11 ideas to introduce coding to elementary kids – Guest Post by Shawn Mathews, Dallas TX
Ideas to introduce elementary kids to coding have their own challenges. The competitive world today demands skills that cannot be obtained merely by academics. Parents and teachers need to put extra effort. It is essential that kids learn to code. Not every kid might find coding interesting. It is the responsibility of parents and teachers to make it interesting for kids. Students should be able to relate it to the real world. They should find how and when coding applies in daily lives. You can start with some basic examples like going to school. Kids go to school by bus followed by a route. They come back home from the same bus and path. It repeats every day. This can be an example of a loop. There are plenty of such examples. What kids observe and perform daily can be presented as an example of coding. In addition, feel free to check our list of 37+ coding and design courses for kids.
Students should also know why they need to learn to program. Depending on academic merely cannot help in the long run. Students cannot develop logic, reasoning and other important skills. Programming through fun ideas will help kids learn to code faster. You must find such resources that categorize coding according to the age of kids. Like kindergarten, kids can learn basic programming. Secondary school students can have a slightly higher level of programming.
In the 11 ideas to introduce coding to elementary kids, learning tactics also play an important role. Below is a list of ideas about how you can make coding fun for kids.
- Find out coding games-There are certain computational games that can develop logic in children. A few examples can be Kodable, Light bot and move the turtle. These are computational games. Let your kids play the games and stress over the answer. Soon they will develop logic and think like a computer.
- Write code by playing games– A platform named Scratch is a programming language that allows kids to create interactive stories, games, and animations in a very visual, drag-and-drop manner. What’s wonderful about Scratch is not just the power of we can create how much with it, but also the community your kids will join when they program in it. Rather than having to start from scratch, kids can play with and change games and stories that others have written, remixing them as they see fit. Then they can share the programs they write with others to show off their own creations. They will develop confidence in their abilities and will have a sense of pride.
- Building robots– Lego Mindstorm is a platform where kids can learn to build robots. Children learn the concepts of sensor, motor, and remote control. They need all of this to build a robot. With Mindstorms, your kids can build robots that walk, talk, and do as they command. Children will not only develop a robot but also gain confidence. If they maintain consistency, then they can learn a lot of things. This will be beneficial in the long run.
- Creating Minecraft mods– If your kids play Minecraft, they’ll eventually grow bored. However with the available mods, (user modified versions) kids should build their own. Since Mods are built with real-world programming languages like Java, this is a great way to take their programming skills to the next level. When kids play, they fail first. Eventually, they learn the tactics to excel in the game. This way they develop logic and some programming language. It is a super fun way to learn through their video-guided, online course. It shows kids how to program in Java to create their own swords, armors, tools, food, achievements and more.
- Physical computing– Raspberry is a platform where kids can learn physical computing and coding. It’s a great way for kids to learn about the hardware that computers run on. Plus, there are versions of Scratch and Minecraft for the Raspberry Pi, which make it a great tool for kids who are learning to code. It is a credit sized computer. You can buy it for $50.Minecraft for Raspberry Pi is the only edition of the game that lets players program it directly. It gives your kids even more options for controlling their Minecraft experience.
- Actual coding for kids– The above ideas are the indirect techniques to help teach coding to kids. But sometimes an actual coding resource will help teach coding to kids better. They will directly learn syntax and other concepts. A book named help your kids with computer coding is of great help. Don’t worry though, this is not your typical, boring programming text. The book is colorful, playful and engaging. It uses a combination of words and pictures to explain complex programming topics like this one, which shows the importance of being precise and clear when you code.
- Show them the source codes– Instead of talking concepts to kids you should show them the code. Try showing the source code for basic exercises to students. This technique is best suited for kids in secondary school. They refer to the source code and relate it to what they have learned. Programming is a hand-on-skill that requires practical knowledge. The interactive shell of Python helps students to achieve this thing. If you want to teach your kids coding, then the practical approach is the best in the long run. Even if kids understand the theory, they can still make mistakes while typing.
- Keep your hands off keyboards– Let kids do the task. Even if kids have to click a button, do not do it for them. Point it. Let kids do the job. It will be faster if you do the job. Kids might miss out on the concepts and practices.
- Give kids their own computer– If you are teaching students in a group, then assign a computer to each student. You can use the raspberry cheap computer that starts at $70 USD. Some kids may be boastful and eager to dominate the machine, and less-confident kids will gladly let them have it.
- Skip the computer science– Do not jump into the advanced concepts quickly. Students should be able to understand what they are doing exactly. Try to maintain it in the proper order.
All 11 ideas to introduce coding to elementary kids might not work. Children might not enjoy every algorithms behind the programming initially. But they can understand what it is. It can be achieved by letting kids play games. You can also assign kids colorful coding books so they themselves read and understand it. Programming is a creative activity that any kid can engage in. Your child might not care about writing data processing algorithms, but they might enjoy creating games, programming music, designing websites, or just experimenting with code. Feel free to check out the live preview of the Winning word coding courses.