Learning to code without a computer may sound absurd, but it actually makes perfect sense. In a nutshell, the basic principles of coding revolves around metacognition, problem-solving, and abstract thinking. These are valuable skills to have even if a career in computer programming isn’t in the immediate future. Therefore, unplugging the computer and teaching coding through hands-on activities, is a great way to learn the fundamentals of coding and one involved in creative and imaginative ways of thinking for beginners. Here’re 3 simple activities you (or your kids) can try to get your hands into coding.
1. Follow the Sequence
What does sandwich-making have to do with coding? If you try this hilarious sequence activity, you’ll understand why. It may seem easy making a simple sandwich, but imagine having to write out the entire process, step-by-step, for someone to follow. Creating a code for a computer to process is just the same. Both activities require a coder to create a sequence, that if followed, will always produce the same result. This can also be done for activities other than sandwich-making. In fact, anything that comes with instructions such as furniture assembling sequences of steps to achieve a desired outcome will work!
2. Bits and Botts
Educational tools like LittleBits and Ozobots are a great way to teach the fundamentals of robotics. There’s no limit to what kids can make with these tools and each kit comes with instructions and guides to take their coding and tech skills into the world of robotics all without a screen.
3. Code a LEGO Maze
With four levels of difficulty, this LEGO maze activity introduces a variety of programming concepts, like loops and conditional statements. Depending on the level, students will create a set of instructions, or commands, to guide the character through the maze as efficiently as possible.