Coding is becoming one of the most in-demand skills required across all job industries. Regardless of whether the role is tech related, the ability to write and understand code will be a required skill for future generations. With that said, elementary school curriculums will soon be focusing on these computational skills, therefore learning coding at a young age, as young as preschool level, is going to give children an advantage not only in their future careers but throughout their education.
The earlier we expose and allow kids to learn coding skills, the better it will be for their development. Many studies today including infants and technology include eye-tracking technology where psychologists can test what they are thinking under different circumstances and scenarios. These studies have found that infants already have an intuitive understanding of certain physical laws by the age of two months old where they can track moving objects. In today’s digital era, infants, toddlers, and children alike have more access to screen time than any generation in history. Whether it be TV shows, educational tablet games, or mobile device games and activities, they are able to respond to the digital sensory and perceptual features.
Little ones admire and are fascinated by digital processes, and we have the ability to focus that interest in the right direction. Not only is coding becoming an essential skill, but learning to code also teaches children problem-solving abilities, creativity and communication skills in dynamic ways. Currently, there are endless learning platforms and tools that make learning to code an exciting and entertaining task that they will look forward to doing, similar to online games and video games that they likely already enjoy on a regular basis. Listed below are some popular tools and resources to introduce coding to your children in a fun way:
Puzzles & Games
Preschoolers and elementary aged children are at a developmental stage where they begin enjoying the cognitive challenge of solving puzzles and participating in games that require solutions and problem solving. A great way to ease the introduction of more dynamic concepts such as algorithms is by providing opportunities for kids to create their own games and puzzles. Not only will this prepare them for the similar structure that coding follows, but also teaches them other important skills such as sequencing, organizing, and creativity. Once children feel successful in their abilities surrounding puzzle and game making, introducing concepts like coding is the perfect way to continue that development and offer them new challenges.
Whether it's watching YouTube tutorials, vlogs, daily routines, recipes, or vicariously playing games, they have made it simple to learn from. The ability to watch someone demonstrate in real time simply by typing in what skill or concept you want to learn is an astounding benefit technology has allowed, and the knowledge must be passed down to children to use wisely. There are countless kid safe YouTube channels and videos that are solely based around the education of young children and features techniques and concepts to that of coding that is appropriate for various age levels. To browse, all you need to do is search your child's age in the search box followed by ‘coding activity’ and let YouTube find you the best coding videos to help them learn.
If you are looking to get your child enrolled in a program, there are plenty of amazing online and in person resources available. Many of these programs, like Kids Innovative, offer an easy way for kids to get started, as well as taking the burden off of parents. There are varying levels, achievements, and challenges for each child as they embark on their coding journey, and these online programs offer content that will be suitable for every individual at their own pace. Depending on your child’s comfort level, there are options for group summer camps or private 1 on 1 lessons to ensure every student is able to have the best and most positive experience possible.