Teaching Kids to Code
What is coding?
Put simply, coding is the language of computers. Learning to code is like learning a foreign language. Leo often calls it Computer Talk, and that is a wonderful way to describe it. Coding allows children to understand technology. With a background in computer science, children are able to manipulate technology in order to create, solve problems, and have fun!
Why should I teach my kids to code?
Careers in computer science are among the fastest growing and most lucrative professions around. And, one needs only to look around their home to realize that our society’s love of technology is not going anywhere anytime soon. From tablets to computers to GPS to androids and smartphones technology is here to stay. If you teach your child to code, you are not only teaching a wonderful combination of mathematics, science, technology, and problem solving, but you are giving your child the skills that will help her to be more employable in the future.
How do I teach my kids to code without a background in computer science?
Folks, I am still flabbergasted that I have a blog because I do not have a solid technology background. That said, Leo dabbled in coding last year and he has big plans to code regularly this year. At just 7-years-old, he already sees the value in computer science.
If I can teach my child to code, you can too. There are so many resources available, from games to books to toys to online learning opportunities.
Robot Turtles by ThinkFun
Do you want to teach your children coding while making super-goofy turtle sound effects? You can play this game immediately, right out of the box. Kids will love it. Later, as they get used to it, you can add more playing elements, as the game offers levels from beginner to advanced.
Welcome to Code Monkey Island by Code Monkey Games
Code Monkey Island is the brainchild of 23-year-old computer programmer, Raj Sidhu. In this game, children will lead their own monkey tribes through various obstacles around the playing board, and back to the banana grove. Along the way, children will learn key computer programming concepts. The game comes with a booklet that further explains computer programming.
Code Master by ThinkFun
Do you have a Minecraft obsessed child? Would you like to see that child change it up for a bit and play a game instead of sit at the computer? Code Master is your answer! With a Minecraft-like feel, Code Master is a one-player logic and programming game that offers sixty levels of play. For each challenge, use your programming logic to determine the one sequence of play in order to obtain your power crystal.
I learn new subjects best when I’m allowed to devour a stack of books. If you’re like me, here are a few books from my shelf on this subject:
Learn to code online
There are countless online computer science learning opportunities nowadays, including:
Now, it’s your turn. Tell me, folks… do your children code? What resources do you use and love? Share here!
Cait co-hosts The Homeschool Sisters Podcast and is co-founder of Raising Poppies, a community for parents of gifted and twice-exceptional children. Cait is also founder of the Family Book Club at My Little Poppies, a fantastic community of book-loving parents and the Gameschool Community at My Little Poppies, a vibrant community of gameschoolers.
Cait is a contributing writer for Simple Homeschool and GeekMom. Her work has also appeared on The Huffington Post, The Mighty, and Scary Mommy. You can find her on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram