5 games that secretly teach children to code

Kayla Matthews

Kayla Matthews is journalist and blogger with a passion for technology and continued learning. She is currently a contributing writer for Muck Rack, Ragan and Technorati. When she isn't busy writing about the latest educational or tech trends, she loves spending time with her husband and playing video games.

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Website: productivitytheory.com/ Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Image courtesy of Ozobot and Technology Will Save Us. Image courtesy of Ozobot and Technology Will Save Us.

Of course it’s important for kids to learn how to read and write, and there are plenty of games to help them do that, not to mention textbooks. However, in our increasingly technological society, coding is another crucial skill — and it helps when kids learn it young.

As far as games go, the choices of which ones to pick for children are seemingly endless. However, there are good reasons to choose the sorts of games that introduce and reinforce coding concepts.

Take a brief look at recent job postings in your area to see examples of how coding is becoming an increasingly valuable skill as years pass. It should soon become clear that people who know how to code will be competitive in a wide variety of positions.

Besides, the need for such skills is skyrocketing. Take cloud computing, for example, and the coding associated with it. Digital cloud encoding volume grew by 63% from 2015 to 2016. Since huge companies are becoming more familiar with cloud computing and similar technologies, coding job prospects are on the rise.

Check out these five games that are fun and worthwhile for exposing kids to coding basics.

1. Cubetto
Maybe you’d love for your little ones to start grasping coding but don’t like them sitting in front of computer screens for hours. In that case, Cubetto is the perfect solution. It’s a wooden robot toy with Lego-like blocks that kids place on a board to instruct the robot how to move. Intended for kids aged three and up, Cubetto is an excellent way to make coding concepts accessible and fun.

2. ScratchJr
Ideal for 5-7 year olds, ScratchJr is a free Android or iOS-based app that encourages kids to learn how to solve problems, write stories and express themselves creatively, all through coding. Text on the app’s website declares “Coding is the new literacy,” and, if you introduce this app to children early enough, they might learn to code like they learn to spell and do Maths.

3. Ozobot Bit
Ozobot Bit combines robotics and coding into a single toy, so it’s a thoughtful choice for kids who are forever curious about how things work. The gadget is a tiny robot measuring one cubic inch. Kids start by programming the Ozobit to move with lines and colors. Then, they can graduate to controlling it through a visual editor powered by blocks.


4. Think & Learn Code-a-Pillar
Targeting kids who are simultaneously fascinated by elements of engineering and computing, the Fisher-Price Think & Learn Code-a-Pillar has interchangeable segments. Each time kids swap the parts around, the caterpillar moves in a different direction. This interactive game helps preschoolers understand how certain actions dictate precise results, which could ignite the spark of curiosity that makes them become professional coders as adults.

5. Technology Will Save Us Gamer Kit
This collection of video games kids can program is ideal for small groups of young people who want to be world-class game developers someday. In addition to learning the code behind games like Flappy Bird and Tic-Tac-Toe, this set features the physical system for kids to play the games on and lets them assemble it.

If you get involved with getting kids excited about coding by giving them these specific games and others like them, you could play a direct role in helping today’s generation get acquainted with worthy abilities that’ll help them enjoy prosperous futures.

Whereas some people see coding as something that’s too far above them to learn, that’s only because it hasn’t been presented in enticing ways through games like those above.

Do you mix GBL and coding? Let us know below!

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