4 simple steps to teaching kids age 4 to code!
By Sebastian okhanigbe
When teaching 4 years old to code, we do not expect the best of apps and animated stories from them because they have not yet reached that level in their coding journey. Our main focus at this time is to root them in coding concepts that will be required of them to easily understand in order to grow their coding abilities. These are 4 basic concepts all 4 years old should master when they start. They are;
This refers to the structural ways we arrange a task. So, when we teach our kids, we use puzzle games that explain logic (The turtle game). The aim is to get to point B from A. in the turtle game, we have to code our turtle to get to the gem. However, the most logical (most efficient, structure and arrangement) is to simply code it to follow the shortest path instead of going in circles.
Decomposition in coding is breaking a problem or task into smaller, logical steps, in order to understand the ways of carrying out the tasks. Even if it seems obvious, it is necessary for coders to understand that in giving instructions to a computer or coding a program, we must state every single thing it needs to do. So, if we want the turtle to get to the goal we must specify where there is a turn, where to keep moving forward and so on before it finally reaches the goal.
Sequencing means the order of events, commands carried out by a computer exactly for it to run properly. Even if we taught the kids to breakdown the tasks into small, simple steps, if they are coded in the wrong order, it won’t get to the point we want it to reach. For example, if at the point where the turtle needs to make a turn, and we keep going forward we will miss the goal completely or make the path longer instead. Computers can only do what we tell it to do in the order we tell it to do it. So, the right order matters.
This is a very important aspect in teaching 4 year old. They’re already easily distracted so when the do not get it right, they might drift off or get upset. Learning to code involves a lot of errors and trials and even as an adult, it can be frustrating at times. when kids learn that this is normal, they will always be ready to look for solutions and make amends when they make mistakes and this will keep them ahead in their coding journey.
Now that we know the best approach to teaching 4 year old to code, what do we do as a school? We use a variety for this age group to keep them excited and engaged while in class with us and we even have a prerecorded video course for their age also for them to use at home. Coding has to be fun for them to want to do it and that is what we are all about at 9jacodekids. We are excited to teach the next generation of computer programmers. We can’t wait to see what your children will create with code!
We are also equipped to teach kids from age 4-16 providing downloadable videos courses to suit their needs at every level and currently running also, is our Weekend code club Online for kids age 7-16 and also, In-person for age 4-16 at our Port-Harcourt Location. Allow us be the tour guide for your kids on this coding journey.