Our family has embarked on virtual travels to various countries and regions. To explore these countries and their cultures, we have followed along with the festivals, cooked and eaten traditional foods, learned of traditional handicrafts with hands on exploration, along with many activities to immerse ourselves. Chronicled here are some of these activities.

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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Chinese Language In All Its Forms - Basics of Calligraphy

Patience & Endurance
Photo Credit: Bloomsberries

Once you have your tools for Chinese Calligraphy, the first step is to get comfortable with the brush. The proper way of holding the brush is straight up and down, keeping your hand relaxed, and using your wrist to make the movements. This in itself takes some getting used to - slanting the brush at an angle, like a paintbrush is very easy.

After playing with the brush and ink, and drawing lines, the girls practiced some basic strokes. And realized basic did not mean easy. They came to understand the discipline involved in mastering calligraphy - Elle was frustrated she hadn't perfected her strokes after a few attempts. I kept reminded them that we are just learning, and without a skilled teacher no less, and that this art form takes a lot of practice. They were determined, and we went through a lot of paper.

For our first foray into learning this art, the girls just got used to holding the brush, how to create differences in their strokes with movement and pressure. And they practiced what was hoped to be the simplest stroke: Dian (the dot).

(left) Basic strokes. Mastering the strokes is about knowing when to lift the tip of the brush and when to add pressure. It was challenging for the girls to not look at this as drawing, where you draw the shape and fill it in.

If you're family would like to try some Chinese calligraphy, you can find printable calligraphy practice sheets and the steps to practicing the character for Eternity, which uses the eight basic strokes of calligraphy at my post: The Eight Principles of Yong.

You can find more cultural and historical activities at the following linkups:


  1. This is lovely! Thanks for linking up to the History and Geography Meme!

  2. Beautiful! Thank you so much for linking up to the Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop! It really is an art form and a stunning one at that. I can imagine that it takes a lot of discipline and practice to become proficient.

  3. What a wonderful post! I wonder if I can do this with my 4 yr. old, I think I'll probably have to wait until he gets older. Thank you for sharing at the Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop #1.

  4. Thanks everyone, Chinese calligraphy is truly beautiful, though we don't do it justice. In China children start practicing when beginning elementary school.

  5. I loved this post so much that I featured it in this week's Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop. Please pop over to grab the "featured" button and link up any more of your wonderful posts.


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