With the future of the world becoming more computer-oriented day by day, computer education and coding are going to become a new normal. Soon children will have to learn to code the way they learn to eat or do other activities. However, as every parent knows that getting a child to learn something new is difficult. So how do you disguise coding for kids into a fun activity that children would enjoy? Here are some ways that you can make coding fun for children.
The best way to probably get your child excited about learning to code or take the first baby steps into coding is to convince them that coding is creative. You can easily rope in kids who enjoy playing games with Lego blocks, solving jigsaw puzzles or reading fantasy adventure stories to code by introducing them to the creative aspect of coding.
When coding is taught in schools, it usually involves solving problems quite like mathematics. This process of teaching is not very engaging and leaves children feeling as though the subject is dry. As a parent, what you can do is show them what they can create through code. When they see that the sky's the limit with computer coding, they will soon learn to love code.
One of the most vital traits required in a coder is the attitude of “I wonder what will happen next?” When children deviate from the tried and tested paths, that is, when they explore, they can do so much more. They need to experience it first hand. The only way they can do this by exploring the domain of computers and learning much more about machines. So try to foster an environment where they can tinker around and play with computers.
Children spend most of their time on mobile phones. You can use this habit of theirs to reinforce that code is fun. There are many apps available on both iOS and Android platforms that teach coding.
These apps are fun to use since they take the help of games and challenges to teach basic coding constructs like loops, recursion, structural thinking and decision making to children.
These apps come for children of different age groups and are easy, intuitive and straightforward to pick up. Some examples include Daisy the Dinosaur, Scratch Jr, and Code Kart. Install these apps. Some of them may be free and allow children to play as much as they like.
Another way to get children interested in programming is by playing various coding games. Like coding apps, coding games usually have a mission that needs to be accomplished while teaching you the different techniques of code.
Minecraft is one of the most popular games that encourage children to explore the Minecraft world. In addition to Minecraft, there is Roblox, AlgoRun and Algorithm City. You can install these games on your android phone and get started with the various missions and levels of challenges.
If you want your child to feel that code is fun, try to involve him or her into coding with the help of his friends. Make a coding club and turn coding into a social activity where children can learn from each other.
Also, they can meet up to play coding games or use the coding apps to make projects and send them to one another. When children start to see their friends interested and excited about coding, they will automatically gain interest in the whole activity. The spark that you want to ignite in them can be created through collaborative efforts with friends.
Nothing can help children understand that code is fun better than meeting a real-life coder. In your social circle, you may have friends or colleagues who are working as programmers. Set up a meeting with them so that your kids can get a real-life example of a coder. They will be able to interact and ask questions, and the senior coder can guide or help your child as he makes a transition into hardcore coding.
Some children like to know precisely where in the world is coding applicable, and a real-life coder could help them understand what interesting problems he regularly works on. This person can also act as a mentor to your children on their coding journey.
For a child who enjoys puzzles, code is fun. What if your kid does not enjoy problem-solving? You need to create engaging problems or try to solve real-life problems that your child faces in his daily life.
If your child is unable or does not like problem-solving, it is your responsibility to guide them into coming to a place where they are not afraid of difficulties but are excited about it.
If you can align the interests of your students or children with coding, you are striking two birds with one stone. Your child may be interested in Football, so you can help them create a website for tracking the statistics of their favourite players. Also, your child may be interested in clothes, and you can help them set-up an e-commerce site that sells T-shirts.
There are different ways by which you can get children interested in coding. When you spark their curiosity by coming up with a problem that only a computer can solve, you are one step closer to getting them excited about coding.
If your kids love books, try to get them a good selection of coding books that will whet their appetite for the real deal. You can also introduce them to movies and stories of the great programmers like Steve Wozniak, Larry Page and Linus Torvalds.
Their stories will not only inspire your children but also make them curious to know more about what is there for them in coding. With enough bait, you can slowly push them into coding.
There is no better way to show children that code is fun than by going on the journey with them. If you do not have the time to spend with your children, try to learn to code along with them. When children see you struggle with the same things that they are struggling with, they feel assured that their parent understands the trouble he or she is facing. So try coding as a weekend activity that your children will enjoy.
So through these tips and tricks, making code is fun for your kids from an early age!