Helping your child learn to code can seem overwhelming or difficult, especially when you don’t know where to start. But with technology playing a major role in every aspect of our daily lives, coding and STEM skills are essential. That’s why there are so many kits, sets and learning tools on the market. So, how do you know which to choose? Well, sometimes the more traditional methods can be the most effective. By this, we mean good old books! There is a whole range of coding books for kids of all ages and abilities available, and here at Hexnub, we have selected some of the very best.

A Day in Code: The revolutionary coding book!

Launching on Kickstarter on Thursday, June 4th 2020, at 8 am Pacific Standard Time, this book is set to revolutionize the way that children learn to code. Unlike any other coding or programming book on the market, A Day in Code uses a story format. This helps children, and any adult learners, connect the code to the scenario outlined in the full-page illustration, or the English “translations” that run alongside.

A Day In Code - Coding books for kids

As you can see, A Day in Code tells the story of a day packed with fun-filled activities that children can relate to and connect with. These include going to the beach and eating pizza. The familiarity is key to the success of this book, grounding the code in activities and events that children recognize.

A Day In Coding - The Pizza Party

Setting the code as part of a story-line in this way gives context to the code that children can understand. And ultimately, they will be able to apply the logic, and the principles to their own programs. This deeper level of code understanding is something that can be missing from teaching programs and resources that focus only on the syntax, structure and sequencing, without addressing the “why”.

Pizza Party Coding Example
Coding example shown in “A Day in Code”

The programming language used throughout is C, one of the most powerful and widely used programming languages worldwide. In fact, Python is written in C. This is the programming language used to power everything from online banking transactions to social media sites like Facebook! So picking up a copy of A Day in Code could be the first step to your child’s future coding career!

Mission based coding

If your child could benefit more from a mission themed coding book, or they want specific support, “Get Coding!” could be the perfect answer. For mission-based activities around building a website, a game or an app, this book really delivers. Covering HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, with fun quest-based activities, the code is easy to follow and engaging. It’s also written by tech-savvy kids, which is even more impressive. 

Get Coding - Coding books for kids
Buy Get Coding! on Amazon

Step by step coding guides

Step by step guides is frequently used for learning to code. These break down complex code into small, manageable pieces that are easier to understand. And the success of this method is often self-evident.

Coding for Kids in Scratch 3” is a high-quality step by step guide that combines funny illustrations with quality chunks of coding perfect for children from ages 8 and up. Scratch is a powerful, visual programming language that uses colour-coded blocks to help sequence and organize code correctly. Children can learn to identify different code components through the different colored blocks, building confidence and encouraging experimentation. Scratch is regularly used throughout STEM education programs, so this book will also support successful home/school crossover.

Coding books for kids - Coding for Kids in Scratch 3
Buy Coding for Kids in Scratch 3 on Amazon

Another alternative is the “JavaScript for Kids” step by step coding guide. This guide is focused only on JavaScript programming, which is known as the language of the internet. JavaScript is the programming language used for web applications and interactivity online. So why not give your child a head start with this step by step, child-orientated coding guide? Using funny examples and illustrations, this book could have your child creating complex programs.

Coding books for kids - Javascript for Kids
Buy Javascript for Kids on Amazon

What are the benefits of coding books for kids?

Overall, coding books for kids and guides for children can be the perfect way to introduce them to programming languages and techniques. Whether it’s a story based introduction to programming, a mission-based book, or a step by step guide, the benefits of coding books include:

  • Being child centered- the children themselves are at the heart of children’s coding guides. This means that the materials are age appropriate and designed to be easy for children to understand. Combining thoughtful or humorous illustrations alongside the educational content can help engage young learners. Not many other coding resources can offer this child centered approach.
  •  Child paced- Children can move through the guide at their own pace. For quick learners and those with a keen interest, children can move quickly through the materials. While for others, dipping in and out of activities can be more beneficial. In general, practicing just one task a day can help build confidence and coding ability. Coding books offer this choice, which other kits and resources may not.
  • Familiar format- Books are familiar to children, whether they enjoy reading, or they’d rather not. This familiar format helps young learners feel more confident and comfortable when applying the new skills, and learning new techniques.

Are coding books something you could use at home? Do you have any other great coding books we might have missed? Let us know in the comments!

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