My son’s newest interest is his desire to code his own game. He has created in his head a mixture of all his favorite parts and actions of his favorite games to form what he thinks will be the ultimate game. In the process of creating this game he has been picking up more than just how to create something else to waste his time on.
- He is improving his logic skills by finding the right combination of codes to get his scene to end how he wants.
- He is learning math skills to make the characters move at certain angles and how many times it will take to repeat an action.
- He is thinking creatively to find new ways to solve his problems and to create different ways for things to happen.
- He is learning about Functions and how to create them giving him a foundation in Computer Science.
- He is getting a start in learning how a computer works and all the effort that goes into creating those games he loves so dearly.
- Many many other wonderful things are going on in his brain as he drags and drops snippets of code in a certain order to get something to happen, which is why I let his hour of code count as his daily math at least once a week.
A few of our favorite sites and apps we use to add an hour of code into our home school curriculum:
Code.org – Our current favorite as kids can work with characters they already love such as Frozen, MineCraft, and Star Wars. We have completed several hours of code on this site and created hundreds of lines of code. It’s an easy site to learn the basics of coding in an environment designed specifically for kids. They will also get videos that explain the functions to them and help them to better understand why the codes work.
Scratch – Another notable choice. This site is another of our favorites. It’s free to join and teaches multiple skills. Scratch is a great starting point and the first site we ever used. It was created by some awesome people from MIT and aimed at kids in the 8 and up range. Like Code.org, you form the codes by snapping together function blocks.
Daisy The Dinosaur – Ipad App – Using the same drag and drop principles as the sites above, kids can make Daisy come alive.
Hopscotch Ipad App – Another app that works with your Ipad or Iphone designed to teach kids the basic concepts of computer coding. You can also share your games and play games created by other kids!
Stencyl – Download – This program is for a more in depth game design. Kids will still use the block coding they learn with the sites and apps above but they can go into more detail.
Khan Academy – The site we already love for our math activities can also teach us about coding! Did you also know there is an Xbox app for Khan? We didn’t till yesterday.
Hackety Hack! – Download – This site teaches the basics of coding. This one looks a little more advanced and doesn’t appear to use the block codes but actual typed coding.
Most of the above sites are free! I would love to see what your children design.
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