Before we tackle coding for kids, as a parent, are you curious about what your kids are doing at home for leisure? Do they usually play games using electronic devices such as a smartphone, tablet, or laptop? It is impressive that even six-year-old kids now know how to use an iPad better than their parents!
What is Coding for Kids?
In today’s digital world, it is a great way to introduce your kids to coding. Some parents may think that coding is only for those who aspire to become a developer. While it is challenging to visualize a young brain studying something complicated, coding for kids is real! Thanks to the many coding tutorial websites and camps, toys for coding, and after-school programs, coding can be entirely digestible.
Learning how to code will help your kids understand the world better. Coding is hugely beneficial for their development, and you should actively partner with your children as they learn to pick-up coding.
Here are four simple ways that you can do to support your children’s journey to coding.
#1: Teaching them the importance of coding
“Everyone should learn how to program a computer because it teaches you how to think.” - Steve Jobs.
It is an excellent way to educate your children on the importance of coding at an early age, especially that software is an essential digital program today. Coding allows your children to have a sense of the world and understand how it functions.
Instead of letting technology consume your kids, they can use it to help them bring their ideas to life through coding. Many have also shared that coding does wonders in improving their problem-solving skill because they could practice their critical thinking and solve issues from small to big ones.
Additionally, helping your child learn how to code hones their critical thinking, creative confidence, and communication skills. In short, coding helps develop different skills and will open more doors for your kid in the future.
#2: Introducing relevant and fun resources for coding
Once your child understands the importance of coding, the next step is to expose your kid to coding education. There are many online courses that your kids can enroll in, where they could learn how to code in a way that they can easily understand. Websites such as Codecademy and code.org provide online coding courses. Some are suitable for children as young as six years old.
You also can bring your children to technology events like Apple local events (Workshops/Youth Programs) or code meetups. These activities foster their interest in coding in a fun and engaging way.
#3: Rewarding them for their efforts and progress
It always works when encouragement comes into the picture. You can get your children to show them their apps and praise their efforts. You can also help them develop their confidence and comfort level in coding by always giving encouragement and rewards.
While bugs or errors are common in coding, you can motivate your child to step out of their comfort zone to learn new techniques on how to resolve the issues at hand. Even a small reward will work to keep them motivated.
Your rewards can be tech gifts, which you can check out at Dash and Dot, Makey Makey, or littleBits. Dash is a blue robot that allows children to learn coding by commanding the robot to complete different tasks, whereas Makey Makey and littleBits teach kids about circuits. All are essential in helping your kid develop their coding skills.
#4: Releasing their coding power!
Now that your children understand the importance of coding, it is time to unleash and hone their coding power! There are many international and local coding competitions happening throughout the year. You can check out Google’s Code-In and MIT’s App Inventor Summit.
Participating in competitions will allow your child to showcase his work and learn from the best! It is essential to remind your child that winning is not the primary purpose of the competition. They should treat it as a platform to explore other’s work and exchange ideas.
As a parent, you play an essential role in your children’s lives, which is why supporting them in their learning could form a great connection. Thus, it is a great bonding to participate in your child’s coding journey actively. How do you encourage your children in their journey to learn to code?
If you think coding for kids is a cool way to develop your kid's critical thinking, feel free to drop us a comment and let us know your opinions.