Want to Improve Your Child's Coding Skills?
Download your free copy of the Atlas Mission – the ultimate learning game for kids.
Download your free copy of the Atlas Mission – the ultimate learning game for kids.
We’ve all experienced those scary moments when our computers freeze. We can’t move the cursor, we can’t save our documents, we can’t even stop staring at the screen.
We utter silent prayers to the computer gods, but it’s no use. We’ve got a bug, and there’s no option left but to hurl the mouse against the nearest wall shut down the computer and start over.
It’s those horrifying times when we wish we were on speaking terms with our next-door neighbor, the computer programmer. Or better yet, we wish our own kid knew a thing or two about coding.
Isn’t preschool too early for coding? Not exactly. Your rug rat might not be able to restore your data, but it’s not too soon to introduce them to the joys of coding.
Screen free coding for preschoolers is an actual thing, with huge payoffs in cognitive skills — no ifs, ands, or bugs!
Four screen free coding skills that you can teach a preschooler include sequencing, directionality, if/then, and patterns. Here are some fun ways to introduce each of these skills to your child.
According to my good friend Merriam-Webster, the word “sequence” comes from the 14th century Latin word, “sequi,” meaning “to follow.” Over the years, the word changed to “sequel,” then to “sequentia,” and finally to “sequence.” Who knew that even sequences have sequences?
Following a sequence correctly is important in coding. Get one direction out of order and the whole thing falls apart.
It’s like all those times that one time I turned my car’s ignition key while the engine was already running. Nothing brings you back to reality like the sound of grinding gears.
But sequencing can be a lot of fun to teach children using recipes, songs, and stories. Here are some sequencing activities to try with your child:
Kids who’ve made smores always want s’more smores. That’s because they’re yummy, they’re prepared by Mom, and (just like some of your relatives) they’re passed out around the campfire.
Next time you feel adventurous, why not help your preschooler build their own smore by giving them a set of directions to follow in order? Just be careful around the fire or stove. You can find recipes for smores here (including ones you can make in the microwave).
Songs that have sequences can be fun to sing with children. “Head Shoulders Knees and Toes” emphasizes a specific order from top to bottom.
Other songs with logical sequences include “On Top of Spaghetti” (although I don’t understand the logic behind a tree that grows meatballs).
This one’s easy. Just read a story aloud and talk about what happened first, next, and last. If you like, draw or download pictures representing the different parts of the story, mix them up, and have your child arrange them in order.
Directions like forward, backward, left, or right are sometimes tricky for kids to master. The same is often true for adults. Take my driving – please.
Every time I miss my turn, I have to listen to the map lady nagging me for blocks to “make a U-turn” or “proceed to the route.” “Which route?” I ask her (or perhaps I’ve uttered some other choice phrases at times).
Try these cool activities to practice the art of directionality with your child:
While grocery shopping, give your child verbal directions such as, “turn left,” “walk forward ten steps,” and “turn right at the next aisle.” Plan ahead to avoid a catastrophe such as steering them to the candy aisle. Bring a map of the store with you so that you don’t get lost.
Place sheets of paper on the floor in a grid pattern, or make a grid like this one using poster board and colored tape. Use whatever toys, blocks, markers, etc. you have on hand to place goals and obstacles on certain squares of the grid.
Have your child (or child’s marker) start in one square and work their way to the goal by following the directions you give. (For example: Go forward two squares. Turn around. Walk to the orange square.)
Download your free copy of the Atlas Mission and let your child play this award-winning educational game. Your child will become better at coding without even realizing it!
If you don’t know what an if/then statement is, then read on. If you noticed that I just used an if/then statement, then go to the head of the class. And if you want to teach your preschooler about cause and effect, then try one of the coding games below.
Read the book, “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” by Laura Numeroff with your child. Read it enough times that he is familiar with it.
Assemble the following props in one room of your house: cookie, glass of milk, straw, napkin, mirror, scissors, broom, sponge, box, blanket, pillow, book, paper, crayons, pen, and Scotch tape.
(These are the things that the mouse in the story wants IF he first gets a cookie, a glass of milk, a straw, etc.)
Tell your child that you want to play an “if/then” game using the book, “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.” Start reading from the book, emphasizing the word “IF” and asking “THEN what?”
Help your child, if necessary, to go and get the appropriate item that follows next in the book.
Anyone who’s played the game “Duck, Duck, Goose,” has had to act on an if/then formula where IF you are a “duck,” THEN you remain sitting, and IF you are a “goose,” THEN you have to get up and run around the circle making a fool of yourself.
And THEN, IF you catch someone, you have to be the next person to tap other kids on the head and have them chase you.
