CodeSpeak Books, launched on Kickstarter last week, is geared toward children 2-6+ years of age. The first book is delightfully titled How to Turn Your Grownup into a Robot, an exciting way to engage children at such a young malleable age.
The thrust of CodeSpeak Books is to introduce children – in fun and age-appropriate ways – stories that are geared toward teaching kids ages 2-6 years old the foundations of computer coding and computational thinking without needing a device.
The biggest challenge for parents who don’t know how to code themselves is figuring out how to help their children learn. That’s the beauty of CodeSpeak Books. It also serves as an educational tool for parents, so they can learn together with their toddlers as the stories increase in complexity along the CodeSpeak Books’ Step Into Coding system.
As outlined by CodeSpeak Labs, there are three types of coding stories:
1 Build the foundation: Learn the major concepts through stories: Sequences, Logic, and Events.
2 Learn functionality: Computational thinking with visual block code. Repeat loops, Conditionals, and Functions.
For our kids’ generation, code literacy is just as important as reading and writing. Technology impacts everything we do, and kids need to be able to understand how technology works and how to create and control it– not just to use it passively. Like when children first learn the letters of the alphabet, they learn the bigger concepts of code so they get used to how code looks visually. This way, when they are older, they see code as an old friend – and not the intimidating gobbledygook that adults see when looking at code for the first time.
CodeSpeak Labs is creating partnerships with Scratch (MIT), Code.org, and Bitsbox to continue the growth, kind of like continuing education on code but for elementary and high school students.
“I’m the mom of two, Maxwell, 3 and Alexander, 1 and a half,” Jen shared. “I’ve found stories to be one of the most powerful ways to engage my kids in big ideas– from potty training to being kind to others. So I hit upon the idea to experiment with different coding stories with my 3 year old. He’s hooked and loves the stories and the accompanied learning. Ultimately I’d love to create a series of books that teach the fundamental concepts of coding.”
Jen Chiou, Founder of CodeSpeak Labs, established computer programming classes for students from PreK-12 in classrooms in NYC and CA.