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Coding for Kids: The Ultimate Guide for Parents

Coding for Kids: The Ultimate Guide for Parents

You’ve probably noticed the booming popularity of coding for kids as an extracurricular activity over recent years. You may also be wondering where the perfect space for your kid is in all of this. Aside from technology evolving rapidly, there is an inclination to get into the computer science field at an early age. By 2031, the computer and information technology industry will grow by 15 percent with an estimated 682,800 new job opportunities available. Getting your child an early start in coding prepares them for a fruitful career in industries that haven’t even been created yet!

 

Aside from the exciting job opportunities, coding for kids offers a broad range of interpersonal skills like communication, problem-solving, critical thinking, and creativity, to name just a few. In this ultimate guide, you’ll garner a comprehensive understanding of the importance of coding in designing the future along with the best free and paid resources to support your child as they dive into a new and fun mode of creating a new world and interacting with it.

 

What is coding for kids?

Coding for kids is an all-encompassing approach to understanding the world of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Through gamified learning and interactive assignments, coding for kids teaches basic principles governing mechanics that power the virtual world around them. From their favorite video games to the apps they use, coding for kids demystifies the complexities by allowing them to interact and learn how to create their programs and software.

 

Coding is a language.

Computer science or not, everything around us has a unique code that instructs its form. Look at the natural world. You’ll see it encoded with cellular functions and biology that instruct different mechanisms like respiration, for example. The same applies to technology and the language of coding. In learning to code, your child will become fluent in this language and develop a keen ability to distinguish certain functions, program software, create games for fun and develop solutions for some of the most pressing problems.

 

Just as with any language, there are different dialects and accents which also apply to coding. From learning to code through HTML or popular programming languages like Python, there are no limits. Starting your child early can be a phenomenal way to develop fluency in a few different programming languages.

 

 

Why is it important to learn coding for kids? 

Given the statistical growth projection for coding and STEM-related jobs, learning to code gives your child an advantage they otherwise may miss.

 

Learning to code is pivotal in developing both personal and professional skills. From developing solid self-esteem to building a network of passionate peers, the opportunity to grow exceeds the career front and peaks at the opportunity to create globally applied solutions.

 

It is important, now more than ever, to get kids into coding because they’ll grow with it and be well-equipped once it is time to commit to a chosen career.

 

Receiving a thorough education is critical to developing a comprehensive worldview. Just as subjects like history and language arts provide fresh perspectives on where we came from and where we’re going, coding for kids supplements what is possible through social sciences in serving as an ally through technological tools. Coding for kids is a bridge to creating a realistic approach to theoretical solutions.

 

Top 3 benefits of kids learning to code online?

The rewards of garnering fluency in the world of coding come with many milestones along the way. Of course, the qualification of landing a high-paying job is at the tip of the iceberg, but beneath the surface, there are developmental qualities gained along the way. The top benefits of learning to code online include problem-solving, critical thinking, and creativity, to start. Each of these skills works well on its own and comes together in magnificent ways when met with real-world problems.

 

coding for kids benefits infographic

 

 

The great thing about STEM education is it doesn’t just teach kids, it teaches them how to learn, how to ask the right questions, and most importantly, how to think for themselves.

 

Problem Solving 

In any online coding class, like Scratch or web development, kids get the opportunity to challenge their problem-solving skills through a productive approach. In the real world, programmers must break down complex problems into smaller algorithms and interpret data. Once the bigger issue has been looked at from various perspectives, the skill of writing code to resolve the root of hardware or software issues can progress.

 

Since coding is a language, this example above is akin to resolving any communication issue. Through the window of STEM, children learn how to fix coding bugs and blunders while also developing the patience and logic needed to land on conflict resolution in real life.

 

Creativity

There is a very fun and interactive side to coding that doesn’t get enough attention. Creativity is at the core of coding and programming due to the requirements of imagining an outlandish idea and then turning it into reality. As much as problem-solving is a part of becoming a successful programmer, having a sophisticated sense of curiosity and creativity is just as critical. Whether in game design or software applications, exploring new approaches to bringing the imagination to life is a major component of coding. It is the vigor that brings a big vision down to reality making it possible to pave forward for a more cohesive future. On the same hand, the creative aspects of coding can lead to eclectic job opportunities in arts and design.

