Bilingual craft ideas: Le Le Reading Challenge 2020

We recently finished the 14 Day Le Le Reading Challenge, and we have a plethora of beautiful new art and craft to show for it.

Le Le are a wonderful series of graded Chinese readers which aim to teach children how to read in Chinese, without using pinyin, and with interesting short stories which create a love for literature.  If you’re unaware what the Le Le Chinese Character Learning 樂樂文化series is, see my review here.

The 14 Day Challenge was organised by Le Le Culture in July 2020, to encourage daily book reading.  We paired each book with a short craft activity, using items we already had in the cupboards, most of which were recycled.  In fact, all the craft I’m about to share in this post only uses cardboard boxes, paper plates, toilet paper rolls, disposable cups, paperclips, yarn, rice, disposable chopsticks, feathers and food dye (and of course paint, glue, scissors, and craft knife). 

We love Le Le because, well, it’s just so easy to craft to!  The craft we do at home is usually very low preparation, low cost, so hopefully from these pictures you’ll see it’s easy for you to do the same.  If there are any specific requests for more instructions on how we made it, let me know, and happy to put more detail in.  I think most of it is so simply, it’s self explanatory.  

Chinese Literary Craft activities for preschoolers

The activities covered include themes for:

  • Animals: Butterflies, Birds, Elephants, Monkeys, Fish, Dogs
  • Foods: Watermelon, food trucks
  • Weather & Seasons: Clothing, Winter, Cherry Blossom, Rainbows
  • Geography: World map puzzle, State map puzzle, Planets
  • Others:  Monsters, Robots, Primary Colours

Le Le 14 Day Challenge Craft

Day 1 – Watermelon  (Le Le Red Book 47)

Paper plate and Ikea acrylic paint!

Day 2 – Singapore Map  (Le Le Yellow Book 10)

Inspired by some other participants in The Challenge, I took out my craft knife from school days, and we made a puzzle of Singapore. Singapore had a General Election the day prior, so we made it to show the electoral regions and coloured by outcomes. It created some great conversations with kids about civics and democracy too.

Day 3 – Rainbow Rice Butterfly  (Le Le Red Book 96)

We followed the Le Le book using food dye to blend the colour, and then added them into ziplock bags with rice and a spoonful of vinegar to make the rainbow rice.  Thankfully no toilet paper shortage post-Circuit Breaker, and we had plenty to decorate the butterfly wings with.

Day 4 – Giant Feet & Footprints (Le Le Yellow Book 23)

Using cardboard boxes and egg carton toes, we made giant feet, and learnt the character “印” (as in foot print). We made the character in the bottom of the shoe using aluminium foil, and stamped around painting it on the ground. It was fun from start to toe! It was a great activity because it involved kids from 2 to 7 during their own unique piece, all had a part to play in the process.

Note if you’re attempting this one: the flatter cereal box was much easier for the children to walk in, rather than the fatter tissue box.

Day 5 – Clothing (Le Le Red Books 53, 98 and 100)

Initially we drew and coloured clothing.  However, with National Day approaching, we then re-purposed the clothing to become washing poles (using chopsticks), which we decorated an HDB block with.

Day 6 – The Bird Hotel (Le Le Red Book 86)

We imagined the 15 birds in the tree were enjoying it as a hotel, and drew what it would be like to the birds in their tall tree.

Day 7 – A Talking Parrot (Le Le Red Book 52)

We read the book then drew our own scene, to encourage sentence writing (something we need a bit of help at!).

Day 8 – Sharing a Feather (Le Le Green Book 71)

Continuing the bird theme, we did feather craft about a peacock who shared their feathers with other birds, and they all became colourful. We used acryllic Ikea paint for the hand prints

Day 9 – Elephant with a curious trunk (Le Le Red Book 69)

Really simple… just use one paper plate, scissors and paint.

Day 10 – Monkey business (Le Le Red Book 15)

A super quick craft before Church using again using hand printing with Ikea acrylic paint.

Day 11 – Cherry trees and blossom (Le Le Red Book 78)

My 3 year old and I had a fun morning scrunching paper (good for fine motor skills!) and eating cherries!

Day 12 – Fishing for words (Le Le Red Book 49)

We arranged the characters from the Le Le Book 49 story on hanging paper clips to make a sentence.

Day 13 – Aquarium (Le Le Red Book 54)

Our fish theme continued today … making paper cup and plate fish. Our aquarium was a little too small!

Day 14 – Walking Water Rainbow (Le Le Yellow Book 70)

Last Day of the Challenge! Hooray! We tried a science experiment to create a “walking water” rainbow. And yes, there was a pot of gold (chocolate) at the end of the rainbow!

The Le Le 14 Day Challenge was a great opportunity to focus on literacy, and meet other like-minded Le Le reading families.  Everyone shared really interesting ideas – including reading ideas.  We learnt a lot about how we can read our Le Le sets (backwards, forwards, fast, slow, indoors, outdoors, etc). It was a fun 14 days!

We’ve also done some other fun Le Le craft outside of the Challenge, including:

Knitted dog clothes (Le Le Red Book 4) – using a ‘knitting nancy’ the dog was made ready for winter.

World Map  (Yellow Book 69 & Red Book 83)– we converted our Singapore map into three layer puzzle, starting with a whole world map, then South East Asia, and finally Singapore underneath.

Snowflakes (Red Book 1 and 19)  – more toilet paper craft & paper cutting

Coloured Elephants (Red Book 15)  – using old milk bottles and crepe paper

Planets (Red Book 100) – we studied outer space in a few different forms, including using PVA glue with food colouring to make planets which we could stick on the window. We also drew our own solar system to scale on recycled cardboard.

Food Truck (Red 72) – a watercolour and pencil sketch

Robots (Red Book 5) – not much literacy in this one, but it was fun to build a large robot using magnetic squares.

Origami (Yellow Book 31) – Dog & Cranes, simply following the instructions in the book.

Cardboard Colour Puzzles (Red Book 100) – for colour blending and fine motor skills.  This was actually a piece of work fully designed and executed by the big sister, for her littlest sister.

See how easy peasy it is? What fun craft have you done related to Le Le? I would love to know!

And pssssst, let me tell you a secret. One of the rewards for finishing the Le Le 14 Day Reading Challenge is a free online art class from Language Art Fun, and it’s well worth it. Below are some pictures from our Zoom classes we’ve done as prizes for completing the challenge.

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