Programming is among those rare groups of activities that check all the boxes of the necessary 21st-century skills. This long list of essential skills are grouped into three, which includes Life Skills, Literacy Skills, and Learning Skills; with each of the sections listing out several attributes including Critical thinking, Media Literacy, Productivity, etc.
Coding for kids is one of the most hyped-up concepts in recent times, and this is for a reason. The rise of technology and the demands that it asks for have been well known to us, and development in a sense has become eerily synonymous with technology as well, so naturally, the demand for programmers has increased. But this is not the only reason, people are starting to understand the varied benefits of teaching children the concepts of coding at a young age and how it can have a direct impact on them in developing 21st-century skills.
Children from even the age of 5 can start to learn the basics of coding; because remember, coding just like every other form of skill is something that needs to be practiced. So the earlier we start, the better the children will be able to grasp the concepts and still have room for trial and error. Today we will look at how we can approach a child in helping them learn to code, from the absolute basics that we can do, to how we can help them flourish their skills further as well.
Introduce Them to the Concept of Programming Languages
We can start out by letting them know how a computer understands its commands, and just like how we humans understand different sorts of languages, we too communicate to the computer with a binary language consisting of 1’s and 0’s. Further, we can talk to them about how we seek the help of programming languages such as Python, Java, C++, etc to compile a binary language to make the computer understand our commands.
Get the Necessary Equipment
In order to start learning to code, the child will need a Computer or a Laptop. You don’t need to invest in a powerful device at the start, because coding is not that demanding on hardware at the start. But if you’re looking for longevity, investing in an Intel Core i5 processor or similar, with a frequency of 3 GHz and at least 8GB of ram is advised.
Pick a Programming Language
There are a lot of programming languages available to be used currently, but we prefer Python for beginners, the language is one of the easiest to learn if the person is just getting into coding, due to its readability and the way that it is presented. The language of Python resembles that of English so that even novices will be able to connect the dots much quicker.
Also, the availability of libraries in the language helps to keep a child interested in building the code and making software without worrying about extensions. Finally, Python is known for its quick method of coding. When compared to other programming languages, Python can read and execute commands with only a few lines of code; making it a much less daunting task for children who are just starting to learn to code.
While Python is the go-to programming software for adolescent children, Scratch is the best software that can be used to teach children below the age of 12. This software developed by the MIT media lab is especially useful in teaching young children because of its attractive presentation and gamified approach to coding.
Scratch basically functions in a manner that keeps children entertained while they are learning. Children and adults alike, learn concepts better when they are learned through games! And this is exactly what Scratch aims for.
For example; when children are asked to play an RPG game, and in order to pass a certain level, they are asked to type a certain code; the child’s interest will be piqued and they will do it without giving it a second thought. They might even try to remember the code that they just have used for it to be used at another level if necessary. This is the kind of teaching that Scratch aims to incorporate, hence why we recommend scratch as the best tool for teaching young kids the early concepts of coding.
Find Them the Right Place to Learn!
While we can guide them through their initial phase of learning, after they have understood the basics of programming; we should find them a guided space to learn and explore the world of coding. For this, there are a ton of resources online, including YouTube videos relating to beginner-level programming and articles of the same. Or websites that provide exclusive coding for kid programs such as CyberSquare. Signing your children up for coding courses helps to provide a structure to their learning. They won’t be startled by not knowing where to start or be overwhelmed by what they are learning.
Want to learn more about coding courses for kids, visit our website and schedule a free demo class with us.
Motivate Them to Create!
After the children have familiarised their grounds with coding, we then have to motivate them to create even at a young age. If the children grow an interest in gaming, we could nudge them in the right direction in creating mini flash games of the sort; and if the child’s interest lies in web development we could ask them to create a mini-blog by themselves and ask them to write about what interests them.
These early steps are important because asking children to create will help them to develop their skills by learning through errors. The more mistakes they make early on in their programming path, the better they will be able to create flawless software later on.
Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes. The world of programming is vast and the earlier they start, the earlier they will excel!
If you are searching for a good online coding courses for kids, we suggest you to attend our free demo class and then decide if it’s the best for your child.