Technology and STEM learning for kids continues to garner more global attention, and this has created numerous opportunities for kids to gain expertise in STEM-related subjects at a young age. The rise of robots and machines has had a major impact on the work culture and how people work in general, and future jobs will be largely impacted by these technological trends.
Helping your kids understand these developments through STEM learning resources, programs, kits, toys, etc., will positively affect their careers and give them an advantage over others with no STEM backgrounds. Many non-coding parents believe that computer programming is technical, and teaching kids to code is not advised because the terms might be too complex for them to understand. Coding, especially for younger children, is super easy, fun, and accessible. There are numerous programs, coding boot camp resources, coding books, programming kits, micro degrees, and other tools designed to help young kids learn real world programming and become problem solvers.
Kids absolutely love gifts, and coding gifts for kids and teens have proven to be effective in igniting their interest in coding. Coding gifts serve as a way for kids to learn all about robotics, programming languages, and STEM. They can also be used to enhance their coding skills to help them land valuable, high-paying jobs in the future. Giving the right coding toys to your kids will also help them perform independently and discover incredible innovations to solve real world problems.
This article will guide you through everything you need to know about getting coding gifts for middle school aged kids between eleven and thirteen years old.
Not everyone will become programmers, and that’s okay. There are thousands of amazing non-tech careers out here. However, the world is going digital, and to survive in any chosen career, you need to possess certain skills, some of which can only be acquired through stem learning and coding. Coding equips learners with peripheral skills, including computational thinking, logic, sequential thinking, and algorithmic thinking. In addition, STEM learning for kids develops their critical thinking and problem solving skills.
The middle school years present a crucial stage in kids’ growth and development. This stage contributes to their teenage years and their experience largely impacts the kind of adults they will eventually become. In other words, middle age for kids is a valuable stage and a perfect time for parents to shape their interests in programming and STEM. Coding gifts for middle schoolers include tools and activities that cut across coding, robotics, electronics and engineering. The lessons also serve as a preparation ground for real-world programming. With the right coding gifts, your kids can develop their careers across several STEM niches, including engineering, software development, hardware design, web development, mobile app development, and robotics, data analytics, among others.
Coding gifts for middle schoolers are available across various levels of expertise. This means that parents can purchase a coding gift for their kids, as there are coding gifts for beginners, amateurs, and expert coders as well.
Just as mentioned earlier, coding for middle school aged kids is crucial to their programming journey. Learning to code for kids shapes their problem-solving skills. Coding at this stage is simple, fun, and easy to understand.
Exposing your middle schoolers to STEM-related subjects will greatly impact their future and other areas of their present lives as well. It will also develop kids’ interests in STEM and expose them to the numerous career opportunities for computer programming. Kids can learn the dynamics of several kid-friendly programming languages, including Scratch, Python, and Blockly. Many middle school programs focus on starting with Python programming for middle schoolers. Python is a popular text-based programming language with over 100,000 support libraries for users. In addition to building websites and applications, you can also use Python for Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning, and Hacking.
Coding for 11-13-year-olds provides an educational challenge balanced with the excitement of possessing the ability to foster their creativity for solutions. Early exposure to computer programming sets kids up for a lifetime of achievement at a young age. It will also help them develop critical thinking and a problem-solving mindset. Generally, computer science and programming languages build on each other a structured guide i.e, coding gifts or courses that will guide kids through the fundamentals of coding- the vocabulary and syntax, and learning all these at a young age is very important.
Coding kits for middle schoolers cuts across three primary categories
- Middle school beginner kits
- Middle school intermediate kits
- Middle school advanced kits
Middle school beginner kits target kids who are new to the world of coding. STEM learning is progressive, and for effective learning, you need to start from scratch. Here are amazing beginner coding kits for your middle schooler.
BitsBox is designed for kids between the ages of 6-12. However, adults and advanced programmers have also found it useful. BitsBox coding kit is a monthly themed subscription kit aimed at teaching the intricacies of coding through interactive hands-on projects.
Although designed for younger kids, Cubetto is also perfect for middle schoolers who are starting in programming and STEM. Learning to code with Cubetto helps kids learn about sequencing, functions, and algorithms. Cubetto is completely screen-free and uses a simple visual block style. It encourages learn-by-doing and is just the perfect durable coding gift for your middle schooler.
Younger kids and middle schoolers can experiment with wheels, sensors, lights, and elements with the Wonder Dash Robot. Kids will learn the basics of coding robots with Blockly, and make their little Dash robot move around, perform simple commands, and interact with its surroundings.
Middle schoolers can explore Thymio’s Blockly programming language and learn about loops, conditions, sensors, temperature, accelerometers, and robotics and programming in general. It is an awesome coding gift for your kids who love robotics and programming.
Anki Cozmo is an incredible educational robot for kids and teens. Although perfect for beginners, kids who are knowledgeable about programming can acquire knowledge in Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence. Kids will learn how to build intelligent robots that can interact and display human-like emotions.
- Cozmo is a real-life robot like you’ve only seen in the movies and he’s ready to be your loyal sidekick
- Challenge Cozmo to games or use Explorer Mode to see things from his perspective
- With a beginner-friendly interface, Cozmo is the perfect educational robot for kids and adults to learn to creatively code
Designed for advanced middle school learners, Lego Mindstorms provides the opportunity for kids to learn Lego and robotics. This robotic kit includes 5 major bots for learners to explore, including R3PTAR, SPIK3R, and TRACK3R.
Experienced learners can unlock bigger capacities with the Anki Cozmo Bot. you can place the bot on the Sandbox mode or Constructor mode to access complex robotics projects. In addition, learners can also use Python SDK to tap into the robot’s numerous capacities.
Here are five steps for teaching your middle schoolers how to code.
- Begin with unplugged/off-screen coding activities.
- Use visual and block-based programming languages, e.g. Scratch, Blockly, etc.
- Proceed to Python and other text-based programming languages, after they must have mastered the arts of coding with visual platforms.
- Teach them using coding books.
- Subscribe to various themed coding kits and boxes, just as explained in this article.
Frequently Asked Questions
From coding books, coding toys, themed coding gifts, and programming kits, the possibilities of what you can get for your little coding lovers are endless.
The top coding kits for kids include the Sphero robot, Bitsbox, Dash Robot, and Lego Mindstorms, among others. A good coding kit for kids is simple to understand, fun for kids, and targets effective programming learning through hands-on and relatable activities.
Absolutely. Middle school is a perfect age for kids to learn coding. At this stage, kids can read, write, and comprehend information, which makes it faster and more effective for them to learn to code. Unlike younger kids, middle schoolers can combine both visual and text programming languages for constructive learning.
Final Thoughts On Best Coding Kits for Middle School
If you want your kids to be properly grounded in programming and STEM education, then you should start teaching them early. Middle schoolers who learn to code develop incredible skills over time, and become real-world problem solvers.
Teach your kids to code today!
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