Adventures in Programming: Tynkering With My 5 Year Old

Raviv Turner
Adventures in Programming: Tynkering With My 5 Year Old

Looks like it’s never too early to start Tynkering! Kudos Dad and son!

Adventures in Programming: Tynkering with My 5 Year Old

10/22/2013

I wrote my first program when I was 8 years old. It was a Centipede game programmed in BASIC on my ZX Spectrum, an 8-bit personal computer developed by Sinclair Research that my parents got me for birthday.

Last week my 5 year old son wrote his first program, he trained Pixel to be a better guard dog and protect the lab from the evil Dr. Glitch! Though unlike his dad 30 years earlier, he didn’t have to mess with PRINT AT x,y (Sinclair BASIC convention for screen coordinates  😉 or ASCII control codes. Thanks to Tynker, a new computing platform designed to teach children computational thinking and programming skills, there was no knowledge of syntax required, only pre-created visual code blocks that he could drag and drop to ‘write’ a program.

 

How Young Is Too Young to Learn to Code?

My son has been talking about “telling the computer what to do” for sometime now. However, like any good parents, my wife & I have been limiting his daily screen time. Between the iPhone, iPad & iWant TV my wife wasn’t crazy on the idea of more time spent in front of a computer. Googling the subject I found the following quote from professor Ellen Wartella which I tend to agree with:

“One mistake people make, Wartella said, is focusing on the fact of the screen itself rather than the content of what the screen is showing. “ Is it bad for kids to Skype with Grandma? I don’t think anyone would say that.” 

Regardless of screen time there is also the question of how young is too young for him to learn to code? Wired magazine recently had some fascinating piece on the issue.

(Editor’s Note: WhatMakesPeopleClick is no longer active. All links have been removed.)

Tynker enables children to learn computer programming in a fun and imaginative way. More than 60 million kids worldwide have started learning to code using Tynker.

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