How to Get Kids Engaged in Programming

Jul 19, 2018 | Blog |

In the age of technology upon us, we must get our children more involved with coding and programming. Here, you can find some tips to help your kid(s) enter the world of code comfortably.

Kids Programming

Kids Programming – Teaching Method

Introducing kids to programming can easily end up as a disaster if you don’t take the right approach. You have to remember that curiosity and interest drives younger students the most. And if we think about what kids are interested in, some probable answers would be video games, toys, or dolls.

Presenting a block of code to children won’t get them engaged. Rather, you should allow them to work with video game code or programmable robots. These relate closely to things they are interested in, so they will have a fun, curiosity driven experience when working with code. And that is exactly what we want.

Incorporating fun in learning code is the key to make sure coding doesn’t intimidate young students from the get-go.

It is also important to understand that there are many levels of coding, some of which are very overwhelming to younger minds. Things like object-oriented programming, recursion, and data structures are far too hard to grasp for most kids in middle school and below. Thus, making sure not to touch on those levels of coding is crucial for kids have an open mind when they are learning code.

Example-oriented teaching is a must when introducing kids to coding and programming. Do not simply telling them about what each code structure is. Instead, you should code along with them or present an example that they can play with. Coding is a very hard concept to grasp. Defining what structures of code does isn’t enough for students to understand how to apply them. Improving coding skills requires a lot of application and hands-on practice.

Therefore, keep these things in mind when introducing your kids to the realm of coding. As they say, first impressions are everything!

Kids Programming

Software

No matter how good you are at teaching, using the wrong software or language can be detrimental to a student’s interest in coding.

Advanced languages like Python and Java Script are big no-no’s for younger students. Because they don’t cater to beginners at all. Even though those softwares have feature bland interfaces and minimal visual, they will scare away your kids from anything coding. Instead, use software that are more child friendly.

We recommend using MakeBlock’s mBlock software that is based on MIT’s revered language, “Scratch”. Designed to be user-friendly and visually robust, mBlock promotes intuitive learning that is both fun and easy.

Instead of having to type code all out, mBlock contains blocks of code that can be dragged and dropped into the script. Thus, kids don’t need to be concerned about remembering coding formalities. They can concentrate on what they should be learning when they start out: logic and creative thinking.

Additionally, mBlock features a “Stage” area on its interface where students can actively see the effects of their code visually. With mBlock, code is a lot more fun and comfortable for your kids.

Kids Programming

Robotics with mBlock

Not only does mBlock allow you to create games, animations, and art but also features full robotic programming capabilities. mBlock is designed to work with MakeBlock’s many child. These friendly robots enable your kids to manifest their coding into the real world. How cool is that?

With mBlock, children can express their creativity and truly grasp the power of coding. With AI capabilities, LED indicators, and movable parts, the possibilities are endless as to what your child wants to create. Coding will be an adventure rather than just simply learning strings of text. It motivates students to delve further and further into the world of coding.

So remember to start slowly, pick the right software, and incorporate fun (like robots) into coding teaching. Once your child gets a proper introduction to what the programming world has to offer, they’ll be excited to explore the parts they like and take it as far as they want.

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