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Maomi Stars:  review of the best Chinese literacy app for preschoolers

What is Maomi Stars?

Maomi Stars is a Chinese literacy app for children, perhaps an equivalent to the English kindergarten literacy apps like Starfall, ABC Mouse or Reading Eggs.  It’s been meticulously researched, and tested on children, and offers several great advantages over other Chinese learning apps out there.

My kids have road-tested A LOT of Chinese learning apps, believe me.  But there are only a handful that we have kept using consistently over the years and resubscribing to.  Maomi Stars is one of these (…. iHuman, Skritter and Dim Sum Warriors are the others in case you’re wondering).

In short, the Maomi Stars app provides a gamified way for your child to systematically learn and review characters in a fun, welcoming and safe space.

What we like?

What we didn’t like?  (or watch outs)

The Maomi Stars app has improved a lot since its soft launch in 2020.  At that point, it was somewhat draggy / buggy.  However, with continuous user feedback, I believe the Maomi team have really perfected the app to where it is today, which is a world class app.  Really there are no real downsides, but a few watchouts:

Unique features of Maomi Stars?

How Maomi Stars works?

There are seven kitties that will guide the child through different themed worlds of words. 

For each word, there is a writing, recognition and speaking component (same process for each word/character), and the child owns rewards for completing specific steps.  These ‘rewards’ are treats for the kitties, such as food or things for their playroom after a certain number of words have been learnt.

How is it different from other great Chinese literacy apps?

This post wouldn’t be Lah Lah Banana if it didn’t have a geeky comparison table, so here is a quick comparison of three great children’s app for Chinese literacy.

Comparison of Chinese literacy apps for children

Aside from Maomi, there are really only two other gamified learning apps for Chinese literacy / character learning which I would comfortably recommend. These are iHuman Chinese and Wukong Literacy.  Both are indeed superb apps – and my older kids love them.  These apps are based on vivid imagery and short animated videos too, which are helpful for the memory retention of characters.  In many ways, this is better and beyond what Maomi offers.  However, both of these have some limitations, which Maomi Stars has been purposefully designed to overcome:

What other technology and apps are great for children learning Chinese?

If you have any thoughts or suggestions on apps, I’d love to hear from you. I am always keen to hear what works for other families.    As an adult who speaks no Chinese, I’ve resorted to several smart technologies to enable my kids to become bilingual.  Perhaps some of my earlier posts might also be of interest:

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