My kids love to read, and not to brag or anything, but my Son’s preschool teacher even had to pull me aside to ask what the heck I did to get him to read so well at such a young age. The truth is, I take no responsibility for the genius that my kids both have. They have had access to technology since a very young age, and that’s the best answer I can give other parents. I read to them nightly (or they read to me) but that’s pretty typical for most parents I assume. So, I just chalk it up to the various bits of technology that my kids have been able to use their entire lives.
Books still hold a very important place in the world, and although you can find many books digitally, we still have a vast collection of regular books. We have digital books too, but mostly I’ll buy actual books for my kids to use, and the digital ones for myself. Books can open you up to a whole new world of understanding, and if played just right, can get your kids really excited about a topic that was foreign to them. Coding or computer programming can be one of those topics that don’t quite click for a child, unless explained in a way they can understand. This is what I LOVE about the books I’m about to talk about.
First up is a lift-the-flap book about computers and coding from Usborne. Each page is really colorful and explains so much more than just coding. It explains the parts of the computer and how it all works together. It’s a fantastic beginner book to the wonderful world of technology!
Using the “lift-the-flap” format, your child can guide themselves through the book and learn in a really fun and engaging way. My son, who is 7 years old, and already knows quite a bit about how computers work and coding (thanks to my endless efforts to have a child take after me), and was still extremely entertained by this book. Disclosure…
I purchased… Santa brought this book for him for Christmas this year. He still loves using this book, and will tell me fun facts about computers all the time now!
Another great book is this Scratch Programming Playground from No Starch Press. It’s definitely more advanced than the previous book, but it will give your child (or you!) step by step instructions on making almost 10 basic games like a snake game or a fruit slicer game using Scratch.
When they are done with the book they will have the basic knowledge to create whatever types of games they want! If your child loves to create things in Minecraft, they will LOVE creating programs inside Scratch.
Last up we have the fictional series called Secret Coders. The story, which is told in a comic book format, follows a new girl named Hopper as she navigates her strange new school. Authors Gene Luen Yang and Mike Holmes have really put together an entertaining story, that also helps kids understand the basics of coding.
The Secret Coders series is one of my Son’s favorite to read at night with me. The next book in the series comes out in October of this year, and I’ve already pre-ordered it from Amazon. My son has marked the date on the calendar.
Another fiction series is going to come out this summer called The Friendship Code by . It looks very promising, especially for young girls! It sounds like the Babysitter’s Club series, but can help get girls excited about coding! I’m just hoping it’s a far cry from when Barbie attempted to understand computers….
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Sarah Kimmel is a digital parenting coach and family tech expert. She has spent the last 16 years of her career as a Microsoft Certified IT Manager supporting over 100 small businesses. During that time she started Family Tech LLC to help families understand and manage the technology in their home. She has regularly appeared as a family tech expert on KSL News, BYUtv and Studio 5, and has been invited all over the world from tech companies like Lenovo, Verizon, Microsoft, Dell, and Samsung. Find out more on her website SarahKimmel.com