Guide to Robotics and Coding for Kids

Last Updated: May 4, 2023 12:31 pm
Guide to Robotics and Coding for Kids

A machine capable of executing physical tasks on its own—once programmed—is referred to as a robot. Robots are typically inanimate mechanical devices until they are given instructions via a computer program. Taking that idea one step further, the term robotics refers to the design and programming of these devices. 

Blending kids, coding, and robotics exposes young people to these principles in an atmosphere of fun that is conducive to learning. In other words, kids can have fun with it even as they learn advanced technological concepts. Robotics is a fantastic way to make coding “come alive” before kids’ very eyes.

The Benefits of Coding and Robotics for Kids

We’re currently living in the most technologically advanced period of recorded human history. Teaching kids coding and robotics can prepare them for occupations that will continue to be needed well into the foreseeable future. 

Skill Development – Problem-solving, logic and creative skills are developed as kids produce the code needed to get their robots to perform specific functions. These skills are essential to any undertaking they will encounter as adults, both professionally and socially. In the process, kids also engage with scientific, engineering and mathematical concepts, thus enhancing their growth in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). 

Strategic Thinking – Coding robots entails a hands-on approach to learning, in which kids develop their skills by doing. The exploration and interaction required enables kids to learn from their successes as well as their mistakes. They also learn how to pivot to different approaches when their initial strategies are unworkable. 

Enhanced Written and Verbal Communication – The formulation of ideas and concepts and translating them into coded instructions makes kids learn to express themselves succinctly and directly. This, in turn, enhances their self-confidence in that they learn they are capable of doing things this way. Additionally, the knowledge that they are creating something that can potentially be useful to others endows them with an enhanced sense of self-worth. 

How Can Kids Learn Robotics?

It is critical to ensure kids “get” the fun component. Showing them how they can make their own games, applications and robots will usually arouse their curiosity. The trick then is to make sure it continues to be perceived as fun. 

Here are some ways to accomplish that.

Begin With The Familiar – Starting them off with games such as LEGOs or Mechanix will go a long way in this regard. Employing something with which they are already familiar and enjoy, and then showing them other ways to derive entertainment from those games is a smart approach. These games also require kids to engage elements of design and creativity. This can blaze the trail into robotics and coding for them.

Find Relevant Resources There is a wealth of material available to help you in this regard. You’ll find communities on the ‘net, many volumes of YouTube videos, as well as an abundance of print publications devoted to the endeavor. There are also a number of applications and websites providing coding instruction, such as those you’ll find here at Tynker. Using block-based coding techniques, these sites make learning to code easy for children.

Provide Hands-on Learning Opportunities DIY projects such as LEGO WeDo, BBC micro:bit, and SPIKE Essential are among the available robotics kits for beginners you can use to get kids started. Children have so much fun with these games they usually don’t realize they’re learning. 

What Coding is Used for in Robotics?

Robots use different types of coding languages to follow instructions and perform tasks. Some common ones are Python, C/C++, and Java. Python is easy for beginners, while C/C++ is more powerful and is used in resource-intensive applications. Java is good for robots that need to work on different types of computers.

In the realm of robotics programming for kids and coding robots for elementary students, coding plays a fundamental role. It’s like giving young minds the keys to control and communicate with robots. Using visual programming languages like Blockly and Scratch, kids can create code by snapping together colorful blocks, making it an accessible and playful way to start coding.

Coding is the language that tells robots what to do. It’s like giving them instructions to move, dance, or solve puzzles. For instance, kids can code a robot to navigate mazes, draw pictures, or mimic animal movements. This hands-on coding experience not only sparks creativity but also nurtures problem-solving skills.

Moreover, coding robots at the elementary level is a fantastic way to teach STEM concepts (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) while making learning enjoyable. It empowers young learners to explore and experiment, setting a strong foundation for their future endeavors in technology and robotics.

Where Should I Start Learning About Robotics?

You can begin by enrolling in online courses or tutorials made for beginners in robotics. Look for ones designed for newcomers with no prior experience, as they’ll teach you the fundamentals gradually.

You’ll find plenty of beginner-friendly books and guides about robotics coding for kids. Search for titles like “Robotics for Beginners” or “Getting Started with Robotics” in your local library or online bookstores. These resources give you thorough explanations and practical examples to grasp the basics.

Think about getting a robotics kit tailored for beginners. These kits usually include all the necessary parts and instructions to construct and program a simple robot. Kits like LEGO Mindstorms, VEX Robotics, and Arduino-based options are popular choices.

In Summary

Learning coding through robotics gets kids engaged in STEM concepts in a way that builds their confidence and self-esteem. It also helps them learn persistence and resilience, as they use different approaches to getting their robots to perform the tasks they dream up. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Coding Good For Kids?

We’re living during a high-tech revolution, witnessing life-changing advancements in medicine, environmental conservation, and much more. At the core of all these amazing projects and discoveries is CODE. Code can be the thing that differentiates your child from peers and allows them to stand out as an asset for companies when they are looking for employment. The children who learn to code today will become the creators of the technology tomorrow. Learning to code can help children make a major contribution to the world that they live in and make a lasting impact.

As kids and teens learn to code, they also build essential skills like critical thinking, logic, and problem-solving. They learn to logically sequence events, create playable games, tell good stories, and model real situations. They also learn computational thinking by developing algorithmic and design thinking abilities. Coding for kids has become an essential element of a child’s education and an excellent way to express their creativity and imagination.

