: the QiaoHu subscription for my 3-year old learning Chinese and a neat free printables and teaching ideas site by a mommy blogger in HK.

QiaoHu 巧虎 subscription 

Each month they send a DVD about 25 minutes long, with a variety of songs, rhymes, stories and introduction of toys (included in some of the months) that teach good habits, manner and practices for young kids. We started watching the DVDs we inherited from a church friend, mostly to distract Toddler while I fed the twins but it has been surprisingly educational for him. (Search YouTube for some examples.) He watches almost daily, but he doesn’t get much more screen time, other than a few movies mostly about cars and their truck friends. You know, those ones.

As a example, June 2016’s box the DVD has theme of about categorizing; each activity or song connects to sorting and categorizing. But there is also some Chinese-Taiwanese cultural aspects to it like there is a Tang dynasty poem put to song, which is even difficult content even for me. In the past months they discussed Dragon Boat festival and Chinese New Year etc. Also I saw one once on YouTube for elementary kids about using the special hole-in-the-ground toilets they have in Taiwan, and Toddler will never see that in real life here in America. But it’s kind of interesting to talk about the different cultures and ways of life. The DVD also has a segment about not hitting other kids when playing and how to tell other kids to wait while they’re still playing with a coveted toy.

Each month there’s an activity book or workbook with stickers, with content similar to the DVD with the stories in paper form instead of video form. It’s all in Chinese, so I actually can’t read 100% but I feel like it’s a good practice for me to read because the subject matter is basic.

yoyo

Then some months they have little toys, a little XiaoHua (QiaoHu’s baby sister) to take care of, a pretend cash register that makes sounds etc. Each year’s program has slightly different varieties of toys, some will repeat, others will not.

This is this school year’s toy lineup, just so you can see that some toys will repeat (car, XiaoHua, fishing game):

I began subscribing in June, so I will only get the last few months of the previous 15-16 calendar.

The Qiaohu agents wanted me to advance to the next level for 3 to 4 year olds in September, and at first, I didn’t want to mostly because I only wanted to subscribe to one version per year and thought to obtain one whole year’s worth of materials from Yoyo so I could reuse materials for the twins but I do plan advance him now. If there is new content later,  then I guess I will have to subscribe to two versions, one for Toddler and the other for the Twins.

For new subscribers, I would recommend starting in September so you will not get repeating material, basically getting on their schedule of school year vs calendar year. However, I know my kid has enjoyed having new materials this summer especially since we’re homebound with so many littles and with the Texas heat outside. He’s still learned a lot from each month.

There are materials from infant (baby) up to 5th grade, the subject matter getting more academic as you get more advanced. I plan to use the program as long as Toddler has interest because a friend shared with me some of the materials her kindergartner is using, and I think they are all pretty well made: there’s a talking pen that reads stories and more complex puzzles and games. They introduce Zhuyin, which is good if you plan to use reading materials from Taiwan later on. I’m probably going to use Hanyu Pinyin with Toddler and will just try to use the Zhuyin for my own reading aloud to him.

The subscription costs $308 for 12 months or $168 for 6. It is pricey but it’s a luxury I’m willing to pay for, just because I haven’t found good Chinese language materials that are age appropriate and Toddler is very close to native ability, though we use a ton of Chinglish. I found to continue his progression, he needed materials made specifically for native speakers. Yes, it’s SUPER cheesy and kind of silly but it really is one of the best programs I’ve come across that’s widely available.

Here’s the website, but keep in mind it’s in Chinese for those of you like me who struggle with characters.

I’m super excited to find this as teaching Chinese to my kids is super important to me. Part of the reason why we are seriously considering homeschool is because we can incorporate our faith and the Chinese language and other things important to our family that are not addressed in the public school. A discussion for another day.

If you are interested in subscribing, please message me and I’ll forward you the contact information you need. Let me know if you have any questions.

*I would totally appreciate it if you added me as a referral. My kids will earn a complimentary gift from Benesse. My Referral ID 2600018310

Qiaohu is also known as Shimajiro in Japanese is you are looking for the Japanese equivalent. I found a Tomy Qiaohu car that way.

Fortune Cookie Mom

I came across Fortune Cookie Mom by way of Facebook because she is probably a friend of a friend of a friend. We have a lot in common, both of educator background and advocates of homeschooling.

Since subscribing to her newsletter, I’ve found her free printables really well done. I will definitely be using them in my future homeschool if we choose to go that route or even use the materials for quiet books and rainy day activities. Please go check them out.

Fortune Cookie Mom website:

Fortune Cookie Mom