After searching and searching for ways to teach our son Mandarin in a way he actually enjoys, I've found it! My First Chinese Words is a fantastic curriculum for 2 - 6 year olds! Children learn Mandarin through stories (1 book per week) - not textbooks or flashcards - and through activities that tie in to the stories. A CD is enclosed for parents who do not speak Mandarin, so children are able to hear proper pronunciations when reading the books. The exercise books sold separately help children distinguish and learn how to write Chinese characters. There are free on-line activities and a free 1 month trial to their online resources - YIKES - no more free printable activities after writing this post! :( The parent/teacher guide is also very helpful with ideas and planning how to teach each book. It's been a week and I have read My First Chinese Words book #1 to our son everyday this week and he freely worked on activities to learn more Mandarin! He even has asked to watch Mei Mei videos to supplement his new found motivation to learn Chinese.
Although a lot of educators have told me that it is the teacher, not the curriculum, that makes an impact on children, I have discovered that it is finding and using the correct tools to motivate our son to learn that makes a difference.