Unplugged coding, which is the art of learning how to code without the use of computers, is just as effective and beneficial as coding with a computer. Kids can learn how to code, acquire STEM skills, and other soft skills, from coding without a computer.
Parents and teachers can bond with their kids better with off-computer coding. The coding activities and games help to bring kids closer to their parents, as well as their friends. Although it is essential to learn coding with a computer, kids can also be introduced to non-computer coding activities to boost their learning.
Overview of Learning Coding Without a Computer
Many people are so focused on the digital aspects of coding which involves mobile apps, web apps, games, robots, etc., that they tend to miss out on other benefits of coding outside the computer.
Coding equips with problem-solving skills, critical thinking, creativity, logical reasoning, etc., all of which kids can acquire through unplugged coding (non-computer coding).
Another great benefit of teaching kids how to code without a computer is that they can learn the art of human relations. Some of the coding activities involve two or more people who need to work together to achieve their goals. Parents can also have fun and engage in these off-computer coding activities with their kids.
All About Teaching Kids to Code Without Computer
There are many fun ways parents can teach kids how to code without a computer. Kids can learn to code using an iPad or a phone. They can also learn the basics of simple programming languages with a pen and paper.
Kids can also learn how to code with programming kits. Some kits, such as Arduino kits and Raspberry Pi kits do not require a computer to work. The Arduino Starter kit and Arduino Ultimate Robot kit are perfect examples of how to teach programming to kids without necessarily using a computer.
Learning about the components of a computer and keyboarding can be quite tedious for kids. Parents can save them the stress of learning these through non-computer coding lessons and activities. Kids can learn all about coding and acquire STEM skills even without a computer.
Things to Know About Coding Without a Computer
Here are the pros and cons of teaching programming to kids without a computer.
- Coding without a computer makes the process easier and less intimidating. Kids can find it overwhelming to learn coding and computational skills together, but helping them focus on learning coding outside a computer will make it more fun and less intimidating.’
- Coding without a computer, also known as hands-on coding, teaches kids the art of collaboration, persistence, and critical thinking.
- It also helps kids focus on actually learning how to code. While learning how to code with a computer is great, it can serve as a distracting tool for kids. There are many other interesting activities on the computer, and this might distract kids and cause them to lose focus. Alternatively, kids can learn coding with an iPad or Android, as these gadgets will pose as a lesser form of distraction for them.
- It might be difficult to learn.
- Kids might find it less exciting, compared to learning with a computer.
- Coding without a computer might take longer to learn.
17+ Ways To Teach Kids How to Code Without a Computer
With the right tools, teaching kids how to code without a computer can be seamless, fun, and engaging. Here are up to 17 engaging coding activities your kids can do without a computer.
Printable Scratch Books
Kids can learn all about Scratch programming language with the printable Scratch books. It has everything they need to know about Scratch block coding, incorporated with a step-by-step guide and live coding samples.
There are up to 60 printable Scratch books, all for free!
This is suitable for kids aged 5-7. This is a free android block coding app available on the iPad and Android apps. Kids do not have to worry about learning about computers and keyboarding before they can code.
Sphero and Ollie
Kids can learn all about coding and robotics with this educational kit. Teachers can also utilize the education program to teach Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Robotics, and Mathematics to kids.
Sphero and Ollie are interesting robots that can be programmed to perform many tasks, including going anywhere!
Bits and Bots
This is another fun programming activity that kids can learn about without a computer. It comes with great tools and instructional guides on how to teach robotics to kids. Kids can explore with the tools and create anything they want.
Instructed Map Route
This is a fun group coding game for kids. To play this, you need to mark the starting and ending points on the floor, then set obstacles on the way. Then, blindfold a kid’s face and have another kid guide them through the game without stepping on obstacles. The kids can either direct them to go right, left, take a step forward, jump over, etc. This is a fun coding game kids can play with their friends.
Binary coding is one of the simplest forms of computer coding. Kids can apply their knowledge of binary code to encode their names on their binary bracelets.
Kids can learn the rudiments of coding with the Robot Turtles. The board game develops kids’ reasoning skills, and they have to think smart and fast to get their cards to the prized jewel.
‘If’ and ‘then’ are two common commands used when coding. For instance, if a person clicks on the enter key, then move their text to the next line. Kids can customize the game however they want, and it can be played anywhere! This coding game is also suitable for kids of all ages.
This is a collection of free printable lesson materials that teach coding to kids. The lessons include games, puzzles, crafts, and other activities that help kids understand the basics of computer science and coding without having to use a computer.
Printable Debug Coding Game
Here, kids can learn all about debugging and solving bug issues in coding. This is an important aspect of learning how to code. With this printable instructional material, kids can learn how to identify and debug codes.
This non-computer coding activity is highly suitable for younger kids. Hello Ruby is a kids' coding storybook incorporated with lessons, puzzles, and creative exercises. Ruby, the protagonist of the book, is a young ambitious girl determined to solve any puzzle.
Hopscotch is a free coding app designed for kids aged 8 and above. Hopscotch is exclusively designed for the iPad. Kids can learn about block coding through the colorful games and features on the app.
Kodu is a programming tool designed to create simple coding games for kids. It is also infused with a math curriculum. Kodu is compatible with a PC and Xbox.
Teach a Robot to Stack Cups
Kids can create a series of instructions and methods on how a robot can stack cups. They can challenge one another to create the best methods of how their robots should stack cups. It is an interesting coding game that builds team spirit and healthy competition in kids.
This is a great board game that teaches coding to kids. Here, kids will learn all about logic and syntax.
Kids can learn coding, robotics, electronics, etc. using coding kits. Arduino kits and Raspberry Pi are great coding kits for kids.
Minecraft Education Edition
This is incorporated with several activities and programming languages for students.
Frequently Asked Questions
There are various effective ways for kids to learn how to program without a computer. They can learn how to code with phones and iPads, play board games, and invent coding-inspired games. Teachers can also download printable coding languages such as the Scratch books to teach kids all they need to know about these languages.
The requirements for learning how to code vary, depending on your learning stage and style. For complete beginners who do not want to use a computer, you can download coding apps, or buy board games and coding kits. Alternatively, you can invent your games i.e. rock, paper, scissors.
Truthfully, there is no best way to teach coding to kids. You can explore the many possibilities and methods of teaching coding to kids, then pick the most suitable one for you. You can check out our previous articles on the easiest programming language for kids, the best Arduino kits for kids, and the best resources to teach coding online to kids. These will serve as a guide to help you teach your kids how to code.
Coding without a computer is just as fun as learning how to code with a computer. There are tons of activities, games, and instructional materials that teach coding for kids without a computer.
Either way, make sure you take the first step to teach your kids how to code. Remember, it doesn’t have to be perfect!
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