Technology & Children: 3 Tips for teaching kids to code

by Eva Allan
Technology & Children: 3 Tips for teaching kids to code

Kids nowadays know more about computers and technology than adults do. This is because they are exposed to it every day, whether they are in school, at home, or in a public place. Another reason is their easy access to gadgets like tablets and smartphones. Once they learn how to operate these gadgets, it will be easy for them to pick up ideas on how else they can make use of technology.

Because of this, quite a number of children have developed an interest in programming, particularly in coding. If your child is one of those who want to try to learn how to code, here are tips and apps that can help him/her learn the art of coding.

1. For starters, use different apps intended to help children develop an interest in coding.

There are some apps dedicated to helping children understand learn how to code. Most of these apps use animation to entice and grab the attention of the kids. These apps look like your usual educational games, but they actually feature several activities that can train your children. These apps and games are perfect for any age level, even for your toddlers.

Examples of these apps include Daisy the Dinosaur for the iPad and Move the Turtle, which is compatible with the iPad and iPhone. Both apps teach children to manipulate graphical objects through different challenges. These games look simple, but they are actually good training tools for basic programming concepts. Using different games, the app My Robot Friend, teaches and trains elementary kids to think and decide like coders.

2. Allow your child to join a coding-focused program or group.

Several non-profit groups and some organizations have regular programs focused on teaching or training the younger population the basics of coding. These programs are part of the campaign to boost technology training among students. One example of this is the ThoughtSTEM after school and summer programs. Using the well-loved game Minecraft, the tutors of this program teach and train 3rd to 12th-grade children. Another program worth mentioning is Girls Who Code. Although not specifically focused on coding, this program helps children and girls to embrace computer science. For early readers, Code.org’s Hour of Code program allows them to participate and learn using an app called ScratchJR.

3. Use LEGO-like graphical tools to train young children.

Children love Lego. So using graphical tools that follow the LEGO concept is a good idea if you want your kids to learn and enjoy. Most of these apps teach programming basics through coding blocks. So your child will be trained to manipulate objects by using code parts. Examples of these graphical tools or apps are Scratch (online; for children aged 8 to 16), Alice (for Mac, Linux, and Windows users), and Hopscotch (for the iPad; for children 8 to 12 years old).