Should your child be learning to code?
“Everyone should learn how to program a computer, because it teaches you how to think,” Steve Jobs said in an interview in the early 1990s.
Twenty years later, coding is quickly becoming an essential language for 21st century children to learn. Many education experts now view coding as the third essential skill children should be taught, alongside numeracy and literacy, and last year the British government became the first G7 country to make coding compulsory on the curriculum for children aged five to 16. By age seven all British children will now be taught to write and debug a simple program and by age 11 they will be studying computer theory once considered undergraduate level.
So what is it?
Coding is essentially a language which instructs machines and computer technology how to behave. This can be anything from a text message, drawing money out from a cashpoint, to all websites and website transactions, driverless vehicles and the ability to build an app.
As coding becomes an increasingly in-demand skill, here are four of the best coding toys to help your child on the way to understanding the essential language of computer science:
Age: 4+ years
Price: AED 127
This physical board game educates children about the fundamentals of computer through play. The game teaches children to navigate their turtle through a maze to a prize, using programming concepts.
Age: 5-10 years
This free iPhone app aims to teach children about the basics of coding in an hour. The app takes users on an adventure using simple symbols of monsters, puppies etc with different problems to solve.
Age: 8+ years
Price: AED 275
This fun educational toy allows children to program a robot to carry out simple tasks. A great way to show the relationship between coding and computer behaviour, encouraging children to work and play together to whilst learning about code.
Age: 8-14 years
Price: AED 754
This computer game teaches older children to code through allowing them to build, design and create their own Minecraft game which they can then share with friends.