Learning to code can be a fun and engaging way for kids to develop a range of valuable skills. Coding can help kids to develop problem-solving skills, grow their creativity, and build confidence. So today, we'll explore the benefits of coding for kids and look at some examples of how coding can help kids to learn and grow.
Discover the benefits of kids learning to code
Discover why coding is an important skill for kids to learn, and find out about some of the best resources and programs available to help kids get started with coding. Here are a few of the many ways coding benefits students of all ages and skill levels.
1. Coding develops kids' problem-solving skills
Learning to code requires logical thinking and problem-solving skills. These skills are valuable in a variety of fields and can help your kids excel in other areas of their education and in their future careers. As Co-Founder of Apple, Steve Jobs said, “Everyone in this country should learn how to program because it teaches you how to think.”
One way that kids can learn problem-solving skills through coding is by working on coding projects that require them to troubleshoot and debug their code. For example, if a child is working on a project to create a simple game in Scratch, they might encounter a bug that causes the game to behave unexpectedly. In order to fix the bug, the child will need to identify the problem and come up with a solution. This might involve testing different blocks of code, trying out different approaches, and using logical thinking to determine the root cause of the issue. By working through these types of problems, students can develop their problem-solving skills and learn to think critically and logically.
Another way that kids can learn problem-solving through coding is by working on projects that require them to design and plan their code. For example, if a teen is working on a project to create a simple website, they might need to plan out the layout and functionality of the site, and then use coding skills to bring their plan to life. This can require kids to think through problems, consider different options, and come up with creative solutions.
Problem-solving skills are important for kids to have because they are essential for success in school and in life. Research has shown that problem-solving skills are closely tied to academic achievement, and its no wonder - as its central in every subject from olving algebra problems to investigating scientific theories. Even beyond the classroom, problem-solving is ranked among the most important skills for students to have on their resumes, with 82.9% of employers considering it a highly valued attribute.
2. Coding grows their creativity
Coding can be a creative activity, as it allows kids to design and build their own programs and projects. If a child is working on a project to create an animation in Scratch, they might have the opportunity to design their own characters, backgrounds, and storylines. This can allow kids to use their imagination and creativity to come up with unique and original ideas.
Another way that kids can learn creativity through coding is by working on projects that require them to think outside the box and find creative solutions to problems. For example, if a child is working on making a game in Minecraft, they might need to come up with creative ways to make the game more challenging or engaging. This could involve adding new features or gameplay mechanics, or finding ways to incorporate elements of surprise or challenge into the game.
Creativity is an essential component of success in school and in life. A study published in the Journal of Creative Behavior found that creativity was significantly related to academic performance in math and reading for elementary school students. Creativity is also important for success in the workforce, as it is highly valued by employers. In a survey of over 1,000 hiring managers, creativity was a sought-after skill that employers look for when hiring.
3. Kids develop confidence as they learn to code
Learning to code can be a challenging and rewarding activity. Coding empowers kids to work on projects that allow them to build and create something from start to finish. As they complete a coding project and see the results of their hard work, kids may feel a sense of accomplishment and pride, which can boost their confidence.
They will also encounter new concepts and challenges that may be difficult at first. But as they work through these challenges and master new skills, they may develop a sense of accomplishment and confidence in their abilities.
Confidence is important for kids to develop because it can affect their academic performance, social interactions, and overall well-being. Research has shown that kids who are confident tend to do better in school and are more likely to engage with their peers in a positive way. For example, a study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that kids who were high in self-esteem had higher grades and were more likely to have positive relationships with their peers.
Confidence is also important for kids' overall well-being, as it can help them to cope with stress and challenges. Kids who are confident in their abilities may be more likely to feel capable of tackling new tasks and overcoming obstacles, which can help to build resilience and self-esteem.
4. Coding is a career building skill
Coding is a rapidly-growing field, and experts predict that jobs related to computer science and technology will be in high demand in the future. Learning to code can help kids prepare for these types of careers and give them an advantage in the job market.
Although learning to code is clearly beneficial for careers in computer science and engineering, it can also be useful in a wide range of fields. Here are a few examples of how learning to code can be helpful in a job, even if your child does not dream of being an engineer:
- Data analysis: Many jobs, such as market research, finance, and journalism, involve working with large datasets and using tools to analyze and interpret the data. Knowing how to code can be helpful in these types of jobs, as it can allow you to automate data-related tasks and create custom tools for data analysis.
- Web development: If you work in a field that involves creating or managing websites, knowing how to code can be a valuable skill. You might use coding skills to design and build websites, or to customize existing websites to meet the needs of your organization.
- Project management: Knowing how to code can be helpful for project managers, as it can allow you to understand the technical aspects of projects and communicate more effectively with technical team members.
- Marketing: In today's digital world, many marketing jobs involve using technology and the web to reach customers. Knowing how to code can be useful in these types of jobs, as it can allow you to create custom marketing campaigns and tools, and to understand the technical aspects of marketing channels such as email and social media.
5. Kids build persistence through learning coding
When children learn programming, they find out they can learn from their failures, and that failure doesn’t have to be frustrating or a progress-stopper, reports UT Austin. As Kiki Prottsman shares on Code.org, learning computer science at a young age takes pressure off of mistakes.
Young problem solvers can maintain their self-esteem, even as they struggle through subjects that challenge them daily. With most school work, you hand in your assignments for grades and that’s it. The disappointment of a poor grade doesn’t motivate all students to try harder, instead it punishes them to think they’ve failed.
But with computer programming, the moment you hit “Run” on your code, the computer does exactly what you told it to. When you get it wrong, you often know that there’s a problem immediately. You can fix your issue and try again. If you get it wrong a second time, you can keep trying. The result is accelerated learning and an increase in perceived achievement. This leads to persistence, grit and a resilience in all areas of life, whether it be math, reading, piano, or astrophysics.
In short, coding can help your child develop a growth mindset: the belief that intelligence and abilities can be developed through effort and learning, as opposed to being fixed traits.
Take advantage of the benefits of coding for kids
There are many resources available to help kids learn to code. From fun live online courses to interactive tutorials and game building apps, there are plenty of options to help kids get started with coding. Set your students up for success in school and in the workforce, and help them have fun while doing it!
We recommend joining our award-winning live online expert-led classes, designed by professionals from Google, Stanford, and MIT. In this collaborative and engaging setting, kids get the instruction and encouragement they need to succeed! Start with beginner-friendly Scratch coding: