My wife and I have worked very hard to expose my daughter to Chinese in the US. This has varied from school projects, books to visiting Chinatowns during vacations and she has attended Chinese School. She has also visited Taiwan more times than I have, which gives her first hand experience with Chinese Culture. Part of Chinese Culture is the food where we live there is a huge amount of Chinese Restaurants and super markets.
For a project for 5th grade she did a Joss House Weaverville Model Project instead
of the usual California Mission. The project had to do with California History, so I got permission to build a Chinese Temple located in California. My daughter was graded on the landscaping (it
took a lot more time than planned including my parents, me, and my Father in law as well as blueprints we got and a video). For another project had to do with the Wyoming Massacre in Rock Springs where some 28 Chinese Miners were killed in 1885. Another project had to do with the Transcontinental Railroad. My idea is if my daughter gets a school Projects, let's see if it can somehow be made related to her Chinese Heritage. Here is a list of ones I have documented
Chinese Children Projects.
When she was little, I had this constant shrinkage problem. My daughter would go through my inventory and find what she liked. The only problem was keeping an accurate inventory count :-) Books she read covered both Chinese History She got to read lots of Lawrence Yep books
(he does a great job for Middle Schoolers of writing of the Chinese
American experience). When the 100 Best Chinese Stories first arrived she read it in one sitting. Same with the
Monkey King and Mulanbooks. Now I would get her Dim Sum For Everyone! and The Ugly Vegetables by Graced Lin. I am a strong believer in reading to your child from the earliest age possible. Expose them to the pictures and help them grow their vocabulary! Have them tell you a story from the book, even if they can't read, to stretch their imagination.
We listened to a lot of Children Songs in Chinese.At the time we were lucky that for Videotapes, the US and Taiwan used the same format so we got this great series of Children singing. Now everybody has gone to DVD with regional zoning, that is no longer possible.
We have visited Angel Island after finding out about it at a play called Paper Son. We have also visited a few Chinese Museums in the US that you can find out about on this page I created listing Chinatowns of the United States. On vacation, we also visit the local Chinatowns
which include so far London, NY, LA, SF, Las Vegas, Vancouver, Toronto,
Washington DC, and Boston. Usually a good place to get a nice meal at a
fair price, or at least a nice bakery :-)
Since my wife is from Taiwan, we also celebrate
the Chinese Holidays. My family also goes to local
festivals, which is part of the reasons I make up those lists of events
for Chinese Festivals such as Moon Festival, Chinese New Year, Dragon Boat Races, etc. because it's frustrating to find out the week after a local event.
We did buy her a Chinese Dress which my wife now sells similar ones at her site, www.elitedresses.com We also got her the warrior Mulan costume (the cool one). I remember most of the kids at her kindgarten had the one that was a dress. I got the coolest picture of her in the warrior Mulan costume riding my aunt's horse.
We did buy her a lot of Mulan Dolls when she was growing up. I wanted her to have non-blond dolls to play with.