Computer science is all the rage in education – especially in Silicon Valley, where we live! My husband is a computer scientist who works with drones a lot, so robotics is very much part of my children’s everyday life. Emma and Johnny have even helped build drones for Mike’s lab! Here are some great ways kids can learn to code – fun, introductory computer science activities for all ages. Some of these ideas may surprise you!
Fun Ways Kids Can Learn to Code
Anna is, actually, a bit young for most of these activities, but she sure loves using my tablet case without the tablet inside as a make-believe computer. Sometimes she sticks pieces of paper or post-it notes on the tablet portion to draw computer screens on. This type of pretend play is a wonderful preschool introduction to computer science!
My kids dream of owning the Sphero BB-8, but for now they are contenting themselves with the Sphero SPRK that we were lucky enough to receive as a review item. Dash and Dot look like very fun robotics toys. Personally, I dream of owning the LEGO Mindstorms set, but that set is quite the investment and I am waiting for my kids to get older.
Play a Board Game
There are some great coding-based board games out there! My friend Michelle at Research Parent created this Code a LEGO Maze game that you can print for free! Code Master and Robot Turtles are two commercial games that teach kids how to code.
Khan Academy’s Hour of Code site is full of fun ways for kids to learn how to code! Nine-year-old Emma is a BIG Khan Academy fan, and she has learned a lot through their online lessons. My kids are able to access Tynker through school, and they love their online coding programs. Code.org is used by some of my schoolteacher friends. Scratch is another coding program that my kids love – and it is free!
What are your favorite ways for kids to learn to code?