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Xin Hu Kindergarten


For May holiday (05.01), Schäfer was invited to attend a “Fun Day” at Xin Hu Kindergarten. This is the kindergarten closest to our home, but we haven’t sent Schäfer there because it has a BIG English focus. Since we’re sending Schäfer to preschool to learn Chinese, we selected Ying Cai kindergarten because they have no English program.  Xin Hu also costs three times as much as Ying Cai. Today, we were excited to go and play games with Schäfer, but also to check out this elite kindergarten.

When we arrived, Schäfer expected to play games, but instead he had to line up with a class and do the morning exercises. Thankfully, he stayed flexible.

Then, all of the visiting families went into the classroom and listened to a lesson. Schäfer wasn’t really focused on the poem the teacher was saying. He was mostly wondering when the games would start.

In the back of each classroom are the cots for nap time.

Learning English is a big priority for Chinese children.

I will say that this bathroom blew me away! I’ve never seen a kindergarten bathroom as nice as this one. At Schäfer’s current preschool they go in buckets inside the classroom.

No buckets here. The kids urinals are almost cute! Almost.

Meanwhile, Schäfer forgot all about the games when cookies and milk were offered as a mid-morning snack.

Sianna loved the crackle of the paper.

During snack time,  I took a little walk around the school.

Four flat screen tv’s greet parents as they walk in the front door.


The small playground for the two-year-old class. Yes, they have their own space. Nice.

Garden for growing and picking vegetables.

Rock climbing wall and sand pit. (Schäfer’s dream come true.)

Next to the outdoor playground is the indoor space for rainy days.

Indoor playground.

Indoor playground.

English on the stairs!

The cafeteria. Hubs said, “This is a place where Pod People eat.” Like the set of a Woody Allen film.

After breakfast and lunch, the kids come upstairs to this hallway and play in an assigned room. Each day they play in two different rooms rotating through some of the others throughout the week.

The “town” play area.

The library.

The Chinese game room. There was also an art room, a music room , a Disney room with sea theme and a computer room.

English on the stairs!

Meanwhile, Sianna moved to the indoor play area.

Schäfer loved this police motorcycle.

Then, we played with the blocks.

Finally, we went outside to play the 5 games. The first game was racing to the bag and then hopping across the finish line.

The second game involved popping a balloon which had two characters inside. Then, the teacher told you a poem about the two characters. Of course, she asked questions at the end to make sure he understood. Fun!

The third game required Schäfer to name the animals flashed before him. Of course, Schäfer had to name them in Chinese. Thankfully, he knows his animals.

Game #4 was coloring a HaiBao – the official mascot of the Shanghai World Expo. The teachers were about to correct Schäfer’s coloring, but I encouraged him to do his best. They took my lead and encouraged him too.

He’s 3. Give him time. His gross motor would impress you. The kid can almost do a headstand.

Schäfer was proud of his work and asked the teachers to hang it up with the others.

Thankfully, they did.

The final game was to find some hidden treasures in the sand pit.

On our way out, we peaked into the Montessori room.

Hello Ms. Montessori.

We had a great morning and met lots of other families from our neighborhood. Hubs and I were both really impressed with the kindergarten, but we’re still not sure about putting Schäfer into an school environment with such an emphasis on English.

We realize that when Schäfer starts elementary school we will not be able to avoid English classes any longer. By 3rd grade English is mandatory for all students in China, but most schools start at 1st grade. Anyway, we’d like to give all our kids an opportunity to learn Chinese so for now we’re satisfied with the kindergarten we’ve selected.

4 comments to Xin Hu Kindergarten

  • Hi there! I was just wondering what was going on in your neck of the world. Thanks for the updates. That school looks un real! And peeing in a bucket? Really. I think you need a post on that. 🙂 It is amazing to see the differences.

    Thanks for the updates! I love taking pics of peaceful sleeping children too. 🙂

  • Jenni

    Love Shorel’s “Crazies shirt” =) This looks like a crazy cool preschool! But Schäfer learning Chinese will also be crazy cool!

  • jdavis2

    wow! that’s quite a set up! i couldn’t help but think that a month at that place is probably more than my monthly rent! yikes! and i agree… the bathrooms are almost cute. almost. 😉

  • sherry

    That is pretty much incredible!

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