It’s funny how you can hear about a person through mutual friends for years but never actually meet them until later. I had heard about Andrea Chen and her company, Daily Noodles, off and on over the past few years because we have mutual friends, our kids have the same Chinese tutor (although Andrea’s children are older than mine), and I am always looking for good Chinese educational materials.
At the beginning of this school year, this same Chinese tutor had purchased several of the Daily Noodles’ activity books and gave me the Numbers (Amazon affiliate link) and Animals workbooks for my children. Being the cheapass that I am, I immediately tore them apart and laminated them for re-use in the future. Cookie Monster had done several of the activities already and enjoyed them – but I laminated the pages anyway. (Yes, I’m that cheap!)
I have also seen my kids come home a few times after doing activity sheets and crafts from these workbooks in both their preschools so the teachers clearly think the books are worthwhile for purchase and use!
I thought they were cute books and loved the crafts and graphics. But I forgot about them soon after. (This is the problem with getting free things! Sometimes, you don’t value them as much as you should.)
However, during my Mandarin Mommy and Me classes with our other preschool teacher, I noticed one of my fellow moms, JC, handing our teacher Traditional pages to proof. (The workbooks come in both Simplified and Traditional.) My curiosity was piqued, but I never really inquired. Turns out, JC worked with Andrea at Daily Noodles!
Fast forward about a year and a few months ago, I was busy adding all these Chinese resources to my site when I thought, “Hey! I should feature my friend’s company!” So, I approached JC and she introduced me to Andrea.
I even got a sneak peek at their new launch site and product. (From what they showed me, I am making sure I sign up as soon as they release it this summer. Trust me when I say it looks awesome and my kids will LOVE it. Don’t worry. I will let you guys know all about it when it’s closer to the release date.)
My friend, Tiger Woo and I wanted to buy their version of the Spot It game in Traditional, but they are currently out. So, as a favor to me, JC gave me to sets of the same game in Simplified. The cards are high quality, cute, and fun!
Anyhow, I always love highlighting the amazing and talented people I know (however peripherally). I like that some of their “shine” might rub off on me in some way, too. Plus, minority women owned business providing Chinese educational materials. What’s not to like?
Andrea formed this company when she was looking for Chinese educational materials to support her two kids. Andrea didn’t speak or read Chinese so she found the search particularly frustrating since most sites that had the materials she wanted were in Chinese. Quite a scary thing to buy things in a language you don’t read for materials that you hope are good and will arrive in a timely manner! When the materials arrived, Andrea couldn’t help her kids with them because she couldn’t read Chinese.
As a result, born out of her frustration for good, fun, quality Chinese educational materials, Andrea put her Harvard MBA to good use and formed Daily Noodles. Their workbooks are all print-on-demand so they can keep down costs by not needing to store inventory. (Ingenious!)
As I mentioned earlier, they are almost ready to launch an online site that will be incredibly robust, boast over 45 graded Chinese readers (in both Traditional and Simplified), 300+ activity sheets, puzzles, and videos. The site looks fantastic (from what I saw, anyway), the “gamefication” aspect really appeals to me (and likely will appeal to your children), and I truly can’t wait!
Until then, you will just have to satisfy yourself with the “analog” version of their products. (For instance, here is their latest free FUN sheet.) You usually have to “Like” their Facebook page first to access the sheet.
Daily Noodles – Full disclosure: I know several people who work at Daily Noodles. I have not personally purchased the books, Daily Noodles gave my friend and I a Simplified set of their Know More game cards (like Spot It) to check out since we wanted to by the Traditional set but they ran out.
Site Language: English
Physical Locations: No
Products: workbooks, flash cards, online learning center with streaming videos and quizzes, free downloadable PDFs
Product Languages: Simplified, Traditional, pinyin, bilingual
Additional online locations: Daily Noodles Facebook page, Daily Noodles YouTube Channel, Daily Noodles products on Amazon