What is Coding for Kids?

Resources for parents in 2019

Coding is the method of giving instructions to a computer to perform a specific task. You may have also heard it referred to as “software programming” or “computer programming.” These instructions are communicated using a “computer language” that computers can understand. These languages include visual blocks, Java, Python, and C. Learning to code expands problem solving and critical thinking skills, making it a great opportunity for kids to build those skills while young.

Coding for kids begins with drag-and-drop visual programming. Kids connect blocks together to make programs. Visual programming teaches the fundamental concepts without typing or syntax. This places the focus on the logic behind the code. Once they’ve learned the basics, kids can transition to more traditional programming languages like Python, JavaScript or C.

From online coding courses and games to in-person coding instruction and offline learning, there are endless coding resources available. Kids shouldn’t miss the opportunity to practice coding skills!

Why should kids learn to code?

Technology has never been more prevalent in our lives. Code is revolutionizing every aspect of today’s world – think self-driving cars, robot-assisted surgery, social media, new jobs, and more. Picking up coding helps children become better architects of their futures. But learning to code isn’t just about the ability to program a computer. Coding teaches important academic skills and builds crucial soft skills like perseverance and organization. It establishes valuable 21st century skills that can translate into a career.

Is it hard for kids to learn to code?

Helping kids learn to code may seem tough, but there are clever services that make it easy. For example, Scratch provides innovative visual coding languages, making coding digestible and fun. Kids love to engage with their game-based approaches. Coding requires a lot of typing and attention to precise syntax, and kids (who are just starting to learn) may get frustrated with syntactic issues and cryptic errors. Visual picture-based block coding eliminates the need for typing and syntax. Kids simply connect blocks to create games, animations and stories, allowing them to focus on the logic behind the code. Learning programming has never been easier or more fun!

How to teach your kids to code

Kids of all ages – from pre-readers to high-schoolers – can learn to code. The same fundamental concepts such as sequencing, abstraction, repetition, conditional statements, loops and functions can be introduced to kids of any age or experience level.

The range of coding education solutions spans far and wide! There are apps, websites, camps, and personal tutors teaching coding for kids, so it’s important to opt for the approach that works best for your child.

Websites like Scratch have development environments, allowing kids to make amazing creations by learning from the community.

Kids who need more guidance benefit from the structured and scaffolded coding curriculum offered by iPlayTek and Code.org. Those who prefer to learn with a tutor can learn to code at an after-school program at school, or at a summer camp.

What are the best programming languages for kids?

There are many popular programming languages available to kids. Help your child select one based on their age and experience level. Visual programming languages are a great place to start! We recommend kids begin to learn to code with a block coding language like those offered by iPlayTek and Scratch. Once they’ve learned the basics, they can dive into text-based coding.

Learn to code apps

These days there’s an app for anything – including coding for kids. There are apps catering to both pre-readers and older kids. Apps offer coding adventures and games to younger kids and provide the opportunity for older kids to build their own games and apps.

Learn to code @iPlayTek

If you prefer live instruction for your child, explore camp and tutoring options. iPlayTek offer’s the opportunity for elementary and middle-schoolers to learn to code through in-class instruction or after-school coding classes.

  • Schools – Take advantage of any coding programs your school may offer. It is a great way to get kids involved in computer science and STEM learning at a young age.
  • iPlayTek Forest Hills – Enroll your child in one of our after school coding classes.