Coding needn’t be scary or dull, with these fun, educational coding games and toys that are perfect introductions to programming.
What are the best toys to teach children and young adults coding or programming in a fun way that will actively teach them the new technology skills they will need for the jobs of tomorrow?
Coding and programming are now part of the national curriculum, in order to solve the “skills gap” between the number of technology jobs and the people qualified to fill them. ICT (Information and Communications Technology) has in the past been dominated by dull tutoring of how to use a word processor or PowerPoint, and has been replaced by a new “computing” curriculum including coding lessons for children as young as five.
According to Computerworld, in just a few years, there will be a shortage of 300,000 digitally skilled workers in London alone. While most students may have little interest in becoming software engineers, digital literacy will be hugely beneficial in a world where technology is being embedded deeper and deeper into our everyday lives.
This will appear most scary not to Little Johnny or Jane (with their open minds, inquisitive natures, and love of anything with a keyboard and screen) but to parents who have coding skills equivalent to those of their grandparents – i.e. none.
For the purposes of this feature we are describing some products as “toys” or “games” when they are or can be actually a whole lot more. We’ve described them this way because we’re looking at products that kids will want to play and interact with.
If they think that the Educational Thing is a toy they are more likely to play with it, rather than just do it. Learning through play is one of the best ways of picking up new skills, and overcoming what can at first appear rather daunting educational challenges. If you’re looking for something less kid-focussed though, take a look at our broader guide to learning to code.