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My husband’s family is from Hong Kong and it’s a big part of who they are. My husband picked up a little bit of Chinese growing up but mostly had an “All-American” upbringing. Now that we have kids, it’s brought to light the importance of showing our kids pieces of their heritage so they can keep in touch with their roots.

Our toddler has been going to Chinese school for awhile. It’s been really helpful since neither my husband nor I really speak Chinese (and our toddler just laughs when we try.) Not only do we like that he’s connecting with Chinese culture, but we also hope that it will help him later in life. The hard part for us is supplementing his Chinese at home. It’s been difficult to find products that encourage us to talk about China.

World Village Playset China

Photo from Whole World Wide Toys.

I came across this World Village Playsets China Adventure Kit (affiliate link) while looking for toys about China. It’s  fantastic because there are so many components. This playset is designed to grow with your child and inspire imaginative play.

The first thing I noticed about the playset was the 13-piece painted wood puzzle. Not only is it a puzzle, but the pieces are chunky enough to be used as play pieces on the playmat. My son is especially fond of putting the boat in the river and having the bicyclist crash into things. Each piece also has the Chinese and English names of each item painted on it.

There are also 14 story cards with pictures on one side and storytelling prompts on the other. The images on the cards matches pictures on the playmat. My son and I have spent a lot of time searching the playmat for the corresponding image. I’m saving the storytelling prompts for days when he doesn’t already have a story in mind. He’s been creating all kinds of adventures using his imagination.

Photo from Whole World Wide Toys.

Photo from Whole World Wide Toys.

It comes with a soft fabric playmat that is about the size of two door mats. My toddler is fairly active and the playmat tends to bunch up when he sits on it to play. It might be nice to tack it to a rubber playmat to make it a bit sturdier. However, it folds up really compactly for storage. We were unable to fit it back in the original box, so we used a Ziploc freezer bag, which does the trick.

I especially like that this playset is compatible with most of my sons toys. Some days, Thomas the Train makes a visit to China, crossing over bridges and around the village. Other days, his airplanes will drop off tourists to check out the sights. I can see this playset lasting him a long time and evolving as his style of play evolves.

The only thing we haven’t thoroughly checked out is the My China Travel Journal. It’s a 32-page story/activity book narrated by a brother and sister who are traveling in China. It seemed a bit advanced for our almost-3-year-old and I like that we have something new to incorporate when he’s ready. We’re really hoping to bring our toddler to China in the next couple of years, so the travel journal will be perfect to prepare him for the trip.

World Village Playset China Adventure Kit. Photo credit: Britnae Sanelli Photography

World Village Playset China Adventure Kit. Photo credit: Britnae Sanelli Photography

It looks as though China is the first World Village Playset they have created. I’d be very eager to see what other countries they add in the future. I could see this being something fun to bring to a hotel room while traveling to keep kids entertained. It would also be a fun way to announce a trip to children.

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I was provided this product in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Marcie writes the family travel blog Marcie in Mommyland. When she's not traveling the world, she's home in Seattle with her husband and two little boys.


  1. Those playsets are so awesome. I LOVE them!!! I totally want to get one for my younger nieces!

    • Marcie in Mommyland Reply

      They make the best gifts! Plus, they can be used in so many ways!

  2. Alicia Nicole Reply

    How interesting! I can totally relate to this. My husband’s family is Mexican American and I’m Afro-Panamanian, so Spanish is a big part of our lives. We are teaching our baby girl both English and Spanish, and trying to speak Spanish more in our household. This is a great way to encourage your little one to learn about his roots. Great post!!

    • Marcie in Mommyland Reply

      Thanks! Yes, it’s nice to have products that can help make learning a language fun and seamless! Way to go for teaching your girl English and Spanish!

  3. how neat. This looks like a really fun way for kids to learn about China and enjoy doing it.

    • Marcie in Mommyland Reply

      Yes! I really hope they offer other places, too because it’s created a lot of opportunity to talk to my son about China.

  4. What a fabulous way for children to learn about their culture or another one. Although some parts of this kit could be too advanced for a child now – it might be good to keep on hand for later. Or, you could differentiate it yourself to make it fit in the learning for the age of your child now.

