For Programmers: One of the coolest activities you can do with your kids during the last weeks on COVID-19

I am the kind of person that believes that everything happens for a reason, I’ve been trying to avoid follow the news from my country(Brazil), as we have kind of several opinion’s monopolists where everything is extremely bad and catastrophic, it is a matter of fact that the entire world will suffer impacts of this pandemic times we are living now, it is a kind of individual duty to decide how to react to that, in my case, I’ve been trying to be optimistic, investing my company’s cash to keep our employees and people with us.

Well, I got this time to work even harder and enjoyed every moment possible with my family, in special my kids: Valentina a girl almost 6, and Benicio an unstoppable boy(2). It is pretty spellbinding how the children look at the world, another day my wife asked Benicio what my brother in law works with, he answered "He works with vruuuuns" (he meant: He works with cars"), and then she asked: "And what about your daddy?" He answered: "Daddy talks to people". Maybe during this time, he noticed the communication magic, looking at me talking with many faces in side by side squares in a laptop screen. Anyway, he is 2, but I took a few minutes to show him how a computer works, his preferred game is the chrome off-line internet dinosaur that jumps the trees. For me it was a big surprise, in so digital and coloring world, he loved the simplicity of jumping trees, and when he fails, somehow he got a wish to try again. I explained to him when he was able to execute more and fewer steps, it is fascinating to see a 2 years old kid getting started to understand that things are progressive, that sometimes we fail, and sometimes we go further. Well, I try to do this now with him daily basis for not too long, but up to the point that he won his own level.

When you get bored reading books

I love to read, my generation was kind of forced to that, my kid's generation is much more intended to stay most of the time on the mobile, consuming many Youtubers content (which I hate), or playing games, my 6 years daughter, loves this PKXD:

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PKXD: A kind of Minecraft's next generation

During a meeting at a company in São Paulo, a guy that has a daughter at the same age as mine told me that he was teaching programming to her, and recommended a book. Although those books are covering the subjects in a very ludic manner, I was kind of skeptical about this methodology's effectiveness. I bought the recommended book, and then while the delivery waiting, I told my daughter about what is Programming, what is possible to do, obviously observing her age limits.

The book had arrived, and then my daughter every single day she asks me to read on more lesson, in fact, the ludic approach from the book helps me a lot to make her engaged with the content, as well as getting some ideas and creating new examples.

We are using Python, in the first lessons we learned how to print things in the console, and also declaring variables. We created simple examples like:

This was the first class we did, and then we also create a ludic game, where I told her that she could be as clever as the computer, so we created things like

print 7+2 #would print which number?

In the last class we did (we have some yet ahead), we studied arrays in Python, again, I used her friends to help to understand the concept of a set of strings, positioning and how to play with them.

There are lots of interesting lessons ahead in the book that I am following, I just shared that, because there is no reason for people that know how to programming in anything to be bored. Teach and train the kids's brains to have this kind capability not necessarily will create millions of new developers, but will for sure help in their cognitive skills and can help them to be better biologists, doctors, lawyers, construction workers, and why not a programmer/developer like you?

Conclusion

We are at the early lessons of the book, I thought it would be not too interesting for her, but I got surprised, especially when she starts to ideate new ways to play with the code. In this f…. quarantined time, I got the chance to learn incredible new things, for me the most important thing was how to be a better and closer father.

That is the booked that I bought, it is in Brazilian Portuguese: https://www.meuprimeirolivroprogramacao.com/

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Note: Thanks my friend Clovis Wichoski, I am also checking this: Scratch: https://scratch.mit.edu/projects/editor/?tutorial=home

Written by

Just a dad, husband, and an Old-School Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Black-belt. Skalena Founder, former WSO2, MuleSoft, Oracle, RedHat, Sun, Borland

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