Computer programming is proving to be a hot area as more jobs continue to pop up in the field. According to Code.org, 71% of all new STEM jobs are in computing. This may be one reason why 90% of parents want their children to study computer science.

Coding, or computer programming as it’s also called, is how we communicate with computers. The code tells the computer what it should do. When kids learn how to write code, it’s like writing a set of instructions. Coding not only tells computers what to do but can also tell them how fast to do something.

Some kids get into coding because they like to learn how to create games and other programs. While it’s fun to play a game, it’s even more exciting to create your own.

It’s no secret that kids pick up new ideas quickly, which is one reason why coding for kids is such a good idea. They can grasp concepts at a young age and build upon them as they get older.

Girl coding on her ipad coding for kids

Courtesy: Kelly Sikkema

Fun Facts about Coding

If your child is interested in coding, it’s fun to share some information about some well-known people in the STEM field and how they got their start at a young age. Here are just a few famous names:

  • Bill Gates. Did you know that Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft,  wrote code for a tic-tac-toe game where users could play against the computer when he was just 13-years-old?
  • Jack Dorsey. Jack Dorsey, co-founder, and CEO of Twitter started coding when he was 8-years old. His parents bought him an Apple Macintosh that put him on his path.
  • Daphne Koller. Daphne Koller is an Israeli-American professor who is one of the founders of the online education platform Coursera. She received her bachelor’s degree at age 17 and got her master’s degree the following year.

If your child wants to become the next Bill Gates or Daphne Koller, it’s time to get them started with coding. Many companies encourage kids to code by offering programs. Google has a program called “Code with Google” that offers interactive courses to teach kids about computer science topics through hands-on activities.

          Also read: Coding for kids: 5 reasons why your child should learn to code

Questions parents ask about coding for kids

How do I teach my child to code?

There are many ways to teach your child to code depending on what route you want to take. There are apps, websites, and online classes and camps like those available at MakerKids. Sometimes it’s a case of trial and error to find out which way works best for your child.

Is coding good for kids?

Yes! Coding not only teaches them a valuable skill that they can carry with them their entire life but also lets their creativity come alive. You would be surprised at what kids can create when you just let their imaginations flow!

Coding also teaches them the important skill of problem-solving. Very rarely does a coding project come out perfectly the first try. Kids learn how to solve problems and tweak their projects until they come out the way they want.

With coding for kids’ classes, kids also learn the importance of collaboration. Many times other students will have ideas to improve their classmates’ projects. They learn how other people may have ideas that can help.

How do I teach my child to code at home?

If you want to teach your child to code at home, apps may be the best route. These are separated by age. You can start off easy and see how they grasp the concepts before working your way up to a more complicated set-up.

At what age can a child start coding?

Some say that age 7 is a good age to introduce coding for kids, while others say you can start at age 5 or 6. It’s going to depend on the child. Some children have a longer attention span and will sit to grasp the concepts, while others will lose interest quickly. If you have a 5 or 6-year-old child and you want to try introducing coding concepts to see how they do, go for it! If not, you can always wait a year or two.

Can a 6 year old learn coding?

As we mentioned above, some 6-year-olds may be advanced enough to start to grasp the concepts, while others will have to wait. It never hurts to try! Your child may be the next Bill Gates!

What is the easiest coding language?

According to Tech Republic, HTML is the easiest coding language. It is one of the basic tools used for creating standard web pages and applications across any browser.

Bringing It All Together

If your child is showing an interest in coding or you want to introduce them to it, try it out! There are so many benefits of coding for kids besides just learning the skill. Starting them young will let them grasp the concepts quickly.

When your child starts learning these skills at a young age, you’re paving the way for a possible STEM career. The need is there, so there’s no time like the present to let them start on their journey!

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