Children live and breath games regardless of their age; whether that be playing a game of tag on the playground or booting up their Nintendo Switch to play Roblox. Gaming is in their nature and games have been proven to be amazing teaching tools. Games improve children's concentration, cogitative thinking, problem-solving skills and creativity - this is no different when learning how to code.
It is known that the text-book and class-room style learning doesn't work for everyone. We don't all retain information in the same way and thus we believe that we shouldn't all be mentored in the same way. By learning to code through play and games, it opens up a variety of educational styles and methods that can work for all learners. Learning code through games makes learning flexible and enjoyable at the same time - whether it is a child who thrives on detailed explanation or a child who benefits from collaborative activities - games allow children to access the same material and information but through their own eyes, at their own pace and in a method best suited to them. Learning through gaming also provides instant rewards and encouragement as it is a goal-based learning style. By using the idea of Gamification - turning goals into games - this method actively allows children to see their progress in a visual and quantifiable way. Being able to view their own development gives children agency over their own learning which in turn promotes engagement and decreases boredom and burnout.
This is why we choose this method at The Code Zone - we want children to enjoy learning and be an active participant in it. Both are Hacker and Modders in GameDev Club learn to code through play and games. Our mentors provide the young coders with a completed game to which they can call their own - they can tinker, edit and play around with both the code and the game. Using their creativity to explore and learn in a safe and positive environment, where there is no wrong or right way to learn - just the children's own way! We've also carried this philosophy over into our Minecraft Mod Club. We know that our members (and our mentors!) love Minecraft and want to use the game as a tool for learning how to code. Being in a a comfortable and familiar environment such as a beloved game like Minecraft, children can be in their own element. They don't need to learn the layout of the land or be distracted by other factors - they can be totally submerged into the game and thus be submerged into the world of coding through play.
Whether your child wants to animate in Scratch, build games in Python or mod in Minecraft - we welcome all types of learners. We want children to learn, play and have fun as we believe this is the best approach for learning to code.