How to Make Programming More Interesting for Kids
Coding is a creative activity that any child can engage in. Even though children might not care about writing data processing algorithms, they might enjoy coding games, designing websites, or just engaging with code. It’s exciting since we live in a world where computers are some of the essential things. However, even with such information, programming is not a skill that everyone has. Learning programming at an early age can set up your child for a lifetime of success. Even if they don’t pursue an IT course in the future, it gives them a sharp edge in virtually every modern industry. Learning programming requires the appropriate tools and a competent teacher who’s well versed in an IT background. Here are some structured tips to help you spark and sustain your child’s interest in learning to code.
1. Reiterate that Programming Equals to Creativity
Programming is as much about creativity as it is about science, math, and problem-solving. There’s a common myth that computer programmers are math nerds. This ends up scaring many people from coding, children and adults alike. You can check this website to find learning tips for young children. Having ideas about the sector makes it easy to introduce the young one in the new sector.
Programming creates and makes things come to life – games, drawings, applications, etc. Since young children like creating things, coding will come naturally as painting a picture or building something with blocks. As a parent or a teacher, you can capture a students’ interest by emphasizing creativity. In the long haul, they’ll naturally learn some core programming concepts along the way. Ensure you keep it fun and don’t force it.
2. Don’t Force the Concepts.
This is an excellent rule to follow, especially when you’re dealing with young children. Naturally, kids are stubborn, and they may act with reluctance if they’re learning something new. Kids will not enjoy technology concepts if you introduce them with strict rules and guidelines. This makes them view it as another boring thing they have to learn at school. We recommend submitting them to the world of IT and then let them play.
Additionally, please encourage them to think about and figure things out, in the beginning, using simple coding languages that are easy to understand. You can allow them to break a few things if they have to. In the process, they’ll learn to create something new quickly.
3. Make it Fun and Entertaining
As a general rule: programming for kids needs to be fun! However, not many scholars in the field of computer science agree with this notion. Many prefer using the “Hello World” concept, where students learn to print the same words. Experts say that young children find this method a bit tedious. It can also dissuade them from learning code. Getting kids to learn programming is easy; the big challenge lies in keeping them engaged. The best learning pattern is to stay away from a curriculum that is too academic and robust. Focus on the fun and exciting courses that match your child’s interests.
In many cases, the best resources come in the form of games they would enjoy regardless of the content. Talk to your child and listen to some of the areas that excite them. In any case, we’re all interested in a program that teaches us to pursue courses related to our passion and curiosity.
4. Are you Showing them the Source Code?
As we mentioned above, avoid talking about complex topics for young children. While coding is known for its academic reputation, it’s a hands-on skill that requires practice. Coding requires a technical approach instead of just reading books. For instance, Python’s interactive shell encourages experimentation and training to find out what the instructions do. If you’re personally tutoring your kids, we recommend writing code rather than just talking mundane concepts to them. Even after learning basic concepts like functions, loops, and variables, it can be intimidating sitting in a blank editor trying to build a new program. Sit them down and explain the specific code they should write line by line if you’re using online resources and research small source codes to simple games.
5. Look for a Mentor
Many junior and senior developers enjoy volunteering for such projects. You will be shocked at how some of them are willing to mentor your daughter or son. This can either be online or in-person. Whether this is a friend, teacher, acquaintance, or a professional tutor, it can make a significant difference. We recommend that you interact with a professional and experienced developer since they understand the nitty-gritty details of learning code. If you don’t have a close professional who you can consult, you can outsource through freelancing. You can use video conferencing platforms like Zoom or Skype for learning. These platforms allow easy communication and direct one-on-one feedback with the person you’re conversing with.
6. Tap into Their Passion
Children can use programming to create many different types of programs. You should encourage young ones to try what seems interesting. Avoid writing off code if they’re not enjoying one specific flavor. The internet has plenty of applications that focus on everything from animation to drawing and even design and storytelling. For instance, some platforms let students design robots and write programs to operate them. If you tap into something the children enjoy learning, this will boost their creativity and bring new ideas to their lives.
7. Use Curiosity as Your Best Friend
Young kids don’t know what the universe holds for them when they’re young. They will not just venture into computers because they’re convinced they will get good jobs out of it. They are children and have no understanding of what a good job is other than adults tell them. Make them curious about technology. In the long haul, they might spend their eternity trying to satisfy that curiosity. This will lead to great careers that will shape their lives.
Today, technology is evolving at a higher rate, and this infrastructure is becoming accessible even to young kids. We recommend exposing your child to technology at an early age. However, ensure you do it appropriately, as the technology could have some adverse effects if misused. We hope these tips will help set the mood for learning programming early enough. You will be doing a great job of preparing for the next coding generation.
Dallas Dorrall is passionate about music and is living her dream managing and promoting Nashville/Muscle Shoals based Country Music Artist, Johnny Collier, currently touring the US. While traveling, she enjoys reviewing new artists, restaurants and nightclubs. Dallas is crazy about her family and friends and attributes her enthusiasm for life to a quote by Marianne Williamson (which she still reads every day) entitled “Our Deepest Fear”.