Since the digital revolution has taken hold, teaching coding to children has been on the rise. The good news is that there are numerous applications, manuals, and tutorials available to teach children how to code.
Learning to code from an early age helps children develop problem-solving skills, enhance their creativity, and boost their attention. Even though children might not care about algorithms and data processing, they are sure to enjoy creating games, designing simple websites, using a basic program they created, or simply learn how to play around with code.
If you’re wondering what’s the best way to teach kids coding, here are some tips to help you get started.
1. Get your child interested in learning to code
Before getting into actual coding lessons for your child, start by getting them interested in learning how the code works, and general concepts of what coding is. You can spark their interest by connecting coding to some of the things your child already enjoys.
Whether it’s Minecraft, LEGO or augmented reality, your child is likely to be interested in at least one thing that’s related to coding. And even if they aren’t, you can find a connection to tech for just about any type of hobby they may have. For example, if your child is only interested in football, they may develop an interest in data science related to sports stats.
2. Have kids learn some coding basics
When your child is ready to start learning some coding, it’s important to start with the basics. Have your child begin with some light reading and teach them the basics with the help of short videos. The initial purpose is to get them to a point where they can discuss coding in a couple of sentences with their friends or family members.
Talking about something new is one of the best ways to stick the information in the brain, so encourage your child to talk to friends about how the video games they’re playing wouldn’t be possible without coding, for example. If they aren’t into video games, you can branch out by visiting a tech museum, enrolling them in a robotics class in school, or joining a related club.
3. Have your child do something with coding
While it’s important to maintain realistic expectations, it is essential to go from talking about coding to actually doing something. Start small by having your kid get a feel for programming visually through something like Scratch before they actually learn how to code. There are also multiple apps that introduce children to programming, which are perfect for anyone who wants to take baby steps toward learning how to code.
Once your kid has laid the groundwork, it’s time to have them do something bigger. To speed up the learning process, you can help them stick with something they already enjoy, such as a simple Facebook game or an iPhone app. By working on something familiar to them, children will be able to understand how different pieces fit together and how coding is used to bring to life the things they enjoy.