As we have said in the past, coding is much more than just learning some useful programming language for kids and letting your children experience the thousands of things they can do and create while programming. As you already know, and if you don’t, you should: Coding is a way of thinking.
There are numerous unplugged coding activities you can do with your children to help them strengthen this way of thinking. That’s right, there are many ways to help your kids gain 21st-century skills.
For some of these unplugged coding games you won’t need any extra material, you’ll be able to use things you already have at home, but for some of these other coding unplugged activities, there are some didactic and useful materials you’ll need to get. But don’t worry! We’ll guide you throughout the way!
If you really want to teach your kids coding, begin by nurturing in them a new way of thinking, with some innovative ideas to do things, and with some extraordinary skills they’ll certainly use when the time comes to create their very own app.
Are you ready to discover some amazing unplugged coding activities for kindergarten kids and unplugged programming games for elementary school students? Take some notes, bring your children and let the fun begin! Here we go!
Learning coding offline: Pros and Cons
First of all, let’s start this out by being honest. You should know that all of these unplugged coding activities are going to give your kids an extremely useful skill-set and are going to strengthen a number of important abilities they’ll use both in the present and in the future.
That being said, you should also know that the unplugged coding games and activities we are going to show you right now are not going to offer your children the ultimate programming experience. If you want them to first get into the right track with these coding games, and then start programming like real programmers, you should definitely consider enrolling them in one of Tekkie Uni’s online coding courses… It is the most engaging, effective, and fun way for your kids to learn how to code.
Can your kids learn programming without a computer?
We’ve said this before. Kids can learn the basics of programming without a computer; they can gain skills such as algorithmic thinking, problem-solving, teamwork, and mathematical thinking without the need of the Chromebook they most likely have.
As you are going to see in just a few paragraphs, there are several unplugged coding activities your kids can do to start thinking like a programmer, so whenever they face the challenge of coding something, it will be way easier for them.
But how?! Well… when your children learn these abilities, they will have the mindset of a programmer, they’ll know how to solve problems, they’ll comprehend the importance of sequencing, and it will be clear (in a practical way) what exactly an algorithm is. All of these skills are essential when they decide to program their very own virtual robot, or when they decide to create their own app.
Besides all the amazing reasons we just gave you, these offline and unplugged coding games for children will boost their ability to focus and pay attention, which is one of the biggest challenges both teachers and parents face when educating the current generation.
Offline and Unplugged Coding Activities for Kids
There are many things you can do as an unplugged coding activity; an activity that will help your kids strengthen the abilities they’ll definitely need for programming. Some of these activities are so normal and common, you might not even think how useful they are for the development of your children’s computational thinking and understanding of sequencing.
Explaining coding through a children’s book
There is a storybook that teaches children coding by explaining and designing a diagram of the action in the story. How? By coding a story!
This project has received a lot of attention in Kickstarter, and its creator and founder explains that she is a software engineer and enjoys teaching children coding in a playful way without screens.
With this book, your children will learn the meaning of loops, sequencing, and all the main structures of a program.
Paper-planes and coding
Yes, as simple as that. Do you know how many skills your kids can strengthen by making their own paper planes? They have to take into consideration all the external factors that might impact the performance of their final product, and they’ll soon see how important it is to respect the correct sequencing. All of these items are essential for programmers, and practicing while making a very cool paper plane can be very advantageous for your children.
Looking for a nice unplugged coding activity for kindergarten children or for a nice unplugged programming game for elementary schoolers? Check out this video and let their creations fly around the house!
Tell a story with Emojis
As mentioned in Hello Ruby, an amazing book written by Linda Liukas, there are several things your boys and girls can do at home to understand the principles of coding. One of those things is telling a story with emojis. Sounds like a cool and artistic unplugged coding game, doesn’t it?
But do not rush! There are some rules and steps to follow before just jumping in:
- Make your child think about a story they’d like to share, or a specific moment of their day they’d like to turn into a story.
- Walk your children through all available emojis and have them look at them carefully and analyze each one of them.
- Let them choose a few emojis to tell each part of their story: introduction of the characters, introduction of the situation, conflict, and resolution.
- Make them tell the story, by using only emojis.
- In case they need an emoji that doesn’t exist in order to tell their story, have them design it.
By doing this, they will comprehend the importance of analyzing all elements, and they will see with their own eyes that there are infinite ways to tell a story, as there are numerous different ways to solve one same problem. Cool right?
Binary alphabet: Let’s write something!
As we’ve explained before, there are tons of words that belong to an international coding vocabulary glossary. One of the most important ones, and your kids will have to learn this, is the concept of “binary code”.
All computer software and programs are based on just two symbols (0 and 1). Now, did you know about the existence of the ASCII Binary Alphabet? Well, now that you do, it is a great chance for you to teach your kids how important binary is in coding, by letting them do whatever they want… using binary code.
Check out the ASCII Binary Alphabet and challenge your kids to write their name in a competition against you. Whoever does this faster wins! Are you guys ready?
Do you have a computer? Your kids can learn coding today!
If you do have a computer, and if you are actually reading this, you most likely do… then give your children the opportunity to code for real.
These offline and unplugged coding activities are very cool indeed, but nothing compares to the feeling of a kid creating an app from scratch, or programming an awesome virtual robot. If you want your kids to take all of the skills we mentioned in this article to the next level, enroll them in one of Tekkie Uni’s online, live coding courses.
Let yourself be surprised by the amazing, breathtaking things your children will create… Because believe us, they will surprise you. Are you ready to empower them?