At What Age Can Children Learn To Program?

Some may think that you need a certain age to start programming, but the truth is that you don't. You can start learning to program from a very young age, even from the age of 3.

To understand this concept well, we must see programming as a language, the language that computer equipment speaks. It is not in vain that the different codes used for programming are called programming languages.

It has been more than proven that young children have a very receptive mind when it comes to learning new languages, that’s why Aark Learnings takes the opportunity to teach them what will undoubtedly be one of the most important languages in their future?

This does not mean that we are going to put the little ones in front of a computer so that they start writing lines of code. In reality, it is something even more important. Let's teach them to think like a robot.

Activities to exercise computational thinking in children

To be able to communicate with a computer you have to be able to think like a computer.

To be able to write and understand computer language as a computer does, perhaps the most important aspect is sequential reasoning.

A computer performs complex operations always in the same way: performing many simple operations one after another.

This concept is easy to teach children before they know how to read and write. The best way to teach is by playing, so I bring you 4 fun games with which the little ones will learn to think sequentially just like a computer does.

Break Down Actions

Through this activity, we will propose a daily activity to the little ones so that they can divide it into simpler actions. It is one of the most important premises of computational thinking: reducing a complex task to simpler sub-tasks.

If we take the example of opening a door, the actions that make up this task would be:

  1. Walk to the door
  2. Hold the knob with your hand
  3. Turn the knob to the right

With this simple activity, they exercise ordered sequential thinking.

Drawing Dictation

In this game, a boy or girl must give instructions to an adult who will be in charge of putting the orders on paper with a pencil.

The mechanics are simple. The boy or girl must tell the adult the strokes she should make with the pencil so that the object she is thinking about or seeing is drawn on the paper.

Let's look at an example. If I want to transmit commands to draw a square I will say: draw a line to the right -> draw a line down -> draw a line to the left -> draw a line up -> end.

It is advisable to do this game using sheets with grids so that we have a reference measurement.

My Human Robot

In this game, the boy or girl must give movement orders to another person so that they reach a specific point. The orders will be of the type: two steps forward, turn to the right, go up one step, etc.

A more complex variant of this game consists of writing on a piece of paper the movements that the human robot must make when it starts up.

We would have a code like this:

And in this fun way, they will have created their first algorithm.

The results can be entertaining.

Loop Dance

This is undoubtedly one of children's favorite activities and its mechanics are very simple.

In practically all types of dance, there is a series of steps that are repeated two, three, four times, etc. If we identify those movements that are repeated in a dance, we can establish patterns that we will later transfer to the loops.

Let's look at an example of a simple dance with two loops.
1. Put your legs and arms in a cross and return to the original position
2. Loop Start 1

        1. Extend your left arm and leg and return it to its original position by jumping
        2. Repeat step 2.1 up to 3 times

3. Take a step forward and then one step back
4. Loop Start 2

        1. Extend your right arm and leg and return it to its original position by jumping
        2. Repeat step 4.1 up to 3 times

5. Put your legs and arms in a cross and lower your head
6. Applause


These exercises and activities to teach computational thinking to children are just a few of those available.

On the website, we can find hundreds of activities and resources with the aim of teaching children to program from a very early age.
I hope you liked these activities to awaken children's curiosity in the world of programming.

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