Mar 2, 2017

What are some fun ways to practice kanji?

My daughters are in 2nd and 3rd grade, and one of them really struggles with learning to read and write kanji. She isn't the best at schoolwork in general, and tries to get by with the least amount of work, but unfortunately also doesn't have the best memory, so HAS to practice. Does anyone have any ideas for ways to get her to practice? (sidenote: her native language is Portuguese and she doesn't have any English skills aside from what she has been taught at school)



American step mom with beautiful Brazilian babies. Raising them in Japan. I'm a crafter too

9 Answers

Best Answer

  • helloalissa

    on Mar 2

    I'd recommend an app for kids - I've used one for writing and remembering the elementary school level kanji called 'Kanji Ninja' which is totally in Japanese, although I'm sure there are others. I also like the 'Kanji Drill' workbooks you can find in any bookstore - some are made with cute characters like Rilakuma and come with stickers, which cost more but make it way more fun. Other than that, writing kanji labels on things around the house might be helpful as well. I haven't tried this but have heard about it in several places. It sounds like kids learn a set number of kanji and vocabulary each year, but most kids don't remember all of them until a few years later, after a lot of practice. Reading anything fun is probably the best way to see a lot of kanji, and therefore remember it. It depends on what your daughter is interested in, for example comics or news (maybe try this kids news website with furigana? http://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/easy/index.html).

  • Tomuu

    on Mar 2

    I used to like 'Kanji Box' on Facebook where they would pop up some kanji and see if you could recognise it. I don't know if they still do it, but it was kind of fast, easy (in an operational sense) and quite fun. If they don't do it, I'm sure there are other things like that around. I really started to get bogged down when it came to large passages of reading, and also the writing. That sort of thing really slowed me down and got boring. Doing something like quick-fire recognition where they can push buttons or swipe a screen might make it more fun? I'm sure there must be kids versions of this sort of thing.

  • kcsantosh

    on Mar 2

    I think some pictures having kanji name will be helpful for her because human mind remembers the pictures very fast.

  • Babina

    on Mar 3

    I just relate it to real world. Sometimes I relate to my native language and make crazy explanations.

  • Jackson

    on Mar 3

    Teaching them the meanings behind different parts of kanji really helps them make sense of it, For example: tree + tree = woods 木 + 木 = 林, add one more tree and it becomes a forest 森 or the shape of the kanji 川 is like that because it resembles a river helping them understand that kanji is not just lines composed randomly, but each one has a deeper history will help them acquire their kanji skills a lot better, and turning kanji learning more interesting in general

  • Aluma

    on Mar 3

    Play a memory game with her. Just make two sets of flashcards with the kanji on them. Then, turn them upside down. Turn one over, read the kanji, and then try to find the match. My eikaiwa students really like this game.

  • Jackson

    on Mar 4

    It might be a long shot but if your daughters enjoy art and painting, trying calligraphy with ink and brushes might be a new way for them to look at kanji.

  • Ram

    on May 26

    There is a calligraphy institute near me and I see a lot of parents bring in their kids for these classes. There seems to be a lot of fun and joy for the kids as it seems an extension of drawing in this class. This might be a good way for the kids to learn Kanji!!

  • ExploringJapan

    on Jun 11

    There are a lot of apps that you can download to practice kanji. And app for kids are way more fun.


Awaiting More Answers

5 Answers

Temperature in Japan at Summer

Hello, I will goes to Japan for business trip several days start from August 1st, next month. I would like to know about how high the temperature in there since I heard Japan very hot at Summer, especially Tokyo. Are there something I need to prepare before arriving in Japan?


on Jul 17

3 Answers

Convection Oven Recommendations

I am looking for an oven like we have in the west. I am ok with a smaller size. I have been browsing on Amazon, but I was wondering if anyone has any recommendations? I want to get an oven to bake! Thank you!


on Jul 15

4 Answers

Tips for a trip to Nagasaki/Fukuoka/Saga/Oita?

We're trying to head down to Kyushu for a little break later this year, and if you've been to any of the abovementioned prefectures before (or even live there!) I'd love to hear your suggestions for cool things to do and see - preferably the cool spots that guidebooks or online resources might not cover! Thanks in advance!


on Jul 8

1 Answer

Living in Miyahara-shi

I have been asked to consider a role that is based in Miyahara-shi. If I went for this job I would be on my own (family will not be able to move initially). Would be good to get some idea of any expat community or life in the area. Whilst I have some very rusty and basic speaking Japanese I would need to be able to communicate at least in the early days in English. Any input?


on Jul 3