To all tech mommies and daddies out there, perhaps you want your curious little ones to be familiar with new technologies so they can hold their own in this fast transforming digital world.
Or maybe you worry that your kids spend an inordinate amount of time glued to their smartphones, ipads, laptops, or some other device.
Whatever the case may be, you no doubt want to steer them in the right direction, help them manage their time and, at the same time, nurture the love of technology in them.
There are assorted educational software apps, toys, and games available that can teach coding skills to children of all ages and jumpstart their careers and prepare them for the future of work, especially in STEM fields.
Consider the following software apps we’ve compiled to help complement your child’s education.
BrainPop is a premium app that offers children educative content such as videos, games, and quizzes on various subjects ranging from arts and music to science and technology. While Brainpop is for advanced kids, Brainpop Jr is suited to children from kindergarten to primary 3.
Age: 3 – 7/ 8 – 14 years old
Daisy the Dinosaur
Developed by Hopscotch technologies, Daisy the Dinosaur is a free iPad app for teaching kids basic computer programming concepts in a simple and easy to understand way, exposing them to the possibilities of writing computer codes.
It teaches programming concepts like loops, sequences, and conditionals without directly referring to those complex terms. Considering children’s short attention span, this short game lays the basic foundation of coding, making it fun and easy for your kids.
With just a few short steps, anyone can bring Daisy the Dinosaur to life and make her dance on the screen. Kids also have the opportunity to select and pre-set characters or create objects to manipulate.
Age: 4 years old
Hopscotch: kids coding
Hopscotch is a free drag-and-drop coding app that teaches kids how to code. It is designed for use on mobile devices. With it, they can learn to and write their own simple codes and programs in Hopscotch programming language.
Although users need to know how to read to access many levels to solve coding problems, it has kid-friendly tools and self-paced video tutorials that teach your kid coding, enabling them to create games and animations among other things.
Hopscotch affords your kids a chance to experiment with app creation. From there, they could go on to write and build revolutionary applications.
Age: 7 – 13 years old
Kids love games, no doubt. What Roblox does is allow users to play games, while its Roblox Studio feature enables them to also design and develop 3D games using Lua, a programming language.
Roblox creates an innovative and enabling environment for kids to learn, experiment, try, fail and succeed at their own pace. Interestingly, users can share or even market their design to other Roblox users and then split the proceeds with the Roblox Corporation.
Hence, the platform can not only foster a love of coding in children but inculcate entrepreneurship in them as well. Can anyone be too young to be an entrepreneur? I don’t think so!
However, it’s important for parents to be familiar with the robust parental controls that Roblox provides, ensuring their kids utilize this app for appropriate reasons.
Age: 10 years and above
ScratchJr is a free coding app that offers kids an opportunity to program, learn to solve problems, design animations and games, and express themselves creatively on the computer. It helps young children to develop sequencing skills that will be instrumental for later academic success.
ScratchJr enables children to learn how to code in a fun way by piecing together programming blocks to control characters, making them move, sing, jump, and carry out other actions.
Age: 5 – 7 years old
Highly interactive and fun, the app includes learning modules, games, and coding projects, allowing parents and teachers to guide their kids through those learning activities.
Age: 4 – 14+ years old
Why you should act now
The above-mentioned software apps are but a few of the many great learning tools that can help boost your child’s tech knowledge. This is essential in this period of the fourth industrial revolution as programming ranks among the most sought-after skills in almost every industry.
Rather than wait until your kids mature to university level before you introduce them to software apps, give them the tools now in order to equip them with future skills, enabling them to succeed in tomorrow’s economy.
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