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5 Essential Skills Kids Learn at Summer Coding Camps

Published on May 9, 2024 | Posted in  

When kids enter a program to learn one subject, they walk away understanding a lot more. There are all kinds of indirect and secondary lessons they absorb about the subject. School socializes children and teaches them about themselves.

Many parents want their children to learn how to code to prepare them for work and life in our digital, high-tech world. RP4K is proud to teach fundamental coding concepts and important coding languages to kids, but thankfully, that’s not all they learn.

Let’s take a look at 5 essential skills kids learn at RP4K’s summer coding camps.

1. The Popular Coding Languages

First, let’s start with the most basic reason kids take coding camps. We teach kids the most popular, in-demand coding languages, the ones that employers expect people they hire to know. They’re the coding languages powering the most popular apps, websites, and video games today, so coders blazing their own trail need to know them.

At Real Programming 4 Kids, we teach 7-year-olds brand new to computers how to design and code their own video game using the language Python. Those new to coding can jump right in, starting by learning a coding language professionals use in the field, rather than a drag-and-drop program that’s really designed to give beginners a sense of what coding is like.

As kids gradually progress in their skills within one coding language, they’ll gain experience and knowledge until they’re ready for the next coding language. RP4K is proud to teach the following coding languages:

  • Python
  • Java
  • JavaScript
  • C#
  • C++

RP4K’s summer coding camp is a chance for a deep dive into real coding languages that professionals rely on in the field.

2. Exercise the Language Muscle

When most people think about a language, they think of French or maybe Spanish. They don’t necessarily think of C# or JavaScript. However, coding languages are just as much languages as the ones people use when speaking or writing.

close up of hands typing on a laptop

Every coding language has its own system of rules and syntax that coders come to feel as their fluency improves. Just like people who speak multiple languages claim to think differently in each one, so coders switch their thought processes when they move between coding languages.

Learning coding languages exercises the same muscles used to speak, write, and think in traditional languages.

3. Think Like an Engineer

Teaching kids to “think outside the box” is a popular aspiration because they need to grow into independent, rugged thinkers who instinctively reject the mental assumptions or confines that others assume to exist. Put simply, kids should become accustomed to trying unique approaches to problem-solving and be unafraid of these unconventional routes, even when they don’t appear to work.

There are many coding challenges that can be tackled in different ways, so there isn’t simply one route to get to the end goal.

Kids can be themselves all while reaching the goal, which is to code their own video game. Along the way, they’ll improve their coding skills, but they’ll also learn to trust where their instincts guide them when problem-solving and applying coding concepts to real life, and these are important prerequisites to thinking like an engineer.

RP4K emphasizes fun above all during our year-round courses, but definitely in our summer coding camps. That’s why we put coding video games at the centre of what we do and use gamification to make creating video games feel as fun and engaging as playing them.

However, thankfully, there’s no conflict between kids having fun and learning resourceful mental approaches. 

4. Improved Self Esteem

RP4K reinforces the crucial lesson that it’s good to attempt a solution that doesn’t ultimately work because it provides essential data about what doesn’t work. Thomas Edison reportedly had 1,000 failures before eventually discovering how to successfully create a light bulb.

Thinking like an engineer means trying different approaches, which requires a tolerance for mistakes that bodes well for a healthy self esteem. Nobody should beat themselves up for making errors, let alone kids. Teaching them that mistakes are not just natural or inevitable but good promotes healthy mental habits that should only improve their self esteem.

Making kids feel better about themselves throughout the learning process helps them become lifelong learners. We work to teach kids cyber-smarts in our coding camps, but they’ll also exit the programs feeling better about the learning process in general.

5. Professional Coders for a Model

Teenagers learning how to code may wonder where computers can take them in the future. Everybody knows that we live in a digital world dominated by technology, but technology moves very quickly, so when seeking to get information that’s precise and up-to-date, it’s crucial to ask the people on the front lines of computer coding.

Our teachers study computer science and computer engineering at university, making them the perfect resource and mentor for older students starting to consider their own paths. Not every RP4K student will go on to become a professional video game coder, and that’s fine! The point isn’t to give them a model to copy.

When kids have fundamental coding and computer skills, they can use them however they think best. Many jobs open up to people who know how to code, including office jobs where computer programming isn’t the main feature.

Maybe kids will decide they want to create their own video games, apps, or websites rather than work for a company making these things. Whatever it is they want to do, they can speak to people with the subject matter expertise who also have practical experience navigating the same type of career options.

Parents want to prepare their kids for tomorrow’s world while letting them have fun today. Summer camps should be fun! Life itself is a learning experience for kids. Just like being in a classroom environment helps to socialize kids and teach all kinds of secondary indirect lessons, those enrolled in coding courses learn much more than just computer skills.

If you’re curious about which summer coding camp program is right for your child, don’t hesitate to contact us.

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