Develop Your Kids’ Creativity and Cognitive Skills with Tynker!
Your child’s screen time can be used in positive ways, like helping kids develop cognitive skills they need in school and beyond and giving them opportunities to practice digital citizenship. But with so many good options out there, the trick is knowing what tools—apps, TV shows, and other media—give you and your child the most bang for your buck, especially if you are paying for the programs your child uses. Here’s how using Tynker during screen time can help your child now and in the future as they create content, develop problem solving and critical thinking skills, and build a foundation of programming skills.
Tynker Promotes Creativity and Innovation
We interact with media in a variety of ways. Common Sense Media outlines four main categories of screen time, ranging from passive consumption like watching TV to content creation like using apps to make music or art. By actually creating content, kids develop problem-solving skills as they turn their creative vision into reality. Coding in Tynker is one way of creating content that requires kids to use their creative skills as they solve problems like figuring out which combination of code blocks (or lines of code, for more advanced programmers) will give them the results they want.
Creating content, and writing code in particular, encourages kids to develop persistence as they create, publish, debug, and re-publish their work. Featured Maker Connor’s mom Amanda put it this way: “It is beneficial to [Cody] that he has learned that when we create – be it through coding, through art, composition, or any other method – it is a process and we often must make changes or adjustments during the creative process.”
When kids become creators, not just consumers, of the technology they’re using, they better understand what’s happening under the hood. Such a process is not only fun but enables them to be the tech founders of the future!
Kids Learn Important Life Skills: Problem Solving and Critical Thinking
Learning how to code requires kids to identify a problem or task and come up with possible solutions. Once they think they’ve got a game plan, they need to test and refine the steps they’re taking to accomplish their goal. This process of critical thinking is relevant to many aspects of kids’ current and future lives, whether it’s school or getting a task done at work. Featured Maker Ryan’s dad Eric told us that coding “teaches them order of operations, or at least reinforces it. It helps them think in steps to solve problems.”
This process of “thinking in steps” can help kids learn how to focus on one part of a problem at a time, rather than getting frustrated by trying to tackle the whole task at once. One teacher said that Tynker is helping his students do just that: “They have no fear to think outside the box and try something to fix or solve a problem that may seem insurmountable at first. That’s the approach we want the students taking across all content areas.”
Kids need to develop patience during the problem-solving process. Complex problems—whether it’s programming a game, solving a math equation, or crafting a work of art—call for concentration and the ability to sit with a task until it’s finished. This is a trait that coding helps nurture, as Featured Maker Pranay’s mom explained: “I feel that [Pranay’s] concentration levels improved a lot with coding.”
Coding Prepares Kids for Their Future
Regardless of the career path they choose, coding will be an asset to kids. According to Forbes, no industry is safe from tech disruption; moving forward, jobs in industries across the board will likely require some degree of programming knowledge to create and maintain digital tools. For example, when she becomes a veterinarian someday, Featured Maker Lilly wants to program slideshows to demonstrate procedures to her colleagues. Coding skills are in high demand, and if kids are interested in more tech-heavy jobs, all the better: the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the number of software engineering jobs will increase 18.8% between now and 2024.