Ni Hao, Kai-lan

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Ni Hao, Kai-lan TV Poster Image
Cultural content, good messages make show a hit.

Parents say

age 4+
Based on 50 reviews

Kids say

age 6+
Based on 34 reviews

We think this TV show stands out for:

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

The series introduces preschoolers to Chinese culture and the Mandarin language through repetition and interactivity woven into age-appropriate storylines. Each episode also explores a lesson in social-emotional skills like patience, anger, and listening and demonstrates positive methods of coping with conflict.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Kai-lan is a great role model for communication. The lone adult figure is also a great role model, often gently interceding when issues arise among the young friends.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that preschoolers will be drawn to Ni Hao, Kai-lan, a well-rounded cartoon that exposes kids to the basics of the Mandarin language and Chinese culture. Kids will easily relate to the stories of 5-year-old Kai-lan and her friends, and they'll learn constructive ways of handling social-emotional issues like fear, sharing, and jealousy. Song, dance, and plenty of interactivity add to this entirely kid-friendly package, and parents can feel good about both its educational quality and positive lessons.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 4 year old Written byTwin Mom1232 July 26, 2010

Bad Behavior of Characters Outweigh the Good Messages

I'm so happy to see other parents noticed a change in their children's behavior after watching this, because I did too! My 4-yr-old twins really liked... Continue reading
Adult Written bysp. ed. teacher mom April 9, 2010

Why so much negativity?

I do not like this show! There's always an angry character who is mad, kicking sand, or having a tantrum. Last night my 21 month old daughter was watchi... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old January 13, 2013

Kai Lan says bye in Italian

It is the best except for one slight error. Kai Lan says bye incorrectly. I took Chinese class in 6th grade. The teacher (who is Chinese) said the correct way t... Continue reading
Kid, 8 years old January 12, 2013

Ni Hao Kai Lan Review

It teaches kids to be nice.

What's the story?

In NI HAO, KAI-LAN, five-year-old Kai-lan (voiced by Jade-Lianna Gao Jian Peters) is an enthusiastic Chinese-American girl who loves to play with her best friends: Rintoo the tiger (Jack Samson), Tolee the koala (Khamani Griffin), Hoho the monkey (Angie Wu), and Lulu the rhino (Beverly Duan). Whether the group is racing dragon boats down the river, decorating for the traditional lantern festival, or heading out on a backyard safari, Kai-lan's adventures always mix fun with glimpses of her rich Chinese heritage. And when conflict arises, Kai-lan and her wise grandfather (Clem Cheung) are always ready to pitch in and help resolve the problem.

Is it any good?

This cartoon blends audience interactivity (ala Blue's Clues) with culturally and linguistically diverse content and thoughtful storylines, ensuring that preschoolers will be both curious and entertained. In each episode, viewers will pick up a new Mandarin word or phrase (starting with "Ni hao," which means "hello"), and basic skills like counting are used repetitively to encourage long-term retention. Stories always reflect some aspect of the Chinese culture, so youngsters will quickly learn to recognize and identify them.

Ni Hao, Kai-Lan also wins points for its emphasis on positive messages; parents can feel good about its lessons in interpersonal problem solving. The stories are well crafted for the preschool audience, and kids will easily relate to the conflicts that arise among the friends and learn from the way they're resolved.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about dealing with emotions and working out problems with friends. Kids: Have you ever felt the way Kai-lan and her friends do in Ni Hao, Kai-lan? What did you think about how they handled their issue? Could you try that the next time you're in a similar situation?

  • Families can also discuss their own cultural heritage and how it compares to Kai-lan's.

  • How do the characters in Ni Hao, Kai-lan demonstrate communication? Why is this an important character strength?

TV details

Character Strengths

Find more TV shows that help kids build character.

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

For kids who love multicultural TV

Our editors recommend

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate