The benefits of coding can have a great impact on our kids’ everyday lives.
Augmented reality, robots, and artificial intelligence are just a few of the new technologies that have emerged over the last few years and operate on code. Kids in particular are immersed in technology and the code that powers it on a daily basis whether it’s reading their favorite book on Kindle or talking to friends on Whatsapp.Prepare your child for success: If you are looking for your child to learn to code, explore our live, teacher-led coding classes.
These apps enable us to do everything in a more fun-filled way and all require code. In the future, even more products and services will be software-enabled which is increasing the demand for technical skills in almost every professional field.
Well-Known Benefits of Coding for Kids
- Critical Thinking
- Computational Thinking
- Career Opportunities
Problem-Solving – at the core of programming is solving problems. These problems will become more difficult as kids advance, but being able to solve code problems will help them in many areas of life.
“It opens other doors for students who know how to code and helps them so they become more comfortable with problem-solving and finding new ways to approach and tackle complex problems,” Dr. Shawnterra Moore, Superintendent at South San Francisco Unified School District
Critical Thinking – being able to produce a program with very little input takes a fair amount of critical thinking skills. In their code, children will have to examine the information presented and make judgments that can affect the output.
Computational Thinking – Coding has a distinct advantage over other methods, because computational thinking is such a major component of every stage of coding, from beginning to end. The biggest benefit of computational thinking is how it enables real-world problem-solving. For kids, knowing how to take large problems and break them into simpler steps can help with everything from solving math problems to writing a book report.
“Coding activities train the child’s brain to break big tasks into smaller manageable jobs and linearize the actionable steps one after the other. This is essentially the same training for executive functions,” Beth, Founder at iGameMom.
Career Opportunities – STEM sector jobs make up a large part of the overall U.S. market and their importance continues to grow. Between 2020 and 2030, U.S. STEM jobs are estimated to grow by 10.5% compared to 7.5% for non-STEM occupations. Web development in particular is a career field that is growing quickly. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, this field is expected to grow 23% by 2031.
Communication – Programmers need to have clear communication to give computers directions. Understanding how to communicate in programming languages can give kids clarity in their speech and writing as well.
When your child is learning to code, you expect them to be able to write programs and build websites. What you probably don’t expect is how much longer they can focus, that they’ve become more organized, the way they communicate their thoughts better, and much more!
These are some of the wonderful, but surprising, benefits of learning to code.
We asked the experts, teachers, parents, and tech influencers, for their input on the most surprising benefits their students have experienced in learning to code.
8 Surprising Benefits of Coding for Kids You Didn’t Expect
- Resilience And Perseverance
1. Coding Lets Kids Flex Their Creativity
Coding is very technical and may not seem creative, but there are a lot of opportunities to think outside of the box. Kids who learn to code have to think creatively about design, logic, and solving problems. Their abstract thinking develops and they’re able to understand higher-level concepts in all areas.
“Coding is uniquely beneficial for students because it combines two kinds of learning experiences that are often separate in traditional schooling. Systematic problem-solving, logical thinking, and iterative design principles can be paired with creativity and a student ownership when kids use coding to create projects that have meaning to them personally,” Carol L. Fletcher, Ph.D., Deputy Director at Center for STEM Education (University of Texas, Austin).
“Students learning to code will come across multiple correct paths to a solution, and this realization often surprises them. I love watching each student decide how they want to handle solving the problem. When it clicks for them that there is more than one right answer there is always a puzzled yet delighted look on their faces,” Brittany Washburn, Founder & Tech Teacher at BrittanyWashburn.com.
“The most interesting change in coding-interested kids is an attitude change from “consumer” to “creator”. When children see that they can develop their own game (no matter how simple it is) they suddenly realize that they have gained a new super-power – to set their own rules, to decide how this small new world created by them looks like. When kids see that they can not only use and consume the content created by others, but also create their own things and let other people use it (even if it’s only mum or a school friend – it’s still a huge source of pride) – they also become more interested in creating real things in the real world such as making things out of wood, cooking (which is a very algorithmic thing!) and many other activities seemingly unrelated to programming,” Krzysztof Szatynski at Move The Turtle.
2. Coding Requires Teamwork
Coding may appear to be one person behind a keyboard, but it’s usually not a solo activity. Most companies have a team of programmers that work together. It requires collaboration and teamwork, in addition to seeing your programs through a user’s eyes. The experience of working with other people on a shared goal, plus creating something that can be used by many people, uses skills that are important at any age.
“Learning to code goes beyond the classroom! Once kids learn to code, many are so excited about their newfound skills that they are eager to inspire and teach other students. Peer-to-peer mentorship is a powerful way to expose more students to coding before college. I’ve heard from teens who tutor students, run hackathons, start computer clubs, and work at STEM summer camps and centers. Peer mentorship is an excellent way to reach more students and introduce them to the important field of computer science,” Cyndi Reitmeyer, Founder and Editor at BostonTechMom.
3. Coding Trains Kids to Concentrate
Improving attention and focus is important for many activities and required to start and finish tasks. The average attention span of kids has decreased over the years. Kids are often distracted with their digital devices and social media. To really understand concepts and to solve problems, kids need to concentrate and sustain their focus. Practicing this on a regular basis improves the capacity for learning.
“For me one of the most surprising benefits is the process of perfecting one’s immersion through coding. In short, immersion into an activity is something that happens to us when we’re doing something that is just too good to let go. Simply ask yourself – when was the last time your child was able to focus on one single activity for hours without being distracted? Writing code is one of those things that demand the full attention span of our kids, from trying to write code, to figuring out how things work, to looking up information on how to solve a problem. It is a great way to get our kids to learn this important self-process of focus and determination and allow their brains to burst with new knowledge and enjoy in the process,” Boaz Zaionce, COO & VP Marketing at CodeMonkey.
4. Coding Takes Patience
Kids often receive instant gratification through games, apps, and the internet. As a result, they’re impatient and many expect results right away. But, good things take time. When they start coding, they need to be patient to achieve results. Writing an application can take weeks, months, or even years, but the outcome is worth it.
“My favourite side effect is the patience you develop – your code will often break and you would need to figure out how to troubleshoot it, pick yourself up and try again with another approach. In the process of building an app or even a small code snippet, it helps to think of the full picture to avoid bugs and this can teach you to be thorough and have your bases covered! When you work on group projects, you learn a lot about teamwork such as writing code that is clear to your teammates and learning to work with different opinions when deciding what approach and which tools to use. Moreover, you become a better learner as you keep coding since you are often adapting to new concepts, and updates to the programming language and tech itself,” Navati Jain, Leadership Fellow at Women Who Code Mobile.
5. Coding Instills Confidence
One way to build self-confidence is to become more competent at something. Another really good way to build self-confidence is to set a goal and achieve it. Learning to code gives kids the opportunity to do both of these things and, as a result, gives them the confidence to achieve anything they set their mind to.
“Learning to code builds confidence! It is empowering to be able to create anything you can imagine and express your creativity through new mediums. Conquering coding challenges ultimately proves to yourself that you can overcome anything! That kind of confidence can be applied everywhere else in your life,” Holly Boothroyd, Founder at Her Hello World.
6. Coding Fosters Empathy
Being able to understand others’ points of view is often harder for kids. The experience of working with other people on a shared goal, plus creating something from the user’s point of view, uses skills that are important at any age. This builds empathy, compassion, and interpersonal skills.
“In one word, kids can learn empathy. It might seem counter-intuitive, but coding is very much about cause and effect. It requires an understanding of how others will act, interact, and react to the program that is created. There can be a strong connection to human values,” Kevin Schwartz , Technology Officer for Learning and Systems at Austin ISD.
7. Coding Builds Resilience and Perseverance
Programmers are often met with difficult challenges when coding a program, especially when it comes to debugging code errors. Having perseverance means being able to keep moving towards the end goal, even when the path is difficult.
“One unexpected benefit of kids learning to code is that it can help them develop resilience. Programmers have an amazing capacity to withstand every day challenges because programming is not always a smooth and straightforward process! In fact, programmers will commonly make mistakes and uncover problems in their code. Understanding that this is a normal part of programming helps young coders to develop resilience and teaches them to get back up and keep trying even when they don’t succeed at first,” Kate, Founder at Teach Your Kids Code.
“Coding is not easy! When learning to code, kids will fail – and fail often. Writing code and testing it, only to find that it doesn’t work and you’re back to the drawing board can be frustrating – but a great life lesson. Kids learning to code learn to try again when they don’t succeed the first time. They learn to pay attention to detail and try different pathways to find solutions, which in turn develops perseverance and confidence along the way,” Sara, Founder at Techie Homeschool Mom.
Most programmers will tell you that in coding there are a lot of frustrating problems, but solving these problems is part of the joy of coding and provides a sense of fulfillment and accomplishment. Never giving up is the key to success in coding. This is a life lesson and skill that will benefit your child far beyond the classroom.
“I have found that coding empowers kids to think about failure as a learning opportunity rather than something bad. Failing and trying again builds perseverance and character!” Julie Smith, Founder at The Techie Teacher.
“We’ve found that coding has helped kids embrace and learn from their mistakes. When you code, you are bound to make a mistake, especially as your programs become more and more complex. A key skill for programmers involves debugging your code. That means you need to find and fix the mistakes in your program,” Charlotte Cheng, Lead Curriculum Developer at CodeCombat
“One of the most valuable benefits of kids learning to code is that it naturally builds tenacity by teaching kids that failure is part of the process. I love teaching kids to code because I regularly make mistakes in front of the class when coding too! Whenever this happens, I point out that even though I’ve been programming for over 15 years, making mistakes, having code that doesn’t work, and debugging is just part of the process. Through programming, kids are able to build resilience by working through the frustration when their code doesn’t work… and experiencing success when they’re able to finally debug!” Jen Manly, Membership Experience Lead at Computer Science Teachers Association
8. Coding Boosts Students’ Performance in Other Academic Areas
Coding is effective brain training for kids and this helps them improve in other academic areas too. The same cognitive benefits of learning a second language, solving puzzles, and doing math come with learning to code. The soft skills learned in coding translate to other subjects in the classroom.
“Students of all ages benefit from learning the foundations of code because the logic, reasoning, and computational thinking required translates into better performance in other academic areas. Just like algebraic thinking improves one’s capacity to process and learn new information, the process of assembling code logically to achieve a result requires higher cognitive skills which must be developed with practice. And since most children enjoy apps and games, motivating them to practice these skills is much easier,” Lannon Heflin, Director of Instructional Technology at Round Rock ISD.
The experts agree, all of the benefits we’ve discussed make coding a great choice for kids. Not only are they gaining technical skills, but they’re also learning important skills that aren’t taught in the classroom. These lessons will benefit them now and into the future.
If you need more convincing, consider these 26 Reasons Learning to Code Benefits Your Child.
The Benefits of Coding Are Limitless
Kids can keep coding for a lifetime and the positive benefits are limitless.
One way kids can start learning to code is through online coding classes with CodeWizardsHQ. Classes are convenient and proven to help your child learn to code in a fun, interactive way. The structured curriculum means kids build on their skills until they reach our high school internship. See our elementary, middle, and high school coding programs for details and class schedules.
All these essential skills, which are instilled through learning programming at an early age, will ultimately open up more opportunities for our children. They will definitely have the edge to thrive in the future.
Ready to level up your child’s learning experience? Take a coding class with CodeWizardsHQ: