Coding is becoming one of the most essential skills for kids these days, but it is often not taught in the schools. If you want your child to learn basic coding to help them in the future, there are many ways to get them started. This is true even if you know nothing about coding yourself and you don’t want them to spend all their time at the computer.
Here are some of the best fun ways for kids to learn coding so that they can learn a skill that can help them later on in life.
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Coding involves finding patterns where events seem to be irregular, and you can teach your kids this basic principle without a computer. For example, you could use colored blocks to create a pattern, such as four red blocks followed by one blue block, and then ask them to spot the pattern,
You can do this with anything, and you can steadily make the patterns more complex. Once they have learned the principle, they can transfer the process to the computer later on.
Create a Binary Necklace
It is a good idea for kids to get an understanding of binary and how it works. Coding programs allow people to not have to use binary codes, but it is still useful to know how they work.
It’s easy to create a binary necklace using beads of different colors, as described here. Simply find a list of the binary code for each letter, and help your child to choose the right code for each letter in their name.
Choose a color for 1 and a color for 0, as well as another color for the spaces, and then write out their name in beads. This will help them to understand the concept of binary, which will help them when they start coding properly.
Find Some Suitable Board Games
You can find many board games for sale that can help your kids to understand the concept of coding. Some of these are specifically for coding, whereas with others you may be able to adapt them to teach an element of coding.
LEGO is one of the best toys for kids, and it can also be used to learn the basic concepts of coding. For example, you can play with the ‘Bits and Bricks‘ campaign, which is an online game made by LEGO. Or you could just use the colored blocks to create patterns or to learn binary in the same way as the necklace.
Invest in a Raspberry Pi
The Raspberry Pi has been a phenomenon. A computer the size of a credit card that costs just a few dollars, it is providing kids with a simple and affordable way to learn coding. This is for older kids who want to get more serious with their coding, and it is a great way to take their skills to the next level.
Teach Your Child Coding
Learning to code can be a lot of fun for kids, and it is a great skill for them to learn. If they enjoy it, they may start learning more on their own as they get older, and it is certain to be a useful skill that will open many opportunities for them. So start teaching them the basics, and you may find that you want to learn at the same time.
Abbie Coles is a teaching support assistant who has seen technology explode in the last 10 years. She loves working with the kids, seeing them learn new things and writes for parenting sites in her spare time.