Ways to Teach Kids to Code through Fun Coding Games
Think coding is not for everyone? Think again. Learning how to tell a computer what to do has become an essential skill in an age where pretty much everything starts and ends with technology, from iPad game development to drones. The number of businesses that rely on computer code has grown to be massive, as the influence of coding expands outside of the technology sector to marketing, health, retail, and more. These companies are pushing for STEM activities for kids and coding education and seeking more talent in the space. General Electric for instance, announced that all young, new hires who joined the company would learn to code, irrespective of which area they worked in, finance, sales, or operations. So whether your child has decided to be in the space of IT and engineering or not, learning to code has become almost as important as literacy and numeracy. Someone with coding chops has a far bigger advantage in terms of employment opportunities and is likely to have a well-rounded development. It is because coding can:
- Strengthen kids’ ability to bounce back after failure
- Teach them how to think differently (computational thinking)
- Teach them how to look at math in ways that are more enjoyable and engaging
- Give kids the confidence to be creative
Steve Jobs famously said, “Everyone should learn how to program a computer, because it teaches you how to think.”
Learning the skill later when kids are all grown up tends to be harder because it needs a good command over computational thinking and that does not come naturally to most people. So, starting young with interactive educational games for kids can give them a head-start.
Where can kids pick up these skills?
Some schools teach coding, others don’t. But fret not, building this aptitude can be done within the confines of the home, and independently too! There are quite a few ways to teach coding in varying contexts from fun coding games for kids to coding programs for children across all ages. Here is how:
- Made with Code: A Google initiative that offers easy-to-follow programming tutorials, resources, and activities, designed for students ages 9-14. It caters to various experience levels and also provides an app Grasshopper which teaches children with absolutely no base in the skill coding fundamentals for free.
- Other similar free resources include Scratch, a free programming language and online community which allows kids to create their own coding games online, interactive stories, and animations; Code.org, a nonprofit foundation offers several apps and online resources for coding novices.
- An easier way to introduce coding to your child is by combining digital play with physical pieces that can provide a hands-on code learning experience and make the subject easy to grasp. Among the top educational games on the market is Osmo’s line of coding games. Coding Awbie, Coding Jam, and Coding Duo immerse your kids in a fun environment of play with characters and magnetic blocks, sending them off on adventures and guiding them through commands with music and puzzles. It also requires lesser parental involvement and instruction and is an excellent way to make your kid’s screen time educational. What’s more, kids can also indulge in collaborative coding through the Coding Duo STEM educational game enabling kids to navigate an exciting quest strategically.
While these activities and games won’t necessarily teach your kids everything they need to learn about coding, they are incredibly essential to keep them hooked and practising.