Teaching Kids Programming Using Day-to-day Activities

teaching coding kids programming

The concept of programming here long before any machine capable of performing it was invented. Programming came into existence as a method of solving problems with calculations and a sequence of rules. During the mid-1800s, Ada Lovelace came up with the world’s first computer program. An algorithm for generating numbers on the Analytical Engine. Analytical Engine was the computing machine invented by Charles Babbage

Although Analytical Engine came into existence in the 1980s. Lovelace had predicted the use of such machines in the future for scientific purposes, music composition, and graphic production. This only goes on to show that programming exists exclusively of machines themselves. Coding classes for kids is not just about computers. In fact, coding is chiefly related to computational thinking, logical reasoning, creativity, and problem-solving. Most of what coding has to do with can be traced back to our daily activities which are familiar to even children. 

While there is a range of online classes available to teach kids to code, the basic concept of programming can be taught. Without the use of any computer or machine and exclusively through activities such as games, puzzles, arts, and crafts. 

Instead of relying on costly classes to teach your kids programming, you can employ daily activities to get them up to speed with programming and coding classes for kids. These activities will help you reduce screen time for your kids while providing introductory programming lessons. 

Let’s take a look:

Teaching algorithms through the day to day activities

Children are inherently familiar with the concept of algorithms. An algorithm means following a sequence of steps to complete a task. Children from the habit of following algorithms from childhood. Activities such as brushing one’s teeth, getting ready for school. And playing games all require a certain algorithm to be followed. Let’s take a look at some of the daily activities you can use to teach kids the basics of algorithms:

  • Making a sandwich: Create a flowchart instructing your kids on how to make a sandwich. You can have your kids write the flowchart themselves or create one yourself to help them follow the process. For instance, in making a sandwich, the bread would be constant while the fillings would vary, depending on the kind of sandwich you are making. 
  • Washing hands: Washing hands require a certain set of algorithms to be followed as well. For instance, in washing one’s hand, water is constant while the steps and soap or handwash may change, making them the variable points. 
  • Building Lego sets: Lego sets are one best way to teach algorithms as it requires step by step guide to being able to build something out of it. By experimenting with different Lego blocks, the entire set can be rearranged or changed into something entirely new.

Conditional statements and Boolean expression through daily activities

Bothe conditional statements and Boolean expressions are included in the activities above, nevertheless, in a subtle way. While following a set of sequences, children take a lot of intuitive decisions. For instance, when someone moves from one room to another, they automatically open and close the doors of the rooms. Computers, however, are not intuitive, which means one must consider programmable arrangements even the smallest aspects for a program to run. Daily activities that include conditional statements and Boolean expressions include:

  • Card game: The ‘Snap’ card game relies on conditionals and Boolean expression. After playing a couple of rounds, the player needs to consider the different decisions made whilst playing the game, and how they can be expressed. For instance, if both the cards match it would mean the Boolean value is true and you can take the whole pile. On the other hand, if the cards don’t match, the Boolean value would be false and you can continue playing. 

Loops

Loops are also implemented in the above-mentioned activities. If you are making 10 sandwiches instead of 1, you will have to go into a loop and repeat the same procedure 10 times. The activities that teach the concept of loops are as follows:

  • Dancing: Encourage kids to make up a dance routine for their favourite song and ask them to have a different set of moves for each section of the song. They can either use the music or verse on the songs to divide which set of moves sot perform. They can also experiment by playing certain sections of the song or slowing down the song to see how the performance changes.

Binary

Binary is one of the most important parts of computer programming. All the data on computers is stored and transferred as a series of 0s and 1s. The best way to teach kids to code is to get them to convert letters into binary digits using the binary alphabet. Ask your kids to write secret messages using the binary alphabet.