Coding, computer coding, programming, or whatever else you want to call it, is a staple in today’s world. After all, our world is becoming more technologically advanced by the day. More or less everything we do is ruled and controlled by technology.
This is the case whether we are talking about computers, smartphones, or tablets. Every piece of technology out there, every computer, every phone, every video game, they all have to be coded first.
Of course, it’s usually always the adults that are doing the coding for any kind of application or piece of technology that you buy. That said, when it comes to computer coding or programming, everybody has to start somewhere. This is what we are here to talk about today, coding for kids.
We want to take a look at what exactly coding is. We then want to take a look at why coding for kids is beneficial and what it can teach them. What it all comes down to is that coding is very educational for children. It also helps them to prepare for the future, for a career in our technologically advanced world.
- What Exactly is Coding?
- Why is Coding Good for Kids Beneficial?
- Computer Coding as an Investment into Your Child’s Future
- What is a Good Age for Kids to Start Learning About Coding?
- Free Coding Programs and Websites for Kids
- How to Introduce Kids to the World of Coding
- Coding for Kids – Final Thoughts
What Exactly is Coding?
Some people call it coding, some computer coding, some programming, and some computer programming. These are all interchangeable terms that more or less mean the same thing. This is a process or activity where computer programmers write lines of code.
In other words, these are instructions that computers, phones, and applications use to perform specific tasks. These are a set of instructions or protocols that pieces of technology follow through execute various tasks. Java, Python, C++, and more, are all examples of computer programming languages.
In simplest terms, somebody provides a computer with a set of instructions, and the computer then follows them. Coding is used to create computer software, smartphone software, websites, interactive content, applications, games, and more.
Why is Coding Good for Kids Beneficial?
You might be thinking that your child doesn’t need to know how to code computer programs and software. Although there are certainly more than enough people out there already doing so, there are various benefits associated with it.
Even if your child doesn’t want to become a computer programmer, it can still reap various benefits from learning how to code. Let’s take a quick look at the various benefits that your child stands to gain from learning how to code.
1. It Allows for Greater Technological Literacy
One of the most basic reasons why future coding is ideal for children’s because it allows for greater technological literacy. As you know, our world is becoming more technologically advanced and focused as the years go on.
The better your children understand this technology, the better they can adapt to their surrounding environment. Moreover, if something ever goes wrong with their phones or computers, they might just know how to fix it on their own. Simply put, it never hurts to have more knowledge.
2. It Improves Focus and Concentration
One of the biggest benefits that your kids get from learning how to code is that it helps develop focus and concentration. The fact of the matter is of course that coding is not easy. It takes countless hours, hundreds of hours, to learn how to be a professional coder.
Some would even say that it takes thousands of hours to learn professional coding techniques. This in itself is something that helps develop focus and concentration, as well as dedication. Your children have to learn to focus for hours on end to learn a new coding skill or technique.
Moreover, it also takes a great deal of focus to write hundreds, and even thousands of lines of codes in one sitting. If you don’t have the ability to focus and concentrate on the task at hand, you won’t ever get through any coding exercise.
On that same note, there are many things that can go wrong in coding. Even one wrong character, letter, or number can spell disaster for a full set of code.
If something does go wrong, a child then has to be able to go through every single line of code to find the mistake. If that doesn’t involve concentration and focus, then we don’t know what does. Of course, focus and concentration are two very vital skills that a child will need further on in life.
3. It Develops Critical Thinking, Deduction, and Creativity
Coding is also all about logical thought, critical thinking, reasoning, deduction, and creativity. There are many studies out there that show that computer programming skills are directly related to cognitive skills. Generally speaking, students who know how to code also score higher on cognitive tests.
Coding is all about taking a set of problems and solving them. When you write a piece of computer code, you are solving problems using a variety of steps. Big problems are broken down into many smaller problems. Kids will learn a skill known as decomposition, which is very valuable later on in life.
Children need to be able to identify problems, analyze problems, create solutions, test solutions, and repeat this process over and over again. This helps to develop a variety of critical thinking skills. When it comes to learning in depth problem solving skills, computer coding is one of the best educational methods of all.
4. It Helps Make Children More Confident
Yet another benefit that comes with learning how to code for kids is that it makes them much more confident. Your kids are going to learn a new skill, or actually a variety of new skills. Whenever kids learn new skills and gain new knowledge, it automatically makes them more confident.
