Getting your child interested in computer programming is a great way of giving them a head start in the 21st-century workplace. An early interest in computer programming can pave the way to study computer science and possibly even a programming career.
Even if your child decides not to pursue a computer programming career, there are some best ways to learn it. Whether it is coding their own apps or having a better understanding of the software that they use, understanding computer programming is a very useful skill to develop.
Below you can find easy ways of getting your child interested in computer programming.
Scratch was developed by the Lifelong Kindergarten group at the MIT media lab to teach kids how to program. The program is simple to use and is a great way of getting kids interested in programming.
Using Scratch, children can create interactive stories, animations, and games. They can also share these creations with the Scratch online community.
2. Lego Mindstorm
Children are naturally interested in robotics. Using the Lego Mindstorm robotic toys you can show how programming is connected to the physical world. This can make it more attractive to young children than the more abstract world of programming on a screen.
Apart from that, introducing your child to STEM is another way for them to build a firm foundation in science subjects that can help them get interested in programming. Currently, there is a range of STEM apps that parents can use to introduce their kids to the world of science and technology. These apps are interactive and engaging and can help to improve any kid’s cognitive skills.
Cubelets are colorful cubes that connect to form a simple robot without the use of wires or cables. It introduces your child to basic programming concepts and how robotics work. By putting different cubes in different combinations you can change the actions of the robot.
Alice was developed by professors at Carnegie Mellon University as a way to make programming more accessible and attractive for students. It provides a free open-source 3-D programming environment that teaches children and teenagers object-oriented programming.
The program is relatively simple and works by dropping graphic tiles in a specific order to animate an object and create a computer program. Thanks to faster internet speeds and fiber optic broadband, Alice can be accessed by any child.
Light-Bot is a simple game that allows you to control an on-screen robot by giving it commands. The benefit of teaching coding is that you can use programming-type logic to control the robot. During the course of playing the game, children learn how to create loops, functions, and other programming concepts.
Creating The Right Environment
Children are naturally curious about technology and how it works. If you make computer programming something fun, rather than work, you will find that is not actually that hard to encourage them to learn.
Robotic toys such as Lego Mind Storm and Cubelets are often very good “gateway” introductions to the world of programming. Using these toys children can understand how lines of code can affect the real world. It is also much more satisfying for a child to see a robot walk across the room because they programmed it to do so.
Encouraging your child to take up computer programming works better when you do it together. Demonstrating what can be achieved with a computer program will encourage them to experiment and provide a great opportunity to bond with your child over a mutual hobby.
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