Introducing Kids to the World of Coding: Tips and Tricks for Success

Get Kids into Coding
Posted 7 months ago

In today’s digital era, coding has become a fundamental skill. No longer is it purely for IT professionals, but it’s a tool that everyone can access, including kids.

The school curriculum now integrates coding for primary school aged kids, shaping them not just for future careers but honing crucial life skills like problem-solving, creativity, and critical thinking.

This article explores the ways you can introduce kids to coding, from interactive toys to coding their very own game.

Start Simple

Coding robots are a fantastic hands-on approach for kids to grasp commands and a set of instructions. With many brands available, they often come with flashcards that guide them through inputting commands. This can then be expanded by building mazes or obstacle courses for the robot to journey through – a playful way to enhance problem-solving skills.

Child playing with a robot mouse with command flashcards to understand basics of coding.
Robot mouse that can be programmed with commands to teach the basics of coding

These tools are simple on purpose – so the kids get to build a foundation of knowledge used for coding.

Introducing the Computer – Scratch

One of the simplest and most effective introductions to computer coding is Scratch. This can be used as an online application, or downloaded, and is normally the first coding kids will be introduced to at primary school.

Boy looking at a computer screen with the Scratch programme he has designed.
Scratch being used to guide a character through a maze.

It has a simple visual interface to allow kids to create digital stories, games, and animations, with a ScratchJr version, also available for younger kids aged 5-7. This is block-based coding which teaches children to code logically and systematically, whilst still nurturing creativity.

It’s also a great way for kids to understand keyboard and mouse navigation, essential skills often underestimated in today’s touchscreen world.

Moving to a Programming Language – Python/CSS

There are a variety of different languages people can code in, and there isn’t really a correct answer as to which is suitable for a beginner – they all have different starting points. However, Python is a popular choice as it is a high-level language, meaning that it is easy to interpret as a human.

Starting simple is key; tasks like creating a multiple-choice quiz or using Turtle to draw shapes are good projects to begin with.

Computer screen with python coding displayed.
Example of python code to create a times table quiz.

Alternatively, if web design sparks interest, CSS offers a great starting point, allowing kids to craft their simple web pages.

Find Engaging Resources

There are so many resources available both online and through coding books. These offer step-by-step guides for a range of projects – from coding your own game to designing a website or online quiz. They are easy to work through both with your child or independently, and books like these can even be found in local libraries.

A fan of different coding books.
Some examples of books with step-by-step guides to get kids into coding.

The more their projects align with their interests, the more they’ll learn and enjoy the coding journey. Coding can even become a part of school projects, showcasing their newfound skills to teachers and peers.

Keep Coding Fun

Remember to make coding an enjoyable experience. Show them its real-world applications, and provide hands-on experiences. With your support and encouragement, your kid can develop a lifelong passion for coding and unlock countless opportunities in the digital world.

We hope this article has given you some tips on how to inspire the future generation to learn coding.

This is something National Coding Week is all about. It was set up to teach kids more about coding and how they can build a career within IT – for more information, and how you can get involved, check out their website.

And if you work in IT but are keen to see what other opportunities are out there, why not take a look at our jobs page.

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