Do Coding Games for Kids Actually Work?

Jul 9, 2022 | 0 Votes by Mel - rate Your vote
Are coding games for kids a viable alternative to formal coding lessons and classes designed for kids? Do coding games actually work? In this article, we’ll discuss several benefits to having your children play coding games, in particular, how the skills garnered from game-play can be crucial to their future life and career prospects.
Games Educate Kids - Do Coding Games for Kids Actually Work?

Computer programmers and engineers provide valuable services across economic sectors, creating code for software and computer applications and programs. These professionals work in information technology, government service, academia, finance, and medical fields – as well as career opportunities as independent and contract workers and consultants.

With advanced education and credentials, computer programming professionals have some of the most competitive and lucrative earning potential and career options in the job market today and programming-related careers are expected to continue to be in demand for years to come.

Living in the 21st-century, children are growing up in a digital age, and coding is one of the more vital skills with a wide variety of practical uses in everyday life. That’s why if parents want to set their children up for academic success and prepare them for potential entry into a competitive STEM career, every child should learn to code as early as possible. Coding for kids not only helps improve their mathematics and analytical skills but also gives them valuable experience in life and, eventually, in the workforce. Studies have shown that coding is a highly effective brain-exercising activity that trains children at a young age to develop logical thinking and problem-solving proficiency. That’s why the earlier children learn to code, the better their chances at success.

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Because coding is the use of a “programming language” that a computer understands to give a computer instructions in order to perform specific functions, coding is the basic framework in which it is possible to create things such as computer software, websites, apps and video games.

And while there are hundreds of coding schools and apps in the market that are specifically designed to teach your children how to code, some games such as the highly popular Minecraft and Roblox actually include coding as a huge part of its game-play, so much so that the players are learning to code without them even realizing it!

So, that being the case, are coding games for kids a viable alternative to formal coding lessons and classes designed for kids? Do coding games actually work?

As an introduction method to programming and a training device for coding-uninitiated kids, absolutely! Of course, if your children already know basic programming language, they will definitely benefit from advanced lessons provided by more traditional coding courses; nevertheless, coding games not only provide an entertaining, constructive tool to practice your coding chops, but also keep the players constantly engaged so that the act of coding practically becomes second nature to them.

There are other indirect, yet also positive advantages of coding games, such as:

Teaching Kids How to Think Like a Computer Programmer


Some online coding games teach programming logic such as sequencing and loops. Other online programs will use a graphical programming interface, such as drag-and-drop blocks, to teach kids the basics of coding.

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The more advanced games will involve “typed code,” which is the text of the programming language. Typed code is best for advanced younger kids, teens, and young adults (or older adult beginners!) Games such as Scratch, developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) , is a combined game and graphical programming environment where kids can create games and animations using drag-and-drop programming events. CodeCombat, meanwhile, is a graphically intensive programming game that teaches typed code--Python, JavaScript, CoffeeScript, or Lua. The game looks and feels like a fantasy role-playing game, but you type in code to get the character to do what it needs to do. Ample tutorials are included to help prompt the proper code syntax.

Problem-solving


Understanding computers and learning the basics of coding helps children to develop an appreciation of how things work. It also teaches them how software engineers use math in order to solve problems in a logical and creative way. Learning to code either through games or formal courses gives children the chance to learn this type of skill while they are at a relatively young age, training their minds to recognize problems as they arise and prompting an automatic launch of critical steps to formulate solutions.

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Improving Knowledge Retention, Motivation, and Focus


Several conclusive studies have shown that game-based learning systems have been statistically proven to help students retain knowledge, improve motivation, concentrate, and perform at higher levels of student achievement.

When players are able to not only create their own games using code, play their games to test and iterate, but then earn awards and badges for completing projects, they gain confidence and are further motivated into excelling at even higher levels. And even if they do not reach a particular goal, kids who play coding games develop the resilience to bounce back after failure. With coding games allowing you to replay your game levels multiple times, players learn that failure isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and in fact, it can often be something positive because kids realize that ‘debugging’ your code is half the fun of the coding game-play. Coding gives children the ability to try and try again until they succeed and produce the result they are looking for.

