'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Wednesday 6 December 2017

Review: Computer Coding: Python Projects for Kids

Do you have a kid that loves nothing more than staring mindlessly at the computer or ipad screen? Have you ever thought about how you could direct that technology obsession into something more constructive? Then Python Projects for Kids might be the answer.

This is a step by step introduction to coding with Python that will have kids coding their own basic programs in no time.

I found the set up and program download reasonably straightforward (although not quite as easy as the book led me to believe).

I worked through the set up with my ten-year-old to help him get started and understand the basics. Then I left him to it…

To my surprise not long after, he called me in to test out his first pieces of code. He had successfully coded some short questions and basic calculations. For example, his little program asked a question and then gave a different response depending what answer you typed.

He later called me back again to test his animal quiz. This program asked some questions about animals for which I had to type in an answer. If I got it right, it said “Correct”, if I got it wrong, it said “Sorry, wrong answer. Try again”. Sounds simple but it was great to see him quickly achieving results with the short pieces of code he was learning.

He loved the gratification of writing his own program that actually worked and that he could test out on family members. He is now enthusiastically working his way through the rest of the book and whenever he’s allowed ‘technology time’ he goes straight to coding rather than his ipad games.

The first chapter is all short exercises in writing simple pieces of code to help kids gain confidence in the logic of coding instructions and give them a sense of achievement. It then branches into more interesting and challenging areas such as working with turtle graphics, creating playful apps and finally, coding games (he can't wait to get to that section!).

This is a great, easy to use book that is good for beginners as well as those with some preliminary coding knowledge as it does introduce more advanced concepts later in the book. And at least I feel like technology time is now educational!

Title: Computer Coding Python Projects for Kids
Publisher: DK, $35.00
Publication Date: 31 July 2017
Format: Soft Cover
ISBN: 9781740332309
For ages: 10+
Type: Non-Fiction