If you are looking forward to prepare your child for the future then coding is certainly not one of the things that might automatically come into your mind. However, if you are preparing your kids with the 21st century skill sets then programming or coding should be on your priority lists. There has been a considerable shift in the manner we used to learn and the ways the kids are learning nowadays.
Earlier we used to rush to a library to huddle over encyclopedias and other books and take notes or make photocopies of the required pages, but our new generation does not visit the library so frequently, all they ask for is to Google the information or Youtube it. Now, Google Home & Amazon Alexa has arrived to make the task fo search even easier. The world we live in is the world of advanced technology and technology is progressing very fast.
Children are growing up in a totally different world, where information is available at a distance of one click but genius minds are required to sort these information better and make them accessible for more and more people. Which is why it is more important for children to learn to code. Here are some of the other important reasons why your kid should learn coding:
- Coding improves academic performance: Coding helps to improve the visualization of abstract concepts in kids. Kids can apply math to real-world situations, this helps in learning maths and it can be more fun.
- Coding helps to improve their writing skills: Kids who learn how to code gain a better understanding of crispness and planning which helps in improving writing skills.
- Coding improves creativity: Coding boosts creativity in kids because coding constantly exercises their brains when they code, this helps them to be more creative.
- Coding boosts confidence: Kids are reported to develop better confidence after they learn how to solve problems through coding.
- Helps to develop better organization: As kids advance to write more complicated codes they also, in turn, develop their ability to develop better organizational skills.
- Coding prepares your child for the future: According to the US Department of Commerce, STEM jobs (Science, technology, engineering and mathematics) are growing at 17% compared to other jobs which are growing at 9.8%. Candidates having STEM degree have a higher income than those coming from non-STEM background. Out of STEM jobs, an estimated 71% of the jobs will be in computing alone. The demands for good programmers are always high and there is a dearth of good programmers so if your child can get some knowledge of coding earlier in their career, it will help them to be more equipped for the future.
Top 10 Programming Languages for Kids
Coding is an important and basic skill that is required in this digital age. It is good for your kids if they learn and are able to introduce more innovation with the technology. Some of the most popular programming languages among kids are:
1. Scratch 3.0
Scratch is a free educational programming language developed by Mitch Resnick and was primarily developed for children aged between 8 and 16. The best part about Scratch is that it is visually very appealing and it allows the students to express themselves freely. Kids feel like real game designers because Scratch makes creating animations, designing games, building interactive stories very simple and easy. Scatch also has a big community, globally there are more than 15 million registered users and is perhaps the best coding language for kids on the planet.
3. Web Development
Web Development includes JS, HTML, PHP, CSS jQuery etc. which are all very & interactive programming languages your kid will love to learn. With more and more users & companies coming online, the future of Web Development is also pretty rewarding. Not only this, if your kid gets command on web development and hence, bring his innovative ideas online then it will get comparatively high exposure than ideas brought up through different platforms.
So, by introducing your kids to web development, you are not only helping him to build a coder’s mentality be the means of some easy programming languages but you are also preparing him with a quite demanding skill set of future web.
Python is a great text-based computer programming language that your child can understand easily. Python can be learned by your child from a tender age, as young as 8. It is a very powerful tool for developing games, apps, websites and various automation scripts for AI. Python comes with a very extensive online library so young coders can use this for good code layouts.
Python is a great programming language for kids to start with because it uses easy to read codes which looks very similar to your regular English and are highly recommended for students who want to pursue their studies in scientific fields like artificial intelligence. It is a very easy language to learn and requires lesser codes so beginners can start creating relatively quickly compared to other complex languages.
If you want to introduce your child to a text-based coding then Lua is the best scripting language that you can introduce him to. Lua is a lightweight coding language created in Brazil. It is a very powerful, friendly, neat language for beginners. Lua is easy for beginners because it reduces the number of syntaxes that can make coding quite difficult and due to its light weight and speed Lua is used by many Android and iOS developers. Many popular 2D and 3D games are developed in Lua. The worldwide popular game Roblox is also built on Lua.
So, Lua is also popular in game development. If your kid is interested in creating games then Lua will be a good start because it is very easy to set up, has many guides online and the programming language is supported by a very helpful community of coders whom your kids can instantly consult to get help anytime.
Ruby is also a very easy language to learn. The reason why it is preferred by beginners and children is that it has the most readable syntax for anyone who is new to programming. A lot of the program is self-explanatory and a majority of the program was used to create Twitter. So, Ruby is an easy as well as reliable programming language to learn. Children can learn how to organize and write good scripts using Ruby which will help them perform well in other programming languages even if they are not planning to take Ruby programming further than beginner level.
Although JAVA is not a favorite among kids as a coding language, it is a very powerful tool to teach kids how to use logic and bolster academic skills. More than 6 billion devices run on JAVA now. If your kid is interested in technology, sooner or later, he has to deal with JAVA. So, it’s better to introduce JAVA programming to your kids as soon as you can.
Best for intermediates, JAVA is one of the most widely used programming languages in the world and majority of the companies are using Java to their advantage. Software or apps built on Java are more scalable, stable and easily maintainable and is ideal for intermediates who want to hone their skills in coding. It is good for teenagers who want to enhance their understanding of learning concepts.
9. C# (unity)
Unity 3D is another popular game engine that can help your kid to learn how to code as they prepare quality games. It is a cross-platform game development app based on C# (C Shark) where users can play around with the objects in the program and add various elements. Unity requires C# to write the scripts. Unity has a free version which can be accessed by everyone from anywhere. C# is great for students who are interested in creating applications, especially for Windows desktop applications. It is a great platform and is considered as an offset from where your child can develop further coding.
Both C and C++ are widely used across software development companies and hence they have a very wide scope. However, I won’t recommend them as the first programming language for kids but if your kids have gained intermediate skills then introducing him to C/C++ is a very wise decision. For someone with a coding mentality, both of these programming languages are quite fun to practice. You can enroll your kids to some easy Udemy & Codeacademy courses based on C/C++ and encourage him to solve problems available in Geek4Geeks. This way, you will prepare your kids towards a strong future without putting pressure on their mind.
Taking up coding is very important for your child to prepare him for the future. However, choosing the right programming language is a bit tricky. For this reason, you should help your child to choose the right coding language based on the output they want. For example, if your child is interested in making video game elements then C++ can be a good choice, similarly choosing the language based on skill level is also advisable.
There are various important reasons why kids should learn to code, we have explained only a few of them above. Facebook, Microsoft, Google, IBM and many big companies understand the necessity of kids to learn to code that’s why they keep investing in various coding programs to invite young minds into the coding world. They have funded heavily into Code.org which is a non-profit organization encouraging kids around the world to code. So, if you still don’t have clue about what programming language your kids should learn first, check out the website and introduce him to Code.org and let him himself pick a programming language.