It makes kids feel confident in the fact that they know how to program a computer, something that not many know how to do. Of course, confidence is another one of these things that will benefit your child in many different ways throughout life. This is true whether it comes to scoring a job or getting a date too.
5. Coding is an Investment into The Future
When it comes down to it, computer coding is an investment into the future for your child. Coding related careers are on the rise, which means that knowing how to code is important for finding a job.
Although it is unfortunate, our world is ruled by the almighty dollar. If your child knows how to code, they’ll be able to make plenty of those dollars throughout their life.
Computer Coding as an Investment into Your Child’s Future
Yes, getting a job related to computer coding is definitely one way in which this is an investment into the future. There are a couple of interesting statistics that you should know here.
For one, computer programming and coding careers grew in number by 12% more than jobs that did not relate to computer coding.
On that same note, jobs that require some kind of coding skill pay an average of $22,000 per year more than jobs that don’t. Simply put, a person who knows how to code is more likely to find a job, and likely to find a better paying job as well.
What is a Good Age for Kids to Start Learning About Coding?
Something you might be wondering is when the best time to introduce your children to coding is. According to official studies, a good age to start introducing your child to the world of coding is around five years old. This is when your child is in the so called preoperational stage in life.
In other words, here a child starts to understand the world through the use of words and images. This, combined with the fact that there are many modern types of educational tools, means that around five or six years old is a good time for this to occur.
That said, when to introduce your child to coding does somewhat depend on how advanced your child is. For instance, if your child does not have basic literacy and numeracy skills, then coding is going to be very difficult.
Your child should have a firm grasp on their ABCs, and should also be able to read fairly well. Your child should also be able to count up to 100. If your child can do both of these things, then you can indeed start introducing them to the world of coding.
Free Coding Programs and Websites for Kids
Something else you should know is that there are plenty of free coding programs and websites for kids. In fact, many of the websites that we will mention here are indeed free to use.
Coder Kids is one website that is free to use, and it has a wide variety of different coding games that kids can use. Code Academy is another website that is free to use. It is aimed at children who are between the ages of 8 and 16 years old. There are also many different levels in this program, so your child can continue learning and progressing
This website is aimed at children who are between the ages of 5 and 7 years old. It teaches kids how to create stories, games, and animations using code. The great thing about this website is that it is very interactive, and it uses pictures and stories to help kids learn.
Codecombat.com is a website that is aimed at children who are between the ages of 8 and 16 years old. This website teaches kids how to code by using video games. In other words, kids will need to use code in order to progress in the game.
LightBot.com is another website that is aimed at children who are between the ages of 8 and 16 years old. This website teaches kids how to code by using puzzles. In other words, kids will need to use code in order to progress in the game.
Khanacademy.com is a website that is free to use, and it has a wide variety of different coding topics that kids can learn about. This website covers a range of different age groups, so you can find something that is suitable for your child.
Another excellent platform that offers free coding lessons for kids is Code Monkey.
Besides having a fun name, this web-based service adopts the idea of teaching coding to children through the interactive environment of online gaming. Kids as young as 6 years old can start learning the basics of coding with Code Monkey, which uses visual blocks and a drag-and-drop interface for children to learn with.
Tynker.com is a website that is free to use, and it has a wide variety of different coding lessons that kids can use. This website also offers a wide range of different age groups, so you can find something that is suitable for your child.
How to Introduce Kids to the World of Coding
The other thing you are probably wondering here is how you introduce your kids to the world of coding. After all, you can’t just sit them in front of a computer coding program and expect them to understand. For one, there are of course many basic and beginner computer programming classes out there. Many advanced schools also offer modern classes such as these.
Moreover, STEM education is another great way to go. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. This is a special type of education that will focus on these exact topics. There are even STEM schools out there, which feature curriculums that focus on these topics. Of course, computer programming is a part of technology, engineering, science, and math.
These STEM programs often have some sort of introduction to computer programming. Furthermore, there are then also many STEM toys that you can introduce to your children. There are many computer programming related toys that will introduce children to the world of coding.
Coding for Kids – Final Thoughts
The bottom line is that if you introduce your kids to coding at an early age, you are providing them with a leg up on the competition. It’s all about providing them with various skills and benefits that will allow them to find well paying careers in the future.