4 Simple ways to teach a 5 year old Coding

By pearl - September 13, 2018

I know most 5-year-olds are barely getting a hang of reading so throwing in coding sounds a little offbeat but hang on. Teaching kids to code doesn't have to be a chore or a bore; there are lots of fun ways to teach coding or even just the problem-solving mindset required to be a great coder. Also, I have an almost 4-year-old with whom I will be trying out some of these, so we are in this together! For this post, I narrowed it down to two mobile applications that are free and two toys that teach simple coding concepts. 

  • Lightbot: Code Hour

    Lightbot is a highly rated mobile phone Application that introduces several programming concepts. By using problem solving skills to complete puzzles, kids learn concepts like conditions and loops without having to type any code. This Application is engaging for anyone grades k-12. It is available for IOS and Android devices.  

    Osmo Coding Jam
    Osmo is a company that makes educational games targeted at making learning fun for kids and introducing them to logic and problem-solving. Code Jam combines music and coding, making a really fun and interactive way to learn to code. It is recommended for kids between the ages of 5-12. Unfortunately, Osmo currently only works with IOS devices. They are still working on making it compartible with Android devices. Unlike the other items on this list, OSMO comes with a high price tag. Its starter kit is sold for $79.99 and does not include the Coding Jam. I, however, think it is totally worth the price tag based on its great reviews on amazon. 

    Scratch JR
    Scratch is a visual programming language and online community targeted primarily at children. Using scratch, kids can create online projects and develop them into almost anything by using a simple block-like interface. When they are ready, they can share and also discuss their creations with others. I have personally played aroung with scratch before and it is super fun. Scratch JR app is available for children 5 and up on both Android and IOS devices. They are also web-based.
    Code and Go
    Enables kids to build mazes, then use programmable cards for a step-by-step path for programmable robot mouse. This activity provides a hands-on introduction to coding concepts. Colby the mouse has to upto 30 coding cards, activity cards, cheese wedge, maze walls and much more. It can be used directly on most floor surfaces or a provided maze board. 

    I also recommend joining Amazon's STEM club. A toy subscription that sends you STEM toys based on your selected frequency. You pay a flat fee for every toy. I tried it for my preschooler and most of the toys he received were a big hit. I also always checked to see how much the toys we received were worth, and they were always more expensive than what I paid for by subscribing.

    PS. These recommendations are solely based on my experience and research from the web and reading customer experiences on Amazon and play store. I selected just a few amongst many ways you can use to introduce a 5-year-old to programming. Please be sure to let me know what worked, what didn't or if there are other ways you prefer using to teach your kids basic coding skills.

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