Duck, Duck, Goose is one of the most embarrassing kid games on earth, but I loved it – probably because it had a logical set of if/then rules that I understood.
Learning about patterns helps kids develop a strong foundation in math and other subjects like science, art, and music. Not only that, but patterns of 0s and 1s are what make coding possible. Of course, it’s a bit more complicated than that, but you’ve got to start somewhere, right?
Patterns don’t have to be numbers. They can be colors, shapes, or any category you can think of. The point is that they are repetitive. So without further repetition, let’s get started on some patterning activities for preschoolers.
If you’re as sharp as your preschooler, you’ve noticed that the heading for this section forms a pattern. And if you’re as budget-minded as I am, your eyes were immediately drawn to the first three and last three words.
Yes, some of the best things in life are free, like these free printable coding patterns designed specifically for preschoolers using jelly beans.
With a supply of pipe cleaners, beads, and this free worksheet, your squirmy wonder can make colorful squirmy worms in a variety of patterns.
Remember, by introducing these screen free coding activities to your preschooler now, you can create your own personal computer techie. How nice to have one in the family!
And just in case you don’t believe that coding can be enjoyable, here’s a coding exercise you can try for yourself right now.
Complete the following directions in order:
You can modify the above instructions by substituting any of your favorite foods (pizza, guacamole, margaritas) for “chocolate cake.”
Who knew coding could be so much fun?
P.S. Did you know that the Atlas Mission is the only educational game that teaches your child ALL the skills they need to succeed in the 21st century?
It covers both core skills like reading, writing & STEM, as well as 21st century skills like creativity, critical thinking, problem solving & coding.
Use the button below to download your free copy:
Atlas Mission – the new educational game for 3-7 year old children that increases their awareness of other countries and cultures.
Lori Bonati creates educational content for the Atlas Mission. She is a mother, grandmother, and retired school psychologist who enjoys writing (books, poetry, articles, and songs), photography, and playing the guitar. She lives in Arizona.
Important: Watch the quick video below for some important information on how the Atlas Mission helps with your child's education. Make sure your sound is turned on :-)
The Atlas Mission improves preschool and kindergarten coding skills with the help of a fantastic game involving kangaroos in the great Australian outback. The game teaches kids how to:
And obviously, all this is done in a fun, kid-friendly, and age-appropriate way meant for preschoolers and kindergarteners!
Coding is not just about learning how to create software or apps - at its very core, it involves learning to think like an engineer.
That's why we also have a large number of other fun games designed to help your child learn some of the key skills that engineers have - logical thinking, problem solving, learning through trial and error, etc.
So with the Atlas Mission, instead of boring curriculum focused lesson plans and worksheets, your little explorer gets to both learn the core principles of coding and develop the mindset of an engineer with the help of games and activities that are amazingly fun and engaging!
Press the button below to download the Atlas Mission for free.
Retired teacher Luci Bultman from the U.S. loves how the Atlas Mission helps kids learn complex educational concepts while having fun and enjoying the adventure.
Dr. Melissa Fry from Australia loves how each game in the Atlas Mission helps her daughter learn by building upon the knowledge obtained from the previous games.
Helen Secrette from the U.K. loves Atlas Mission's parent-controlled timeout feature and how kids don't realize that the timeout is actually controlled by their parents!
Dr. Liz Aumand Wilson from the U.S. loves how engaging the Atlas Mission is and how her daughter has been able to connect with the game.
Simon Avril from France loves how the Atlas Mission improves kids' reading skills and how it gradually becomes more challenging as the child gets better at reading.
The Atlas Mission includes a unique Eye Robot feature that periodically asks your child to stop playing the game and instead perform a number of fun eye exercises that he or she will love!
This helps to significantly reduce the possibility that children are going to cause excessive strain on their eyes while using a digital device.
The Atlas Mission is the ONLY educational game meant for children that is designed to minimize strain on their eyes in this manner.
Many of the stories present inside the Atlas Mission ask children to apply what they have just read in the offline world.
For instance, if they encounter a story on English afternoon tea, they will be given a recipe for making homemade English scones with jam and cream and encouraged to bake their own English scones (with your help of course)!
Studies show that giving real-life context to what children are reading helps to significantly improve their reading skills.
Atlas Mission is an extremely engrossing game that your child will absolutely fall in love with.
However, kids should spend an equal amount of time in the offline world – playing with their friends, getting their hands dirty with paint, and generally just being kids!
Atlas Mission has an anti-addiction timeout built into it. Once your child has crossed the time limit that you’ve set, the game gets locked and can only be accessed again the next day.
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