Programming with Children

I’ve three children aged 9, 8, and 2. Just this week I’ve done programming with two classes from my 8 and 9 year old children. They started programming in Kindergarten with Hour of Code. In Kindergarten I did a session for the small children as well – and they had fun! Just my 2 year old didn’t start programming yet 😉
In this article I’m giving you some links and information you can use to program with your children.

Children Programming

code.org

code.org gives you information why children should learn programming, and offers courses starting at the age of 4. While my older children have been in Kindergarten, I made a session for the small ones – without a computer: a few children controlling a child who has been blindfolded. They used commands like go forward, turn left, turn right… until the target has been reached. It was a lot of fun!

Courses are available at studio.code.org covering different ages and many different interests! Children can navigate an angry bird to the bad pig using block programming.

Angry Birds

In school they also liked to control a Bee to find nectar and make honey using conditionals and loops.

Bees finding nectar and making honey

Many children also liked to program the events of Flappy – what happens when the mouse is clicked, what happens when an obstacle is hit or passed, and should the game end when hitting the ground?

Program Flappy

Minecraft and Star Wars are other scenes to program and liked by many children!

micro:bit

This year I also programmed micro:bit with the children. This is a cheap small device offering different sensors such as light, temperature, compass, acceleration, multiple buttons… and you can program it without the device, e.g. using a Windows 10 app MakeCode for micro:bit. Apps for Android and iOS are available as well! Clicking the download link on the Windows 10 app transfers the program to the device, and you can use the device disconnected from the Windows 10 device when batteries are attached.

MakeCode for micro:bit

Summary

The children had a lot of fun and many were really talented to find their way to solve the different puzzles. If you do this with your children, or the classes of your children, you’ll have fun at well!

Enjoy programming and learning!
Christian

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