 

Critical Thinking

Coding helps sculpt the brain to approach the world through the lens of critical thinking. It is easy to take things at face value, especially in the age of information where everything is easily accessible. In the process of debugging and programming new solutions through coding, kids get an early start at exercising their minds to think critically.

 

From zooming out, gaining a wider perspective, and adopting an abstract point of view, coding for kids offers a fun way to strengthen the mind’s mental capacity.

 

Understanding Coding and Its Many Dialects

Aside from the diverse creative options found in coding, there are different coding languages and dialects to explore. Depending on your child’s age and skill level, they may start with a visual and block-based coding language like Scratch before advancing to more advanced languages using text, acronyms, and numericals such as HTML or CSS.

 

As your child progresses in their coding education, they’ll gain access to some of the most widely used programming languages. Who knows? Maybe they’ll even invent their own and that is the beauty of coding. It encourages those in the field to experiment and create things that have never been done before.

 

The 3 Best Coding Languages in 2023?

According to the Online Historical Encyclopaedia of Programming Languages, coders have created about 8,945 coding languages—and that is just the tip of the iceberg. Not all coding languages are made the same, however.

 

When considering top coding languages, it is all about what program it is made to support and its intended use. We’ve listed three of the best and most well-known coding languages to date.

 

Scratch

Popular amongst young students, Scratch is an online community with language that lets kids create their own stories, animations, and games. Developed by MIT professionals, Scratch promotes computational thinking, problem-solving, collaboration, and self-expression.

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As a visual and block-based language, Scratch is intended for ages 8 to 16, but is used by people of all ages. With over 20,000,000 users in 2021, it is a great place to start before exploring more distinct coding languages.

 

Python

Used by the most popular platforms like Instagram, Youtube, and Spotify, Python is a leading language among coders and programmers. Considered one of the easiest languages to learn, Python is a text-based language that requires only a few lines of code to function. Don’t be fooled by its simplicity! This language is also used to run more complex work like cyber security and artificial intelligence.

 

Regardless, its easy-to-learn nature makes Python a stand out option for learning coding for kids. From creating games and animations to robots and websites, children get a broad understanding of all that is possible within the coding world.

 

JavaScript

Originally known as Mocha, Javascript was created by Brendan Eich, a Netscape Communications Corporation programmer, in 1995. It only took him 10 days to create this language and has since been a trusted language utilized by the STEM community. One of the greatest appeals of JavaScript is its ability to allow developers to quickly create applications without needing to load a new page. With a swift and straightforward workflow, programming new software can help launch an idea in no time.

 

In our Web Development courses, we teach the ins and outs of JavaScript so students can create their web and mobile applications. Including a mix of numbers and terms, developing fluency in this coding language increases their overall computing literacy. As they continue in their education, they can also apply this knowledge to their careers.

 

There is so much to learn and the ability to create, with passion, is just the tip of the coding iceberg. Not only have our students found success in exploring coding for kids, but they have also developed new perspectives and reached deeper levels of personal fulfillment. From seeing their projects come to life to overcome hurdles, the confidence they experience within themselves is unbeatable.

 

Take the Leap into Coding

So, now that we’ve touched base on what coding for kids entails, its benefits, and the top languages, you might be wondering how to take the next step in signing your child up for online coding classes.

 

From gamified learning to interactive courses and free websites, there is something for every skill level, age, and budget.

 

Best Coding Games for Kids in 2023

Learning through play is one of the most effective ways to convey foundational topics and core components that are sure to be cemented in memory. There is just something about experiencing new information that trumps any kind of note-taking or testing assessment. Since coding requires an input-to-output relationship, implementation and active participation are key.

 

Introducing your child to the world of coding through gamified learning deepens their interest in STEM as a sustainable extracurricular, potentially high-paying career, and lifelong creative outlet. Here are some of the best coding games for kids in 2023 to start the year on a bright note.

