Coding is without a doubt one of the most important skills for children to learn today. Most children are probably already tech savvy, having grown up with computers, video games, smartphones, tablets, and other forms of technology. Some may have already expressed an interest in learning how their game works or in creating their own videos and apps. But how many of you think that it is a good idea to allow young children to start slinging codes? Or do you have your doubts?
Parents today are bombarded with conflicting data and advice on a regular basis. For example, some may suggest that you teach your little one three different foreign languages, while others may suggest that you shouldn’t teach your child a foreign language as it will impact their native vocabulary. For many other things, like physical activity, skill development, cognitive development, etc., parents are always under the influence of what appears in the media, parenting content, or even popular advice and opinions from friends and family all the time. As a result, making an informed decision on a topic like teaching your child to code can be challenging.
Parents have differing opinions when it comes to this as well. While some believe that one shouldn’t overstimulate children with tasks that are too challenging for their age, others believe that one should teach the basics of coding to children from a young age. This article will try to help you get an understanding of how young is too young to teach your child computer coding.
What is the Right Age for a Child to Start Coding?
Coding for children has gained popularity in recent years as technology has become increasingly important in everyday life. It offers children ample opportunities for success in both their future and current learning and growth. It helps them develop many essential life skills, such as computational thinking and problem solving, building resilience and logical thinking, fostering creativity, improving communication, writing, planning and organizing, and so on, in addition to academic success.
When it comes to the question of the right age to start coding, it is the same answer for learning almost any new skill⏤the earlier you start, the better.
The Sooner, the Better
Most experts believe that coding should be taught to children from the earliest age possible. According to the new research, MIT’s Lifelong Kindergarten group is attempting to create a programming environment that is suitable for toddlers. Teaching such young children to code may appear to be a far-fetched idea, given that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children under the age of two avoid all screen time.2
However, each child develops at a different pace, so we can say that the ideal age to start teaching children to code is between the ages of 5 and 6. This is not full-fledged coding; rather, it is an introduction to various logic reasoning skills that can stimulate or even be a prerequisite for learning coding. Begin with simple exercises and progress to more difficult exercises as children grow and learn.
According to several studies, children who learn to code from the beginning of their elementary school have shown better academic success and performance throughout their education.1 That being said, your child is safe to begin coding at the age of 7, even if you did not introduce them to the basics when they were younger; at this age, they are capable of grasping the concepts required for coding at the beginner level. Although the right age to start learning any skill may differ from child to child, the average and safest age for children to start coding is 7 years.1
So, it can be concluded that children as young as 5 years old can be introduced to the basics of coding, and children as young as 7 years old can start coding. It is natural for children of this age to be the most curious and want to know how things work and get involved in learning the answers to their own questions. Through the inquisitiveness of young children, their ability to learn coding can be honed just like any other new skill that can help them achieve great success.3
So to conclude, introducing children to coding in their early elementary years is in fact one of the best ages to begin your child’s journey into coding. At this age, they can take full advantage of the ideal cognitive moment to lay the groundwork for later learning. By introducing children to coding at this age, you’ll be preparing them to think logically and to adopt a problem-solving mindset. This will help them to understand complex coding concepts easily and develop other skills later in life.
Children as young as 7 years old can do amazing things when they learn how to code. Children can dazzle people with their profound creative genius when they learn to make their own videos, games, and online programs when they learn this amazing skill. In fact, mastering coding can equip your children for future success in school, college, job prospects, and so much more.As parents, you are probably concerned about your child’s screen time, but it could be worth considering when there is more productive talent that can lead to long-term success.
Visit BYJU’s FutureSchool blog if you enjoyed the article and want to learn more about coding before introducing your child to it.
- The Best Age for a Child to Start Coding | CodeMonkey. (n.d.). Retrieved May 23, 2022, from https://www.codemonkey.com/blog/the-best-age-for-a-child-to-start-coding/
- How Young Is Too Young to Learn to Code? | MIT Technology Review. (n.d.). Retrieved May 23, 2022, from https://www.technologyreview.com/2012/02/26/187399/how-young-is-too-young-to-learn-to-code/
- At What Age Can a Child Start Coding? – FunTech Blog. (n.d.). Retrieved May 23, 2022, from https://funtech.co.uk/latest/at-what-age-can-a-child-start-coding