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How to Teach Your Kids to Code with Tynker
Teaching your child to code can feel like a daunting task, especially if you’re not a programmer yourself. How do you make sure they follow a productive learning path and gain important skills, all while having fun? With Tynker’s courses and activities, all you have to do is monitor your child’s progress and provide encouragement! Get started with these four simple steps:
1. Start with their interests
Kids learn best when they’re having fun! Our goal is to guide them along a Tynker path that keeps them naturally engaged. Which activities do your children gravitate to?
iPad time: Get them started with one of our 10 mobile courses. These courses work offline, so kids can use the app anywhere (even on vacation!) without internet access. As long as you have a Tynker subscription, you can access premium content both online and via the Tynker app on your iPad.
Being creative: Start them off with one of our 14 online courses, each of which gives kids opportunities to create their own apps and games. As kids progress through the courses and become more proficient, they can work on the other courses to design and build different games.
Playing games: Begin with the “Play” area on Tynker.com. Have them try any (or all!) of the coding games – if you’re a subscriber, all activities are open. By the time your child completes all the levels of a given activity, such as Dragon Dash or Code Commander, they’ll understand basic programming concepts such as loops, functions, and conditional logic!
Minecraft: Go for our three Minecraft modding courses. As kids build mods and create add-ons for Minecraft, they’ll learn to code, gain computational thinking skills, and write programs.
Drones and robots: Incorporate learning into the connected toy craze. We offer three connected toy courses (Crash Course, Stunt Pilot, and WeDo Coding) that are not necessarily part of traditional course progression but are a great way to apply coding skills in different domains! Kids will be motivated to work through our other courses and activities to gain the skills necessary to code our connected toys like a pro.
2. Match their skill level and age
We split our fourteen courses and fifty projects into beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels, so even kids with no experience can dive into coding with a fun beginner course. Glitch Manor is great for young beginners, children between 10 and 12 can start off with Turing’s Tower, and we recommend Goblin Quest for kids over 12. If your child has already logged some coding hours, feel free to jump to an intermediate or advanced course. While we do have age- and experience-based recommendations, kids can follow any path they’re interested in pursuing!
A sample path for a 7-year-old beginner.
3. Use motivators to progress
Every child stays motivated in different ways – that’s why we offer so many ways to keep kids motivated, from daily missions to the prospect of being featured. What motivates your kids?
Virtual rewards: Your kids will collect cool badges as they progress in the lessons – encourage them to collect as many as they can!
Building a habit: Kids who thrive when they make a habit out of learning will love completing their daily activities! Every day, your child will find a daily activity offering double XP on their Tynker dashboard. This encourages them to code every day and makes it easier to level up and unlock new characters!
Game upgrades: Kids can unlock hundreds of cool characters by leveling up on Tynker. They can work toward upgrades by earning XP points as they complete lessons, solve puzzles, and build their own projects.
Tangible rewards: When your child shows off their printable certificates for their achievements in Tynker, stick them on the fridge!
Engaging with their peers: Encourage them to create and post projects for the Tynker community! The community is a major motivating factor for many kids; as they engage with their peers, they learn from other projects, garner likes and views, and have the chance to be featured!
4. Stay engaged
We’ve created some great tools to help you track your child’s progress – take advantage of your parent dashboard and stay up to date on your child’s learning. You’ll be able to follow their progress and watch your Tynker investment pay off as they complete courses!
Kids love to chat about what they’re excited about and interested in, so showing your interest is key in keeping them motivated. Ask them questions like, “How did you get this actor to do that?” When they answer questions about the logistics of their projects, they solidify concepts and gain confidence! Let your kids teach you how to use and implement a concept. They’ll love teaching you and speaking with you about concepts you both know!
Expand your child’s knowledge and build a learning path with Tynker!