    • Marcie in Mommyland Reply

      Exactly! I’ve kept the cards hidden until I think he’s ready for them and then it makes the playset completely new again!

  5. Dawn McAlexander Reply

    This is a really good idea. Kids can get a head start on geography and sociology with this. What a great educational tool.

    • Marcie in Mommyland Reply

      Yes, it’s shocking that geography isn’t a bigger subject in school now. This is a great way to supplement at home.

  6. That looks a fantastic game to teach him about China. That’s wonderful that you’re having him take language classes as well.

    • Marcie in Mommyland Reply

      I figure every bit helps! Learning a language is so hard as an adult, but he seems to be picking up phrases pretty quickly!

  7. Krystel | Disney on a Budget Reply

    This looks like a fantastic toy. I would love to buy this for my niece. I like that the playmat is thick and soft.

  8. We’re very intentional about exposing our kids to a variety of cultures, so I absolutely love the idea of this playset! Definitely going to put it on my kiddos’ birthday list!

    • Marcie in Mommyland Reply

      We are intentional, too, but it’s hard to find cool products. I was really impressed with this one!

  9. What a great toy to encourage imaginative play as well as teaching kids about different places.

  10. Joanna @ Everyday Made Fresh Reply

    I love play sets like this that encourage imagination! My daughter loves to play with stuff like this.

    • Marcie in Mommyland Reply

      It’s really cool that it can be adapted. Sometimes my son adds other characters or trains to the play mat and continues his stories.

  11. Kindness in Demand Reply

    I think introducing your kids to other cultures and religions is so important. It’s so great that he gets to explore and learn while playing.

    • Marcie in Mommyland Reply

      Play is the best form of learning at his age. This mat is such a useful tool!

  12. Heather L. Reply

    That looks like such a fun set. I love it when toys are educational. It’s great that you’re bringing him up to know and understand his heritage. I think it’s something that is really important and not always easy to do.

    • Marcie in Mommyland Reply

      I like that we can talk about China in a natural way as he’s playing.

  13. We love other cultures at our house, my kids are so fascinated with food and languages.

    • Marcie in Mommyland Reply

      Us too! Food is another great way to learn about culture since people take a lot of pride in their dishes!

  14. I love that you found a play set that helps your toddler connect with his heritage. It is great that he goes to Chinese school as well.

  15. This is such a clever idea – when I was a kid I proper loved everything that has anything to do with geography and maps! x

    • Marcie in Mommyland Reply

      I love that it’s age-appropriate for him. So many things involving geography are too advanced.

  16. Cara (@StylishGeek) Reply

    That is an adorable playset! Love it! Thanks for sharing. I might get these for my nephews!

    • Marcie in Mommyland Reply

      It’s super cute and I love that it’s a unique gift idea!

  17. This is so cool! My daughter loves pretend play right now but I don’t think she’ll appreciate this yet. But I am definitely saving this for when she’s older.
    Belle | One Awesome Momma

    • Marcie in Mommyland Reply

      Yes, I think it just gets more and more interesting the older they get.

  18. Brandi with Big Fit Fam Reply

    What a cool idea! my kids would love these and it is great for learning a bit about other cultures and also using your imagination!

    • Marcie in Mommyland Reply

      Plus, it’s easily packed away so you can bring it out whenever.

  19. Di Hickman Reply

    This is a really fun idea! I like how it has different aspects like the prompts and journal so it’s something he will definitely grow with.

    • Marcie in Mommyland Reply

      Yes, it’s so hard to find activities that truly grow with children. This is one of them!

  20. The world village playlet seems like a wonderful learning tool! I think it is so great that you are teaching him so much about his heritage!

  21. Angela Ricardo Reply

    As a military wife who could barely handle her busy schedule I am truly glad I came across your post. It’s very good to know that you want your kids to know about his roots and heritage. This playset sounds amazing and so cool!

    • Marcie in Mommyland Reply

      Yes, it’s so important in our family to learn about where our family comes from and the world outside of our own bubble.

