In this modern world, parents should start introducing the amazing world of computer science to their children, even as young as their primary years. Programming is one of the key skills of the 21st century. Fortunately, there are numerous tools and educational tools to introduce children to this world at an early age.
Looking for educational gifts for a ten year old? Read a cool article from medium about the best (educational) gifts for ten-year-olds.
Introduce apps and programs for programming and development
There are over 5 million apps in the app stores around the world, including numerous games and apps, but there are also many “meaningful” and educationally valuable apps and software programs for children. Apps and programs offer an ideal opportunity to introduce programming in a playful way. But it doesn’t just have to stay that way and doesn’t always have to cost money. There are also numerous (free) online courses for programming languages and learning to program on the Internet.
Programming Apps For Children
When we talk about apps, we usually mean small programs on smartphones or tablets. Here we must first differentiate between the two largest platforms, namely Apple with the iOS operating system and the Android operating system, which runs on many cell phones from Samsung and other manufacturers.
Why is that important? Well, Android apps and iOS apps usually have to be developed in different programming languages. For Android, you can use Java or Kotlin, for iOS (i.e. iPhone and iPad) you use Swift (and earlier also Objective-C ).
Programming Android apps for children
When developing apps for Android, you often don’t know where to start – and that’s quite normal. For Android, we, therefore, recommend consulting a book. The advantage of these books is that they guide you step by step through the app development process and also explain what is needed “around it”. The books often use simple game apps as examples that you can then reprogram yourself. Beginners and children always start with their first “Hello World” app, which quickly leads to success if you get your own message displayed on your mobile phone.
Develop iPhone and iPad apps for children
If you want to develop apps for the iPhone or iPad, you usually also need a Mac, which can make things more difficult. There are also few books for children about the development of iOS apps that explain really well how you can develop your own iPhone app.
But there is the app ” Swift Playgrounds ” Apple, which does a great job here. The app is available free of charge for iPads and Macs and is in English. With great lessons and interactive or colorful examples, she shows how you can develop with Swift and guides you step by step through the process. Really successful!
Learn to code with apps
In addition to the desire to program your own apps, you can of course also learn to program with the help of apps. There are some apps for this that offer great tutorials and instructions and guide children step by step to programming.
- Learn to code with a free app – Scratch. Scratch is a great programming language that is very visual and ideal for a first start when children want to learn to program. Scratch can also be used in the browser and great games can be programmed with Scratch.
- Learn to program with learning apps: LEGO Mindstorms. With the LEGO Mindstorms programming and the accompanying LEGO EV3 robot, you can achieve great results in a short time, visually, but also via programming language.
As parents, educational toys are great learning tools for children. Not only does it hone and develop the child’s brain but it also instills a particular interest in the child. Start them early into the wonderful world of computer science.