Teaching your child to code is a great way to help them explore their creativity and learn valuable skills for the future. It’s not just for kids who want to become developers or programmers. Plus, coding will teach your child logic and how to think creatively!
Many parents feel like coding is too difficult for their children or have misconceptions about what coding really is. In this article, we’ll explore why it’s important to teach your child to code and how you can get them started with these fun ways to teach them!
Teach Your Child with Scratch
The use of Scratch aids in the development of logical thinking by allowing children to explore alternate solutions to problems. Through Scratch coding for kids, a child will be introduced to the concepts of coding through simple, gamified interfaces that actually teach core coding skills, while remaining age-friendly.
Within the Scratch interface, colored bricks are gathered, pulled, then released to provide an immediate impact. It enables children to perform simple motions, add noises, change settings, or construct games, which aids in the development of their creativity.
It is recommended that children begin Scratch around the age of 6-7 years or when they begin to read fluently. If not, there is a Junior version with totally visual language on the same idea. Obviously, youngsters attempting to create more complex programs will hit a brick wall while using Scratch. Python, a real-world language, is better suited for teenagers and young adults.
Gauge Their Enthusiasm, Don’t Force It
Not every youngster will enjoy coding, and expecting them to enjoy something they are not interested in will backfire. A parent’s anxiety in wanting their child to succeed later in life is understandable, but even this Wired article makes a good case for taking a more hands-off approach to allowing your child’s coding skills to develop naturally, instead of forcing it on them.
Establishing a routine and teaching framework also requires determining your child’s level of comfort and allowing her to continue after a particular point has been reached. Establishing structure and routine is important for a child’s development, but the goal of teaching a child to code should be making it fun, like a playtime activity. A child will instinctively know if they’re being saddled with “work”.
The program Hour of Code is a good introduction to coding for young children. It presents a fun, gamified introduction to coding for all ages, so you can gauge your child’s interest level and move on to something else if they aren’t enthusiastic about it within the first hour.
Show them Source Code for Simple Games
Despite its intellectual reputation, programming involves more than just reading books; it is a practical skill that must be honed over time. Python’s interactive shell encourages experimentation to understand what rules do.
When you directly tutor your children, producing code goes much beyond simply discussing concepts. Even if you know about variables, loops, and functions, sitting in front of a blank editor and starting a new program is intimidating. Sit down with them and go over their code line by line.
If you’re using web resources to share with your child, look for the source code for small games. Look for web games and apps that have less than a few hundred lines of code.
Encourage them to Start Small
Be aware that when games are first introduced, your children may not perform exceptionally well in terms of programming. Game development requires teamwork between development teams, graphics illustrators, and designers.
Games with a lot of level design and artwork might be exceedingly difficult to play. Completing a small game is more satisfying than starting and never finishing a massive project.
An older child might dream of developing a large game, and be quickly overwhelmed by how much effort and dedication is actually required. Encourage them to start small, and create simple web games like Pong or Snake type games.
It’s also not recommended to rely too much on “game maker” software, which utilize simplified programming environments and “drag and drop” interfaces. While these programs are similar to Scratch in presentation, they stray away from teaching any actual coding skills, whereas Scratch combines the “drag and drop” simplicity with teaching actual programming skills.
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