This post was last Updated on by Himanshu Tyagi to reflect the accuracy and up-to-date information on the page.
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 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 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?
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 child’s play, thanks to innovative ways and software that teach kids to code fun and excitingly.
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 in and learn without significant hurdles.
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 many coding toys are available for kids to 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 on the learning process with great visuals and sound effects. You will learn about these tools a little later in this blog. Keep on reading.
2. Show them source code and get their hands dirty
For kids above 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 older than 6 years of age and familiar with basic concepts of any programming language, you can encourage them to create simple projects.
If you have picked Python for your kids, here are a few simple projects or code snippets they can create for fun.
- How To Make A Simple Python 3 Calculator Using Functions
- How To Make A Digital Clock In Python Using Tkinter
- Python 3 Program to Calculate The Area of a Triangle
- Python 3 Program To Add Two Matrices
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 speed up your kids’ understanding of coding and developing skills.
Most importantly, with group collaboration, they will learn communication skills and a better idea of working with others when they become 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.
This exercise ensures that kids become familiar with their devices and learn technology independently.
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 an 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 learning to code for kids is essential.
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, work, and life.
2. Develops resilience in kids by providing them with challenges
When kids learn to code, they learn to bounce back after a setback. They understand that failing is not always bad, 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 again before achieving the desired result.
3. Expands a child’s imagination
Coding encourages kids to experiment and gives them the courage to innovate. When they 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
Coding is a particular skill when you consider how the environment is changing. 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 in 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 must take a vague idea and turn it into something meaningful using their imagination. They will keep trying until they find a solution to a given problem and resolve it.
6. Shortage of programmers
Computer programmers are in high demand, and new job opportunities emerge daily as technology advances. 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 early, 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 reasoning and calculation skills to make a computer program. This is another crucial reason children should learn to code early in life.
8. Coding is a way to learn while having fun
If you want to give your children something they enjoy while educating and making 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 express complicated concepts.
When children learn to code, they 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 coding for kids and its benefits, we will dig into some of their best coding languages.
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. Putting much on your kid’s plate will do more harm than good. The beauty of Scratch and other visual programming gets kids excited about coding.
The instant gratification of dragging and dropping commands and seeing immersive stories, sports, and animations unfold incredible.
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 with such skills has many options for choosing their career path.
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 why even kids can learn and create 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 quickly see their ideas up and running.
Beginner programmers find Ruby’s syntax to be the most understandable. Instead of wasting time explaining the code students type into machines, they will independently figure out much of it.
This is quite an essential factor for kids who are still beginners. Ultimately, kids must learn the coding concepts to write good scripts. Ruby is quite a strong language and was used to create Twitter. So you can let the children know that this language is a tool used in popular platforms.
Java is a bit harder to learn than the previously mentioned languages. However, 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 are unsure where to start. Java has been a language to reckon with for over two decades, 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 understand what coding is interactively and entertainingly.
2. Why is coding important for kids?
As technology progresses daily, kids should be well prepared for future jobs. Coding has become a lucrative career option because of most industries’ wide range of programming applications.
3. Can a 5-year-old learn to code?
Your five-year-old 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 dull.
Please don’t expect your child to create real-world applications at such a very young age. Instead, focusing on their learning curve and interests would be best.
4. Is coding suitable 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 help them perform better academically.
5. At what age can a child learn coding?
The kid must be at least six years old if you want to teach basic programming concepts such as syntax, variables, looping, etc. 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 your kid’s development.
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 you can do as a parent is to ensure 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 the kids understand that the payout is a project, game, or app they would be interested in, they will give it their best shot.