Kids Coding Basics: Why Teaching Your Kid to Code Has a Lifelong Impact
Teaching kids coding provides valuable skills that they can apply in their schoolwork and later in their career. From improving academic performance to providing a creative outlet for your child, coding is an incredible skill that doesn’t have demographic limitations; anyone can develop the skills to become a proficient coder, starting with children in the K-12 setting.
Why Should My Child Learn to Code?
In the 21st century, many of our day-to-day interactions require coding. From your smartphone and calendar filled with endless Zoom calls to placing an order from Amazon, coding has a huge impact on everyday life. The devices and programs we use are expertly crafted by skilled software developers, a field that’s projected to grow 22% by 2029. In addition, the median annual salary for software developers with coding skills is just over $110K, making it a lucrative career. With 67% of new STEM jobs in computing, the ability to code is quickly becoming a great skill to have in your toolbelt.
Coding Builds 21st Century Skills:
- Critical Thinking
- Plus many more!
While coding gives kids an advantage later in life, it has immediate benefits that will pay off in the short term too. Coding for kids helps develop problem-solving, critical thinking, and digital literacy skills that can be applied in any academic discipline, whether they love math, science, English, or history. Computer science is fast becoming a favorite subject for students, with more than 50% saying that they like it more than math, science, and history, according to Hour of Code. With the number of children learning to code rising, many parents may be asking themselves: “What is coding for kids?” Not convinced, check out another article from Tynker:
How Can Kids Learn Coding?
To help your kid learn to code, there are many different options available to best suit the unique learning style of your child. Coding classes can be online, in-person, or even structured as a game for a fun coding learning experience! Here are some of the ways you can help your child learn to code:
Block coding programs utilize text-based, drag-and-drop “blocks” of code to create animated programs or stories. Block coding is a visual form of code great for children, helping them learn coding basics from an early age. Tynker and Scratch (built by MIT) offer block coding programs, familiarizing kids with coding before moving on to more advanced courses. Much like learning a foreign language, teaching kids to code at an early age can create a strong foundation upon which advanced skills can be built.
Code.org is the nonprofit organization behind Hour of Code, an event designed as an introduction to code for kids who want to learn more. The organization has inspired many tech companies to create free coding tutorials while compiling resources available for parents, including apps and local schools that teach coding.
Local Schools may also be a resource for children looking to code. However, only 47% of US schools offer computer science classes and many of them are geared towards older students, which may be limited in their scope.
Paid Coding Programs like Tynker, offer advanced resources, including over 60 online coding courses, thousands of coding activities, and monthly assessments so that you can monitor your child’s coding progress, plus additional features that will enhance your child’s learning experience and inspire them to code.
Tynker coding courses support all coding languages, making it great for your child’s expanding knowledge of coding. Other programs to teach kids coding languages are available as well, such as Codakid. If you’re unsure about the value of Tykner courses, let your child try it out and start by learning to code for free.
Game-Based Coding Platforms require your child to use coding to complete levels. Your child will be able to use their new coding skills in their favorite games, like Minecraft or Roblox, to create their own resources for the game. Tynker offers a safe, private Minecraft server that your child can use to test their Minecraft creations. These game-based approaches to learning make learning fun and engaging. Apple also offers guides to help students learn to code using Swift, which features the Swift Playground app in which children can develop their own iOS apps and games.
With so many coding classes for kids, there’s bound to be a good fit for your child. Encouraging them to learn to code can lead to a lifelong passion for coding and help them find the career of their dreams. Even if your child doesn’t use coding skills in their professional life, the digital literacy, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills they will have learned will be invaluable in setting them up for a lifetime of learning and success.