Robotics for kids

5 Tools to Teach Kids Programming

All of us live in a digital world, and the future will be more or less the same. Almost everyone nowadays uses a computer, smartphone, or gadget of some kind. Even young children are adept at playing songs on iPods and browsing on their laptops. To better prepare them for the future, teachers and parents must encourage them to get familiar with the technology. Understanding how these gadgets work and function will help become more tech-savvy and independent.

In the years to come, coding will become an essential skill that people need to find jobs. That is why, around the world, we see coding for kids becoming more critical. Teachers and parents alike are experimenting with coding software for kids to help encourage such learning. In this article, we will take a look at courses and tools to teach kids programming. We will also look at tools like scratch programming for kids, which encourage children to pick up coding with ease.

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1. Robotics Starter (Age 8+)

2. Robotics Explorer (Age 11+)

3. Robotics Champion (Age 14+)

4. Coding Champion (Age 14+)

5. Coding Starter (Age 8+)

6. Coding Explorer (Age 11+)

7. Drones Starter (Age 8+)

8. Drones Explorer (Age 11+)

9. Drones Champion (Age 14+)

How does coding relate to STEM?

Any parent going through courses and material to do with education would have come across the term STEM. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Education, and Mathematics, and it comprises all learning that helps push scientific innovation. From physics to astronomy, everything that helps with the improvement of technology comes under this discipline. Children tend to struggle with subjects like Science and Maths more than Art and History. This has ingrained the notion in people that STEM subjects are difficult. However, this is not the case. By teaching children the right skills, we can get them interested in STEM subjects early on. 

One of the most fundamental skills needed in STEM is problem-solving, and nothing teaches that better than coding. Coding is a natural, robust, and efficient way to teach children STEM because it allows them to get their hands dirty and work on practical projects. This helps develop their analytical skills and encourages them to view science and maths in a kinder light. Also, scratch programming for kids is very visual; helping them grasp concepts more quickly. Learning coding also helps open a whole array of possible career opportunities, which is very beneficial. 

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What is Coding?

Coding is a science or process that has a variety of applications. Programs are essentially pieces of code that help run applications and manage our devices. It helps us work on PCs, laptops and even our mobile phones. Primarily, they serve as tidbits of information and instructions that tell machines how to do something or run a particular task. Everything from a simple calculator to a game as complex as God Of War makes use of programming functions. Coding for kids can be a fun and exciting adventure, which teaches them some valuable skills. 

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What is Coding for Kids?

Learning how to code teaches children several vital skills and helps prepare them for the future. It also opens up several avenues concerning career choices and opportunities. There are several choices when it comes to programming languages. Some languages, like Python and C++, are simple, making them great for children. Others, like HTML and CSS, are more refined and have extensive applications in web page building. Coding for kids encourages children to learn programming skills, helping them gain basic knowledge on how to code simple projects. It also teaches them an analytical way of thinking, algorithm making, and problem-solving through practical examples. Due to the rapidly changing reality of our times, it is hard to predict what skills will become handy. However, one thing is certain: knowing how to code is an asset that opens many doors. 

How coding software for kids help

Teaching coding to kids requires a lot of patience and storytelling. Learning how to code can be a fun and simple process when we use the right tools. Around the world, parents and teachers are moving to coding software and tools to introduce concepts to children. Encouraging children to code is easier than you would expect because kids like challenges. By presenting coding as a challenge or game that children can win, it becomes easier to involve them in projects. 

Also, we now have access to a plethora of tools that help with teaching programming. These tools are of varying levels and can be adjusted to help children at various stages of proficiency. Video games and applications are a fun way of getting kids to code. In gameplay learning methodology, children learn within the context of a game. Another great way is through robotics for kids, which gives a more hands-on experience to kids. 

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5 Tools to teach kids programming 

1. Scratch Programming for Kids

Scratch is a visual aid to teach children programming, and it came from developers at the MIT Lab. Since releasing in 2007, Scratch has helped thousands of children older than six learn how to code and program. Their website is extremely intuitive and gives parents access to over 1.7 million different projects. Children get to work with everything from animation to video games through these projects. 

2. Alice Coding Software for Kids

Alice is another free and open-source programming environment that helps make coding a lot more fun for children. It uses a 3D environment to teach kids concepts related to object-oriented programming. It is also an efficient tool in helping children understand event-driven programming. Alice uses a drag and drop approach, making it easier for children to visualize how code works. The approach emphasizes interactive animations and interactions, making it a huge hit with children. 

3. Hackety Hack

Hackety Hack is another open-source platform that helps teach students basic programming. It works on the Ruby language, and the application runs on all major Operating Systems. The tool uses a different approach from Scratch and Alice, as it isn’t graphic. The tool teaches children how to code using text editors that work on Ruby syntax. 

4. Arduino

If you want a more practical hands-on approach to coding, you can opt for Arduino. Also, this is a great tool to encourage children to explore the world of robotics and electronics. This open-source prototyping environment allows children to work with both hardware and software elements. Children will learn to work with C++ on this platform. Though it might not be very easy, learning Arduino can be vital for children interested in STEM. 

5. Lego Mindstorms

While most children associate LEGO with building blocks, the company offers a lot more. Lego Mindstorms is a great tool that teaches children robotics and coding. It contains several electrical components like motors and sensors, helping children build their own systems. Also, it ventures into programming using a command-box approach, which is easy to visualize.

Other tools you can use include;

  1. Hopscotch
  2. Tynker
  3. Kodable
  4. Stencyl
  5. RoboMind
  6. Etoys
  7. Water Bear

Best online classes to teach kids coding 

1. Coding Starter class for kids (Age 8+) - In this coding class, your kid will learn the coding basics with the help of scratch programming language and develop various games and applications.

2. Coding Explorer class for kids (Age 11+) - This coding class is for intermediates kids will learn to program by developing various games such as ping-pong game, treasure hunter, flappy bird, and many more.

3. Coding Champion class for kids (Age 14+) - This online coding class will help kids enhance their coding skills further as kids will learn to develop android applications using MIT app inventor. Kids will develop applications like a messenger app, video player app, text-to-speech app, etc.

All these coding classes occur online in live 1-1 sessions and are taught by expert tutors who have an engineering background. Therefore, the trainer gets to interact with your child personally, but they also focus on them individually and adapt their teaching style accordingly. In case you have any queries regarding which coding class will suit your child, or want a free trial, do reach out to us. Our experts will be more than happy to suggest the best option for you and your child. Help prepare your child for the future with our hands-on coding classes for kids!

5 Tools to Teach Kids Programming
Skyfi Labs Last Updated: 2021-03-05

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