Ideally, children learn a natural language when they learn how to code. You can start with something like Mario Maker if you think it will help draw and maintain your child’s interest. Still, on the whole, your children should learn something of substance. The downside is that learning a simple coding language isn’t always fun and is rarely easy (at least not for most kids). So, here are a few suggested tools, coding projects for kids, and games that will help children learn to code as smoothly, reasonably, and efficiently as possible.
Fun And Easy Coding Projects For Kids
The Code Monkey Collection
Most parents who want to give their kids a gentle introduction to coding will opt for games and educational gamification. If kids want to learn coding fun and such, they try to Code Monkey collection. It grounds children with the foundational knowledge they need to adopt a coder’s mindset. It is littered with the usual child-friendly decoration, such as cartoon monkeys and the like, but underneath, it contains an intense course of learning and education.
Instead of going for a practical real-world option, you could try Lego Mindstorms. They are for children ten years or older, allowing you to program real-world Lego robots using a Smartphone app. These simple toys are things kids in the 80s could only dream of. It offers a very gentle introduction to the world of programming.
Remember that children often seek instant gratification. If you can show them how computerized programming code creates a reaction in the real world, it has more of an impact than what you may generate when you only use coding examples/games on a screen.
This is a website set up by two college nerds who started a project in college and kept it going long after they graduated. The projects are primarily for teens. The two men talk viewers through coding in a wide variety of languages. It is like listening to a podcast, but you can follow along on the screen. This website is fantastic because the lessons start from the absolute beginning. They even show you where to find things like Notepad++, how to download it, how to install it, etc. Each course is littered with projects that tweens and teens can follow at their own pace. Added to this, each course is entirely free.
The team at Code.org offer a fair number of tutorials and projects, but they have the added benefit of featuring popular movie characters. It is shocking how they have slipped through the cracks without being taken down for copyright infringement. Perhaps it is because the courses, projects, and tutorials are free. They are suitable for kids aged 4yrs and older. They offer a soft start for kids with a talent for coding.
Perhaps better for children aged 12-20 years, Snap! is an extended re-implementation of Scratch. A team created it at The University of California Berkeley. It runs in your web browser and uses a drag-and-drop programming language. The platform is an overly simplified way of introducing your tweens to programming. If it sparks their interest, they may be a little more willing to take a coding course or take on trickier coding projects.
Coding Projects For Kids– Try Different Platforms
You should try the free courses, the free projects, and even the free trials (if they don’t take a credit card number). There is no telling which type of teaching/learning course and project will suit your child. The platforms that fall flat will not dissuade your child from becoming a coder. Move on to another course/project and see if your child takes it.
Your kids will remain amenable to learning on the Internet if you do not push them. Remember that many kids have trouble with coding because it involves sitting still for long periods. Instead of pushing your kids, offer them a series of gentle introductions to coding (such as those listed in this article), and if your kids still hate coding, then let them quit. Re-introduce coding when your kids are teens, and they will probably be far more willing to engage (especially since teens have no problem sitting for hours and hours in front of a computer).
Try several different learning/teaching platforms. One of the courses or projects may grab your child’s attention in a way that helps them develop their coding mindset.