Teaching Computational Thinking to Kids

August 3, 2021 / Parent Resources

Introducing computational thinking to your child can sound challenging. But, when you take them through these 4 cornerstones, you’ll find it to be easy.

Decomposition

Decomposition is the act of taking a complex problem and then figuring out all the individual tasks involved. For instance, ask your child to name all the steps involved in getting ready for school. They’ll include brushing their teeth, bathing, dressing up, eating breakfast, gathering school supplies, and eventually heading out.

Pattern Recognition

Developing your child’s computational thinking skills involves teaching them how to recognize patterns. A good way to do this is to have them observe an object, say a chair, and ask them to name the qualities of that object. Also, have them compare it with a couch and tell you how different they are.

Abstraction

Thinking in an abstract manner includes ignoring the unimportant details. For example, when your child plays a video game, their main goal is not to focus on the bright lights or other detailed objects, but to instead focus on finishing a race (Assuming it’s a racing video game).

Algorithm Design

Computational thinking for kids can be made easy through this final cornerstone. Algorithm design involves putting together all the steps, abstractions, and patterns to form a set of instructions. 

This also involves taking your kids through crucial aspects of sequencing and conditionals involved in a certain process. If the process is getting dressed for school, you could tell him, “if your shoelaces are loose, then tie them up.” You could also take them through debugging a problem. Maybe they’ve worn their shirt inside-out and they need to debug this problem by taking the shirt out and wearing it properly.

Computational thinking and problem solving go hand in hand. We hope that with these steps, your child can develop a love for computational thinking in no time. Don’t forget to shop our coding games to further hone their problem-solving skills!