Kids are born digital nowadays! With an early exposure to hi-tech gadgets and internet, it is but natural that kids attune themselves comfortably to the digital mode of learning. But on the other hand, this has also created a new line of duty for parents — equipping kids with relevant future ready skills that may give them an edge in this fast changing competitive world.
Thinking where to start? Well, we may have just the right suggestion for you. A current idea floating supremely in today’s digital society is that all our children must learn to code. Considered to be the ‘new basic’ or ‘second language’, code is increasingly being recognized as a core competency for every little thing that is going to take place in the near future. Trust us when we say, it is the ideal key to the future for both children and adults alike.

For the non-coding or even young parents, we know how difficult it can be for you to know where to begin? So let’s start with how you can introduce yourself and your child to the basic concepts of coding.

What is Coding?

Code is fast becoming the global language of communication, connecting over 2 billion people across the globe who use the internet. The current generation already knows how to use technology far better than us, and with coding, they’ll soon get the hang of knowing how it works too. Introducing them to code, not only makes them a simple user of technology but creators of it. They learn nuances of the very language that will help them interact and communicate best with computers, in order to build and run apps, websites, video games, all on their own.

Coding for kids is a fundamentally creative process; children start with nothing and finish with something. It nurtures creative expression, demystifies tech, teaches them problem solving and persistence. There are a number of apps, books, games, and tools through which parents can build their own knowledge as well as encourage their children (as young as 3+ years) to explore skills that allow them to dream and build a colossal of ventures, all on their own.

What does coding offer?

Coding is a valuable skill, termed as the 21st-century literacy. It is a comprehensive platform that offers a myriad of opportunities not just for learning but for personal growth as well. It constitutes creativity and innovation, mastery of new exciting skills, and advanced ways of thinking. It is an expressive process that will help children understand the infinite possibilities available in the world to them. Coding holds the potential of placing your child as a desirable potential with a competitive advantage when applying to universities, internships, and jobs. It is indeed obvious that not every child will want to write code for a living when they grow up, but they can surely benefit from having done it. Let’s just say, Even if they don’t choose to code as a career, they will not end up being passive users of technology like us. Right? From connecting problem to solutions, tackling challenges to figuring its approaches, team building to leadership; coding enables your child to leverage innovation and creativity that will help them thrive on their own in this ever-expansive world.

Parental Role in Coding

Coding may have come the trend today, but it has existed since the days we started using the computers. But trust us when we say, coding is not rocket science! You are not expected to be a great mathematician or a computer geek to teach your child how to code. If your child can get the hang of gadgets like mobile phone and iPads, even before they learn to speak, then they can surely learn how to code easily. You won’t even notice, but your kids are already comfortable with technology. Chances are your child will start coding far more quickly than you even begin to understand it. It is better you take the plunge right away by learning with them.

Start simple- read books and articles or talk to an expert to understand the concepts better; enroll in a course, or install an app to practice the basics of it in your free time. Buy a coding toy, that will help you as well as your child bond and have fun learning together. It is not important that such things need to be a part of school curriculums or extracurricular afterthoughts, you can begin the charity at home as well.

Coding without screens

Now that we have built up dual enthusiasm for code, we suggest you take a step further and begin with teaching your child the basics of computer programming without fearing about screen time. There are umpteen Montessori-influenced, adventure and hands-on play toys available in the market. Such games make up a programming language you can touch and manipulate. They expand your child’s horizon. And ensure that your child is able to learn best through hands-on play.  Such games don’t use a written language, screens, or need Wi-Fi to function, they create a fun learning environment by helping kids realize their full creative potential by combining movement, touch, and sound.

Coding with screen

Progressing to coding with screens; kids can embrace new learning through playing. And no, this will not stunt your kids’ development or get them addicted to screens. There are many interesting and unique ways of using the approach of ‘learn by doing’ in a game style environment. With the help of different learnings extracted from school curriculums, experts have curated games with scenarios tailored into a story suiting varying age groups. With the help of blocks and visualizing tool, kids can be taught literally any subject.

Benefits of coding

As parents, we know you still might be intimidated by the idea of coding, but logical and critical thinking, problem-solving, persistence, and communication are some key benefits we identified amongst the endless benefits that coding has. As parents, you can support your child by opening doors to opportunities and avenues that we cannot anticipate now, simply by coding. Developing exposure to STEM education in them while they are still so young is a major benefit of coding. Bolstering the much-needed boost of confidence that will help your child move past their insecurities in this cut-throat competitive world in any field they choose is another one.  There is literally no dearth of the benefits coding can bring in your child and your child in return can bring to the world.

Coding is shaping and advancing almost all industries as of now, our daily lives to be precise reckons on the same. Giving your child and yourself an introduction to coding skills is like giving them a magic wand to dream up bigger plans, and you may even dream up a few of your own too.

The writer is AVP (Marketing), Eupheus Learning.