If you are a parent who is reading this, most probably your child is somewhere near you. She/he is in your vicinity, where you can see them. Yes. it is thankful, to have them nearby and safe. But, aren’t they home more than ever nowadays? Especially with the Covid scenario? So how to engage them without losing the fun element? Kids are happy if they have an interesting, engaging, and fun session with learning. What best thing than CODING to provide this?
Is Coding Fun? Yes Children are different. Their tastes are different. Some love Football sessions, some hide-n-seek. Some would prefer to take a book and read for hours. The common thing is inquisitiveness. The curiosity to know the unknown and have an adventure. This is where coding can help them. You are giving them a task, which is enjoyable. They invoke their curiosity. Satiate the hunger. Keep them occupied also. The result is a game or a process which they will be overjoyed to share with all. Apart from the future aspects, this fun part is what makes coding a hit among the children.
FUN CODING ACTIVITIES
Children can be asked to make an alphabet sheet using binary digits. This will be like a secret language.
A-101010 B-101011 C-101110
It is a fun activity to practice among the friend circle. “Guess the word” –the game can also be practised from these charts.
Write an instructional chart Ask the children to select an activity. Make a step-by-step chart to do this function. For example, “Going to the market to buy onions.” The chart will be something like, Get up-Wear Outside Clothes-Take a bag-Take money-Walk out-Close the door-Take out the cycle---- and so forth. Another participant can check whether any missing links are there.
Maze Out This is aimed at children who are a bit older. It is a fun and quirky play to do. Draw a maze and find ways to get out of the same. One needs to provide instructions for a robot to do the same. This involves -Drawing a maze out of a tabled sheet. -Finding a way out of it -Writing instructions for a robot/inanimate thing to follow
Now we know that coding for kids need not mean a study of boring programming. Yes, coding demands patience and time. But if the results are captivating, any kid will choose to complete the project.
The most important thing to note is that kids should be introduced to this set of skills, by the right persons. The wrong way of teaching may make this process tedious and boring. Just like a maths problem that needs 8 or 9 steps to find a solution. Note that, some brilliant minds might find that process fun. Hands down, no judgement! It is rightly said that there is no particular age to start coding. The ‘coding’ way of thinking can be started at any age-with a deck of cards, or a simple maze sheet. There are many tools, techniques and ideas to inspire creativity and fun in children’s mind and develop this approach. Critical thinking, analytical approach, problem-solving mentality, group work, storytelling technique- like any child-friendly activity-coding, for a large part inculcate these functions also. This is why it is fun, entertaining, and rewarding.