Coding Camp

My kids love playing video games. Which kid doesn’t? At this stage of their lives we restrict their video gameplay to Minecraft, a few old Wii games and some kid-friendly games on pbskids.org. Yet they remain fascinated with gaming and even at 7 and 5 years old, they are well-adapted to computers, smartphones and tablets.

That’s why I was so happy to find a computer coding camp at our local library built for kids ages 8-18. Every other Saturday they attend the camp and they learn and play on a website — scratch.mit.edu. Once you log in it’s easy to create a profile and start making your character engage in adventures. They absolutely love it and it’s been eye-opening for me as well as I try to learn the basics of coding while encouraging the boys to take risks and discover new ways to make their character move.

My kids are mere beginners in this world of coding but they can already figure out a brief, uncomplicated storyline for their character, and to see if come to life, based on their commands, is incredibly rewarding for them. Some of the older kids, meanwhile, are doing things that truly amaze. Their level of sophistication proves that this generation is adapting quickly and at a young age to the technology that will define their lives.

My goal is not for my kids to become computer programmers, unless that’s their passion. My goal is for them to see how the games they enjoy are made and built and that it can be done by anyone. One of the beautiful things I’ve learned about this endeavor is that their only limitation is their own imagination. If I can help focus their imagination and broaden their knowledge about such an embedded facet of their lives, then I’ll have accomplished something.

Who knows? Maybe these coding lessons will open new doors to them, enrich their lives and force their brains to consume and process information in new ways that will benefit them and their communities. That’s all for the good.

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The Beginning
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