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Programming for children

Whether the children learn programming can be decided by each family together. We think it’s a good idea, because it allows children to take a look behind the scenes of the world that surrounds them: How does elevator control work? Why does a program sometimes not do what you want? And where do the many apps actually come from? It shouldn’t be about making children the next software developers right away. You should only have the opportunity to understand technology and to deal with it in a playful way. And it is not uncommon for parents to have a good opportunity to overcome their own fears of contact.

There are several ways children can learn to program or develop their skills – from toys like programmable robots to YouTube tutorials to app workshops or coding camps. When programming, it can be a simple game, a small app or by using websites such as https://www.tldevtech.com/flutter-app-templates/. Here are some of the helpful ways to learn coding much faster.

Books for children on programming

An early introduction to the topic is also possible without technology. For example, with the wonderful book “Hello Ruby. Programming Your World” the Finnish author, illustrator and programmer Linda Liukas. The book can already be read to younger children. In addition to the story, it encourages playful experiments that bring the principle of programming closer. In a remarkable TED Talk, Linda explains the idea behind the book, which is suitable for children from the age of five.

Programming with the mouse

The classic among children’s programming environments is Scratch. The graphical programming interface has been developed since 2007 for the education of children and adolescents and there are many websites, videos and books with explanations, for example for programming small games. For mouse fans, there has been a customized scratch version since 2018: Programming with the mouse, which makes it easier for children to get started by mouse and elephant alone. On the website there are tips for teachers and parents.

Learning to code without a computer: Kodi

Most programming projects require a tablet, smartphone or computer. If you want to explore technology directly with the children without a screen, you can take the “mechanical coding robot Kodi”. Kodi offers an introduction to the world of programming without a smartphone or computer, because it is about assembling one of five robot models that can be mechanically drawn, gripping, throwing basketball, playing football or transporting objects and can be programmed into a wheel via plugs. A beautiful set to build and experiment alone or together at the table. Recommended for children between 8 and 14 years, but assembling Kodi’s plastic parts is quite difficult to handle and it needs adult accompaniment.

Little Bits

Little Bits makes getting to know the electronics world particularly easy: With small thematically sorted plug-in modules, electronic switching can be built and tested in a playful way. Instead of soldering, children can simply line up different modules and see what happens. The modules called “Bits” are color-coded according to their functions: pink input bits for buttons, switches and sensors, green output bits for light, motors and sound, blue for power supply and orange for connections.