Playdates provide kids with a great opportunity to socialize with others their age and learn new things. Inspired by the excitement of playdates, Mark Media has created an app called Playdate with Miaomiao.
It’s an entertaining app that combines mini games and brand new episodes from the Miaomiao animated TV series for preschool children. But it’s not just fun and games; in each episode, kids can also learn beginner vocabulary words in Miaomiao’s second language: Mandarin Chinese.
Play and Learn with Miaomiao and Friends
When you download Playdate with Miaomiao, you get 2 mini-games and 1 animated episode for free. There are also 4 other episodes that can be unlocked via in-app purchase. (Worry not, the purchase can only be made from the gated Grown-Ups’ section.)
The episodes follow the adventures of Miaomiao, a young Canadian-Chinese girl, and her gang of friends. Created to help kids learn and practice simple Mandarin Chinese vocabulary, each episode includes a short segment in which Miaomiao guides the viewers to read and pronounce a word. For example, the first episode, “Picnic”, teaches kids to express hunger in Chinese (“wǒ è le”, which means “I’m hungry”).
In addition to the episodes, there is a Vocabulary section where kids can review the words they learned plus some new ones. They can tap to listen to a word, and also learn to say the word. The app uses a phonetic spelling guide that makes it easier for native English speakers to pronounce the words in Chinese; for example, “wán shuǎ” (play) sounds like “whan shwa”.
Kids who want to play games can choose between the balloon game and the sandwich creator. In the balloon game, they fill the screen with adorable character balloons and pop them to fill up the meter on the side of the screen. When the meter is full, a giant balloon will appear.
In the sandwich creator, kids construct a sandwich for Benben the polar bear. They can use all kinds of ingredients, such as cheese, egg, vegetables, and even wasabi. They can then feed Benben the finished sandwich and watch him react to the flavor.
Parents Need to Know
Playdate with Miaomiao is suitable for ages 3-5. In addition to teaching kids simple vocabulary in Mandarin Chinese, it also introduces them to social concepts such as sharing, resolving conflicts with friends, cooperation, and understanding emotions. The episodes are 7 minutes each, which makes them fairly easy to digest.
By default, the episodes are streamed on demand. But, they can also be downloaded for offline viewing. You can manage downloads from the gated grown-ups’ section. Additionally, the section contains educational tips and activity ideas to help you continue the learning off-screen.
Grown-ups need to know that Playdate with Miaomiao is safe for kids. The in-app purchases are only available within the secured section for grown-ups. Furthermore, the app doesn’t contain third-party advertising and links to social media.
Things I Like
Playdate with Miaomiao features a well-produced animated series with likable characters and a lighthearted plot suitable for preschoolers. The language-learning segments are valuable, and they are always shown at the right time. It’s also nice that the segments encourage kids to be active in the lessons by asking them to say the words together with Miaomiao.
While the animated series is the definitely the app’s focal point, the mini games provide extra appeal. The sandwich maker is my favorite, simply because it’s so easy to play and you can watch Benben make all kinds of funny reactions.
If you like animated series with great educational content, chances are you will enjoy Playdate with Miaomiao. In addition to introducing kids to the Chinese language, each episode covers social concepts that preschoolers can benefit from. The episodes have an easy-to-follow plot and likable characters, so it’s fairly easy to get into the series.
App was provided for our honest review.
About Mark Media
Mark Media combines culture and technology to create unique interactive experiences on digital platforms. Their digital projects emphasize fun in learning and engage a diverse audience. You should check out their other apps we reviewed:
If you’re looking to introduce your child to the Chinese language, you can’t go wrong with Learn Chinese with Miao Miao. The clever design of the app makes it so that young learners can easily associate each Chinese character with its meaning. It’s also easy to use for both children and adult.
Learning Mandarin Chinese can be a daunting task — both for kids and adults. Fun with Colors offers a fun and easy way to learn how to pronounce 30 simple words in Chinese. Because the app is built around an interesting narrative of sea creatures losing their colors, kids ages 4+ are more likely to participate in the learning process. If you’re looking for a fun and engaging way to introduce your kids to Mandarin Chinese, you should definitely give this app a try.