19 Creative Ways to Play With World Village Playset China - Whole Wide World Toys

19 Creative Ways to Play With World Village Playset China

World Village Playsets help kids learn about world countries and cultures through creative play. There are no rules, but there are many ways to play. Let’s get this global party started!

First, open the World Village Playset China with your child and discover all of the colorful pieces in the playset. Spread the soft fabric playmat out on a floor or large tabletop.

Playmat and Puzzle

The playmat is the backdrop and the puzzle pieces are the characters.

  • Take a look at the playmat and its beautiful illustrations.
  • Take the chunky wood puzzle figures out of the puzzle tray and let your child “walk” them around the playmat.
  • Introduce your child to the puzzle pieces featuring Emma and Joe, their hosts.
  • Look at the Chinese words associated with each piece.

The idea is to get familiar with all of the pieces in the set so you can help your child learn and extend the creative play experience in imaginative ways.

Travel Journal

This is a 32-page color story and activity book narrated by Emma and Joe, a brother and sister traveling through China.

  • Read the book and “act out” the activities using the puzzle pieces. You may want to read several chapters at once or, if your child is younger, try a chapter or two each play session. Follow your child’s lead to determine their interest level and ability to focus.

Story Cards

The story cards are designed to help kids learn in a fun way while stimulating storytelling.

  • First, take a story card and find its matching image on the playmat. Discuss that element of the story. Why was this interesting to Emma and Joe? What did they do or see? Is this something you would like to see some day? Why or why not? Next, simply tell a story including the picture on the card.
  • Read a story prompt on one of the story cards and start a new story by using your imagination.


  • Connect the elements in the book to your life at home. What items can we find in our own environment? Bamboo? Tea? Silk? A kite? Rice? A weeping willow tree? A pug?
  • Make delicious egg drop soup (recipe is in the book) or tea eggs.
  • Copy and cut out the tangrams on page 7. Play tangrams at home, just like kids in China!
  • Use the playmat as a beautiful wall tapestry. It comes with loops for hanging. When your child is ready to play, it will be crease-free and ready to go!

  • Begin a stamp collection with a few stamps from China. Get a small frame and hang them on your child’s bedroom wall, next to the tapestry.
  • Read the chapter called “Cate’s House,” which offers a basic introduction to Chinese writing. Look at the Mandarin Chinese words on the back of the puzzle pieces and using the pronunciation on the puzzle piece practice saying and then writing the name in Mandarin .
  • Practice Chinese calligraphy by copying the Mandarin names on the backs of the puzzle pieces and writing them on paper.
  • Discuss any connection your child has to China in your city or neighborhood. Are there Chinese people in their lives? Do we live near a Chinese neighborhood? Do they have a favorite food at your local Chinese restaurant? Is it something we can make at home?

  • Ask your child to bring other small toys (a small action figure or a doll, perhaps) and take them on a tour of China. See what happens when they tell their visitor what they see.
  • Combine your child’s other small toys (as above) with the playset and create a whole new world. Give it a new name. Introduce new foods, games and activities.
  • Take several story cards and place them on the table. Can we make up a story with all of those things in it?
  • Make your own visual language by making a list of words and creating a simplified drawing to represent it.


Includes a boat, canal house and kite & candy shop. Large stand-up pieces are designed to extend imaginative, multidimensional play. Character figures can ride their boat up the canal, play behind the open doors and windows of the canal house, or sell kites, candy and snacks through the window of a colorful storefront.

As you can see, our World Village Playset – China is richly detailed and there are lots of different ways to play! Let your kids use their imaginations and create activities of their own. Tell us about them on our Facebook page!

Wishing you and your family many happy hours of creative play!

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