Give the Gift of Coding + Gift Guide

This post is sponsored by EPIC Endeavors Preschool Academy.

early education, preschool, STEM education, early coding, preschool coding, EPIC endeavors preschool academy, rochester mn, roch mn

Coding steps for “Dash” the robot to take a journey!

It all started with basic color and shape patterns… soon my son was coding robots to throw a ball or play the xylophone. All of this coding and algorithm problem solving left my son excited and eager for more. His excitement was so high, he would wake up and the first thing out of his mouth was, “Is it a coding day at preschool?”

During this season of Thanksgiving, I find my mom heart filled up with immense gratitude to my son’s EPIC preschool teacher! Her passion to develop young scholars who code created a budding scientist and engineer in my little guy.

Do you want to share the LOVE of coding literacy this holiday season?

What is “Coding”? In basic terms it is an algorithm or rule to allow understanding or clarification for people, robots, or computers, etc.

Why is Coding so encouraged in early learners and so important?

A child’s curious mind is ready for it and they will love it.

Coding is the now considered under the modern definition of being literate! “The modern term’s meaning has been expanded toearly education, preschool, STEM education, early coding, preschool coding, EPIC endeavors preschool academy, rochester mn, roch mn include the ability to use language, numbers, images, computers and other basic means to… identify, understand, interpret, create, and communicate and compute.”

Connect to What They Know

One reason I believe his excitement was so high is due to his EPIC teacher building in a lot of real life connections around coding and our real world. She started with patterns and quickly bridged to music to develop his young ears to listening and feeling the pattern of beats – code, per se – of the song. One real life connection for coding came when he learned the simple “tooty ta” song. He was introduced to the song as an example of an algorithm. He learned an algorithm is a list of steps in order and that is exactly what the song is! What a way to introduce kinesthetic learning and build coding vocabulary.

Many Different Learning Modalities

My son’s coding didn’t stop with songs but continued with challenges to build their own Lego towers or Duplo animals. As the whole class continued to use the term “coding” in their conversations, their thinking around coding became more complex, too, and my son’s excitement grew even more!

One day I was amazed to hear my son attempt to create his own tunes or rather music code to words he made up. This type of connection to coding at home seemed to show up more frequently as did his desire to know it if was a coding day at preschool.

Hands on Examples

Coding became real once Dash and Dot were introduced. After many small exposures to simple coding from songs, lego creation, or Robot Mouse. My son’s coding excitement reached an all time high when his teacher introduced the robots, Dash and Dot, to his class one preschool afternoon. She introduced how to take care of the robots and bridged their past dialog about the song “tooty ta” being an algorithm. Then demonstrated how to use an algorithm by modeling how to code the Dash and Dot to play music and the xylophone, throw a ball into a hoop, and play “Hot Potato.” 

early education, preschool, STEM education, early coding, preschool coding, EPIC endeavors preschool academy, rochester mn, roch mn

Learning to code “Dash” the robot!

Later, during a summer coding camp when my son and other kids became more comfortable with coding the robots, she introduced the X and Y axis so kids could code the robots to cross a path. These multiple ongoing experiences to these two simple robots created lasting excitement in the science fields, especially coding, for my son and so many other preschoolers. My son absolutely LOVED IT!

This eagerness from preschoolers to learn about coding is why I truly believe coding is the new “must teach” skill for early learners, both boys and girls; as the girls in the classroom loved it, too.

It is also why I am so very grateful this season! My son is not only confident to speak about coding, but ready to embrace more learning about how to code at higher levels!

My preschooler’s amazing coding experience brings about one VERY BIG WISH this season, to share, with others, what a gift a coding experience or opportunity can be.

Coding Gift Ideas for Children

Robots Dash and Dot

Robot Mouse

Code-a-Pillar

KIBO – A Robot Kit

Sphero SPRK+ Robot

Coding Games for Children

Let’s Go Code!™ Activity Set

Puzzlets Programming Game: Cork the Volcano

Looking for early education coding opportunities?  Check out these offerings from EPIC Endeavors Preschool Academy:

Preschool

School Age Classes/Camps

 

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