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A parent should never dictate what their children should do in their life, but they can always help them achieve success. If you want your child to learn a valuable skill that will help propel their future career, coding is a perfect choice.

Coding is the language of the digital age, making it a highly valued skill in today’s job market, and its value is sure to increase as artificial intelligence (AI), and robotics become more prevalent. As a parent, it makes sense for you to want your children to be prepared for the future by helping them learn relevant skills such as coding. But just like any learning process, coding can be a challenge that children might not feel motivated to take on. 

Step 1 – Talk to your child

Sometimes, all it takes to motivate children is a good explanation. If your child understands why coding is a valuable skill and how it can help them in the future, they’re more likely to be enthusiastic about learning it. Of course, there’s also a big chance that it won’t be enough, but it’s a good starting point.

There are many reasons why coding is a great skill to learn for children. It enhances problem-solving skills, develops creativity, makes them resilient, and increases their market value when they enter the workforce. Your child may understand these, but they’re unlikely to motivate them as they’ll find them boring. However, if you tell them all the fun things they can do when they learn to code and how the learning process itself can be enjoyable, they might just take the initiative in learning.

Step 2 – Start with unplugged activities

Coding is done through computers, but learning it doesn’t necessarily have to be done in front of a screen. Learning coding “unplugged” means learning without the use of a computer. This eliminates the need for a computer and prevents children from feeling overwhelmed. Giving your child unplugged activities will introduce them to the basics of coding in a fun and creative way. There are many online resources you can refer to for unplugged activities like this list from Thinkfun.

Step 3 – Find the right apps

Once your child has a good grasp of the fundamentals of coding, they can move on from unplugged activities. You’ll find that your child will be more than eager to start learning to code through electronic devices, but at the same time, you’ll face the challenge of managing their screen time. The trick is not to limit it but to make sure their screen time is being spent wisely. Instead of forcing them to go through boring coding material online, you can endorse apps that will allow them to explore more coding concepts while having fun.

The right apps will depend on your child’s age and skill level. Try to find apps that would encourage your child to explore and allow them to discover answers to the question “What would happen if I do this?” Recommend apps that would entice them to experiment, but also monitor whether they’ve explored everything the app has to offer so they can move on to the next one. 

Some apps and web resources that excel in teaching coding are the following:

  • Minecraft Education Edition (ages 11-18) – If your child is already into Minecraft, then this app is perfect for them. The popular video game Minecraft’s Education Edition allows children to learn how to code via interactive blocks as they build their own virtual environment. 
  • Code Combat (ages 9 above) – Kids can learn Java coding early on with this free-to-play video game. Code Combat can also be great for learning HTML and CSS and other programming languages such as Python.

Read more: 10 Secrets Your Parents Never Told You About Woocommerce Themes

  • Daisy the Dinosaur (ages 6-10) – This iPad app serves as an entertaining introduction to coding by allowing children to control the movements of the character Daisy, an adorable cartoonish dinosaur, via basic commands. 

Step 4 – Appeal to their passions

Children have plenty of interests, and as coding can be used to create a wide variety of programs, it can bring them closer to them. If your child is into video games, they’ll be excited to know that learning to code will allow them to make their own video game. If they’re astonished by AIs in fiction such as Iron Man’s J.A.R.V.I.S. and R2D2 in Star Wars, telling them that these characters can become real through coding will surely motivate them. For young bookworms, knowing that coding can allow them to build their own website where they can publish book reviews will help them see the value of coding.

Aside from telling them what cool things they can do through coding, you can utilize apps and tools that are adjacent to their interests. Children who have a lot of fun with Lego will find Lego Mindstorms perfect for learning to code as it encourages them to write programs to operate their creations. As mentioned previously, Minecraft’s Education Edition will entice Minecraft players to learn a programming language.

Step 5 – Make it social

It may not be apparent at first, but coding is a collaborative activity. Big projects in the industry require a handful of programmers collaborating with each other. That being said, it makes perfect sense to make the learning of coding a social activity. Help your child connect with other coding students and encourage them to work together. As long as they stick with their peers, they’ll grow up with a network of friends with the same interest in coding. Having this circle of like-minded people will help maintain their interest in learning to code as they’ll receive more support and even sympathy for any setback. Furthermore, working with a team in coding projects allows them to learn from other people and share their knowledge in turn. 

Step 6 – Get them an instructor

Yes, coding can be learned without a teacher, but learning by oneself isn’t viable for every child. Some kids fare better in their studies when there’s an authoritative figure spurring them on. Moreover, kids with a learning disability will face more challenges, and they will surely benefit from having a mentor. 

Having an instructor will provide your child with first-hand exposure to coding in action. Seeing an actual programmer do their thing can help boost their enthusiasm. If you can afford it, you can hire a programming tutor, or you can ask for help from friends or colleagues who have coding experience. You can even pair your child with older, more experienced coding students. Whichever your child prefers, an instructor will help them get through difficulties that would otherwise discourage them if they’re learning alone. 


While this is far from a definitive step-by-step guide to motivating kids to learn to code, the steps discussed here shall give parents a good idea of what motivates children to learn. Just remember that each child is different, and they may require different tricks to be kept interested in the subject matter.

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