With the advancement of technologies and the educational evolution that this should imply, the way in which our children learn now is not even remotely the same as they taught us. Now values are learned in a different way and, of course, applied to technology and, therefore, to programming. Today we want to explain why your children should learn programming and how they can do it in a very easy and fun way through games.
Kids vs programming why should they learn it?
Surely when talking about how a child should learn programming, more than one parent is already imagining their child picking up code stuck to the screen as if it were a miniature version of Mr. Robot hacking the pentagon and wanted by Interpol. And the truth is that no, we mean something totally different from this idea.
When we refer to the learning of programming for young people, it is about using the bases of these systems so that they learn to solve problems better, faster and with greater assertiveness. This is what is known as computational thinking , which is nothing more than a problem solving method or approach integrating mixing technology with human ideas. In this way, if our little ones learn to develop these types of thoughts, they will be able to solve problems of different kinds and that involve different types of thoughts such as: logical, abstract, critical, mathematical, etc.
Of course, when the time comes, they can decide for themselves if they are interested in digging deeper into programming now that they have a thinking that is better suited to learning this kind of information. But, for the moment, if they know how to better solve the problems that are encountered in their development is more than enough.
8 games to learn programming for kids
All this computational thinking and development in programming-based environments sounds great, but how do we get our children to learn it? Well, it will be as simple as playing games through a mobile phone, a tablet or from the browser itself. Below we have listed 8 interesting and fun games for all ages with which the little ones in the house can enhance that thinking or computational learning .
The first, and perhaps the most popular, is SratchJR . It is an application that can be used through a browser or any mobile device for free. Through Scratch our children will use a block system to create animations, video games and much more, putting together these sections with simple instructions. For example, we will find “codes” dedicated to movement, sounds and many more actions that will allow you to develop and “program” this simple software without any complications.
Another platform that is exclusively limited to use through browsers is Blockly Games and, of course, access is completely free. Here we find a very varied set of games through which our children can learn beautifully. The main objective or, rather, the base of the games is to use blocks of code and place them in the correct order but, of course, adapted to the theme of each game.
Daisy the Dinosaur
A very simple game but, at the same time, very educational for the little ones is Daisy the Dinosaur . This game is free and you can download it exclusively for iOS, that is, on Apple products. It is a game that, through the typical function of dragging and dropping blocks, will teach you how the concepts of sequences, events, loops work and how to use them to solve problems that, little by little, will become more complicated.
On the other hand we have the Tynker game, available for iOS and as from the browser. One of the most visual and varied alternatives for our children, where they can play a large number of mini-games with riddles, animations, etc.
In Lightbot Jr the children will play the role of a little robot that, using a series of illuminated blocks of different colors and icons with drag and drop functions (blocks that involve different actions for the robot such as rotating, turning on the light, moving and jump) they will have to make this doll light up the correct tiles to go to the next level. A game that, phase after phase, will implement new actions and a somewhat greater complexity so that they enhance the thinking necessary to solve problems in a systematic way. This title will be available on Android and iPhone.
Another very visual game option is CodeMonkey , which the smallest of the house can play through the browser. Here they will have to guide the monkey through a path full of obstacles in which they will have to insert a series of precise but not complicated instructions. These lines of code must be implemented by pressing the instructions button at the bottom of the screen. An easy way for kids to learn simple programming concepts through Python.
For slightly older children who want somewhat more complex challenges there is the game of Cato’s Hike . A kind of graphic adventure in which they will play the role of Cato, a boy who travels to another world through a magical door, a place that does not follow the same rules that he knew.
Through applying logic and, of course, code programming, we will have to establish Cato’s movements around the game board. How will they do this? Using colored cards and flags, making chains of actions that will be more and more elaborate. A game that will only be available on Apple devices such as an iPhone or an iPad.
Move the turtle
Finally, within this list we have a simple option for the youngest. This is titled Moving the turtle and, as its name suggests, it will consist of moving the turtle on the right path through different levels. Of course, these movements will be carried out by programming this little animal through simple commands from the phone or tablet.