Published : Wednesday, April 3, 2019 | 2:24 PM
In our society, technology is everywhere, and code powers our smartphones, websites, and everything in between. Teaching your child how to code when they are young sets them up for success far into the future, both in school and in their future careers.
Introducing your child to coding is like learning a foreign language – the younger you start, the easier it is! The good news is that even if you are not an IT guru, you can have your child programming and coding as early as elementary school. There is a myriad of games, apps, activities, and camps designed to teach your child coding concepts. Here are five easy, fun ways that you can teach your kids to code this summer.
1. The Scratch Computer Program
Scratch was initially created by MIT students to help kids between the ages of eight and 16 learn how to code. The website allows your child to use a visual programming language to drag bricks to a workplace that seeks to animate sprites.
The variations that your child puts the bricks together make different variables, leading to various loops, sounds, and activities. If both you and your child are newbies to coding, there is a lot of instruction and help so you can learn and build together.
2. The Move the Turtle App
Turtle is an old anagram used to teach children the concept of coding – it was initially instructed children about how to use Apple IIe. Move the Turtle gives children goals to reach new levels, make a sound, or even to draw a line using code. When they become proficient enough, they can use the free play mode “Compose” that allows them to move the turtle any way they choose using the right code. Kids of all ages will love the coding challenges presented in this simple app.
3. The Cargo-Bot App
For a youngster who is attracted to animation, Cargo-Bot is a game that allows them to move crates from one area to the next by programming a crane claw. It was developed on the iPad, so the premise of it teaches the programming language Lua.
Although it is not directly a way to teach a child true code, it is a great start to get their minds thinking in the way that is necessary to understand and use coding concepts. Cargo-Bot is an excellent app for young children just starting out in the coding world.
There are various ways you can use Legos to teach code. They are not only a fun way to have your child learn how to build things, but they can also teach the basics of how to code. There is a range of different activities your child can follow to introduce the concept of loops and generic sequencing of actions.
The tasks get harder as they go along, but if your little one is already comfortable with Legos, it is a great way for coding to be introduced with a familiar, fun toy.
5. Coding camp at Stratford Schools
To teach your child the basics of coding, consider sending them to Stratford School for summer camp. Coding with Tynker instructs them in coding fundamentals through fun puzzles and games. They will learn how to use animation code and the basics of recursion, events, sequencing, and loops.
Once they complete the Tynker course, they can take their skills to a higher level using it to do things like broadcasting, animation, and other game projects that enhance higher learning coding skills.
Give your child a head start by introducing them to coding with these simple coding games and activities. They will get to explore new concepts while learning essentials skills for their success in their STEM education and careers.
Stratford School – Altadena, 2046 Allen Ave., Altadena, (626) 794-1000 or visit www.stratfordschools.com/find-your-campus/altadena.