Mandarin Stars Starter Playgroups

Research shows that children have an amazing aptitude to learn languages from an early age. At Mandarin Stars we are constantly amazed at how quickly very young children are able to memorise, repeat and naturally use basic Mandarin vocabulary. Many use perfect pronunciation – even building basic sentences!


Our Mandarin Stars starter playgroups for children age 1-3 years are for native and non-native learners. We aim to introduce Mandarin to children in a 100% immersion listening and speaking environment. Our goal is to develop an ear for the language, pronunciation and natural listening skill for the 4 tones in Mandarin. Generally, in each class, we will always teach (and reinforce) the following topics:

  • Greetings

  • Self introduction (Hello, my name is.....)

  • Vocabulary related to the theme taught for the week (this usually involves 3 flashcards). Themes of interest at this early stage include My Body, My Family, My Pet, My House etc.

  • Chinese culture and festivals


We choose a range of activities to deliver our themes, including flashcards, short stories, rhymes, singing, dancing, puppet shows, dramatic play and arts and crafts. All of the activities we plan and deliver for the class reinforce the theme and vocabulary taught for the week.

BABIES PLAYGROUP (1 & 2 years)




Enrolment is OPEN for our first term kicking off 2 February 2015 in Amsterdam Zuid. See Locations for details. Get in contact with us to secure your spot. 


Term 1 2016


Term 2 2016


Term 3 2016

Mandarin Stars Preschool Classes (3 to 5 years)

Similar to the Mandarin Stars starter playgroup classes, and geared towards both native and non-native learners, these sessions develop strong listening and speaking skills in Mandarin. Adding a further layer to learning, we also start to introduce basic characters (radical characters) and numbers.


This is taught through a range of activities (as most children do not yet have the pencil grip) including creating characters with colored sticks, play dough and magnetic boards. We also start to teach and reinforce basic phrases through the topics taught for the term. The sentences we start to teach and reinforce across these classes are as follows:

  • I like/ don’t like

  • I want/ don’t want

  • I have/ don’t have

  • Yes please/ No thank you

  • This is/ isn’t


Building on some of the activities in the Toddler Playgroup classes, we extend the children’s skills through the introduction of role-play and language games. Over a 3 year playgroup program with Mandarin Stars, our students learn over 240 vocabulary along with a broad range of phrases and sentence structures related to self introduction topics and basic phrases as detailed above and also the basic introduction of reading and writing Chinese characters in a fun and immersion based Mandarin Chinese language setting.

Mandarin SuperSTARS Classes (5 to 12 years Non-Native)

The classes for Primary School age children are very much tailored to the needs, dynamics and level of Mandarin within the group. Generally, classes for 5 to 8 year olds are an extension of the Pre-School program in that the teacher will adopt the same approach and activities but will start to spend more time on language games and role play to develop phrases and sentence building related to the themes and vocabulary taught for the term.


From the age of 7+, we start to introduce Pin Yin and, if the class is ready, character strokes and more complex radical characters. Over an average 10-week term, children are generally taught through emergent topics decided upon by our teachers and according to the interests and needs of the groups:

  • 4 x Topics over 2 Weeks plus a Festival/ Cultural topic and a Revision/ review Session

  • Each topic specifically targets Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing activities and includes the teaching of:

  • 24-30 word vocabulary per term (up to 120 word vocabulary per year)

  • 6-10 Chinese characters per term (up to 40 Chinese characters per year)

  • A range of phrases and sentence structures


The Mandarin Stars approach is centred on developing strong listening and speaking skills in Mandarin. Core to the success of this is also our ability to develop a natural love for learning Mandarin, an enthusiasm to learn, a sense of pride in learning a new language (and culture) and also a natural ear and pronunciation of Mandarin. In doing so, we believe that we lay the foundations for developing long term fluency in Mandarin and also a genuine passion and love for learning Mandarin Chinese for the future.

Native Learners Preschool Class (3-5 yrs)


Our Preschool Class for Native Learners is targeted to children who speak Mandarin fluently at home. Following the same fun and engaging structure of the Mandarin Stars Preschool Playgroup, emphasis in this class will be on character recognition and improving confidence in speaking. Please note that the prerequisite for comprehension and speaking is high for this program and requires an assessment by the teacher before enrolment.