Kids can begin learning the fundamentals of programming as early as the age of 2 – though this is largely determined by their ability to comprehend and absorb new information, which differs greatly among children. Studies have shown that children who are enjoying themselves while learning tend to retain information better, and one of the most important factors in learning is maintaining a positive working environment.
There are numerous benefits to learning programming at a young age, regardless if the child aims to follow a career in software development later in life. Computational thinking is a highly-regarded skills that is a fundamental process of programming. It involves considering a problem and breaking it down into single steps. This allows the thinker to move from a specific solution to a specific problem and generalize this methodology to other situations. The result is a shift in everyday thinking, and is a powerful skill that the child will bring with them into adulthood.
Computer science is notoriously complex subject, and even a basic understanding of core concepts from an early age can dramatically improve employment opportunities later in their career. In years to come, not knowing how to code will likely be comparable to not knowing how to read. These skills will also support their gross and fine motor, cognitive, social and communication development. Moderate use of technological devices, balanced with other social and active activities is key to learning programming in a healthy and effective way.