According to a blog called 24/7 Moms, this Chinese language learning game was one of the hottest toys at the recent 2010 International Toy Fair in New York. Called Kingka, it teaches “54 basic Chinese characters and over 1000 words.” Wait, weren’t characters and words more or less the same thing?
Anyway, the game:
…uses abstract pictographic Chinese characters as its base, so while a young child who recognizes basic shapes will find the game an intriguing variation on visual discrimination, matching and memory games, a group of college students will find higher level, fast paced rules that enliven a study session…
Kingka can be played by one person or up to 6 players. For young children, Kingka helps them improve many important skills such as small motor, concentration, memory, communication, advanced visual discrimination, critical thinking and more.
Unfortunately, neither the description nor the website for the game quite makes how to play Kingka apparent. From what I can tell from the video ad (which mostly consists of kids looking super excited), it’s a lot like a bunch of memory cards, and it can be expanded in Kingka sets to include more characters – so maybe a kid could learn that 平 (ping) means peace, and 安 (an) means peace and 平安 (ping an) means peace?
Still, it’s interesting to see that a game about learning Chinese is getting popular – and the reviews on Amazon have been overwhelmingly positive (though, suspiciously, they were all filed the same day). Anyone willing to give this (or have their kids give this) a try?