The Benefits of Coding and Coding Resources for Kids
While coding used to be something reserved for the highly technical and programmers, it is now a valuable, universal language that is surprisingly easy, fun, and useful for our kids to learn! Computer coding for kids is a new type of literacy that will allow them a different way to communicate with others, use problem-solving and be creative. The concepts and skills taught in coding are transferable to many other jobs and industries.
Coding is beneficial to children for the purposes of their education as an increasing number of classes are dependent on computers; the more at home our kids are with technology in a positive manner, the better. While coding certainly gives them a leg up for future job opportunities, in the more immediate future, coding helps our kids reason through problems and find workable solutions in a very tangible way that changes how they think and process problems they face. Coding makes kids better problem solvers and helps them develop their creative thinking that is already so inherent at a young age.
So how do you get your kids started with coding? Here at MakerKids we strive to provide your kids with as many opportunities to safely and age-appropriately use technology as possible–that includes learning to code. We offer both after school and weekend classes that include coding.
There are also many valuable educational toys and online resources that assist your child (and you!) in learning coding.
- One way your child may already be learning to code is through the immensely popular game, Minecraft. At its core, Minecraft is about building and creating a world in a digital realm, like digital Lego. In our programs, kids learn syntax and how to create commands in the game. Kids also learn how to computers work by creating their own servers. The downside is that Minecraft isn’t free. It is recommended for late elementary school and older.
Scratch and Stencyl are free online coding games where kids can create animations and stories. Stencyl is a professional program that can actually publish apps to app store! We go over these programs and more in our coding programs. They are primarily for kids ages 8 to 16 years old. Scratch Jr is suitable for younger kids.
Dash and Dot are robots designed for kids ages 6 and up to code. Kids can program these little guys to do different activities and play games. The robots themselves can be an expensive initial investment, but the app to run them is free. Starts at $150.
- The Osmo kit is a great addition to any iPad to take kids playing beyond the screen itself and promote creative problem-solving. Osmo Coding Games are available as an extension to this. These games are great for young elementary school kids, but can be very pricey. Starts at $145.
Want to learn more about coding, its importance and impact? Check out TedTalks playlist on coding!
These suggestions barely scratch the surface of the number of coding options available to your kids and we’d love to help point you in the direction of more or share more about our coding classes with you!