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Coding programs for kids to start with, you need to understand the needs of your child. Try to get a feel for what they understand and what they don’t. In general, you need to start with the very basics of coding. This means introducing the concepts of coding in general, things such as how smaller parts can create a bigger something. How things can be controlled with a remote in real life and how they can be controlled with language on a computer.
Where is Your Kid At?
Again, you need to cover the basics of what coding actually is. However, getting a view of where your kid is at, will help you decide which programs you should pick. For example, if your kids have no idea what programming is in any form, then even explaining the idea to them may be fruitless. It would be like describing the color blue to a blind person.
Instead, introduce your kids to concepts, such as how pushing up on a remote will make a car go forward, and how pushing right on the controller makes the car go right. You could then find a car program where typing the word “Right” makes the car go right on the screen. You can show a child how language will create a reaction on the computer.
Where is Your Kid’s Motivation?
Let’s say you figure out where your kid is at in terms of coding understanding, and you discover that your kid understands the idea of Minecraft, and also vaguely understands the idea of Minecraft mods. That is where your kid is at in terms of understanding, so what may motivate your child to learn coding. Using the same Minecraft example, your kid may have seen somebody re-skin a creeper on YouTube and wants to do a similar thing. If that is the case, you could start with very basic Minecraft mod coding, or perhaps introduce your kid to Roblox.
Taking the same example, you don’t want to squash your kid’s enthusiasm, so you need to make the starting lessons very simple. You need to pick a program that you can set up yourself so that your kid can jump straight into the good stuff. Later down the line, you can start showing your kid how to set up the render engine and so forth.
There is a company called Code Monkey that makes coding classes for kids. It is a good place to start if you think your kid will enjoy coding. Take a look at the classes and games to see if they are a good fit for your child. Remember that the younger your child is, then the more interactive and short-form the lessons and games need to be. Younger kids need to see a cause and effect far more quickly than slightly older children and teens. Try to avoid general tutorial videos if you are teaching younger children because it is very easy for your child to get lost and then spend minutes staring at a screen not knowing what is going on.
Slightly Older Children
Do not start with things like Visual Basic programs or things like Mario Maker or Dreams game creators. If you have a slightly older child who is interested in coding, you need to give them real information that they can use into adulthood. Forget the idea of finding easy to start coding and programming because it is like teaching your kid pig Latin because it is easier than teaching them Japanese.
Start your slightly older kids with very basic teaching programs, show them the fundamentals and give them foundation knowledge, but make sure it is real and usable knowledge using real coding languages. Start them with slightly simpler coding tools if you wish, perhaps ones with a less “Busy” interface, but do try to move them on to things like NotePad++ and such because they are the sorts of tools they will be using later in life when they are fully versed in the coding languages you are teaching them.