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Is Coding Suitable for Preschoolers?

2019-12-02
image shows two kids sitting and playing happily

Coding is for everyone to learn, and by everyone we definitely include preschoolers as well. This is one of the questions always asked by parents when they start thinking about enrolling their kids in something the future will ask for.

Coding is about providing the computer with a language it could understand in order to take an action, that’s why it is always considered the complicated kind of work that could only be completed by computer geeks or those who have studied computer programming. Preschoolers could learn coding; it all just depends on how they learn it and what are the activities they do.


Why Should Preschoolers Learn Coding?

There are several benefits to be mentioned when it comes to coding, for kids and adults. It is always believed that the earlier one learns something, the easier it is for them to grasp it all, the easier for them to understand, and the longer for this information to stay in mind.

There are different benefits for preschoolers to be gained from coding, such as giving kids the chance to think critically, be more resilient and persistent, solve their problems, as well as make the right decisions. These benefits include:


  • Learning about Computational Thinking
  • What is computational thinking? Computational thinking means to think in a systematic manner that is just as simple as a computer would. In other words, we could define computational thinking as “an approach to problem solving that involves critical and logical thinking, just like the computer does”. Computational thinking is one of the benefits kids will gain from learning to code since it will teach them to review the problem in different ways, logically organize the data, and eventually solve the problem.


  • Learning How to Make Things Work
  • With coding, kids will not only learn to code, but they will also learn to make things work and solve any problems occurring in the middle of the way.


  • Learning Perseverance
  • There is something interesting we always find in kids, they never leave something not working without asking a lot of questions to try and solve the problem, this is exactly one of the benefits that kids will learn from coding; to think, solve problems, and make things work.


  • Making Kids More Creative
  • When kids start learning how to code, they will foster their creativity along the way. Coding is all about building things from nothing, won’t this give the child the chance to use their minds? Definitely it will, kids always turn out to be more creative than we think.

    There are lots of other benefits that coding could bring, such as letting the child know what’s their passion in life is, be prepared for the demands of the future, know how math and science are related to coding, etc.



How to Teach Preschoolers to Code?

Preschoolers

It is believed that the future will consider coding a basic skill, one that will be as important as reading and writing. The importance given to coding happened due to the digital world we are living in; people are always attached to their tablets and mobile phones, for work purposes or even just to have some fun time.

Teaching kids to code offline will happen through some activities built on the same concept of coding but will be first offline. There are different preschool coding games that should be first introduced to kids to make the whole idea of coding much easier for them to grasp. Parents could always be creative and build some coding games for their kids at home, with tools that are found in every single house.

Here are some fun activities to teach preschoolers to code:


  • Puzzles
  • Do you know that the main skills needed in coding could be actually enhanced through other games? Puzzles help with critical thinking and problem solving; kids will need to think in order to bring the puzzle pieces back together. This is exactly what coders and programmers need to do, think in order to bring codes together and create something at the end.


  • Building Blocks
  • Building blocks foster critical thinking, problem solving, and creativity skills for the child, which are all needed when it comes to computer coding. Building blocks will help the child become creative with what he/she is building, you will never expect the outcome. The process of building these blocks will need critical thinking for the child to know how to balance these blocks, will help them be patient and persistent to reach the end goal, and will make them determined.


  • Asking Questions
  • When you ask someone a question, they always think before giving you an answer; that’s exactly how kids should answer the questions asked to them. Play the questions game with your child, but make sure that these questions are going back and forth between you both. STEAM education is considered part of coding, so always think about a mathematical question to ask them, give them the chance to think and come up with logical answers to fire them back at you.

    Asking Questions
  • Playing the Maze Game
  • From the different games that teach coding, mazes are among the list. Mazes are good for children in general because they help them become more resilient when trying to get out of them. When kids try to solve a maze and come out of it, they will sometimes reach a dead end and will then need to go back to the starting point and start all over again, this is exactly what a coder needs to be: resilient.

    There are actually lots of different everyday games that parents play with their kids which help with the skills needed in coding. Telling a story, solving a riddle, solving specific mathematical problems; these are different offline coding games for kids that could help with enhancing the needed skills, such as critical thinking, resilience, decision making, and problem solving.

There are different coding games for kids to play which brings us to one important conclusion: coding is beneficial for everyone in our digital era and all ages could learn it, starting from three years and older.


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