 

Scratch

A language and community of its own, Scratch Jr and Scratch are both perfect coding games for beginners. Accessible online, kids from all over the world have access to a fun game while simultaneously gaining a robust introduction to coding. Its easy-to-navigate platform makes learning to code an intuitive process that can be built on with more complex skills. Not only is Scratch super accessible, but it is also free and can be a great introduction before investing in an online coding course.

 

Minecraft

Minecraft reached a record of 10 million accounts in 2011 and has only continued to grow over the past decade. As a popular game amongst kids, Minecraft offers more than leisurely play. Its format spans different game consoles and computer systems making it accessible to all kids above the recommended age of 10. This popular game is all about discovery, planning, and exploration. From using blocks to build shelters and tools and interacting with other characters, Minecraft offers a window into the world of coding, problem-solving, critical thinking ,and so much more. In our Minecraft Modding course, students learn to code and customize their environment.

 

Tynker

Made for kids aged 5 to 18, Tynker is another popular introduction to coding. Accessible online or offline, this coding for kids game gives children the ability to program drones, write interactive stories and discover everything the world of STEM has to offer. Since it starts free, before opting for a paid experience, Tynker is a helpful approach to garnering interest before financially committing.

 

However, there are also free coding websites for kids that provide a plethora of information, resources, tips, and guides that can accompany an online course.

 

Free Coding Websites for Kids in 2023

When supporting your kid in leaping learning to code, you’ll want to explore all options available. From coding boot camps and games to free coding websites and online courses, there is no shortage to the abundance of resources at your fingertips. As your child deepens their studies, having access to the top free coding websites for kids in 2023 is bound to set their year off on a strong foot while serving as an additional resource to any coding classes they are already enrolled in.

 

Code.org

Home of the infamous “Hour of Code”, this leading website provides a free platform for kids to explore the world of coding through various forms of learning. From learning how AI can help the oceans to code your very own dance party, kids get to approach computer science from multiple perspectives. If you’re looking for a free and in-depth start to coding for kids, look no further than Code.org. Their non-profit platform has already helped over 67 million students and provides resources to schools to make computer science accessible to all.

 

Khan Academy

Another non-profit, Khan Academy teaches young students through short videos with assignments to complete afterward. As a free resource, this is a great resource for supplementary practices to accompany coding classes for extra practice. Students get to practice at their own pace and learn from trusted experts in topics like science, art, math, chemistry, and more, in addition to coding.

 

Blockly

A project by Google, Blocky is a free coding website and resource for block-based and visual learning. If you’ve already explored Scratch, you’ll notice a similarity in its accessibility through web browsers. This website also prioritizes JavaScript making it a resourceful space to learn another coding language.

 

Having a few free coding websites and resources can be a great addition to coding classes for further learning. Be mindful to distinguish when it is time to invest in a course as there is a great deal of value in working with STEM professionals in real-time. However, the accessibility free resources provide is priceless!

 

Coding for Kids Is Just the Beginning—Get Started Today

This guide serves as a starting point into the world of coding, its benefits, and the growth opportunities available from a personal and professional perspective. With coding being one of the fastest growing languages amongst the youth, getting an early start can set your child opportunities ahead setting them up for a stable yet exhilarating future.

 

Here at Code Galaxy, we champion the dynamic between interactive learning and sustainable methods to ensure students show up with excitement about what the future of coding holds for them. If you’re ready to leap into coding for kids, explore our diverse range of options for both novice and experienced coders by enrolling in our online coding classes today. They are taught by leading STEM professionals and fit into modern day schedules with flexibility and affordability .

 

References:

  1. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2022, September 8). Computer and Information Technology Occupations : Occupational Outlook Handbook. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Retrieved November 15, 2022, from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/home.htm
  2. Online historical encyclopaedia of programming languages. HOPL. (n.d.). Retrieved November 15, 2022, from https://hopl.info/
  3. Imagine, program, share. Scratch. (n.d.). Retrieved November 15, 2022, from https://scratch.mit.edu/statistics/

 

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