In a world that revolves around technology, it’s normal for parents to want their children to get away from devices. And if you feel the need to say, “Get off that thing and go find something else to do!”, you’re not alone.
There’s no argument that children need a break from screens. However, it might make you feel better to know that children can gain several advantages from tech time.
Opening a door like coding an app to your children can ensure they are doing something productive, and it can open up many doors in the future. Continue reading to learn more about the benefits of coding for kids and how to get started.
Why Should Kids Learn to Code?
Below are just a handful of the benefits your child can gain from learning to code.
They Express Creativity and Build Confidence
Coding teaches children to be creative. They get to explore their ideas and bring them to life. This not only encourages them to use creativity throughout their lives but also helps them to build confidence.
They’re Learning – But They Don’t Know It
Learning often sticks best when the focus isn’t on learning. When you use anything in practical application, it becomes relevant and that knowledge is always there.
That’s one of the great things about coding. It involves a lot of computational thinking and problem-solving skills.
At the same time, it’s fun for kids to learn to code, and it uses the knowledge they gain in a practical manner. They retain that knowledge without even realizing they’re learning. It’s not uncommon to see children who learn to code begin to perform better in school.
It Builds a Persistent Attitude
Coding involves a good amount of failure. You have an idea you want to make a reality, but it just doesn’t work out as you want.
Fortunately, failure in coding rarely leads to a child giving up. Instead, they dive back in and try to fix the problem. They keep going and going until they finally reach their goal. Building persistence at a young age can help a child throughout the rest of their life.
Technology Isn’t Going Anywhere
Coding teaches digital literacy. And as the digital world is only going to progress, gaining digital literacy skills provides kids with an advantage. They’ll not only be able to adapt to technological changes throughout life, but it can also give them an advantage in their careers.
7 Steps to Teach Your Child to Code
Teaching your child to code may seem intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. Just follow these steps to get a strong start.
1. Focus on Coding Languages
Coding languages are the things that actually tell a computer or device what to do. Therefore, learning a coding language is an essential first step.
Someone looking to get into professional coding would need to focus on learning one or more of the common coding languages, such as Python, C++, PHP, or Java. However, a child would not necessarily need something at that level.
Instead, you can help your child learn coding languages through different digital games that can help. For example, options like GameMaker teach pieces of each of those coding languages, without requiring your child to be proficient in any.
2. Work On Visual Memory
Coding requires effective visual processing, so it’s important that your child has strong visual memory skills. You can help them build these through several playful activities, including the following:
- Magic Cups: The fun trick where you put an object under one cup. Then mix that cup with two or three others while they follow the object.
- I Spy and the Memory Card Game: These oldies but goodies are more than a way to pass the time.
- Picture Study: Have them stare at a picture for 30 seconds, and then ask them to tell you what they remember about it.
3. Demonstrate Problem-Solving Skills
While learning to code does teach children to problem solve problems, they need a foundation to build on. Show them how to identify and solve problems so they’ll know how to do it themselves while working with their app. You can do this through normal activities, from deciding what to cook for dinner to how to manage a big work project.
4. Work on Social Skills
An app is no good without an understanding of the end user. Everyone has used an app or website at some point that made it clear the developer or designer seemed to have no practical understanding of how it would be used.
This is why social skills are so important. It’s not that your child needs to get involved in every event and grow their friend group. They just need to have a good understanding of how to use their coding in real-world situations.
5. Help Them Map It Out
Before your child actually attempts to build an app or game, they should have a clear idea of what they want it to be like. This doesn’t mean they can’t adapt to it as time goes by, but they need a starting point.
Help your child draw out the design and clarify how they want it to function. It doesn’t need to be a professional drawing – a doodle is fine. This step will give them an idea to work with and – with your help – they’ll have learned how to map out ideas they might have in the future.
6. Find Your Tools
There are several platforms, games, and app creation tools available to help your child. These are available according to their skill level. For example, there are some available for kids with no technical experience up to those that have a good understanding of programming.
The tools they need also depend on the type of app they want to build. For instance, building an android app requires different programming languages and software development programs than an iOS app.
7. Consider Getting Help
If you find your child struggling with the development, or just want someone to help them through it, consider linking up with an app development service.
Wouldn’t it be great to pave the path for your little one to have their pick of careers? With coding, that’s exactly what you’re doing, because technology isn’t going anywhere. And as long as there’s technology, we need coders to tell that technology what to do.
Learning to code can open the door to great employment potential for your child. People who can code are hired for many positions, including software engineers, data scientists, IT managers, information security technologists, mobile developers, web developers, and much more. You can start helping your child build a bright future by helping them learn to code today.