By Deborah Williams
A recent post on NPR’s Mind Shift blog by Matthew Farber explains that the ability to solve problems by thinking logically is a desirable twenty-first century skill that children will need in careers such as computer programming. There are games for children that will help them with coding by helping them learn how to think.
There are digital and tabletop coding games for children. For digital games, Farber mentions Kodable and Scratch Jr for children 5 and up. Code Monkey Island, a tabletop game, requires players to choose correct conditional statements correctly. Another tabletop game, Robot Turtles, requires preschoolers to work cooperatively to apply logic to “program” a card. It is about sequencing instruction and realizing the consequences.
These games may give young children an advantage when it comes to coding and, at the very least, it will make them more efficient thinkers.
This video gives an overview of the Robot Turtles game by its creator, Dan Shapiro: