What is Coding for Kids? | Benefits, Teach Kids How to Code

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Coding for kids is increasing in popularity with every passing year. Learning to code at a young age will help your child achieve long-term success. Even if they do not pursue a career in computer science, it gives them an advantage in almost every field.

As a parent, you might ask yourself – “What is coding for kids?” and “What do I need to know about teaching children to code?”

In this blog, we will explore everything related to what is coding for kids and how you can ideally introduce your kids to the world of programming without being too pushy or rude.

Coding is the language that we use to communicate with computers. It is a sophisticated language that your kid can decipher like a simple puzzle. Children as young as six years can start learning to code. Coding for kids is simple, and it benefits them through the process and functioning of the brain.

What is Coding for Kids and How Can You Team Them How to Code?

what is coding for kids

Teaching coding to children in 2021 starts with a streamlined and gamified approach. It keeps them engaged in the adventure and keeps them challenged. Learning to code these days has become a child’s play thanks to innovative ways and software that teach kids to code in a fun and exciting way.

Here are 6 tips that you can use to teach coding to your kids ideally:

1. Gamify the learning process

Learning how to code shouldn’t be a punishment for your kids. Instead, the entire process should be a fun activity to participate actively and learn without any significant hurdles.

Now, the next big question is how you can gamify coding for your kids? Fortunately, there are many free resources on the internet that you can use to teach your kids how to code. The best part is that there are many coding toys available that your kids can play with and learn coding concepts without sitting in front of a PC or laptop.

Depending upon the age of your kids, you can pick any gaming app or software and let your kid play with it.

Most of these coding games do an exceptional job of keeping your kids hooked to the learning process with great visuals and sound effects. You will learn about these tools a little later in this blog. Keep on reading.

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2. Show them source code and get their hands dirty

For kids of age above than 6, you can jump right into teaching them how computer works and the purpose of various types of programming.

Introduce them to basic programming concepts and pick an easy coding language that is relatively easy to understand, Python, for example. However, don’t focus too much on the theory part as it becomes boring.

Instead of bombarding your kids with new concepts each day, please encourage them to study and practice the source code of simple applications.

3. Ask them to create simple projects

For kids who are older than 6 years of age and are familiar with basic concepts of any programming language, you can encourage them to create simple projects.

If you have picked Python for your kids, then here are a few simple projects or code snippets they can create for fun.

4. Make them collaborate with other kids

You can ask your kids to collaborate with other children at their school or neighborhood to learn to code for better results. Group study can fasten the speed of your kids to understand coding and develop skills.

Most importantly, with group collaboration, they will learn communication skills and a better idea of working with other people when they grow into professional software developers.

5. Let your kids play with their coding devices

Whether your kid uses an iPad, tablet, or any PC, let them play with it. If they want to get something done on their devices, don’t do it for them. You can guide them from behind to get those things done.

The idea behind this exercise is to ensure that kids become familiar with their devices and learn technology on their own.

6. Forget about computer science

Suppose you are a computer science graduate yourself. In that case, the chances are that you might spend more time teaching advanced stuff such as database handling, exceptions, network programming, data structure, and algorithms to your kids.

All these concepts are essential but at a later stage when they are in college and probably looking for an internship or job opportunity in a good company.

Now that you have got some idea of how to teach coding to your kids. Let’s explore why you should teach them the art of programming in the very first place.

How can kids benefit by learning to code?

Here are the reasons why it is essential to learn to code for kids.

1. Coding helps you solve problems faster

When children learn to code, they have to break down complicated problems into small parts. Kids learn what it is like to tackle a problem with rational, computational thought, as a software engineer does.

Computational thinking shows you how to solve big problems by breaking them down into a series of smaller, more manageable ones. Logical thinking will be your most important tool, in school, at work, and in life.

2. Develops resilience in kids by providing them challenges

When kids start to learn to code, they get this opportunity to learn to bounce back after a setback. They understand that it is not always a bad thing to fail, but it can benefit them as it allows them to learn.

Kids will know how to learn from their mistakes quickly and bounce back stronger. Coding for kids enables them to try and try again before they achieve the desired result.

3. Expands a child’s imagination

Coding encourages kids to experiment and gives them the courage to innovate. When the code, they will have the opportunity to create something unique. Children thrive on the positive feedback they receive while creating something they enjoy.

Children, like adults, need some motivation. Seeing results along the way is enough to motivate someone, and this is precisely what happens when kids learn to code. Since it’s easy to pick up coding, especially for children, confidence comes easily.

When a child learns to code, it provides them with an opportunity to be confident and create something in a fun and exciting way.

4. Programming is the future

When you consider how the environment is changing, coding is a particular skill to have. Computer code is being used by a growing number of companies, and not just by those in the technology industry.

A child who learns to code will have an advantage in life, with more job prospects available in the future, regardless of the sector they want to work in. This is one of the most compelling reasons why coding for kids is essential.

5. Promotes critical thinking

Learning how to code teaches kids how to think critically. It is not only about learning to type lines of code when it comes to programming. It’s all about showing kids how to think out of the box and find new ways of doing things.

A programmer must be able to think logically to code effectively. Children learning to code would have to take a vague idea and turn it into something meaningful by using their imagination. They will keep on trying until they find a solution to a given problem and resolve the issue.

6. Shortage of programmers

Computer programmers are in high demand, and as technology advances, new job opportunities emerge daily. People who know how to code are the future. Coding for kids is necessary because, in the future, they will be highly employable and in-demand across various sectors.

