Children Cook and Learn Mandarin at Planet Han

Planet Han, a Mandarin school for children and adults, recently moved to a new location that includes a kitchen. Students come in each week for a lesson in the new kitchen space and learn Mandarin words for what they are doing and eating—a tasty way to study! Planet Han also offers a new Chinese theater program as a means to learn and practice their vocabulary.

Child cooking Irene Coeny started Planet Han “to teach kids and adults Mandarin Chinese in a fun way.” And, with Planet Han’s relocation to a new facility on the Upper West Side, teaching kids Mandarin just got tastier. Kids get individual attention in small classes with no more than six students, and with the new kitchen, Planet Han now offers cooking classes to students older than 3 years old.  

The teachers and students recently celebrated the Chinese Moon Festival with an entire day dedicated to making sweet potato moon cakes. Although dumplings are on the menu for classes in the near future, students don’t necessarily learn Chinese recipes—they come in each week to cook something while speaking in Mandarin. For example, they may make toast and learn all of the Mandarin words for specific verbs, ingredients, and utensils while making the toast, which assists the learning experience.

On Nov. 3, Planet Han will launch a new Chinese theater program in which students can watch Chinese movies or cartoons. They’ll “buy” their tickets and snacks in Mandarin, and teachers will help them learn vocabulary used in the films.

Planet Han is also available for birthday parties; the facility can accommodate 15 to 20 kids with full use of the kitchen and learning area.