STEM careers are the future, and knowing a computer programming language is one of the most valuable skill sets in today’s workplace! Here are 4 ways to get students excited about coding from an early age.
1. Apps. Kids love app games, and there are tons of awesome educational picks that will help students learn about coding from a young age. These apps are excellent tools that convey real knowledge about programming in a relatable way using fun characters, colorful animations, and engaging activities! Here are a few apps we really like:
- codeSpark Academy – A great option for younger children who enjoy watching colorful characters. This app has lessons for a wide number of different age ranges – younger students will love the picture-based games, and older students will find the puzzles fun and challenging.
- Daisy the Dinosaur – This app is perfect for children between the ages of 5 and 7. The activities play very much like a classic side-scrolling video game, except kids control Daisy’s movement by answering questions about coding!
- Kodable – This app has a whimsical theme featuring lovable aliens that resemble pom-poms! Kodable offers fun games and activities for students of all ages, and their exercises are based on real coding languages that are used today.
- Tynker – If your child likes Minecraft, you might want to check out Tynker! Students are taught real programming skills that allow them to make their own Minecraft mods that can be experienced in-game.
2. Bridge connections. A great way to spark an interest in coding is to show your child how it relates to activities they may already enjoy. Video games like Roblox and Minecraft encourage kids to learn programming languages and provide a solid introduction to game development. If your child enjoys building models, check out some of the incredible robotics sets offered by popular toy brands like LEGO and K’NEX! Hands-on learning is a great way to reinforce concepts, and many students are surprised to find how many of their interests already involve coding in some way.
3. DIY. Want to get started right away? When it comes to building a basic website, HTML reigns supreme. What’s great about HTML is that it requires absolutely no software or special programs to work with – every computer sold today has everything you need to start creating right out of the box! As long as you have a text editor and a web browser, you can make your very own personal website in minutes. Reputable knowledge bases like W3Schools have been around for decades and continue to offer free courses for anyone who wants to learn! This is a great option for older students who like to explore topics at their own leisure.
4. Camps and programs. Summer camps, computer clubs, and after school programs are all great ways to encourage your child to explore the world of coding. Organizations like Code Wiz offer a multitude of programs ranging from robotics classes to video game design! Click here to learn more.