The Enormous Turnip book in Chinese

6 Ways to Explore a Favorite Book with a Toddler

I like the idea of providing multiple avenues for my daughter to explore topics she is interested in. Not only does it allow my daughter to express herself in different ways, it also helps me to understand her learning style.

Lately, my daughter has been enjoying one of her Chinese storybooks, called 拔蘿蔔 (The Enormous Turnip). Since she loves it so much, I planned a few different activities around the book in the hopes that we could explore the contents in more depth.

The activities focused on the following areas of development:

  1. Language
  2. Gross Motor
  3. Social and Emotional
  4. Fine Motor
  5. Cognitive
  6. Sensory

Isn’t it amazing how exploring one book can target so many areas of a child’s development? And because the book was something my daughter was interested in, she was actively engaged the whole time in all of the activities!


We read the book in Chinese, listened to an audiobook version, and discussed the contents of the book. I would sometimes intentionally trail off in the middle of my reading so she can fill in.

All of these enriched my daughter’s vocabulary and strengthened her knowledge of Chinese terms.

Gross Motor

To help her solidify the concept of pulling the turnip out from the ground, we would act out the story as a form of movement dance.

I would pretend that I’m having a hard time pulling the turnip and I call my daughter to come help me. If my husband is available, then he plays a part in the story, too.

Social and Emotional

My daughter LOVES listening to the Chinese song 拔蘿蔔 so much that she requests for it to be on repeat. We would sing along and dance to it.

We laugh and have so much fun trying to mimic pulling the turnip out from the ground. My daughter squeals with delight when I pretend to fall over when the turnip is finally pulled out. Endorphins galore.

Fine Motor

Since my daughter is fairly new to pasting and gluing, I decided to make an activity out of it with the book.

The process is simple. I photocopied one page from the book and cut out the individual characters and the turnip. Then I wrote the Chinese characters for each character in the story and had my daughter match the words to the pictures.

I love that my daughter got to practice her use of the gluestick and hand-eye coordination while working on this project. She was so focused on applying the glue and came up with different solutions on how to use it.

We ran out of space on the paper, so the cat and mouse got displaced. Haha.

My daughter enjoyed it so much she requested to do this activity again the next day!


I point out certain Chinese characters to my daughter when we read the book, we count the number of people and animals that come to help pull the turnip, and we talked about why the turnip is in the ground and what planting means.

I also use our chalkboard so she can watch as I write down the Chinese characters. This simple activity helps to show her how words are written in Chinese.


At the end of the book, it talks about how the turnip was turned into turnip soup and turnip pie. I decided to make both the soup and the pie for our family to try. I have never even heard of turnip pie before this. Haha

I showed my daughter the turnip from the grocery store and had her touch and smell it. I involved my daughter in the food preparation.

A few hours later, my husband and I were both pleasantly surprised that both the soup and pie actually turned out quite good.

My daughter enjoyed trying both but loved the pie more. She loves pies of all sorts. Haha

This was a very hands-on and tactile activity for her since she helped me prepare both dishes and watched as I checked on the pie in the oven. She saw the turnip, touched it as she helped gather the chopped turnips, heard the hissing sound of the pan as I sauteed the turnip, smelled the turnip as it was baking, and tasted it (in two forms!) when it was done.

We had a lot of fun with all of the activities above!

If you try something similar with your child, please share them with us by leaving a comment here at or tag us on Instagram.

We would love to hear about your experience!


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *