Approaching coding and programming is an excellent way to help kids and children to develop the so-called digital skills necessary to be creative within the digital transformation.
So here is a series of ideas to introduce coding and programming through games. And sometimes a computer or an Internet connection are not even needed. From books to online resources, this material is available to parents, educators and teachers, with different difficulty levels.
Created for the youngest, Hello Ruby is a project developed to introduces kids from 4 to 7 years old to the world of coding through an unplugged approach, i.e. without using a computer or Internet. Hello Ruby began its journey on Kickstarter in 2014 and nowadays it has been translated in 22 languages. It comprises three books: “Hello Ruby – Adventures in Coding“, “Hello Ruby – Journey Inside the Computer” and “Hello Ruby – Expedition to the Internet“.
If before buying one of the books you want to learn more about the Hello Ruby project, on the dedicated website you can find a series of freely downloadable materials to start doing some coding unplugged with your kids You’ll find some PDFs that can be printed, “Dress Code” and the “Universal Remote Control“
If your kids are 6 or over and they want to get their hands dirty, then the best choice is Scratch. Available online, Scratch is a project by the MIT MediaLab in Boston, developed to teach how to code creating interactive stories, games and animations.
Also in this case the resource is free and the website offers several tutorials, guides, ideas and much more, not only for parent but also for teachers. In addition, if your Internet connection is not good or if you prefer playing offline, Scratch can also be downloaded for free.
To many options? Well, then the best way to start using Scratch is by clicking here.
PS: there is also Scratch Junior, a special version dedicated to the youngest!
Hour of Code “started as a lesson to introduce computer science in one hour and became an international effort to spread this science”.
With more than 400 partners and 200,000 educators all over the world, Hour of Code aims at bringing students (and adults) closer to the world of coding. Moreover, teachers, companies, volunteers or anyone interested can organise an Hour of Code, register it on the website and become part of this global movement.
The website contains also several activities, either unplugged or online, for all ages and levels.
Last but not least the Google Santa Tracker. Yes, it’s not Christmas time and now we should think about hiking or sunbathing, but this doesn’t mean that the project by Google can be useful also right now.
The Santa’s Village offers games and, most of all, activities to start coding (with Santa’s elves). From the Code Lab to the Code Boogie to learn the basics of sequences, up to Quick, draw! to train the machine learning by Google (or, to be more precise, Santa’s robot Tensor…).
And if that’s not enough, there are other Christmas-related fun facts (also the elves need to have some good times, after all), such as the Christmas countdown and the Google Santa Tracker, to follow Rudolph and his fellow reindeers all over the world delivering gifts. But to this, we have to wait for Santa to turn on his GPS.
Everything OH OH OH, OHbviously for free!