Children Benefit When Learning Code

In the 21st century, coding is a new type of literacy: a language that allows those fluent in it to explore, create and affect change in our increasingly high-tech world. Today, preschoolers about to enter Kindergarten can start to learn about coding. Now, you may be thinking, there's young and then there’s too young. Those kids aren’t even ready to read yet, how can they learn to code?

Early literacy sets the foundations of reading and writing before children are ready to independently read and write. Studies show that learning basic programming concepts such as commands, patterns, sequences, even in preschool, improves young children’s skills in traditional sequencing tests. For example, children who are taught coding concepts were able to describe the process of brushing their teeth using 20 steps when before they could only think of three or four steps. “Sequencing…” says Marina Umaschi Bers, a professor of child and human development at Tufts, “has a measurable positive effect on reading comprehension.”

Teaching coding concepts is also a great way to introduce important skills of problem-solving, collaboration and creativity. Watch this TED talk by Linda Liukas, founder of the Hello Ruby initiative, on why it’s so wonderful to see kids learn to code.

Like any language, the earlier you learn it, the more it sticks. Get started with these fun reads.