Can Kids Really Learn How To Code?

All kids that can learn to read can learn to code. Kids are natural creators, and that creativity means their ability to code is limitless. 

Posted on Sep 01, 2021

The more we learn about children, the more we see they know far more than we realize. Their minds may be developing, but they’re also full of creativity, kindness, imagination, and utter wonder. In this digital age, our children grasp concepts as infants that some of us still explain to our parents and grandparents. 

Coding and computer programming have evolved from a technical term explaining how coders from NASA or SpaceX help to launch a rocket into space. There’s no reason coding can’t lead students to launch their own satellite. Coding is everywhere in the world around us now, and children are, by nature, curious. Coding is a way for them to understand the world as they interact with it, and learning to code can take them from bystanders to active participants in their world. 

Coding languages such as python and javascript are for any interested child. As we like to say, “If a child can read, then they can learn to code.” In return for their time, children receive a landscape for creativity. They take away valuable skills like problem-solving skills, an introduction and understanding of algorithms, and an environment that encourages collaboration and communication.

Why Should Kids Learn to Code?

Of course, kids can learn to code. At Codeverse, they can get tutorials and resources on coding in a fun and engaging way that brings to light all the potential for creativity and play. Kids shouldn’t be introduced to web development just because we think it will give them a brighter future. Kids should learn to code because it’s exciting and fun and because they can learn logic and critical thinking skills.

A child’s mind is ready to learn new languages, and there’s nothing that says a computer language can’t be one of them. Through immersive play, a child can learn to code while having fun and creating a game to play. So, what else do they get out of coding?

1 - Creative Self Expression

When a child codes a game from scratch, they can decide what color or emojis are in the background, what happens when you tap the rocket, or what kind of fruit they’re going to slice. Like other creative activities such as painting, drawing, cooking, or playing an instrument, there is something magical about starting with a blank page, raw ingredients, or complete silence and filling the space with your creation. 

Coding is limitless when it comes to self-expression. A child’s imagination decides what the world they create will look like. 

2 - Perseverance and Problem Solving

Programming takes a certain amount of patience to write the code just right. Thankfully, with the right coding assistance, children can get the guidance they need to write code correctly and effectively to create what they imagine. With a programming language like KidScript, the learning process can be easy, fun, and intuitive. 

Kid-friendly tools like puzzles can help them see a project through to completion without frustration and giving up. Also, puzzle games help in finding errors and figuring out the right way to formulate the steps to create all that they imagine can hone their skills to spot a problem and methodically solve it.

It’s a valuable life lesson to know that just because something isn’t working doesn’t mean it’s time to give up. It’s time to fix what’s not working and try again. Programming helps them see the other side of a problem they’re facing and learn to work towards a solution.

3 - Improved Learning Skills

Kids have all the creativity they need to be successful in coding. Their beautiful minds can create games, robots, art, and more. When they learn to use computational thinking to think through the process when programming a robot, for example, they learn not just how to program the robot, but they also learn to think about what they’re doing as they go. Viewing the step-by-step process of code allows for a more enhanced learning experience, and it opens their minds up to even more critical thinking.

How Can They Learn To Code?

It’s nice to know that there are so many benefits to a child learning to code, but how can they learn? With the right lesson plans to personalizing and customize a child’s learning path, children get excited and stay motivated to learn code. Tailoring their experience makes an amazing learning environment. 

Adults may struggle, but a child’s mind lacks the inhibitions to limit their learning abilities. You’ll be amazed at what they can create. 

1 - Growing Up With Computers

Kids today have almost constant access to smartphones, tablets, and computers from the time they’re learning to crawl, eat, and speak. 

Kids have computer skills before they have reading skills now, so they know computers. Computers are part of the entire world around them. Teaching them to see that there’s more to the screen than what they see can help them learn to be part of the world around them. 

2 - The Building Blocks Are There

Coding concepts are all around us every day. We think through algorithms all the time. Think about it; an algorithm is just a process or steps to be followed to calculate or solve a problem. For some people, it seems intimidating when you add the math factor in, and there is some math to coding. But, the process of thinking through the algorithms is just like thinking through the steps to load the dishwasher or start the car. 

You have already programmed algorithms into your thought processes. Your body’s computer, your mind, has streamlined your thinking until you don’t even have to exert extra brainpower to perform the tasks. Children are the same way. They may be learning algorithms that help them perform tasks like tying their shoes, but the fundamentals of learning the process and storing the information are already in place.

Coding skills help a child deliberately think through the steps they take to achieve a result, and we could all use a little more of that. Mindful learning is the best learning, and when it’s fun and exciting, that makes it even better.

3 - Creativity Creates Learning

A child’s imagination is virtually limitless, and every child has a creative interest. A child that likes to draw can use that creativity to animate their art into their very own show. A child that likes robots doesn’t just have to play with a robot someone else created. With coding, they can learn to do their own robotics. A child that loves video games can design their very own video game and share it with their friends. There are no limits to the way coding can expand the reach of a child’s creativity.

Through coding and creativity, they can learn to collaborate to be part of something bigger and take pride in their results. Kid-led creativity with access to coding tools that they can understand is one of the best ways kids can learn to code. 

Additionally, creativity creates creativity. When kids see what other kids just like them can do, they get excited to see what they can create. When kids are given the confidence to create, they will dive into learning with an excitement that’s hard to match.

4 - Talking It Out

When you think of coding, you think of computers, but the basics of coding can begin before a child sits down at the keyboard. Talking to a child about the world around them can get them thinking about all that goes into making the world as they know it works. 

When the microwave dings when at zero or how a parent’s coffee is hot and ready when they wake up is all code, and talking about that can open a child’s curiosity to the process. Pointing out that their favorite animated show is code can open the door to discussing what they would code and create. 

Pretending to be a robot and letting your child give you instructions that you then perform is code, and while it may send them into a fit of giggles, it’s also a great example of how they coded you, and they can code a real robot too. We teach our children so many things as they grow, and if we can teach them to read, they can learn to code. 

Summary

Opening the world up for our kids is one of the most exciting things about teaching kids. They begin to see more than the screen in front of them, and if they’re old enough to read, they’re old enough to code. If they can code, they can create. So much of our kid’s need to learn code is already there; they just need a fun and encouraging way to see the creativity that coding offers in an intuitive language and with tools that they can understand. A child can learn to be the creator of tech instead of just a consumer.

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Sources:

Students' satellite set for launch into space on Thursday | Oak Ridger 

Noam Chomsky On Why Kids Learn Languages Easily | Forbes 

Tech Skills for Preschoolers Part 1: Computer Literacy | perkinselearning.org