Ni Hao, Kai-lan

 
(i)

 

Cultural content, good messages make show a hit.

What parents need to know

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. The lone adult figure is a great role model, often gently interceding when issues arise among the young friends.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
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Language
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Consumerism
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Drinking, drugs, & smoking
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Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that preschoolers will be drawn to this 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.

What's the story?

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?

QUALITY
 

NI HAO, KAI-LAN 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.

This well-rounded series 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.<

Families can talk 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 did? 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.

TV details

Cast:Clem Cheung, Jack Samson, Jade-Lianna Peters
Network:Nickelodeon
Genre:Kids' Animation
Topics:Friendship, Great girl role models, Wild animals
TV rating:TV-Y
Available on:DVD, Streaming

This review of Ni Hao, Kai-lan was written by

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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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 this show, but then I began to notice my son stomping around the house, shouting constantly, kicking his sister, and throwing temper tantrums all the time. When I heard him repeatedly shout "I am SOOO mad!" it rang a bell and I watched Kai-Lan with them and sure enough, he was imitating the terrible behavior of Kai-Lan's bratty friends. So this adorable little show is now banned in our house. It's too bad though--my daughter loved it, and would clap like Kai-Lan to "figure out...what to do!" And hearing them repeat the Chinese phrases was really cute. I think regarding the show's other characters, parents will just have to see what their children take away from this show. Hopefully it's the good messages!
Parent of a 3 year old Written byjeep30girl August 28, 2010
 

Remove Ni Hao KEEP Dora and Diego

Hate it - It has taught my child to use Im MAD stomp his foot, throw major tantrums (More than a normal), throw things when he is mad (More than a normal), Hit and push other kids (More than a normal).
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 watching and came into the kitchen and said, "I'm really made like tiger!" Why do they always have to have an angry character in each episode? It's so unnecessary!

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