We are living in a technology-dominated era, and in this era, coding is seen as an essential skill that is applicable across a wide range of industries. The best part about coding is that beyond its practical applications, it offers endless opportunities for creativity and innovation.
We can use coding to foster creativity and unlock possibilities in children who can learn essential skills such as logical thinking, problem-solving, and attention to detail.
When we use creativity with coding, we mean finding fun and engaging resources to introduce children to computer programming, allowing them to create games, animations, and other interactive projects.
Here are five fun activities to get creative with coding:
1. Minecraft: Usually, children are familiar with the characters of this popular game. Developed by Code.org, this game splits the computer screen into three sections. The extreme left displays a Minecraft task; the midsection lists code blocks, and there is a work area at the right. The player has to complete the Minecraft task by choosing the correct code blocks and ordering them in the correct sequence in this work area.
The game’s benefit is that it helps children learn to program and modify the game via code. It also fosters computational thinking and problem-solving skills in them.
2. Google Logo: A Google School offering, the platform engages children with the Google logo and encourages them to create imaginative iterations, such as animating each character or creating special effects. The game uses Scratch, a programming language designed by MIT for kids. For detailed instructions to carry out the different tasks, children can consult the Google website. The logo project, which is Google’s effort to teach computer science to kids, is an excellent and easiest way to stimulate creativity in children.
3. Coding with Cards: A non-computer activity, it helps in accomplishing goals with the help of playing cards. For instance, children can create a grid by laying the cards face down on the floor and placing some obstacles in the maze. Next, the players will use a toy robot to navigate the maze. The kid provides detailed and specific instructions to avoid barriers along the path. This task is similar to coding, which involves giving clear instructions to the computer to complete specified tasks.
4. Hotwheels from Start to Finish: This one also involves a maze. Instead of toy obstacles, this one has lava-filled danger areas (colored squares). Create the maze using tape and colored paper. The Hotwheels must traverse the maze from Start to Finish without landing in the lava. Cards with Up, Down, and Left and Right pointing arrows are available to help the kid chart the path. Again, kids learn to give clear instructions that work to complete a task.
5. A Maze with Chalk: Simple yet educational, the task is to draw an 8×8 grid using chalk. Next, mark some of the squares as watering areas. Interstingly, if the child can guide their teacher or parent (who represents a robot) in one of these squares, they can use a water gun and spray the robot with water. To accomplish the task, it is essential for the child to give specific instructions to direct the robot to the watering square.
These activities are both engaging and educational. The elements of excitement keep children occupied. It pushes them out of their comfort zones without putting them under pressure, and they learn the following skills:
- Give clear instructions to accomplish a desired result.
- Articulating and sequencing steps in the correct order to complete a task
- Using tricks like looping
- Problem-solving and decoding making by correcting the mistakes
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