6 Benefits of Teaching Kids How to Code
In the 21st century, coding is one of the most important skills for a child to learn. That’s not just because coding is highly sought after in the job market. It’s also because, in a world full of computers, coding helps kids better understand the technology that surrounds them.
Coding for kids is a fantastic way for your little ones to develop valuable personal skills, too. By encouraging logic, perseverance, and out-of-the-box thinking, getting your kids to learn coding while they’re young gives them a serious head start. Here are six big benefits of teaching kids how to code.
Why is Coding Important for Kids?
1) Fosters creativity
When we think of creative activities, we might think of painting, writing, cooking, or crafting. Just like these, coding involves starting with nothing and using your creativity to make something new and unique that expresses your thoughts and personality.
No two people code in the same way. And there’s infinite potential for innovation, building upon existing knowledge and ideas to come up with a practical solution for a problem. The best part is that coding is easy to pick up, so kids can start making fun and creative programs right away.
2) Develops problem-solving skills
The goal of coding for kids is to invent a solution to a digital problem. Once they do, they need to figure out how to bring that solution into the world using the language of computers. In doing so, kids are encouraged to try many different approaches, testing what works and what doesn’t until they succeed.
This also helps them develop the resilience to stick to a challenge until they overcome it. And once they do, there’s always an opportunity to return to their code and refine it, making it shorter or more efficient. These skills and attitudes carry over to other subjects and activities, giving your kids the tools they need to reach their potential.
3) Encourages hands-on learning
Ever wondered why your kids can’t sit still for five minutes? Well, it’s because they have a natural drive to explore, experiment, and learn about the world around them.
Coding for kids takes advantage of this thirst for knowledge by engaging them in active learning. Rather than listening to a teacher or learning from a book, they can start building their own simple code within minutes. Some coding tools, like our Pioneering Coding kit, let them do so even before they can read or write!
By actually interacting with a challenge and trying different approaches for themselves, kids experience the type of deep learning that hands-off activities can’t provide. They also learn that mistakes can be a stepping stone to finding a solution. This gives them the confidence to participate willingly and happily in future challenges, even when they don’t have the answers yet.
4) Enables computational thinking
Computational thinking is a tried, tested, and proven approach to solving complex problems, both digital and in the real world. It involves four main steps:
- Decomposition: Breaking down a complex problem into smaller, more manageable parts.
- Pattern recognition: Looking for similarities within these parts or familiar problems.
- Abstraction: Separating important information from irrelevant information.
- Algorithms: Creating a step-by-step solution that solves the initial problem.
Since computers are purely logical devices, programmers use computational thinking to communicate effectively with them. But these skills that kids learn when they code also apply to life away from a screen. Computational thinking is a cross-disciplinary skill that helps children approach and overcome problems in all walks of life.
5) Blends all subjects
Coding is often considered alongside math, and for good reason. They use many of the same skills such as gathering, organizing, and analyzing data, and they both require logical thinking. But coding for kids doesn’t just help them improve their math skills.
Like writing, coding uses language as a means of self-expression. Like engineering, it’s about building a functioning system using many smaller parts. Like science, kids need to come up with, test, and refine hypotheses. And like art, code can be used to create something new, unique, and exciting.
In these ways, coding requires children to draw upon knowledge and strategies from a wide range of other areas. As well as helping them to practice and retain what they learn, it teaches them the real-world value of interdisciplinary thinking.
6) Strengthens their prospects
Every year, machines become a bigger and bigger part of our lives. So it’s no surprise that employers are always on the lookout for employees who can code. This doesn’t just apply to the tech sector, either. It’s also common in finance, health, retail, and many others.
The earlier your child learns to code, the easier they will find it to develop their digital skills in later life. This gives them a huge advantage when it comes to college applications and job hunting. In other words, coding for kids is an excellent way to unlock better life opportunities.
Where Do I Start?
Would you be surprised to learn that you don’t need a computer to start learning to code? It’s true! Take our Pioneering Coding kit, for example. This all-inclusive hands-on kit uses simple arrow cards to teach kids ages 3-8 the basics of coding with no mouse, keyboard, or monitor to speak of.
Once they’ve mastered coding with arrows, slightly older kids can move on to digital coding with our fun and colorful Code Cube. Using the drag-and-drop Blockly interface, they can create animated LED designs that they can wear on their wrist or as a keychain. There’s no software installation required, so kids can get coding right away with no trouble.
Pick up one of our cool coding kits today, or visit our online store to find other amazing science, technology, art, engineering, and math activities your kids will adore.