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Coding for Kids

Posted: Thu Sep 13, 2018 8:13 am UTC
by bradjenkins
Hi All, I have a 6 year old daughter. I hate to sound like a pushy parent, but I've heard that coding in the new skill for kids' future.
Is 6 too young to get started? What's the best way to learn at that age?

Appreciate any guidance!

Re: Coding for Kids

Posted: Thu Sep 13, 2018 2:02 pm UTC
by Soupspoon
If you aren't being pushy (keep it fun and something the kid wants to try, not a chore-to-be-done because "you must learn how to code!") then six isn't too young.

I'd avoid anything that needs loads of typing (at least until/unless typing is mature enough to be not frustrating when needing to be accurate and free of typos, and then there's still "thinkos" like missing vital punctuation/brackets) but you might look into Scratch on (or off?) the Raspberry Pi which is quite powerful, with the ability to read/write data inputs/outputs and even (however you see it) process forking or OO:
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There are other such building-block languages (literally?) and platforms (I've yet to get my hands on a BBC Micro:bit but if you can then it's maybe worth a look), but the other opportunities in a Pi seem to make it versatile enough that what little you spend on it won't go to waste if you daughter can't/won't code yet/ever, and 'forces' you to turn it into a media-server or something else for which there's various pre-prepared builds for.

Re: Coding for Kids

Posted: Thu Sep 20, 2018 7:48 pm UTC
by Yakk
There are also a few board games that are pre-coding, like Robot Turtles. We don't know if they work.

Re: Coding for Kids

Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2018 6:27 pm UTC
by frenchdev
Hi, I also have a six year old child.
He liked the coding Google Doodle https://www.google.com/doodles/celebrating-50-years-of-kids-coding
There are several websites that offer similar things to learn the basics of coding

Re: Coding for Kids

Posted: Mon Nov 05, 2018 4:21 pm UTC
by badaza
I'm not such a fan of Scratch: it's too free-form for me. I prefer something like Tynker where I have clear objectives that get progressively more complex.

Re: Coding for Kids

Posted: Tue Nov 06, 2018 12:46 pm UTC
by elasto
badaza wrote:I'm not such a fan of Scratch: it's too free-form for me. I prefer something like Tynker where I have clear objectives that get progressively more complex.

That site looks great!

Thanks for pointing it out :)

Re: Coding for Kids

Posted: Wed Nov 07, 2018 3:09 pm UTC
by badaza
No problem! For older kids (or adults), Code Combat can be fun too. It requires typing the commands out, though.

Tynker has tablet apps and the iOS one works just fine on my iPad 2 (the 7-year old model, not a newer one).

Re: Coding for Kids

Posted: Mon Dec 10, 2018 12:56 am UTC
by Jplus
There also exist wonderful programming games. For six year olds, I might recommend Cargo-Bot.

Re: Coding for Kids

Posted: Mon Dec 10, 2018 3:50 am UTC
by Soupspoon
Not sure if that's available outside the iPad world, but I spent not a little time with Gladiabots (gateway timing out for me, but it's a link that might work when you check it), myself, a bit unstable on my Android (ironically?) and maybe a bit combat-focussed but boy does it get you thinking about how to design multithreadedly! "If I'm a sniper and I'm not within medium range of any enemy or resource and there is no Heavy member (left?) on my team and there's no Sniper (left?) on the opposing team then maybe it's my duty to Group Tag the enemy bot that is closest to a Resource but not retreating so that it becomes a current priority for (any surviving) team-mates…", or whatever the tangled web you care to weave.

I'd hesitate to suggest it for a 6yo (though not sure they wouldn't pick up some interesting ideas in it, beyond anything you'd imagine) but I thought it worth a mention.