General Question

pleiades's avatar

How can I introduce teaching code to my soon to be 2 year old son?

Asked by pleiades (6576points) April 13th, 2014

Ok I’m not trying to teach him straight up code (computer code) but I’m curious in showing him skills that could easily translate into him learning code eventually.

What do you think are some skills that may translate to code building?


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18 Answers

janbb's avatar

Building with blocks, making mud pies, playing with Thomas the Tank Engine and making the tracks fit. Don’t worry about specific skill preparation; all creative play is good. Your son might decide he wants to be a ballerina!

JLeslie's avatar

He’s two! Allow him to be creative about anything and everything so he expands his mind. Pretend play, building blocks, climbing trees, catching and throwing a ball. Let him see you writing code, and he will probably want to do it too. I can’t see specifically trying to teach a two year old something like code. I actually am not very fond of very early learning of specific things like math, reading, or anything else unless the child has some sort of miraculous gift.

jaytkay's avatar

Two is too early to be aiming for something so specific.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

I agree too early, get him going with things that make him think logically like blocks and puzzles. It’s hard enough to get adults to learn code.

Seek's avatar

Fisher Price’s website has some awesome computer games for younglings.

I love the JumpStart series, too. It’s an older game (Microsoft XP era), but JumpStart Toddlers is great, because every button they touch does something, so they learn really quickly the cause/effect relationship of the keyboard and the mouse. After that is Jumpstart Preschool, Kindergarten… my son is on the 2nd Grade disc now. It’s cool because it tracks his progress in different skills (spelling, reading comprehension, math, whatever) and gives me a progress report.

One fun thing might be to search Craigslist for someone giving away an older model computer for cheap, and getting that specifically for him. If you grab a few kids’ CDRom games (and oh, boy could I give you a list) you wouldn’t have to hook it up to the internet, and it’s really easy to neuter it so they can play freely, but can’t get into system folders until they’re about 3½ years old. Honestly, he figured that out sooner than I expected.

My uncle tells me I had DOS cracked at four and a half, so I’m sure your little one will be coding in no time.

XOIIO's avatar

“computer code”

So, basically you want to teach him binary?

janbb's avatar

If you want to teach him binary and toilet training at the same time, you can tell him, “Shit or get off the pot.”

dappled_leaves's avatar

I think 2 is too young for literal coding experience… I mean, I have no doubt there are fancy products out there for that age, but I seriously doubt they will give your child any kind of head start that would matter in the slightest. Probably the best things you can do are to encourage him to be creative, and to teach him to solve some problems methodically. If he can grasp the idea of solving a problem by making a plan (i.e., using an algorithm) and that actions have consequences, then some of the beginner concepts of object-oriented programming will seem obvious, you know?

But I would almost say that creativity is more important. Do you want him to get a job in an IT department, or do you want him to create the next Apple?

dappled_leaves's avatar

Also, if no one else has said it – help him to learn math. Fancy toys are no substitute for numeracy. And the higher he goes with math, the fewer limits he’ll have where code writing is concerned. So to speak.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

Yeah, teach him binary. Is he able to go number two on his own yet? OK. Start with number one.

dappled_leaves's avatar

@Espiritus_Corvus So you want him to be able to go number 1 and number 10?

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

@dappled_leaves yeah, I guess it really doesn’t make sense, but it was a lot nicer than what I was gonna say.

LostInParadise's avatar

Two years old is a little early to learn programming. You can work together with him using the Scratch programming language. It has a nice pictorial interface and allows you to create animations very easily. When your son learns how to write words and numbers, he will be able to use it on his own. The language has been successfully introduced at the kindergarten through second grade levels.

Cruiser's avatar

Teach him how to turn on the computer and turn it off. Then show him the icon for your spyware removal and teach him how to click it on and off. High five at every step of the way and once he sees he can have a modicum of control over this electronic universe he will be prepared to take on the challenge of writing code

Coloma's avatar

2 year olds have the attention span of an ant. Let him scurry about discovering whatever he wants at this stage. Get him an ant farm before you try to go for binary coding. lol

Smitha's avatar

Two years is too early, normally kids begin to understand logic and the difference between reality and fantasy at the age of four and all these concepts are really important when they learning programming.There is a board game called Robot Turtles teaching kids the basics of coding. You need to wait till he is 3 or 4.

funkdaddy's avatar

Again, he might be a little young, but Kano looks awesome and is a kit aimed at young kids to get them interested with the assembly and then able to use what they can do to expand from there. I can’t wait until my daughter gets to this point.

In the meantime I think anything that shows cause and effect with variables is teaching him the basics. Hit this button, X happens, hit these two in a row and something else happens.

Also, what I’ve noticed with my daughter is right now she’s learning language like I learn code. She’s putting things together and learning the interchangeable parts and how to convey what she’s trying to communicate. That’s exactly the same process you go through learning a new coding language, right down to the frustration when things don’t go quite right.

fluthernutter's avatar

@funkdaddy Kano looks pretty cool.

Keep it simple. Cause and effect toys. Pattern building.

Read books to him. Code is just a different type of language. Just get him interested in general.

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