A New Day of Learning: Start Coding with Kids

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Start Coding with Kids


Have you thought about what jobs will exist in the next twenty years?  It is hard to think about because many of those jobs do not even exist yet! According to code.org, the Bureau of Labor and Statistics predicts that there will be over 1 million computing job openings by 2024.  A computer science major can earn up to 40% than the average college graduate! Who wouldn't want that for their students and children? Keep reading for some tips to introduce coding to kids.


It is okay if you don’t know how to code.  (Repeat that to yourself. It’s really okay!) You can learn the programs that your children are using right along with them.  As you learn, try to resist the urge to hover over them and make suggestions about how you would do it.  If you are just one step ahead, you can show them something neat you learned how to do and then walk away.  They will probably try it out as soon as you’re not looking!


Do some research on apps that you think your children would like.  Fair Warning: Many of these are addicting for adults! You may find yourself considering a career switch to computer science! HA!  Here are some of my favorites with appropriate ages. 
    1. Code Studio - All Ages
    2. Lightbot Jr. and Lightbot -  Ages 4-8 and 9+
    3. Daisy the Dinosaur - Ages 4-6
    4. Scratch Jr. and Scratch - Ages 5-7 and 8+
    5. Cargo-Bot - Ages 7+
There are MANY more options, but this should be enough to get you started!


As you talk about coding with children, the goal should never be to learn to program.  Instead, focus on creating.  Ask questions like:       

  • What would you like to make?
  • What could we create to solve the problem?
  • What ideas do you have to make “it” work?

When you put the focus on creating, children see it as play.  What they don’t know is that you are preparing them to be creative problem solvers!


Coding can look different for each child.  The key is find out what they are interested in and then match the program to the child.  Children can learn to code using Minecraft, Frozen, dinosaurs, and robots - just to name a few.  When children are engaged in a topic they are passionate about, learning is fun - and that’s the goal, isn’t it?


Sometimes, the best thing we can do is get out of their way. Never underestimate the complexity that children can tackle.  I find that a lot children know how to approach technology that is new to them.  Many will use a trial and error method and figure out how an app works quicker than I could explain it.  So, as hard as it is, plant the seed and then get out of the way!

Hopefully you found some inspiration and courage to introduce a child you know to coding! If you need me, I'll be hiding out somewhere trying to master the next level of Lightbot! 

What are your favorite apps for teaching kids to code?




2 comments:

  1. This is awesome. My oldest wants to learn coding so your pinterest pin grabbed my attention.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow, absolutely fantastic blog. I am very happy to have such useful information, thanks for sharing & please update more good resource.
    Children Learning Programs Singapore

    ReplyDelete

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