The future is digital. One study projected that consumers will prioritize technology dependence in the next 10 years. So as we progress and move towards with that expectation in mind, teaching our kids how to code is one of the best preparation for the future that we can ever give them.
However, as parents, we all know how hard it is to get our kids excited about learning new stuff. The initial stage can be really frustrating and some parents even just give up.
So before you enroll your kids in any coding for kids program, it is important that they are interested and that both of you are on the same page when it comes to the learning process. To help you get past that frustrating initial stage, we have listed a few tips on how to get your kids excited about coding. This way, they would not easily get frustrated and they can appreciate their coding lessons even more.
Several coding for kids programs have cracked the code on teaching kids. They have come up with different ways to pander to kids’ interests and make every lesson fun and interesting.
One of the rising and popular approaches to teaching how to code is through Minecraft and Roblox. To put it simply, games like Minecraft and Roblox act like a carrot on a stick. Since these games are popular among kids and their biggest selling point is their customization feature (which kids also love), these games act as bait to get kids hooked and interested in coding.
We have seen several kids learn how to code by simply playing these games. Some even learned and explored the world of coding through these games without any help from teachers. So by simply pandering to your kids’ interests, you can get them hooked and interested to learn new things.
Rather than have your kids sit through coding classes or watch long boring explainer videos, you can do fun activities instead. Even though your kids do not have any foundational knowledge in coding, there are still several learning activities that you can do with them.
For instance, you can teach them binary by making binary bracelets, enhance their planning and reasoning skills by playing Robot Turtle, and even develop their syntax by playing LEGO maze. There are several fun coding activities that you can find on the internet (a quick Google search can do wonders!). You would find a lot of fun activities that would get your kids excited about coding.
Bonus tip: search for activities that you and your kids would enjoy. Aside from learning how to code, this can also be a great bonding experience for both of you.
We have mentioned before that you can pander to your kids’ interests through games. But, other than that, you can also use games and apps as a medium of instruction for teaching.
Developers nowadays know how hard it is to teach kids how to code, so, in turn, they created apps and games that would teach coding for kids instead. Apps like Scratch, Swift Playground, and Blockly are just some of the many apps that focus on teaching kids how to code.
Given that these apps were mainly created to teach kids, your kids would not have a hard time using them. If you take a quick look at the interface of Scratch and Swift, you would see that the colors, graphics, and controls are easy-to-use and kid-friendly. You can use Raspberry Pi projects to build awesome things with your kids that will fuel their love for coding.
One of the bonus features that some of these apps usually offer is their community platform. For example, apps like Scratch not just allow you to create games, but also let you share the game you created with the community as well. So apart from learning how to code, they can also get inspiration from other kids and even make new friends online as well. Since Scratch are mainly geared towards kids learning, the team behind Scratch has a community moderator that keeps the community safe and family-friendly.
We highly suggest you to check out some of these apps if you are just in the initial stage of teaching your kids how to code. These apps would help teach your kids the basics and fundamentals of coding.
Keep in mind that kids think differently from adults. So when we say “inspire them,” we meant is to show them the fun side of coding. Simply showing them a bunch of successful coders might not cut it. You have to think and put yourself in the shoes of your kid.
Which of these two choices do you think would inspire a kid: (a) Bill Gates’ success story or (b) a Paw Patrol App on Roblox built by a 9-year-old?
Obviously, kids would be more inspired by the 9-year-old kid rather than Bill Gates. Some kids do not even know who Bill Gates is, so Option A is clearly the wrong answer.
That said, the key takeaway here is to put yourself in the perspective of your kids. Think of their interests, likes, even dislikes. Build from there, and then try to think of ways on how you can connect their interest to coding.
Now that you finally figured out the best way to get your kids excited, it is time to start gathering materials and other learning resources. Apart from the fun apps and programs that we have suggested above, you still need to have traditional resources like textbooks, video explainers, flashcards, and others. Having these resources would definitely come in handy because you and your kid can easily refer to them if you are ever stuck in a problem. Besides, once your kids finally learn all the basics and fundamentals, they might need more in-depth learning materials to learn complex information and other text-based code languages like Java, C, Python, and many more.
In the end, you still need to maintain their interest and excitement as they move along this learning journey with you.
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