How do children first learn coding – Onscreen or Offscreen

Where do children learn coding?  Do you realise by the time a child has come to school, attended a coding class they have already started, learning coding through their active play in the early years.

How you ask, well let’s think about what coding is, breaking it down, it is patterns or  complex algorithms. This is where patterns are being utilised to develop creative coding for building more complex formulas.

Now let’s think where do kids first learn patterns? Is it on technology? Is it when they start school?  No it’s in their early years.

In their early years development, children learn patterning though different hands on activities (or should I say off screen activities). Like using blocks to sort colours, sizes, making shapes with pattern blocks, coloring in patterns, creating structures with construction activities.

Even when you see a child sort their toys out into size, colour, shapes they are starting to recognize patterns.  These activities also build foundation motor skills getting ready to write and many other important skills!

Here they are transitioning from simple patterns to understanding they can build on later to create spectacular coding for animation and all sorts of skills.

Many people have questioned why great Tech founders have restricted technology in their children’s early years development. Technology Founder’s Children Restricted With Technology

Many great Tech founders believe hands on learning is more detrimental to a child development in the early years. Allowing Children to have no limitations, using their imagination, innovate their ideas, being creative with blocks, construction activities and general play.

Foundations of mathematics is formed from simple patterns, which later on builds on to more complex mathematics like algebra. Coding is a form of patterning and later developing more complex patterns and algorithms.

However if a child hasn’t been exposed or doesn’t understand patterns how can we expect them to understand complex patterns/algorithms which is what coding and mathematics is.

A few simple patterning activities you can encourage with your child in their early years;

1. Use building blocks, linking cubes, allow them to copy structures at first then encourage them to create their own.

2. Sort out toys by colour, shapes, sizes,this is the first stages to understanding simple mathematics foundation skills.

3. Collect natural resources (leaves, stones, branches, shells) then line them up in patterns on the ground, use them in artwork by creating sculptures and abstract patterns.

4. When driving or out walking with your child point out patterns ask them why it is a pattern, what is their favourite pattern.

5. Paint a pattern or draw a pattern on the ground with chalk, show your child what a simple pattern looks like the make a 3d pattern with objects.

With the process of teaching your child about patterns remember the most important things is for the child to develop, transition from simple patterns to more complex  algorithms. Through experiences or opportunities we have provided.

Let’s learn to code off the screen first through understanding patterns. Then transition to on the screen to create amazing animations, programs and lots more.


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