October 26, 2018

2 Ways to Teach Kids How to Code Outside of the Classroom


By Allison VanNest, Head of Communications at littleBits

Everyone’s talking about coding! Yet, as we mentioned in a recent post, there’s a disconnect between the number of parents who want their kids to study coding (nine in ten parents) and the number of schools that actually teach it (one in four).

Back in June 2017, littleBits introduced the Code Kit, a resource-rich intro to coding in the classroom that’s easy to teach and engages students through an activity they love: making and playing games. Since we started shipping the kit, we’ve been proud to work with teachers to introduce hundreds of thousands of kids to coding.

But there are so many aspects of “learning to code” that don’t happen in a classroom. In the same way that reading to your kids helps to develop social skills, a wider vocabulary, and speaking skills, learning coding at home is a great way to help your kids to develop skills like problem-solving, critical thinking, and determination.

So what’s a parent to do? Why, bring coding home, of course!

Learning Coding Through Play

In April, littleBits debuted coding in a consumer product for the first time when we added coding capabilities to our Droid Inventor Kit.

littlebits droid inventor kit

With the Droid Inventor app, kids can control their Droid, give it new abilities with easy block-based coding, and take it on 22+ missions. Then they can level-up their inventor expertise and reconfigure their Droid to give it new skills, or design any Droid they can dream up.

Then, in August, we debuted the Avengers Hero Inventor Kit, which helps kids become their own Super Heroes by building and customizing their high-tech hero gear and unique identity — with their favorite Marvel Avengers as a guide.

littlebits avengers hero inventor kit

Both the Droid Inventor Kit and the Avengers Hero Inventor Kit have provided a way for kids to play while they learn. Rather than asking kids to memorize worksheets and science formulas, toys like these make learning more fun, engaging, and relevant to today’s kids.

Let’s face it: the world is changing dramatically around us, but the way we teach our kids has generally stayed the same. littleBits helps kids learn at home — by doing, by trial and error, and not just by textbooks.

As parents, we can extend these lessons by playing with them, asking them what they’ve made, giving them the latitude to dig deeper… but nothing beats the excitement of a kid who is just starting to comprehend the power that technology can bring to their play.

Hands-on exploration, curiosity, and imagination will propel them to learn more, do more, and be more than we can ever imagine. 


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