Coding has become an essential skill for students to learn; it drives innovation and creativity, as well as, builds self-confidence. According to Tynker.com, “In today’s digital world, coding is a fundamental skill alongside math and reading.” The sooner children become familiar with complex coding concepts, such as sequencing, loops, and conditionals, the more they will understand them. By starting early, students will be better prepared for success in any 21st century career path.
To jumpstart your child with coding, try these five free coding activities:
1. Hour of Code
Hour of Code presented by code.org is a global movement reaching tens of millions of students in 180+ countries. A great resource for parents and teachers, Hour of Code offers one hour introductions to computer science through free student-guided tutorials. These tutorials are for all ages and teaches kids that anybody can learn the basics of coding. The official Hour of Code week is December 4-10, 2017, but you can access the tutorials year-round. No sign-up or login is needed to participate; simply navigate to the website, click on a tutorial, and spend an hour coding. Interested in hosting an Hour of Code event? Join the movement today!
One of STEM Revolution’s favorite coding apps is LightBot. LightBot is a puzzle game where students must help the robot reach its destination by coding its movements. Through this game, students practice coding concepts such as sequencing, overloading, procedures, recursive loops, and conditionals. LightBot was designed for first-time coders and friendly to all-ages. Over 20 millions kids and tens of thousands of teachers worldwide have played LightBot. The full app costs $2.99, but the company has recently partnered with Hour of Code to create a FREE one hour demo game. The hour demo challenges students to program LightBot to light up all the blue squares in the game.
Scratch is a completely FREE online platform where students can program their own stories, games, and animations, as well as, share their creations with others in its online community. Designed by the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at MIT Media Lab, Scratch teaches young people important strategies for solving problems, designing projects, and communicating ideas. Originally designed for ages 8 to 16, Scratch is used by people of all ages. STEM Revolution loves Scratch and often uses it to teach students coding in its summer camps and student workshops.
4. Khan Academy
STEM Revolution is passionate about preparing students for the 21st century and coding is a fundamental skill to their future success. Get started today and see the difference coding can make in your child’s life!