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It’s a brave new world. And coding is an incredible language to know. This is the process of using a programming language to get a computer to behave in a certain way. It’s used to program the websites, apps, and other technologies we interact with every day.

If your child expresses an interest in learning basic coding, it’s worth exploring the idea further. Coding isn’t just a useful work-related skill, it teaches analytical thinking, discipline and how to think in a logical, structured way. Here are four sites to visit…

Codespace.co.za

Intro to Coding Jnr is aimed at Grades 4 – 7 and teaches your little one the fundamentals of how to code with block-based coding. They’ll also get a chance to apply what they’ve learned across multiple applications, including gaming, apps, robotics and 3D design. For older kids, the free Intro to Coding Snr course offers a fast-paced introduction to coding fundamentals across multiple applications, including gaming, apps, robotics and web development. This course is aimed at Grades 8 – 12.

Scratch.mit.edu

With Scratch, your child will learn to programme their own interactive stories, games, and animations — and share their creations with others in the vibrant online community. It’s all about learning to think creatively, reason systematically and work collaboratively, which are all essential skills for life in the 21st century. Designed by MIT students and aimed at children aged 8-16, there are no obscure lines of code here. Instead, kids are encouraged to arrange and snap Scratch blocks together – almost like virtual Lego.

Code.org

This non-profit foundation's website is an excellent starting point for coding novices and is packed with useful online resources and apps. The introductory video features some of the biggest names in tech talking about how they got started in coding. Your youngster can learn to make their own game, app, or computer drawing, while older kids can choose to build real working apps, games and websites using blocks, JavaScript, CSS, HTML and more. And there’s no need to commit to anything long-term. If your child isn’t up to a full-length course, encourage them to try the Hour of Code classes, which are one-hour tutorials designed for all ages.

Tynker.com

Here your child can immerse themselves in learning how to code robots and drones, build apps and games and create Minecraft challenges. After your child has grasped the basics of programming, they’ll get to explore mainstream syntax-based coding languages like JavaScript and Python. There are nineteen courses available for home learners, including Beginner Block Code courses that teach programming concepts like sequencing, loops and conditioning.

Remember, learning to code at a young age can set up your child for a lifetime of success. Even if they don’t go into a specifically computer science related field, it gives them an edge in almost every industry.

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