The Importance of Programming for Children

A logical mind and computer programming, combined, can create wondrous things.

Whether we program robots to retrieve medical supplies, traffic lights to change based on daily congestion, or automobile electronics to apply the right amount of brake pressure — programming is important. And for our children, we can only imagine what they’ll be programming.

But to program effectively, we must use sound logic.

One of my favorite experiences was with my son, Ro, programming a virtual computer character he created from his imagination. He found that the character he programmed was not doing what he programmed it to do. He complained to me, to which I responded, maybe you should check your logic. Perhaps there is a bug in it.

He went back and checked his program and did discover a flaw in his logic, which he corrected.

Upon running the program again, the character responded just as he had wanted, giving Ro a great deal of satisfaction. Programming a new character requires trial-and-error and problem-solving. It offers children a chance to create order and express meaning, using building blocks of technology that are the future.

Since trial-and-error is part of programming, unintended mistakes cause children to pause and wonder. “Errors” produce fascination and foster new creation. Self-initiating behaviors are developed.

What have your children experienced while programming? Have you noticed improved logic? Tell us in the comments below.