Most children love to play video games. But what if they could harness that passion to create their own video games? What about going a step further and teaching them to build and program their own robots or develop amazing new apps? These are the types of skills that will not only help children do better in school, they will help prepare children for fields where employees are in demand and in short supply.
Evan Boorman, of Los Angeles-based CodeREV Kids, founded the company to help students as young as age six learn the critical STEM skills of programming, coding and design, through its after school programs and summer camps. Boorman, who has spent more than a decade in education and has two young children himself, says there are several ways parents can introduce their children to coding and help them build STEM skills.
1) Enroll your child in a new activity that encourages critical thinking skills. CodeREV Kids offers coding and robotics classes that help children gain confidence, learn useful skills, and improve their problem-solving skills. Hands on projects in robotics, app-design and more, nurture students’ intellect and curiosity, and help boost their self-confidence by helping them learn something new.
2) Teach your child problem-solving skills. Problem-solving is an important skill that can be taught at home. Start by teaching your child to identify the problem. Then help them brainstorm three or more possible solutions. Discuss each solution’s pros and cons, and then work with your child to decide which of the solutions is best. Stress that if they choose a solution that doesn’t work, they can try another solution.
3) Encourage your child to play games like Minecraft, a popular online game in which the player can build anything they set their mind to. It teaches many skills that can be useful in the real world. For example, resource management is integral to creating anything in the game, cost-benefit analysis is needed constantly, patience is a must, perseverance is required, and teamwork can also be learned if your child plays online. CodeREV developed a course called Mathcraft, which uses Minecraft to teach students math.
4) Encourage your child to try basic robotics programs. Robotics is a great way to introduce children to coding and programming. We recommend programs such as Little Bits, Lego Mindstorms and Arduino because they are great introductory programs that can become stepping stones for more advanced tasks.
5) Teach your child to take risks. As a parent, you may want to protect your child as much as possible. But it’s important to encourage your child to take risks. Teach them that it’s okay to fail. The important thing is to try it in the first place. Encourage them to try out for a competitive program or take a new class.
CodeREV Kids is currently enrolling. Visit www.coderevkids.com/oc to learn more.