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It's never too early to get them started

Get your children programming while playing with these resources on coding for kids

Chris Stewart
coding for kids
© Shutterstock / Sunny studio

Working from home, social distancing and #StayAtHomeSaveLives. Why not use the time to help your offspring to take their first steps in the world of computer science? We’ve collected some resources on coding for kids so you can help learning become child’s play.

Digital transformation has long ceased to be a trend, meaning that software development is not only a lucrative profession, but it will remain essential in an increasingly networked and technological society. It’s obvious, then, that we should give the next generation the opportunity to find their way in the digital world, and that coding for kids is more important than ever before.

Since we’re all stuck inside now anyway, experiencing the pleasures of social distancing to one extent or another, why not take advantage of the resources online and let your children have some fun while gaining their first experience in programming?

Grid Garden – Design with CSS

Grid Garden is a free website that teaches the basics of CSS by means of a digital carrot garden. Perfect for absolute beginners, the game is designed to teach players the basics of layout creation.

coding for kids

Grid Garden / Source: https://cssgridgarden.com/

Grid modules have the advantage that they can address both columns and rows, thus extending the CSS possibilities and making them more descriptive. The game gives you a garden divided into a grid of individual tiles and offers different challenges over 28 levels for young programmers. The challenges start with watering carrots and get progressively harder. The game can be found at https://cssgridgarden.com/.

CodeCombat – code your way to victory

CodeCombat is suitable for prospective programmers as young as 6 years old who love gaming. According to their own literature, the community project has more than 5 million players from all over the world. As the difficulty level, the heroes’ actions must be controlled by writing code. Set in a fantasy world full of mystery, adventure and danger, this is one I’ve bookmarked myself – coding for kids and adults alike? I think so.

coding for kids

CodeCombat / Source: https://codecombat.com/

The great thing about CodeCombat is that you can choose what programming language you want to learn. For now the choice is between Python, JavaScript, or CoffeeScript (with Java on its way in the future). Also, since it’s an RPG, you get to decide what class of hero you want to play. The game runs with both Chrome and Firefox and the base game is free of charge (with a premium option if you want to unlock more characters, abilities and levels). If you want to start programming right away, you can get started here – create an account and off you go.

SEE ALSO: Alternative tips to live your best life while working from home during a pandemic

Code.org – free courses

There is more behind Code.org than just a colorful learning program. The non-profit organization is dedicated to making computer science more firmly anchored in schools and providing easy access for women and minorities. In addition to campaigns, they offer free coding courses for children online. The offer is divided into age groups, which are aimed at participants between 4 and 18 years of age and also include offline lessons.

coding for kids

Of course, calling them “courses” doesn’t do the amount of content on offer justice. / Source

 

The playful activities are supported by YouTube videos, in which help is provided for individual exercises. Furthermore, during these difficult times, they’ve also launched Code Break, which is a weekly interactive classroom in which there are coding challenges for all skill levels.

SEE ALSO: COVID-19, Software Developers and Becoming All-Remote (Part 1)

BBC Bitesize – not just coding for kids

Not everyone knows that the BBC website also hides a real treasure trove of learning activities. These are not just restricted to coding, but to the entire school curriculum. On BBC Bitesize, you will find activities suitable for ages 3+, from computing to Mandarin Chinese. The website also currently has a statement that daily learning activities are on the way in this time of closed schools and isolation, so the resources will become even more useful in the days to come.

So there you have it. We’ve tried to include something for all ages, but we would love to hear your suggestions in the comments.

Author
Chris Stewart
Chris Stewart is an Online Editor for JAXenter.com. He studied French at Somerville College, Oxford before moving to Germany in 2011. He speaks too many languages, writes a blog, and dabbles in card tricks.

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