Right now it seems everyone is talking about the benefits of exposing kids to STEM and Coding. I hope to give my 6 girls every opportunity possible, and spark their curiosity and passion. I like teaching them to understand a path of thinking that will help them learn. And that’s what these fun activities will do!
If you don’t know where to start, are your kids out of luck? Not at all! Here are some tips to start with easy activities around the house:
BEE-autiful Colors and Coding
One of the quints’ favorite activities is coloring. With a little tweak, coloring can become a terrific coding activity. The key is to get the kids to color by number. Remember the fun of that? There are lots of color-by-number activities online or you can just DIY with your childs’ favorite coloring book. When you assign a specific number to a color, and have your child color a picture based on the number sequence, they are actually learning early coding skills!
Coding in the Kitchen
Sequential thinking is key to coding. This may sound a bit intimidating, but it’s actually as simple as following the steps of a recipe for cupcakes. When I am in the kitchen cooking or baking, the quints are always interested in ‘What is Mommy doing’. Even though cooking with the quints always makes for a huge mess, I love seeing their little minds work. I get them thinking by asking silly questions. I might finish mixing the dough and while it’s still raw and in the bowl ask, “Should I put the frosting on now?” I get a lot of giggles and get the girls thinking about the right order for the task at hand.
Coding with Clothes
“Sorting and ordering” is a basic concept of coding, and in our house there’s always a pile of laundry to sort. The quints actually love to help with laundry, lets just hope this lasts till they are teenagers! Since they have a fair amount of matching outfits, I pick out one of the outfits, lay it down on the floor and have the girls add the matching outfit to the pile for me to fold. If items match, they go in one pile. Otherwise, the girls continue to search and sort. We also change things up and ask the girls to sort clothes by color or type, such as tops and bottoms. To the quints, sorting laundry is a fun game, they have no idea how much they are actually helping me!
Busby Queen Bee
One thing we try to do daily is let the kids burn some energy, in hope that they all take a good long nap. We’ll set up a little obstacle course using the couch, pillows and toys. Then we let Blayke navigate one of her sisters or me around the room with simple “commands” like “walk forward 2 steps” and “turn right.” The girls may not like to listen all the time, but when it is in a ‘game form’ they get a kick out of trying to follow the rules correctly.
If I say “Buzz,” Then You Say “Bee”!
When we want to get all the girls involved at once, we get up on our feet and play a little “If-Then” game. Again, this is a computer programming basic concept, brought into our own playroom. Our little Queen Bee will shout a statement and everyone else must listen, and then act. Blayke loves saying, “If I say Buzz, then you say Bee! Buzz!” and all the girls shout back “Bee!” The quints will often say, “If I jump, then you jump!” and that’s ok too, but when Adam and I get a turn we try to mix things up. “If I point up, then you jump.”
Busbys Meet Botley
The girls love animals and have asked for a pet for quite a while now. As a Mom of six, I’m sure you can guess that I don’t prefer to take care of pet right now. So I got the next best thing, Botley! Botley is a coding robot from Learning Resources. What better “pet” to have than a robot. He teaches coding in a really fun, friendly way the girls love. Blayke has been doing most of the coding with him, though all the girls love to see him in action, completing obstacle courses, and making funny sounds.
The great thing about coding with small children is they learn to think like programmers naturally and easily, even without sitting in front of a screen.
Check out more easy to do coding activities here!