Coding is an incredibly important skill, and it’s never too early for kids to start learning. In this post, we’ll discuss how you can teach your children basic coding skills and introduce them to the world of programming — all from the comfort of your home!
Pick a coding language that’s easy and fun.
Another reason I like this language is because it has a lot of resources available. Millions of projects are published by kids just like your son or daughter. You can use them for inspiration or even see the code to understand how it works. Plus, you can re-mix it into your version.
If you don’t want to teach the basics yourself, many great videos and books on Scratch exist. Plus, they are all made for kids. When trying to learn a language like Python, you will have to navigate through many options that are intended for adults and may be too complex or boring.
Give kids an opportunity to express themselves with their projects
Your child’s coding project should be something that they come up with. The best way to teach kids coding is through their own projects rather than your chosen ones. You can ask kids questions about what they want their projects to do and how they want it to look, but let them decide the specifics themselves.
One of the prompts I like to use is, “Instead of sending a birthday card this year, what coding project can you make for your family member?” It could be as simple as a digital animated card or as complex as a superhero nurse game starring their aunt!
Have them code with you.
One of the best ways to get kids interested in coding is to have them code with you. Whether you have never coded before or are an expert, coding side-by-side can work well. This is a great strategy because it lets your child see how you solve problems and stick with it when things go wrong.
This doesn’t mean you have to be an expert yourself. You could simply be learning alongside them and doing your own projects. Or, if you already know how to code, you can work on various apps or projects for your family. The nice thing about having your child help develop an app or website is that they will feel invested in the project—and most likely want others around them (friends at school) to use it too!
Invest in extra coaching.
Another option is to find a coding coach. You can do this online by searching for “coding mentors” or “coding coaches” or connect with someone through Breakout Mentors, an organization that pairs kids learning to code with a 1-on-1 college-aged mentor for online kids coding classes.
A coding coach will help you and your child learn the basics of coding while also helping them complete tasks they’ve been working on independently. A coding coach is especially helpful if your child has already started learning how to code and wants guidance on taking things to the next level. Too often, kids struggle to advance from beginner workshops to intermediate computer science and complex projects.
There are lots of ways you can teach coding at home!
There’s not just one correct way to learn how to code. It is ok to zig and zag, start on something, abandon a project when it is no longer interesting, and switch gears. If learning how to code feels too constricting, your son or daughter may not enjoy it anymore and want to stop. So explore what works best for your family.
But whatever approach you take, remember that the most important thing is to be patient with your child as he or she learns new skills and concepts. The process might seem slow at times — but remember that it took years for your child to learn to speak his native language! In time, their interest in coding will grow stronger, along with their abilities in this area.
We hope this guide has helped you understand how to teach your kids about coding at home. Coding is a great skill for kids, regardless of age or experience level. It’s also a great way for parents to connect with their children intellectually and creatively. The best part? You don’t need special equipment or expensive tools—just time, passion, and creativity!