My childhood was spent collecting baseball cards and hurling hot wheel cars off ramps. If I felt like being extra studious, I might spend some time making a baking soda volcano while reading a book about Pompeii. My building activities involved Lincoln Logs and Tinkertoys. I thought those were pretty great.
My daughter is coding.
Yes, you read that right. In the age of Minecraft and tablets, kids as young as 3 are learning to program. At first it seemed as ridiculous to me as I am sure it does to so many. Programming has always been this mystical power held by only the brainiest and the most wonderfully nerdiest of us all. It was for the super smart and the elite.
And yet, there she is, at the age of five…programming.
Much like we learned how to count to ten in Spanish watching Sesame Street (remember that song?), our children are learning how to speak coding languages. And, much like it became simple to expand on learning other languages after being exposed to them at a young age, our children are becoming adept at coding and programming. Here are five of our favorite resources for teaching your child to code (even if you don’t have the first clue about how to do it yourself):
- Code.org – This website was launched in 2013 in an effort to increase the number of children with access to computer science classes, specifically the number of children of color and girls. The effort was a huge success, and continues to be a powerful tool to teach your children how to code.
- Edsurge.com – has incredible resources to also educate you about coding and what your child is going to be learning. There are articles for the parents, and hands on games and adventures for the kids.
- Apps, Apps, Apps. There are so many kids coding apps out there to entertain and educate your child. Graphite.org has a comprehensive list and review of these apps, that range from toddler aged up to through high school. Take the time to review these apps and find one that would be entertaining and beneficial to your child.
- Google thrives on the most agile minds in the world, so it should surprise no one that they’re eager to raise an army of brilliant programmers to lead them into the future. Google has Made with Code, a project that is ambitious to say the least. They include tutorials, games, and easy to follow instructions to teach your child how to program.
- Another group that thrives on the bright minds of our world would be none other than MIT. MIT has released the Media Lab’s Scratch Team to create comprehensive and fun tutorials on coding and programming for children of all ages. Whether your child has never attempted coding a day in their life, or if they’re old hat at it, MIT has a tutorial and a learning center for them.
~ Pawan Gupta