Pong Game Screen Shot

Kids and games go hand in hand.  Kids use phones, laptops, PCs, and gaming consoles today to play a myriad of different games.  Games are almost ubiquitous for our kids.  As parents we are often concerned that our kids are spending far too much time in front of a device playing these games.  Research suggests that too much time as a consumer of games and similar entertainment can negatively impact the longer-term social maturity of children and can even be addictive.

While the amount of time your child spends in front of a computer as the consumer of games and similar content should be concerning, not all time spent in front of a computer has the same negative effects.    As I have written about at length, kids who spend time coding have some very different responses to screen time.  They tend to be as engaged, at least initially, as they were when gaming and are also learning vital skills related to healthy growth and maturity.  They learn patience, creativity, and vital critical thinking skills.  Coding is one of the only activities a child can do that works both the right and left hemispheres of their brain.

When we marry coding and gaming together, we get an even bigger bang for our buck when it comes to the growth of our kids.  When our kids become creators of games and not just consumers, our kids are even more engaged and for far longer periods of time in the learning experience and they develop a more creative mind than when coding alone.  This is because the get the benefits of developing color and graphical games that strengthen their creativity and at the same time, learn the critical thinking and logical skills required to do coding.

Developing games can be a very challenging pursuit, but there are some great tools for kids that will make the entire experience engaging, fun, and very exciting.  Scratch, a coding environment created by MIT and developed specifically for kids is one of these tools.  Scratch is drag and drop programming language with colors and graphics and the like.  This tool will definitely provide the best of both worlds for your kids.  They can create games in an iterative way, meaning, that they build a piece of the game and run it and then add more and run it again and so forth.  When kids code in this way, they see the immediate fruits of their labor.  The excitement will build as the child learns new skills and becomes more competent in their abilities.

The last piece that is needed to put all of the parts of this puzzle together is a guide to help the student build their competency in coding one step at a time.  Kids Coding Workbook recently released a new workbook that does just that.  The new workbook called Create Games Using Scratch guides the kid one step at a time through the game development process.  Along the way they learn basic coding principles and develop vital critical thinking skills.  In the end the child has a fully functioning game that will amaze everyone who plays it.

Putting all of the valuable pieces together including coding skills that develop important growth characteristics and gaming that keeps kids excited and engaged along with direction and guidance provided by the Kids Coding Workbook will help your kid have a fantastic outlook for the future.