Coding is a Critical Life Skill for Kids Today, Including Mine
today at 11:36 am
The COVID-19 quarantine has taught many parents the importance of being proficient in technology in all aspects of everyday life, from family entertainment to working from home, even educating our kids remotely while school is out. It seems inevitable that our kids’ future is going to involve some aspect of working with tech, so why not allow them to learn STEAM as soon as possible?
According to stats, 91% of millennial parents want their child to learn computer science and 93% want schools to teach it. I believe learning to code is a critical life skill that young children need to learn either at home or school. Through playing at-home STEAM games like Osmo, kids get a headstart on learning to code and they develop creativity and problem-solving skills along the way, which they will use the rest of their lives. My 6-year-old daughter Ella, who started playing with Osmo at age 2, now has her own website that gifts dolls to girls in need all over the world; she envisions teaching these girls how to make dolls, so they can earn money. In fact, many early childhood education teachers agree coding helps kids develop creativity and problem-solving skills. Ella, who also likes online games, would greatly benefit by learning the back end of game development.
I allowed my other kids to experiment with technology at an early age for other reasons. My eldest daughter Taylor, 20, is autistic and deaf, and I felt she should learn to type on a desktop computer at age 7 to help enhance her communication abilities. Taylor is tech-proficient and currently uses 2 iPads–one for communication and another for watching YouTube videos; and she uses Zoom to communicate with her teacher. Her sister Brooklyn, almost 4, has a speech delay issue, and she uses technology for speech improvement, phonetics, and ABCs, via a tablet. I am still waiting to introduce my youngest, Winnie, 2, to technology.
As a family, we particularly like the Osmo Coding Starter Kit, which introduces basic to more advanced coding concepts to kids 5-10. Basic concepts include problem solving, computational thinking, and coding fundamentals, while more complex concepts involve sequencing of ideas, looping, logic thinking, and pair programming. Osmo also has specific games that help with math, spelling, reading, writing, and phonetics. Their games involve tangibles, physical objects designed to embody mathematical concepts, which have been proven as crucial to development and approachable for kids.
Given the kids will be staying at home for longer than expected, I think they’ll be playing a lot more Osmo now.