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4 Surprising Things Kids Gain From Coding Camp

Learning to code is a fun way to enrich a child's experience of learning from home

Erin Johnston
28 April 2020

As the school year winds down, it’s time to start planning for summer. Though this summer will likely be very unusual, one thing stays the same: kids need to be kept busy. After a few months of experimenting, testing, and lots of fun, we are very excited to officially launch our Code Create Play online series, the virtual version of summer camp!

During these 5-day long series, kids meet online in small groups and build on their skills with the support of their instructor. They’ll tackle new coding projects each day but these workshops are about much more than learning to code. In fact, you may be surprised by how much your child will learn! Here are just a few surprising things kids can gain from our coding Code Create Play series.

1. A Sense of Community

Even at a time when we must be physically distant, coding can bring us together. Learning to code doesn’t mean sitting alone at your computer. It’s far more fun to learn together, as a community. In our Code Create Play virtual workshops, kids meet with the same instructor and small group of fellow coders every day for a week. Everyone gets to know each other and friendships grow quickly, even virtually!

Simon Ypperciel, an instructor, shared a story of two young coders who became friends after meeting during an online Code Club. By the second workshop, “they were interacting as if they were buddies”. The two came from different backgrounds, cultures, and cities - Code Club brought them together in a way that normally wouldn’t be possible. Friends can even sign up together! This gives kids who may be missing their friends from school the opportunity to connect with them in new ways.

Coders begin their workshop by making masks to get their creative juices flowing.

Coders begin their workshop by making masks to get their creative juices flowing.

2. A New Understanding of What it Means to be a Coder

As Kimberley Vircoe, Program Owner for Code Create Play, will tell you, “Code finds its way into surprising places”. From visual arts, to music, to science, or even sports, there’s always a way to connect your other passions to coding. This is exactly what we aim to do during our series! Each series has a theme, like art or nature, which demonstrates how computational thinking applies to other important life skills. Kids will see first hand how harnessing our creativity through art and storytelling helps foster innovation and creative problem solving. There’s a strong connection between creating art and creating with technology.

Some of the art created by coders during the Canvas2Code series.

Some of the art created by coders during the Canvas2Code series.

3. Their independence

Just like summer camp, kids can attend these coding series alone, without parental supervision. While learning from home, kids can feel like they are always under their parent’s watch - and after weeks of home-schooling, parents can certainly feel that pressure. The chance to gain back their independence and spend time online with new friends (while supervised by a trained instructor) is a big bonus of these workshops. Of course, we always encourage families to learn together. After the workshops, kids can flip the classroom and teach their parents a new skill instead!

4. Skills that will last a lifetime

Is your child new to coding? No problem. In fact, these week-long workshops are all about building on your skills each day. We take a step-by-step approach, expanding on the previous day’s projects. No matter where you’re starting from, the whole group will learn and grow together.

We all know coding is a sought-after skill. We want kids to see just how many opportunities can open up by learning to code. One parent told us that after a workshop, her son asked her what kind of coding jobs exist. “Look at Miss Kim!” she answered, reminding him of the instructor who just taught his workshop. “She uses code as a teacher”. No matter what your child wants to be when they grow up, there’s a good chance learning to code will help open those doors.

The most important thing we want kids to take away from these series is that they have the knowledge and power to become creators, rather than just consumers, of technology. With this understanding, they can take their place in the world as responsible digital citizens. This is a skill - and a passion - that can truly last a lifetime.

Ready to join the fun? Registration is now open for our online Code Create Play series! Based on four different themes (Art, Nature, Science, or Sports), these series are designed for 8-12 year olds (younger kids are welcome with a parent to assist), and no coding experience is necessary. See you there!

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