Teach your kids electronics and programming skills

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Everybody is looking to give their kids a leg up these days; we believe that the most in demand skills in the future will be those related to technology and science.

Children who know how to build electronic products and program them will be light years ahead of their classmates.

CodingThe earlier kids start learning these skills, the easier and more naturally they will pick them up. Learning to code is often explained as learning a new language. If your kids can pick it up when they are young, then they will be able to ‘speak’ code more naturally.

The problem with this approach is that kids often don’t want to engage with these kinds of lessons when they are young, especially if it involves ‘learning’. How do you get round this?

Fun electronics projects for kids

We live in a world which is increasingly dominated by electronics. By the time your children are adults it is probably safe to assume that we will be even more dependent on products like the Apple Watch in everyday life.

If you can instil a passion for electronics in your kids while they are still young and teach them some of the basic skills at the same time, then there is a good chance they will take an enthusiasm for electronics with them throughout their whole life.

Here are some of our favourite electronic product projects which you can do with your kids, ranging from the simple to the complicated:

  • Make your own ‘LED Throwies’ – This is probably the simplest but most entertaining product you can do with your kids; they can be constructed with just a few basic materials available from any electronics shop.
  • Make a simple LED clothing accessory – This is another circuit which is really easy and cheap to produce. Making this project requires the use of a copper strip, which will give your kids their first introduction to actual circuit boards.
  • Learn to make some more advanced circuits – This website provides some of the best explanations about making more advanced circuits. Projects include things like producing an FM Transmitter, a rain alarm and a flashing desk lamp.

Teach your kids how to code

Almost every tech journalist and employer is in agreement, the ability to code is the essential skill of the 21st century. It has never been easier or more accessible to learn coding skills, and this goes double for children.

  • Make your own flappy bird game – This fantastic resource allows children to produce their own version of the hit game Flappy Bird. While it doesn’t teach actual code, it does instruct children about the principles of programming in an easy and enjoyable way.
  • Learn to code by playing code combat – This game was created because the makers believed that coding was not about learning but about lots of practice. The game certainly gives lots of that, and makes learning Javascript fun.
  • MIT open courseware – For older students who want to learn programming more seriously, the best tool is almost definitely MIT open courseware. This site features hundreds of tutorials on computer science and coding delivered at university level.