  22. How educational. I think this would be so much fun and a new way to learn a new culture.

  23. What I neat toy. I don’t have any kids but I’m sure a child would love to play with that for hours.

    • Marcie in Mommyland Reply

      I like that it uses his imagination so he’s able to play with it for hours without getting bored.

  24. Reesa Lewandowski Reply

    What an awesome set!!!! My kids would love to play with these! I will have to keep this in mind for gifts!

  25. Courteney Noonan Reply

    I used to love playing with sets like this when I was little! They definitely weren’t as educational back then though haha

    • Marcie in Mommyland Reply

      Me too! This is way better than anything I played with as a child!

  26. Tabitha Shakespeare Reply

    What a super cute little play set! It looks like ya’ll had an awesome time playing and learning with it!

    • Marcie in Mommyland Reply

      It’s fabulous that there are so many components so he never gets bored!

  27. Amber Nelson Reply

    This is such a great educational toy! I love this idea! This would be great for any kiddo!

  28. Toughcookiemommy Reply

    It’s so important for children to have ties to their cultural roots. I love multicultural games like this one.

  29. i agree with this blog. it is very interesting to play with children and tell them their family history. China has a rich culture. And i am glad to be apart of a Chinese ancestry.

    • Marcie in Mommyland Reply

      We really try to bring Chinese culture into every day life.

  30. Mandy Carter Reply

    We love interactive rugs and this one is by far the best idea for one I have seen. I am interested to find out what places will be next.

  31. Mohit Agarwal Reply

    It’s a great product as it makes the child to engage with it…and using the cards he will learn some facts which you can relate to when taking him to china

  32. Wow, what an amazing educational toy! I haven’t seen these anywhere so this is great to discover something new like that. I will definitely recommend it to my friends.
    xox Nadia

    • Marcie in Mommyland Reply

      Yes! I love items that aren’t at every store. It’s more fun when they are unique!

  33. Rose Sahetapy Reply

    It’s wonderful to learn the children, their family history and culture. Village Playset sounds like a set of game that kids would enjoy to play and learn the language at the same time.

    • Marcie in Mommyland Reply

      It’s been a lot of fun to learn about China alongside my son!

  34. Lydia Nasso Reply

    It’s great that you can teach a bit of your son’s heritage through play!

  35. This play set looks so fun! My kids would love it. I love the wooden pieces and how their imagination can take flight.

  36. I love teaching my kids about different places around the world and heir culture. His would be such a fun learning opportunity for them!

  37. Anja / Womanhattan Reply

    I’ve never seen it before, but this is so cool. It is crucial for kids to learn about other cultures.

  38. This is so awesome. What a great way to teach our little ones about different places and cultures!

  39. Both my boys love these types of playsets! They can spend HOURS playing together and I absolutely love the time I get to clean my house! I need to look into getting a few more of these!

  40. Miss Thrifty Reply

    I have never seen these playsets before – what a great idea. I love that the play is complementing his Mandarin lessons – talk about bringing them to life!

  41. Awww I love this so much! I think it’s really important to start having children early on appreciate where they come from instead of postponing it to later on in life past their crucial developmental stage where they then feel a disconnect to a large part of themselves. Have you seen the Chinese character learning block set? I think that’s a really good teaching tool as well!

  42. Kellyn Jeremy Reply

    Certainly something to do at home with my own kids. They love to travel so this is another way to get them to learn more about a new country and culture, while we’re at home.

  43. What a great game to give to kids. I know my boy would have loved it. Now he is old enough to go to China on his own 😉

  44. Janine Good Reply

    These look so educational. I am going to look into these for when we have kids as hubby is from Australia and I’m from Canada and it would be great for our kids to learn about their heritage too.

  45. It’s great that you’re having your kid embrace the Chinese culture and language. I’m Chinese and my fiancee is Filipino and we intend to do the same thing. We hope that our kid will be a little tri-lingual, but I’m sure it’ll be a challenge for both of us and will take time. I’m not fluent in my Chinese while my fiancee is fluent in Tagalog (Filipino dialogue) so it will be interesting.
    The World Village Playset China Adventure Kit looks like a great place to help teach kids looking into Chinese Culture and sounds like you have a great plan in place to further his learning of the culture! Thanks for sharing and will take notes for when I have my kid down the road.

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