Coding for Kids: If you thought maths was important…

kids coding in front of screen

Helping out with homework is par for the course parenting, but new “coding for kids” initiatives could mean big changes for parents.

It recently emerged that coding might be introduced in schools. Coding for kids has potentially massive benefits with children learning the new essential skills and avenues for older generations to upskill opening up too.

Why is “coding for kids” an important idea?

Coding powers all technology

Technology is a part of everyday life now. We can’t live without it anymore. If every single computer device in the world shut down all at once, society would collapse. We use it for work, contacting each other, buying things and asking every question imaginable. It manages life-preserving systems and balances our stock markets, forecasting economic changes, stopping a worldwide financial collapse.

Shift in educational requirements

Technology has become insanely advanced in recent years. We’re sure you’ve all heard that the phone in your pocket is more powerful than the computers that sent a man to the moon. Few were taught the skills required to build these devices in school – many people taught themselves. Today, educators have realised the importance of computing and coding in the classroom, potentially proving more practical than Pythagoras’ Theorem.

Panicking at the thought of helping your kids out with their HTML?

First of all, don’t worry – it’s currently in the planning phase, so you have some time. With that said, coding is a great skill for you to learn for yourself and if you have kids, why not get a headstart? Programmes like the hugely popular and successful CoderDojo are well worth checking out, providing your kids (and you) with a great start in coding. You can even start building the foundations at home are apps you can download onto devices to start teaching your kids from an early age.

Apps to help you and your kids with coding

Coding for Kids: Tynker

coding for kids tynkerTynker is a web based coding application built to teach kids how to code from scratch. They can actually get to the point where they can create games that they can play. Starting from the bottom and working their way up, kids learn at their own pace in order to learn easily and have fun at the same time. Tynker provides an online course which develops parents or teachers, upskilling prior to passing on these skills to children. Tynker is described as suitable for 8 to 16-year-olds but at the ripe old age of 24, I can vouch for it being enjoyable for most. Plus it’s free.

Coding for Kids: Hopscotch

Hopscotch is an iOS app similar to Tynker, but further simplified. Like Tynker, you can create games, but Hopscotch goes further in encouraging users to build mini-websites, patterns, and drawings. Hopscotch teaches you the core concepts of coding and problem-solving, providing more of a challenge as users progress. Developing practical problem-solving skills as well as coding from a young age is providing your children with priceless skills at a very young age.

Or they could just use Hopscotch to recreate the entire Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer from emojis.

Coding for Kids: ScratchJr

coding for kids scratchjrScratchJr is an online tool providing written and animated guides for coding. Kids can create their own stories and watch them afterwards. We already imagine the kids loving the look on your face as you watch their creation unfold, making this a great bonding opportunity.

These are just three of the countless online coding platforms you can check out with your kids. Going beyond developing your children’s skills, if you have an interest in coding this is a great place to start. Parents are fighting a daily battle to wrestle kids away from screens so coding provides an opportunity to convert some of this zombifying screen time into productive skill learning. We can’t stress enough how beneficial coding is at a young age, teaching much more than just how to build an app. It’s important that we being considering coding a language and a discipline.

In case you don’t believe us…

Coding for Kids Josh BellThis is 16-year-old Josh Bell. Last year, Josh’s company turned over £250,000. This company, founded in Josh’s bedroom, was a hotel-booking website which over 95,000 hotels signed up to. The idea started after a conversation with a hotel owner and at the age of 15 he owned a company. Josh achieved these amazing feats because of self-taught coding. Imagine the possibilities for a generation immersed in coding. That’s why we believe in coding for kids.

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One half of The Goosed Podcast, Dean is passionate about football and fantasy football, but just isn't that good at it. Fortunately, technology trends both past and future are just his cup of tea. Goosed Tower Limerick needs its dose of Dean to keep us all firmly on the ground. Read more by Dean

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