Back to school – 6 tips to get kids excited about coding!
Publication date: August 29, 2023
As the summer draws to an end, a familiar buzz of excitement fills the air – it’s back-to-school season! While children may groan at the thought of bidding farewell to lazy summer days, educators and parents have a unique opportunity to spark a different kind of excitement: enthusiasm for coding. To mark this back-to-school season, EU Code Week suggests six top tips to help teachers and parents ignite a passion for coding in their kids.
Unveil the magic of game development
One fail-proof way to capture a child’s imagination is through game development. Introduce coding as the key to creating their very own video games. Encourage them to brainstorm game concepts, characters, and storylines, and then guide them through platforms like Scratch, where they can learn to translate their ideas into interactive experiences. Watching their ideas come to life with each line of code is a powerful motivator. Listen to this EU Code Week podcast on bringing coding to schools with Scratch.
Kids have a natural knack for storytelling and creativity. Why not channel this into animated projects? Tools like Alice and Tynker allow children to learn coding concepts while crafting animated stories. From designing characters to scripting dialogues, kids can explore coding in a visual and engaging manner. Encourage them to tell their tales through animation, and watch as their coding skills grow alongside their narratives. Need some inspiration? Why not search for all the animation-related activities on the EU Code Week activity map.
For a hands-on coding experience, delve into the world of robotics. Robotics kits such as LEGO Mindstorms offer an exciting blend of creativity and technology. Children can build their robots and then use code to programme movements, actions, and even personalities! The tangible outcome of a moving, functioning robot can be an incredible motivator for kids to embrace coding. Take a look at this video for some practical examples on how teachers can integrate tinkering and robotics into the classroom.
Coding through art
Integrate coding into art class by exploring interactive art projects. Tools like Processing and p5.js enable kids to combine coding and creativity to produce stunning visual artworks. Teach them to manipulate shapes, colours, and patterns using code, allowing them to witness the fusion of technology and art in real time. Teachers – why not set your pupils an artistic challenge to get the ball rolling!
Hackathons and coding challenges
Tap into a competitive spirit by organising coding hackathons or challenges. Create fun coding competitions where kids can collaborate in teams to solve problems or develop innovative projects. This fosters a sense of camaraderie and achievement, while simultaneously honing their coding skills in a dynamic and exciting environment. EU Code Week has set a number of challenges that teachers can set for their pupils – check them out here.
Real-World Problem Solving
Connect coding to real-world issues to showcase its practical relevance. Discuss global challenges such as climate change, healthcare, or urban planning, and challenge students to brainstorm coding solutions. By illustrating how coding can address pressing problems, kids are more likely to perceive it as a meaningful and impactful skill. To get some ideas, why not listen to this podcast, which discusses how social innovators can use coding to develop solutions for every-day challenges.
Back to school marks a fresh start, a time of new beginnings and exciting opportunities. At EU Code Week, getting kids excited about coding is one of our key goals. This year, let’s seize the moment to cultivate enthusiasm for coding in our young learners. By integrating coding into various creative avenues, from game development to robotics and art, educators and parents can tap into children’s natural curiosity and enthusiasm. Let’s embark on this coding journey together and witness the incredible innovations that our young coding enthusiasts will bring to life.