Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) are rapidly taking over the world today. Many schools have included technical subjects like coding into their curriculum to ensure their students are well equipped with these skills.
There are endless opportunities out there on how to teach coding to kids. So, as a parent, you have no excuse if your kids do not learn coding or other tech skills. Thankfully, there is no age limit for learning to code. Kids can be introduced to the concept of coding as early as the age of two (2). And, the earlier they learn, the better and more efficient they’ll become.
Can I teach my kids how to code if I don’t know how to Code?
Many parents have come across the numerous possibilities of teaching coding to kids. However, they get discouraged because they do not understand the concept of coding either, and that’s okay.
The good news is that as a parent, you do not need any prior knowledge of coding before you can teach it to your kids. Many large tech companies and platforms have produced step-by-step guides on kids’ coding. Parents can easily learn coding along with their kids with the free resources provided.
Unlike adult coding, the process of learning coding for kids is simple, interesting, and fun! Kids love games, and block games have been incorporated into the learning scheme. This means that kids can learn coding and have great fun while at it.
Free Resources for Teaching Kids How to Code
There are tons of free online resources for teaching coding to kids. Most of these resources are designed for specific age groups, while some are accessible for all age groups. Some of these resources can also be accessed offline.
Although free, these resources have their perks and disadvantages in terms of availability, durability, and efficiency.
Below are some of the best free online resources for learning to code. Although there are countless free online resources, these have proven to be the best resources for teaching kids how to code!
Scratch and Scratch Jr
Scratch is a visual block gaming platform that allows kids to experiment and learn the rudiments of coding, game developments, animations, and many more.
Scratch is suitable for kids aged 8 and above, and it can be accessed offline. Using Scratch erases the technicalities attached to text-based coding. Kids love to experiment with visual images because it helps them learn faster. Scratch provides block-based resources and games which teach kids how to develop their games and animations.
Just as the name implies, Scratch teaches coding from scratch. It aims to develop quantitative and verbal reasoning in kids. It also teaches them the art of logic, resilience, and creative thinking. The game-like tutorials come in different types, and the kids can choose their games.
As a parent, you can play these games along with your kids. That way, you get to know what they like while you learn some of the concepts. All you need to do is thoroughly study the resource material provided by Scratch, and you and your kids are good to go!
Scratch Jr is a simpler model of Scratch programming. It is specifically designed for kids aged 5-7. It performs the same tasks as Scratch, just that the interface is simpler, and the process, less cumbersome. It is a reliable platform with enough instructions on how to get started. Scratch Jr, however, is only available on iOS.
In other words, Scratch and Scratch Jr are some of the best resources to teach coding to kids. The platform is not only enjoyable, but it also develops independence and critical thinking in kids. Their actions decide the next step of action, and they can structurally control their progress.
This is another great platform with free resources on teaching coding to kids. It is highly suitable for kids aged 4 and above. Code.org is also a block-based coding platform that has eliminated the textual complications that might prevent smooth learning.
Code.org offers free resources for coding. Parents can study these resources to understand their concepts, then guide their kids through the process. Code.org comprises four courses, all of which are connected and geared to teach learners the fundamentals of coding.
The courses are all in different stages, and the latter stages are a continuation and advancement of the former. The platform provides tutorials and short lessons from top programmers, including Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates. These instructional videos are used to guide users through the process. That way, they are mentally prepared in advance for the lessons.
Code.org does not require any prior coding knowledge to begin; the how-to tutorials and tools make it easier for anyone to learn! Kids that already have an existing knowledge of coding can skip the first course and proceed to the next.
Learners can program their games using characters from top games like Minecraft, Angry Birds, Disney, etc. Code.org also has a free online library filled with millions of games programmed by other users. Kids can choose to play any of these games or use them as an inspiration guide, all for free.
Code.org believes that its courses serve as a complete curriculum on how to code.
Tynker and Tynker Junior
This is another highly recommended platform that offers free online resources for beginners. Tynker is a visual platform that teaches realistic coding from scratch. It is beginner-friendly and allows learners to learn at their own pace.
Tynker is a perfect resource for teaching kids how to code through games that teach them technical terms in coding, such as Minecraft mods. Python, and Java. There are tons of activities that kids can choose from on Tynker, but to make the learning process smoother, you can begin with the Hour of Code along with other simple lessons.
Tynker Junior is designed for kids between the age of 4 and 7. Tynker Jr uses picture block coding platforms, where kids can learn the art of critical thinking, creativity, problem-solving, among others, while they code.
Parents can also monitor the progress of their kids on Tynker and Tynker Junior. They can create a parent/teacher account, and log in subsequently to monitor their kids’ progress. This is great for parents who have no prior experience in coding, as they can learn along with their kids.
One thing to note, however, is that the advanced learning on Tynker is not free. They have several affordable subscription plans for individuals and families. The paid subscription is only an option, as there are over 20 free lessons on Tynker, and kids can learn efficiently with them.
Hour of Code
The Hour of Code is a one-hour introductory class on coding and computer science. It aims to explain the concept of coding to people, and to answer the myths behind learning coding.
The Hour of Code is typically organized during Computer Science Education Week (which happens every year). Its sole objective is to show that anyone can code, regardless of age and gender.
Although the Hour of Code is a yearly event, parents, teachers, and students can organize an Hour of Code any time of the year in their respective communities. The activities are self-explanatory, and you only have to set the hour and pick a tutorial.
The Hour of Code is an eye-opener for the endless possibilities of coding for anyone. 70% of the time, people who attempt the Hour of Code develop an interest in coding and continue learning. The platform accommodates kids of all grades, including pre-reader.
The Hour of Code has proven to be one of the best free resources for parents to learn to code and teach it to kids.
Frequently Asked Questions
The best and most recommended way to teach your kids how to code at home is to learn with them. Download these free resources, study their guides, and start to teach your kids. As much as you can, make the process a seamless one, and allow them to live in the moment and enjoy the process.
The fact remains that anyone can code. Age is no longer a factor, as there are endless opportunities for kids to learn coding. Many top tech companies have established computer science programs targeted towards kids.
The resources mentioned above remain the best resources for teaching coding to kids and learning along with them.
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