When it comes to cool coding apps, there are a number of games your child can play to learn the basics of coding. Daisy the Dinosaur for instance, serves as a great foundation for younger children (4 – 7 years) to pick up the basics of coding. The goal is to make animate Daisy and make her dance, with simply drag and drop commands. Move the Turtle is a puzzle game that helps kids practice problem solving and, by extension, their critical thinking.
Minecraft has long been held as a shining example of how a video game can empower our kids with critical thinking skills, lateral thinking skills, and an enriched sense of imagination. As an open-world sandbox game, the principles are simple – in survival mode, you have to live for as long as possible. In
creative mode, the goal is to just build. Beginning with nothing, you mine materials from the blocks around you, in order to build new gear for your character, create a habitat, farms, power grids and much, much more.
Minecraft is a game that encourages player-made modification. From simple reskins, through the more in-depth mods that change the mechanics of the game, the mod community is thriving for Minecraft. Hence, Minecraft coding for kids is a great way to kickstart an interest in programming. Being able to extend a game that they love, is a great motivator for kids to get into programming.
And even if your child doesn’t develop an interest in coding because of Minecraft, there are other skills they can learn. Through in-game mechanics power circuits can be developed to do an incredible range of things. By learning the basics of circuitry, kids can get interested in much more complicated concepts, like robotics.
There are other games that can help your child develop vital skills that they can apply offline and off the screen.
- The ever-popular Roblox, which encourages kids to develop their own games and share them with their friends
- Strategy games like Portal and Portal 2, to help develop spatial reasoning and problem-solving skills. Suitable for older kids.
- Simulator games like Farming Simulator or Kerbal Space Program can help your child learn management and decision-making skills. Suitable for older kids.