Programming for children: How to get your child started

Does your child enjoy working with technology and is already better at using apps on a smartphone or tablet than you? You can encourage this interest in a targeted way. Learning to program is a way for children to understand and analyze processes in the digital world in a playful way. We show you which games and books are fun for kids to get started with programming.

Programming, Coding, Java, Python and Co. – these expressions do not sound particularly child-friendly. And yet: your childish curiosity and their desire to explore ensure that children are fortunately more enthusiastic and open to new challenges than adults.

Even if you are new to programming, it does not mean that you can not teach your child one playful and carefree approach can offer about a topic that is becoming more and more important. Whether it’s at school or at work – computer skills is for children in the digital age real door opener. With child-friendly learning games, books and robots, you can give your child playful access to the world of computer science and early media literacy schools.

Programming made easy for kids – how do you get started?

That programming must not only consist of ethers and zeros, but colorful and fun can be, display educational games that do not require a computer or monitor and are suitable for children from 3 or 4 years. They do too Robot mouse for programming of learning resources.

The educational game is suitable for first contact points with the topics computer science and programming already in kindergarten. The object of the game is to guide the robot mouse Cody over an obstacle course to a cheese corner. With many different tiles, obstacles and tunnels to insert, your child can build their own maze in the children’s room, through which Colby takes care of the goal. Provided the programming is correct. Children can easily follow the sequence of steps using buttons on the back of the mouse enter. 30 programming cards provide increasingly tricky courses, which provide a lot of long-term motivation.

Which programming language suits my child?

It does not matter if your child wants to deepen their interest in programming, or if it just likes to solve small brain teasers, engaging in such educational games creates a basic understanding of the structure of a programming language. Java, Python, C ++ or Scratch – all programming languages ​​follow one logical structure and is used to perform various functions and work loops using commands or instructions programmed into them. Just like your child gives orders to the monkey or the robot mouse in the obstacle course.

Does your child want to learn their first programming language? it is recommended to start with Scratch. This language is specially developed for children and young people who want to learn programming and completely do without bulky or complicated text commands. With Scratch, your child can quickly achieve results. From self-made little games to controlling robots to your own programmed calculator various small projects simply implement.

Scratch requires a computer, laptop or children’s tablet with internet connection. The popular Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids tablet is, for example, good at getting started with Scratch and other coding programs.

Which books are suitable for children to learn programming?

Child-friendly textbooks are still an excellent didactic medium for children. Well-prepared books can bring children closer to especially complex topics, such as programming. Max Wainewright’s book “Coding for kids – 20 games with Scratch 3.0“Offers one very accessible entrance in programming. Children from around 7 years learn here in entertaining illustrated instructions quickly and clearly how by using the free programming language Scratch be able to make your own computer games. From car racing to treasure hunts, the games offer a lot of variety and can be tested and played extensively after successful programming.

The mouse, known from TV, also gives young programmers a clear introduction to the first steps of the programming language Scratch. In Philip Kiefer’s book “Learn to program with the mouse“Make the mouse your child Ready for coding step by step. In 13 lessons, for example, children learn how to make their first cartoon, how to program a jukebox or how to develop fun games. Infoboxes convey interesting information Background knowledge of computers and technology. After the first exercises, children can Let your creativity run free and share their first projects with their friends via the free Scratch platform. The book was also recognized by the German Academy of Children and Youth Literature as a “didactically excellently produced non-fiction book”.

What are the benefits of programming for children?

  • that media literacy your child is being trained.
  • Your child will gain an understanding of complex contexts and backgrounds.
  • Coding helps children analyze and understand the digital world.
  • Mathematical understanding, logical thinking and concentrated work are trained.
  • Your child learns through programming Implement ideas and problem solutions creatively.

Hands-on programming: experimental kits for older children

A particularly accessible introduction to the programming world of elementary school children is experimental kits, which are available on many different scientific topics and questions that are of interest to children. The beauty of experimental kits is that they round complete packages give up the complex issues tangible and understandable with all the senses make. With them, your child can discover many facets of programming in a playful way and work independently for hours.

Of Experiment box Codix from Kosmos is dependent on a robot that can help children from the age of 8 learn to enter the programming world. Your child is programming the mechanical robot Codix without computer or smartphone, using stickable plastic pins. If your offspring places these in the designated places in the belly of the fun coding robot, Codix can perform various movements and actions. From simple instructions like driving straight to whole movement sequences, children learn using the easy-to-understand and exciting designed instructions in cartoon formto program increasingly complex command sequences into your robot.

But before that can happen, Codix must first assemble 150 parts. Children train her spatial thinking and learn a lot about the technology built into robots. Depending on the structure, Codix can even perform one of its five actions by drawing, grabbing, throwing, kicking or transporting objects. The coding missions in the experimental set introduce children difficult challenges without overcoming them. With the experimental set from Kosmos, your child will gain valuable experience in problem-solving thinking, learn important background information and experience an exciting adventure with the robot Codix and his cartoon friends.

Children have even more options programmable boost robot set with lego. Under the motto “Build Code Play”, the set offers a wide range of options for building and programming for children from around 7 years. almost 850 Lego bricks can each be assembled into one of five programmable robots with different functions.

In addition to the Vernie robot, children can also build a guitar, a robot cat, a bulldozer and a production line for mini Lego models. The robots are then brought to life using a smartphone or tablet app. By using the app’s user – friendly programming interface, your child can give their robots a wide range of instructions and program entire processes. It’s just fun to watch as Vernie dances through the children’s room or the robot cat Frankie becomes an interactive spinning pet.

The structure of the Lego Boost app is very similar to the programming language Scratch. So if your child already has experience with Scratch, then they will find their way around without any problems. But also for children without prior knowledge of programming The Lego Boost robot set is suitable. The interactive instructions are typical of Lego easy to understand and well illustrated, so your child can master their first programming tasks in no time. Each action on the screen is implemented directly by the robot in real life, which is especially exciting for children and leads to quick learning effects. through countless expansion options with other Lego sets and building blocks, there are no limits to your child’s creativity, even after trying all five types of robots.

Why are robots so good at getting started with programming?

Kids love robots. They train technical understanding and have the advantage over books or programs that they are haptic, ie playmates and programming buddies that can be experienced in real life give, with whom the discussion brings much joy. Your child will quickly feel success when the robot performs its first commands. Before you know it, he is whizzing through the nursery doing fun tricks or solving tasks specially developed for him.

More ways to make coding interesting for kids

In the age of automation, robots have become indispensable in the industry. Therefore, more and more specialists with computer science knowledge and experience in robot technology are sought. Early engagement with robots can therefore also positive effects on later professional development your child has. Programmable robots are a great option for both girls and boys Enthusiasm for the so-called STEM subjects mathematics, computer science, science and technology. With the Roberta initiative since 2002, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft has actively supported efforts to make children and young people suitable for programming and robot technology. The initiative offers several free videos and workshops on programming for children on its website roberta-home.de.

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