How to Get Your Kids Excited about Coding

Read about the different ways you can get your kids excited about coding.

Coding is at the top of the list these days when it comes to teaching kids about it. There have been many ongoing discussions about boosting STEM and STEM+ education in the United States due to all the changes in the economy that have allowed technology to be pushed to the forefront, creating the clear possibilities of a larger change in the future of America. Coding looks like this is the next up and coming subject in our education systems and as important as reading and math. Coding is being considered as an introduction in early education for young children. Parents don’t have to wait for the term “someday”, here are some tips to get your child interested in coding or programming inside and outside of class.

Coding is as Important as Creativity

Coding is creative and similar to math, science, and problem-solving. Computer programmers have always been stereotyped as nerds so math scares people away from becoming interested in coding because of the title of being a nerd. Coding is different though because kids are actually creating things and making them come to life by using drawings, games and various applications.

Most children are interested in some coding for creation and coding will start to become natural to future generations like art, or building something with Lego sets. Parents can get their child’s attention by talking about how creative coding is and it’s important to learn the basics of core programming concepts as they progress in school. If you make things fun and don’t force the issue, you will have some success because not all kids like to paint or build things with legos either. In addition, not all kids will like to code.

Encouragement

Teachers can search for age-appropriate tools for their students so they have enough room to play without needing to keep reading an instruction manual. Kids enjoy discovering new things and they wonder if their thoughts will work in order to process the fact that might discover something in coding. Discovery is considered a core component of a coder’s environment.

Students should be encouraged to use experiments, and watch for signals that let them know when they are reaching limits of a certain app. Even if you don’t understand coding lingo, a person can still learn with the rest of the students. Here are some great apps that are free and web resources to get your child interested.

Daisy the Dinosaur

This is used for kids between the ages of 6 to 10 years old. It’s an iPad app that gets kids interested in being able to control how a character moves on the screen by using simple commands. This probably won’t hold an older child’s attention for long but this is a great introduction to coding for younger kids.

Hopscotch

This is a good app for kids between the ages of 8 and 12 and it’s from the same people who created Daisy the Dinosaur. This app is lots of fun, easy to use, and allows kids to create drawings and animations that are a bit more challenging. They also have a whole cast of characters to pick from. Students can also share what they are doing with other Hopscotch users by using email. Email is a good way for kids to communicate with other class members and share their creations.

Scratch

This is a great app for kids that are between ages 8 to 16. Scratch has been on the market for a while and has many young programmers. This app builds on basic programming controls that are learned by using Hopscotch. Scratch also is good for having additional tools for creating the most unique animations and games that are very challenging in design.

Code Academy

This is another great app for young adults over the age of 12 and up. Code Academy offers free online courses in certain areas of programming languages that are specific. Older students that show are extremely interested in learning how to code are probably ready to start programming on their own if they have started coding at a young age. If they have already built apps using each program offered in their age group. The course is HTML and CSS is the best place for them to start. This also will teach these students how to create a web page from scratch.

Each child has a Unique Passion

Coding is fun because this can be used to create many kinds of different programs. This enables students to try new and interesting things and not give up on trying coding if they don’t understand a certain app. There are apps that concentrate on everything from drawing to animated characters, storytelling, and the design of games. There are kits like Lego Mindstorm, Sparki, and littleBits that allow students to create robots and the programs to operate the robots. Students that are excellent readers can learn how to build Web sites to publish the reviews of books they have had interest in learning from reading the contents. Sports buffs can create Web sites that track stats of favorite players and teams. A person can tap into just about anything their class enjoys and teach the class how to use coding to bring a new form of life to their ideas.

Coding seems to be quite an interesting concept for future programmers that are up and coming. This is a great way to add this coding concept to the curriculum in an academic setting and someday it might be required as a credit for graduation. After all, everyone should learn how to program because it’s a lucrative field to get into and people make a great income as programmers. A person can also start their own business as a programmer and create a new app that the public can use to make their lives easier. Technology has exploded in the last ten years and has moved the United States in a better direction plus the cost has come down now for all families to afford computers, smartphones, and tablets or a smart TV. This is why it’s important to at least introduce your youngster to coding over the summer break. Many schools have fun classes for kids to learn something new and maybe coding is a part of the summer school curriculum for your youngster and other students.

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