If your kids have ever played with puzzles or building blocks of any kind, you’re in luck - Scratch and Scratch Jr are excellent places to start learning how to code. Without having to write out code manually, Scratch allows kids to easily move blocks of code around in a sequential order to create programs. Because kids focus on block sequence and coding commands rather than manually writing code, Scratch gives kids an opportunity to see how powerful programming can be and how successful they can be at it, without feeling overloaded and overwhelmed with coding jargon.
Perhaps one of the best parts about Scratch is that parents don’t need a working knowledge of coding, either. Scratch also offers a supportive community where kids and parents can collaborate together and share creative ideas for programming.
One of the best kids coding languages to start with is HTML. This language is used to create websites. If you have a child who loves to create and solve problems, HTML might be a great language to start with.
Once your child is familiar with HTML and has learned the basics of building a website, they can advance to the next level: CSS. Also called Cascading Style Sheets, CSS is responsible for easily establishing and changing the appearance of a website without having to manually change every single website page with a website redesign or a change in branding. It is a set of design rules for a website to follow. Rather than changing the design code on every webpage on a website (which can easily number in the hundreds for blogs and other content-heavy websites), design rules can be changed in one CSS document.
Together, HTML and CSS are the building blocks for creating websites, and every website needs both to make it complete.
Kids as young as 8 years old can begin to learn HTML and CSS. Using the inspect tool on a Chrome browser is one effective way to learn and use HTML and CSS. Children can change one element, such as a color or a font size, without fear of “breaking” the website.
Many of us can remember playing games as a child, whether it was board games at home, travel games in the car, or games we made up with our friends or siblings.
Playing games has a tremendous value in a child’s life, as Fred Rogers once said:
One of the easiest and best ways for children to learn anything is through playing games, and this can be applied to learning a new coding language like Java.
Java is one of the most widely used languages in the world, with companies like LinkedIn, Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Apple utilizing this coding language. For intermediate students, Java is a great versatile coding language that can be learned and applied in kid-friendly ways, like Minecraft Java Edition.
No matter where you choose to start, your child will experience lifelong benefits from learning how to code at a young age. From problem-solving skills to entrepreneurship skills, learning to code can give a child the best head start in pursuing the career or passion of their dreams. It is an ideal way to help your child’s imagination come to life.
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