The subject of this entry no longer exists in Davis or is a former version of something that came afterwards.All information here is for historical reference only.

As of Spring 2009, a new Chinese language based playgroup is being launched for the Davis-area community. Parents can bring their young infants, toddlers, and children together and be exposed to Mandarin Chinese in a low-stress, immersive environment. We are just getting started and would like to see if there is any interest in this in the Davis community.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Who's welcome? - Families of all ethnic and language background are welcome. Although some of the children will come from Chinese-speaking backgrounds, many others will not.
  • Why Chinese? - Mandarin Chinese is used by 1.3 billion+ Chinese throughout "Greater China" (PRC, Taiwan, Singapore...). China claims a continuous cultural heritage of more than 5000 years, a cultural heritage which is closely tied to the Chinese language. China will become the world's second largest economy in 2009, and may even pass the United States to become the largest economy in the world within the next 30 years... just as our toddlers reach adulthood. Even basic understanding of Mandarin Chinese will add a whole new dimension to the lives of our children.
  • Why should we start teaching our kids so young? - Mandarin Chinese can be a difficult language to "learn". The same syllable can mean completely different things depending on the tone used; there are four distinct tones. For example, take the syllable "ba". If spoken flatly, it can mean the number eight. If spoken in a rising tone (as if asking a question), it can mean "pull out"... and so on. Some have described the language as being sung. It can be very difficult for an adult (or even teenage) learner to memorize all of these tones accurately. On the other hands, for young children, there's no memorization at all. They'll learn all of these tones intuitively, just by being exposed as a child.
  • What will you be teaching? - We're not teachers, so we're not planning to teach anything... just provide another opportunity for our kids to play. For young children, the priority will be hearing/speaking informally in Mandarin Chinese, rather than learning to read/write. For those interested, there are also Chinese books/DVDs (Monster's Inc, Finding Nemo, Baby Einstein, Teletubbies) that can be shared.
  • How much will this cost? - Nothing. It's just a playgroup! Although perhaps we will rotate on providing refreshments.

If you have a little one at home and would be interested in practicing Chinese with us, please email the group: chineseplaygroup at

PS. There are also excellent Chinese schools available in Davis (typically for kids 5 and older).


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2010-12-16 21:41:31   Does anyone know if this group is still going on? —PeggyEnderle

2010-12-17 07:02:27   I'm counting down until my son can go! I hope its still going on —jsbmeb

2011-03-23 15:19:31   Hi all... I'm one of the founding parents for the group. We haven't really done anything structured in the last year or so, but anyone interested... feel free to email the address above. . We're still watching the list, and are happy to meet up for play time! We are still close friends with some of the families we met. Several of our kids are also attending the same bilingual + Chinese-immersion preschool in Davis.

Maybe we should setup a "Beijing Corner" for kids to speak Chinese on a regular basis... Wednesday night farmers' market, for example? —ChonT

2011-04-05 16:59:23   Hi, ChonT, Could you give me some ideas of the age of the kids in the group, the meeting location and time, and any contact person? I tried to email to your Google group address but it bounced back. Thanks. —HsinyaYang

2011-06-21 10:45:20   Can someone also send me information about this playgroup? The gmail address is bouncing back. If it's no longer going on, is there another going on, or is there interest in forming another one? —Tiffany2

2012-01-20 12:38:13   Hi guys,

Apologies! The mailing list was always active (and we were watching it)... *but* there was an extra period at the end of the address on this page. That must be why it bounced... sorry again for the inconvenience. Please try mailing the list again with your questions. You can also find the group this way: