Coding programs computers, but it can also reprogram our kids’ coping skills to better deal with tough emotions.
On the surface, coding is simply how we tell computers what to do, or create software programs that serve a certain purpose. However, coding is a great way for kids to learn skills that go beyond the keyboard.
Learn computational thinking
Before kids learn to program, they first need to understand how to break a problem into steps that a computer can understand. This process is called computational thinking. Computers are logical machines that follow strict orders; a concept that seems simple enough, but doesn’t come naturally to humans. For example, if you tell your kids to get ready for bed, there are steps involved: first they need to brush their teeth (which involves several steps on its own), then they need to put on pajamas, and get into bed. Going through the steps of a program teaches kids to think logically and critically, which can help promote strong mental coping tools.
Increase creativity and problem solving
At its core, coding is a way to create systems that solve problems for us. Arriving at a solution isn’t always straightforward, so coders have to think outside the box to solve a problem. By combining these two skills, coding is a great way for kids to increase their ability to solve problems in a creative way, a skill that studies show might improve their overall mental health. Children who learn to think creatively can anticipate problems before they happen, understand consequences, and learn to manage their frustrations and find a solution rather than giving up.
Improves mental development
Coding is detail-oriented by nature, which can improve kids’ memory and attention skills. Because coding requires kids to focus on one project or problem at a time, it can increase their ability to focus. Enhanced focus helps kids in a variety of ways, such as in academics or athletics. It can also help them stay in touch with their feelings, which can lead to better self-awareness and emotional regulation.
Learning to code is a great activity for kids of all ages, and there are plenty of great ways to get them started. From our robotics bootcamp to learning how to use Roblox and Python, Code Ninjas will teach your kids the basics of coding, all while having fun.
WORDS: CHANDELLE BRINK Owner of Code Ninjas, Rapid City