Ni Hao, Kai-Lan: New Year's Celebration Game Poster Image

Ni Hao, Kai-Lan: New Year's Celebration



Virtual Chinese New Year with perfectly designed games.

What parents need to know

Educational value

Kids can learn a slew of great preschool lessons that could aid in both educational and emotional development. Kids are asked to recognize and match shapes and colors, as well as follow verbal directions. Through the story, they can pick up a heap of knowledge about Chinese culture and play some music. Plus, they’ll encounter a cast of characters in different emotional states -- indicated by facial expressions -- and possibly learn how to help those who aren’t in the best of moods. Crisp, clear lessons make learning colors, shapes, and Chinese culture a joy.

Positive messages

The game imparts the following positive messages: Celebrating one's heritage and culture with family and friends is fun and important. Helping out in preparations makes a celebration more enjoyable. If a friend is sad, you should try to cheer him or her up. Being creative is rewarding.

Positive role models

Kai-Lan is sweet, respectful, empathetic, and friendly. She eagerly assists her grandfather in shopping, cooking, and preparing for the festival. She loves to learn about and take part in her culture's traditions.

Ease of play

Knowing that the majority of players would be preschoolers, the developers planned the controls perfectly. They are easily learned and easily executed, with minimal opportunity for frustration.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Not applicable

The booklet contains three pages of ads for other Nick Jr video games.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this incredibly well-made preschool game is both entertaining and educational. Players are made to feel as if they are truly taking part in both the preparation for and celebration of a Chinese New Year festival. Children over six will likely find the game far too easy, but for the intended audience or preschoolers or kindergartners, Ni Hao, Kai-Lan: New Year's Celebration is perfectly set up.

What's it about?

In Ni Hao, Kai-Lan: New Year's Celebration, Kai-Lan, the young Chinese-American heroine of her own Nick Jr. animated series, helps her friends and grandfather prepare for a Chinese New Year festival. They go through every step of the holiday. Preparation involves such activities as shopping for food, preparing traditional dishes, coloring and cutting out paper lanterns, and practicing a song with a band (which they later perform). When the celebration begins, they take part in a dragon boat race, a parade in which they carry floats, a dance, and a fireworks show. They even help clean up afterward.

Is it any good?


Ni Hao, Kai-Lan: New Year's Celebration is one of the best DS games created for preschoolers. The dawn-to-night format, which begins with Kai-Lan waking her friends and ends with her washing dishes (which is actually fun), is genius. Not only does it make kids feel like they're really taking part in this marvelous cultural celebration, it also spices up the gameplay with a lot of variety. Helping the grandfather shop for ingredients is a sort of I Spy game, while helping him prepare the meals calls for Cooking Mama-style gameplay. The fireworks display involves tracing shapes with the stylus, while rowing in the dragon boat race becomes a rhythm game. It's all super-easy, but as the average Kai-Lan fan is still learning the alphabet, that's exactly how it should be.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the benefits of learning about other cultures. What other cultures are your children interested in? Is there a holiday that your family does not celebrate that your kids would like to learn more about? Do you think is it important to be in touch with ones cultural roots?

  • Parents can also discuss the importance of emotional intelligence. How can you tell when a person is happy, sad, or angry? How can or should you alter your behavior to accommodate the emotional state of another person?

Game details

Platforms:Nintendo DS, Nintendo DSi
Subjects:Social Studies: cultural understanding
Arts: rhythm
Math: patterns, sequences, shapes
Skills:Collaboration: cooperation, respecting other viewpoints, teamwork
Emotional Development: empathy, identifying emotions, moving beyond obstacles
Communication: listening
Available online?Not available online
Developer:2K Play
Release date:November 5, 2009
ESRB rating:EC for no descriptors

This review of Ni Hao, Kai-Lan: New Year's Celebration was written by

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Parent of a 6 year old Written bymadsmooney1214 September 20, 2012

ni hao kai lan new years celebration

Parents can also discuss the importance of emotional intelligence. How can you tell when a person is happy, sad, or angry? How can or should you alter your behavior to accommodate the emotional state of another person?
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much consumerism
Easy to play/use
Kid, 3 years old April 9, 2010
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Great messages
Great role models
Safety and privacy concerns