Since skilled computer programmers are in short supply, they are usually paid very well. If children pick to code at an early age, their learning will begin early. Due to this, they are more likely to be interested in the tech industry as they grow up.

7. Coding teaches kids how to have fun with Math

Learning to program requires many skills. One of them is learning to organize and analyze the data. So, if there is one subject that coding is closely related to, it is Math. While coding, children can improve their math skills without even realizing it.

Math can be more engaging and fun if students use their reasoning and calculation skills while making a computer program. This is another important reason why children should learn to code early in their life.

8. Coding is a way to learn while having fun

If you want to give your children something that they enjoy and at the same time also educates them and make them creative, learning to code will be the perfect gift.

One of the most significant benefits of coding is that it provides kids with challenges all along the way while having fun.

While coding, kids will learn various skills, and with practice, they can gain some valuable skills that will help them throughout their life. And if they can do this while having fun, then why not?

9. Coding helps children communicate better

Communication is a skill that is essential in school, at work, and in everyday life. Influential people in various fields and walks of life can clearly express complicated concepts in simple terms.

When children learn to code, they learn to interact with the most basic of audiences: computers. As mentioned earlier, computer coding teaches children how to break down complex problems and arrange them so that a computer can understand them.

Which are the best coding languages for kids?

After learning about what coding is for kids and its benefits, we will now be digging into some of the best coding languages for them to begin with.

1. Scratch and other visual programming languages

Visual programming is a fantastic way to introduce a young and novice brain to coding. Such languages do not teach the syntax necessary for different coding languages, but that is fine.

This is all about progressing and moving forward. If you try to put a lot on your kid’s plate, it will do more harm than good. It’s the beauty of Scratch and the other visual programming that gets kids excited about coding.

The instant gratification of dragging and dropping commands and then seeing immersive stories, sports, and animations unfold is just incredible.

2. Lua

Though it is a little more involved and complex than visual programming, Lua is still an excellent language for teenagers and children who want to learn a language quickly. Most of our kids love video games.

Lua is ideal for students who want to apply their newly acquired coding skills to game development. The number of developers who use Lua is growing, which means more work opportunities for you in the future.

A student who is equipped with such skills has many options for choosing his/her career path.

3. Python

Python is one of the easiest coding languages for beginners because of its focus on whitespace and simplified syntax. Python requires fewer code lines than other languages like Java, C, etc., to get the code running.

This is the reason even kids can start learning and creating programs using it relatively quickly. Companies like Disney and Google use Python, and it’s trendy in scientific fields. This language is also used to develop video games, web frameworks, and many scientific and numeric computing projects.

On the one hand, Python is excellent for kids, and on the other, versatile enough to be used in fields like artificial intelligence and cybersecurity. That is why it is a powerful and flexible language. It is handy for kids who want to see their ideas up and running quickly.

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4. Ruby

Beginner programmers find Ruby’s syntax to be the most understandable. Instead of wasting time explaining the code that students type into machines, they will independently figure out a lot of it.

This is quite an essential factor for kids who are still beginners. At the end of it, kids will need to learn the coding concepts to write good scripts. Ruby is quite a robust language and was used to create Twitter. So you can let the children know that this language is a tool used in popular platforms.

5. Java

Compared with the previously mentioned languages, Java is a bit harder to learn, but choosing Java as a first-time coding language will make it easy for students to learn any subsequent language.

Many students have ideas about creating their apps and websites, but they are unsure where to start. Java has been a language to reckon with for more than two decades now, and you can use it to create virtually anything from scratch.

Frequently Asked Questions Related to What is Coding For Kids

1. How do you explain coding to a child?

While explaining coding to a child, you should use relatively relevant and straightforward examples that kids already know about. Using applicable standards will help kids to understand better what coding is interactively and entertainingly.

2. Why is coding important for kids?

As technology is progressing exponentially every day, kids should be well prepared for future jobs. Because of the wide range of programming applications in most industries, coding becomes a lucrative career option.

3. Can a 5 year old learn to code?

Yes, your five year old kid can quickly learn to code using any visual block programming language or platform such as Scratch, Blockly, etc. The critical part is to gamify coding for your kids instead of making it plain boring.

Please don’t expect your child to create real-world applications at such a very young age. Instead, it would be best if you focused on their learning curve and interests.

4. Is coding good for kids?

In short, yes, coding is a good exercise for your kids. They want to become future rockstar developers, but it can improve their aptitude and perform better in academics.

5. At what age can a child learn coding?

If you want to teach basic programming concepts such as syntax, variables, looping, etc., the kid must be at least six years old. On the other hand, if you want to introduce your kids to coding using any gaming app casually, you can start earlier.

6. How do I teach my child to code at home?

There are many free resources available on the Internet that you can use to teach your kids to code at home.

You don’t have to invest in expensive coding courses for kids as they don’t need them very young.

The best part would be that you play an inclusive role in the development of your kid.

Final thoughts

Now that we know what coding is for kids, it will be easier for you as a parent to understand its importance for our children.

Coding for kids is becoming increasingly popular. Many parents have started to see coding as a new literacy that will be as relevant in the future job market as math and science.

However, the best thing that you can do as a parent is to make sure that coding is enjoyable for your kids. Coding for kids does not need to be a tedious activity.

Yes, it demands patience and persistence, but if you make the kids understand that the payout is a project, game, or app that they would be interested in, they will give it their best shot.