Our professional and recreational interests are usually dictated by the activities we enjoy as children. Kids nowadays spend much of their time interacting with desktop or mobile devices on a regular basis, either playing games or socialising. Parents should take advantage of this platform, and direct their children towards games and applications which integrate learning and play in a fun and challenging way.
Studies have shown that children who enjoy the process are more likely to retain and seek out new information. According to Jennifer M. Zosh (‘How People Learn’ , 2017) the most impactful method of teaching code seems to be related to the culture and environment in which the child is taught.
Some of the most popular games that are available are Scratch and Blockely, which use visual- based programming languages used to teach complex concepts through fun and engaging challenges. Kids can design their own computer games, art, or whole applications, and share them with the rest of the online community. Regular feedback and comments from others in the community maintains an incentive for learners to improve their coding skills and remedy their mistakes. Most kids start by playing established games on the platform, and eventually become interested in how the program is built. The user can then expand on the existing code, or start a project from the beginning. Scratch is directed at kids ages 7 onward.
Finally, Khan Academy for Kids hosts an entire suite of learning activities and games directed at children aged as early as 2 years old. Khan Academy offers games and activities that run either within the browser or on their native mobile applications and are always free to play.