How Do I Start My Child Coding?

Coding, otherwise known as programming, is a creative activity for all children. Your child might not care about writing data processing algorithms, but they might enjoy creating games, programming music, designing websites, or just playing with code. Learning to code is for everyone; you don’t have to be good at math or a “techie” to learn how to code. Kids as young as five can learn to code and pick it up faster than most adults.

When your kids are starting, pick a program like MIT’s Scratch or Tynker Junior app. The visual style of these programs makes it easy for young children to learn to code. Scratch and Tynker have a graphical interface that works. Drag-and-drop code blocks snap together. Pieces of code that don’t make computational sense won’t fit together, making syntax errors impossible.

Older children can learn to code with Python by building games, art, music, and more. Some programs like Tynker offer a placement test to set your child on the right track for their age and experience level.

What Age Is Best To Introduce Coding To Kids?

Every child learns at their own pace. They can learn different subjects at varying rates and ways. Experts believe that children should learn coding at an early age. According to MIT, the best age for kids to start learning coding languages such as Scratch Jr. or Tynker Jr. is from 5 to 7. Many programs allow your children to progress at their own pace or hire an instructor to help them move along.

With Tynker, a placement test will place your child on the correct path based on age and skill level, and Tynker supports children up to age 18 with real-world text languages like Python and JavaScript. Children progress to more difficult coding courses with the support of interactive tutorials and video instructions at their own pace.

Which Is The Best Coding For Kids Program?

With so many great services available, learning to code has never been easier! For example, Scratch and Tynker provide innovative visual coding languages that make coding fun. Coding is a great way to broaden your child’s worldview and develop their creativity, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills. Here is a few coding-for-kids options to review:

Game-based learning—Game-based platforms such as Tynker and the challenges on motivate kids to use code to complete game levels.

Independent learning with Scratch—Scratch from MIT is a great way of getting started with code. Although they don’t have courses, there’s a vibrant community to learn from.

Online courses—Enroll in a Python or JavaScript course on Codecademy or Tynker or learn to code with Processing on Khan Academy. Tynker offers advanced courses like Processing 1, using p5.js to introduce the foundational concepts of art and computer science.

Build an app—Learn to build your own iOS app using Swift. Install the Swift Playgrounds app by Apple.

Use a book—Learn by following along with books like Mission PythonSuper Scratch Programming Adventure, or Coding with Minecraft. Tynker has a series of super-informative coding activity books, including Code These GamesCode These Minecraft Mods, and Code This Art.

Why Is Coding Needed?

Coding is the method of instructing a computer to perform a specific task. You may also hear coding referred to as software programming or computer programming. These instructions are communicated using a language that computers can understand, like visual blocks, JavaScript and Python.

Coding for kids lays the groundwork for our world’s technology, from microprocessors in everyday items like refrigerators and water heaters to sophisticated programs that run our cars and buildings. Learning to code is a great opportunity for children of all ages to develop their problem-solving and critical thinking skills, while building the necessary focus and organization to see projects through to completion.

Coding usually begins with drag-and-drop visual programming in which children connect blocks together to make programs. Visual programming teaches fundamental concepts without typing or syntax by placing the focus on the logic behind the code. Once they’ve learned the basics, children can transition to real-world programming languages like Python, JavaScript, and C.

From online coding courses and games to offline learning, from in-person coding instruction to live online tutoring, there are endless coding resources available. The best coding platforms and programs like Scratch, and Tynker give children of all ages and experience levels the ability to code while making the process fun and engaging.

 Why Should We Use Tynker Coding For Kids?

Tynker is the world’s number one coding platform for children ages 5 to 18 for a reason—it works! Tynker powers the creativity of over 60 million students and serves thousands of schools and educators worldwide.

Tynker’s award-winning, gamified courses and coding for kids activities encourage kids to complete projects as they have fun, allowing them to progress from novices to experts using languages like Python. Tynker’s interactive lessons have built-in tutorials for all ages and skill levels. Our highly rated mobile app (4.7 stars) lets students take Tynker on the go. Learning how to code with Tynker unlocks and empowers children’s creativity, teaching them life-long skills they can use today and into the future.

How Do I Teach My 7-Year-Old Code?

Learning to code is for everyone; you don’t have to be good at math or a “techie” to learn how to code. Kids as young as five can learn to code and pick it up faster than most adults. Tynker Junior is a fun, interactive way to spark your kid’s interest in coding. Kids (ages 5-7) learn coding basics by connecting picture blocks to move their characters. Tynker’s immersive game-like coding courses and interactive lessons with built-in tutorials are perfect for beginners 5+ through experts 18+.

What Options Are There For Coding For Teens? has a yearlong course in Computer Science Principles that introduces students to the foundational concepts of computer science and challenges them to explore how computing and technology can impact the world.

Tynker has coding for kids courses that align with subject standards like CCSS-ELA, CCSS-Math, NGSS and CS standards such as CSTA, ISTE, CA CS, UK National Curriculum, and several state-level standards like TEKS.

Tynker is recognized by College Board as an endorsed curriculum provider for AP Computer Science Principles and AP Computer Science A.

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About Teri Llach

Teri Llach is Head of Marketing for Tynker. Teri is an experienced growth marketer with a highly successful track record in B2B and B2C, deep experience with start-ups, brands, and all functional areas of marketing. Teri lives in Palo Alto, CA.