MAMA.Codes: Kids Get Coding
Felicity Gracie-Herst talks to us about MAMA.codes in Kingston
What is MAMA.codes?
I’m Felicity, a local mum of two and software developer. I’ve spent 12 years making videogames and apps from Xbox to virtual reality and recently launched MAMA.codes in Kingston to share my passion for coding with kids.
MAMA.codes unique method teaches children vital digital skills through rhyme, storytelling and song.
Why should kids learn to code? I’m not sure about more screen time!
Not all screen time is created equal, and recent research indicates we need to focus our attention on the quality not the quantity of a child’s screen time. Coding became a compulsory subject in English schools from age five in 2014 because it is important that every child is digitally literate in order to thrive in an increasingly technology-driven world.
Even if you can’t imagine your child as a programmer, think of teaching them to code like teaching them maths: programming develops logical, sequential thinking, which is directly applicable to literacy and storytelling skills in Early Years and early primary aged children. Estimation and number sense are given a concrete context as children control characters to move a certain distance across the screen.
Perseverance and problem solving are also key skills for coders of all ages. It doesn’t always go smoothly, but the smiles are sweeter once they fix their bug.
And… it’s fun! When children code, they get to express themselves, imagine and create.
Can a three year old really learn to code?
Children under eight are hardwired to absorb language patterns so if we expose them to computing concepts before they can read, they will absorb these far easier than if we wait until secondary school. We use an icon-based coding language (and plenty of ‘unplugged’ physical games) to help young children develop programming skills without needing to read.
MAMA.codes offers fun and creative weekend coding clubs, home tutoring and holiday workshops for ages 3-8 that support the computing curriculum. Find a class at www.mama.codes/kingston-surbiton/ – free trials available.
07860 922 086