Teaching Children How to Think Out-of-the-Box


Computer programming not only teaches how to type lines of code but also how to think differently. In order to code effectively, a programmer needs “decomposition” – using logical thinking to be able to see a large problem and break it down into smaller pieces in order to solve it effectively.

Children learning code will need to take a vague idea and use their creativity to turn it into something effective, trying different types of methods until the problem is solved. Coding helps to develop this way of thinking which is not only a highly desirable trait in computer programming but also in a wide range of real-life situations as well.

Expanding Creativity


Coding encourages children to experiment with their creativity as they get a chance to design something that is entirely their own. It also allows them to make creative decisions about gameplay, to test out their logic, and see others playing their levels which inspires them to level up their game designs or rules.

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Potentially Having More Career Opportunities in the Future


No matter which industry your child decides to enter, whether it be in the technology sector, finance, academia, health or sciences, coding is an extremely useful skill to possess due to the fact that an increasing number of businesses rely on computer codes as a crucial component of their operations. By coding real video games, apps, and drones, kids learn to use languages like JavaScript, Python, Lua, Java, and C#-- which are the building blocks to creating any kind of software, whether it’s a simple business database or a revolutionary, industry-game changing SasS.

Improving Math Skills


Learning to program involves many skills including organizing and analyzing data. Coding can allow math to actually give form to abstract concepts and, in turn, help children improve their results in a traditional math class.

One of the fundamental skills required in excelling in mathematics is logic. To prove theorems, mathematicians must use inference and reasoning to take steps in finding solutions. For kids with fleeting attention spans, these cognitive feats may seem daunting and difficult to learn. But the rules-based attention required by coding helps children apply those same concepts to solving math problems.

For example, video game design and programming requires the creator/designer to think logically about what the avatar in the game will do depending on what the player decides. If the player presses the spacebar, the avatar will jump. Every single action and reaction must be foreseen, analyzed, and assigned a solution written in the code. This advanced form of applying logic is fundamental to coding, just as it is essential to the field of mathematics.

So, if you’re a parent adamant about giving your children a head start on their future by introducing them to coding but can’t afford to pay for formal coding classes; with coding games—many of them free!-- kids can start to learn programming in a way that’s not only easy and fun, but convenient and affordable to boot! Whether your child is 4 or 18, it’s never too early or late to encourage them to play coding games, and by the time they graduate from high school or college armed with the cumulative coding knowledge they gained from childhood, you could be looking at the next tech unicorn billionaire!

Featured Games

Adventure Academy Adventure Academy From the creators of one of the world’s leading learning program, ABCmouse, Adventure Academy is a brilliant virtual world game that’s cleverly designed to be both fun to play and also educational. It covers a wide range of topics from science and math to English and is suitable for kids between the ages of 8 to 13. ABCmouse ABCmouse Welcome to a very comprehensive set of games and activities where you child can learn about the alphabet, numbers and much more. Reading IQ Reading IQ Reading IQ is a digital, interactive library app that’s specially designed for kids under the age of 12. With over 1000 specially-curated and child-friendly titles as well as over 700 voiced books, your child will be able to hone their reading and listening skills, bringing these skills to the next level. ABCya.com ABCya.com ABCya.com is a brilliant educational website that uses gamification to encourage and promote fun learning. The site offers entertaining lessons from Kindergarten to Grade 6 based on the Common Core Standards, covering wide-ranging topics under all the important subjects like English, Maths, Science, and Social Sciences. WhiteHat Jr. WhiteHat Jr. WhiteHat Jr is a coding program that offers live online coding classes that are designed to teach kids between the Grades 1 to 12 the skills they’ll needed for coding as well as the ability to code for websites, apps and more. IXL IXL IXL is an educational site which contains quiz-like games for your children aged around 2 to 18. It covers a wide range of topics from math to languages; from the sciences to social studies, making it a suitable supplementary tool for educators, especially those involved in homeschooling.

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