Daily Noodles

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!)

Daily Noodle Numbers Workbook (my laminated version)

Daily Noodle Numbers Workbook (my laminated version)

Daily Noodle activity page 4

Daily Noodle activity page 4

Daily Noodle activity page 3

Daily Noodle activity page 3

Daily Noodle activity page 2

Daily Noodle activity page 2

Daily Noodle activity page 1

Daily Noodle activity page 1

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!

Daily Noodles Know More Card Game

Daily Noodles Know More Card Game

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.

Enjoy!

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

 

My Kids Can’t Read But Are Expert YouTube Surfers

I might as well confess (although I’m sure it does not come to much of a surprise) that I am an utter failure when it comes to limiting screen time. Sure, there are days when my children don’t have any time on the iPad/iPhone/TV, but that is an anomaly. I suppose it is just as much an anomaly on days when my kids are endlessly on a screen, but I guess I only remember those! In general, though, my kids have a bit more than the two hour recommended screen time. I seriously don’t know how the time flies when they’re on it. I would be better about screen time, but WHY ARE THERE SO MANY HOURS UNTIL BEDTIME?

Also, let me just state now that I have no intention of seriously changing this behavior. I don’t want advice on how to cut screen time or articles linking to the rotting of my children’s brains. My brother and I watched at least 5-6 hours of TV after school every week day and we turned out – dare I say it – AWESOME! So I am not really worried about them. After all, they also spend hours outside, at the park, in class, playing play dough, cars, running around screaming and going on adventures with each other so I think we’re ok.

IMG_1206-001Anyhow, like all humans, my kids have preferences of what they want to watch and what medium with which to watch it. Of course, the kids love TV but since their grasp of the remote control requires reading and less intuitive button pushing , YouTube on the iPhone/iPad is their favorite. (Although Cookie Monster and Gamera have a disturbing capacity for observation and now know how to turn on the TV and hit On Demand and My DVR. *shakesfist*)

Watching my kids, especially Cookie Monster, navigate YouTube is amazing. They prefer the pre-iOS7 YouTube application because its recommendations are much easier to access, but they will also make do on the new YouTube app. Either way, they have no issues at all with locating what videos they want, fingers flying and scrolling with expert ease. I don’t think know how to use YouTube with as much proficiency as my kids do. I can only imagine what they will be like in the future and I have trouble with programming the future equivalent of a DVR.

What do they watch? Lately, they are obsessed with Frozen movie and song clips, (just like they went through a Cars and Thomas fan video phase). However, the most long lasting obsessing is watching two YouTube channels: BluCollection and DisneyCollectorBR.

For some reason, my kids LOVE to watch OTHER people play and demo Play Doh kits, Egg Surprises, color changing Cars, Toy Story characters, whatever – instead of playing many of the same toys themselves! WTH? And when they are playing play dough, they repeat the instructions out loud just like in the videos! (eg: “Remove the excess.” or “Use the molds.”) This is also how they know SO MANY Disney and cartoon characters without ever having watching the shows/movies.

I find it fascinating.

More than that, I find the videos and the video-makers fascinating. The videos don’t sell any toys, the makers tell you where to buy the toys (and it’s never their own sites). As far as I can tell, these two people just love to make videos and play with Play Doh and kid toys and color changing Cars. It’s mind-boggling! What do these people get out of these videos?

Hapa Papa surmises that they get money or free products from manufacturers to demo the toys to their audience – likely made up of ignored toddlers/preschoolers like my own. I guess that must be it.

What do you think? Also, my kids can’t be the only ones who know how to use phones and tablets better than most adults, right? RIGHT?