Seven Reasons Why Coding is Important for Children to Learn
Published on Thursday, March 12th, 2020
Coding is a basic literacy in the digital age. It is important for children to understand and be able to work with and understand the technology around them. Having children learn coding at a young age prepares them for the future. Coding helps children with communication, creativity, math, writing, and confidence.
More than just a science, coding enables students to develop important personal abilities like their sense of creativity and self-expression. When developing code, students impact the world around them while fostering problem-solving skills.
Coding’s simplest definition is that it tells a computer what the user wants it to do. Understanding the basics of coding can help children understand how things work.
Here are 7 benefits of learning to code for students that go beyond the computer:
Computer programming promotes logical thinking and teaches children how to tackle complex problems by breaking them down into smaller problems which are easier to manage and solve. This process is called decomposition. Even if children never become a professional computer programmer or software engineer, they will benefit from learning to think this way.
Coding allows students to be creators. After all, coding is all about creating something new. How cool would it be to be able to design your own app or video? With code, children can create projects they love. By learning to code students learn to maximize their creativity and learn how to come up with their own ideas in order to solve their problem. This is an essential skill that stretches far beyond a computer.
When students learn to code, they develop persistence. Perseverance is not an easy trait to teach, especially to a child. However, it is an important skill to have in life in general. We don’t want children to just give up when they come across a problem or obstacle, we want them to keep going. Coding teaches children persistence, that in order to solve the problem they have, they must keep going, coming up with different solutions until they find the right one.
Coding helps to develop resilience. Resilience is not something you can be taught. Children need to experience in order to develop these skills. A great benefit of learning to code is that children learn to build resilience through troubleshooting. When they hit a wall, they need to find a solution. If the first solution doesn’t work, they try another one. If that one doesn’t work, they try again until the problem is solved. This is called debugging in computer programming. These types of thinking skills are highly sought after.
Learning to code can improve a child’s communication skills. Learning to code is like learning a new language. Sure, it may not be Spanish or Italian, but learning to code uses some of the same skills we develop when we learn a new language. When we learn a new language, we become better communicators. Why? We need to know how to break things down to speak simply. This is the same with coding. Computers only understand instructions when they are written in simple easy to follow language that the computer understands. Coding helps to develop that skill.
When students learn to code they develop structural thinking. They learn how to build something large from lots of other smaller pieces put together. This helps children to understand not just about computer programs, but also helps children to see the big picture when they are given any task made up of small parts.
Coding helps children with problem-solving. We all encounter problems on a day to day basis. Some small and easy to solve, and some which are larger, more complex, and difficult. Through coding, children learn to think and learn about different situations that are not the norm. They learn to analyze options come up with a way to solve any challenges they come across. These problem-solving skills are a great benefit in their day to day lives and can help them in real-life situations.
Coding improves students’ math skills. Math skills are necessary when learning to code. This doesn’t mean that students need to be a math genius to learn computer programming. It just means that as they learn to code, they will pick up the skills needed to solve math problems along the way. Learning through having fun is the best way to learn, and yes, coding can be fun! While coding, children won’t realize the skills they are gaining. Coding requires solving real problems, not doing a worksheet full of math equations so they gain real experience which in turn then helps them to improve their math skills.
Stepping Stone School provides children of all ages with the opportunity to learn coding on a daily basis. The basic skills of coding are sequencing, pattern recognition and if/then logic. From our intants to our school age children, they learn by stacking blocks, sorting by color or number, counting, following directions, learning about cause and effect, observing, creating designing and interacting. Stepping Stone School has also provided many age appropriate coding games and manipulatives in each classroom.
If you would like to help your child develop the basics of coding, you may be interested in some of the following coding toys and games:
Fisher-Price Think & Learn Code-a-pillar
Learning Resources Botley the Coding Robot
Fisher-Price Code ‘n Learn Kinderbot
Learning Resources Coding Critters
Robobloq Coding Robot
Root Coding Robot
Lego Education Coding Express Train
Cubetto Coding Toy by Primo
- For additional coding toy ideas click here!