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3 Ways to Choose a Coding Camp

Finding coding and programming courses that teach kids Python or Java can be overwhelming. Use these expert tips to pick the best coding camp to fit your kid’s needs.

Technology continues to impact the world at an incredibly rapid pace. Nowadays, parents are regularly challenged with finding ways to broaden their kids knowledge of 21st century skills. Beyond entertaining young gamers, programming languages introduce kids to the building blocks for future careers. If your kids have any interest in technology or gaming, then coding camp is an option worth exploring.

1. Ask Questions

Coding for kids is not something that can be mastered in a week. It’s a process that kids build upon with practice and experience over time.

  • What is the age and skill level of my kid? 
  • Can my kid type easily?
  • Who are the instructors?
  • What is the camp schedule?
  • What will my kid be learning?

“My son is at the point where he can envision a problem he wants to solve and begin to develop the code to get there. It reminds me of student development in math and languages–it starts slowly but over time you see real progress and suddenly the kid is bursting with ideas.”

Parent Review

2. Know the Different Types of Code

With so many variations of code and camps to choose from, here’s a quick rundown on the benefits of each.

Scratch Coding Camps

Scratch code learning focuses on ensuring kids understand basic computer programming concepts. The drag-and-drop format of Scratch doesn’t require advanced typing skills. It’s best suited for kids in early elementary school who are new to coding. Games and animations are easily created with ready-made blocks of code to build scripts. Scratch projects encourage creativity, reasoning and problem-solving skills. More advanced Scratch coding camps layer on previous experience for kids to develop more realistic and customized games.

Minecraft Camps & Java Camps

Minecraft camps are great for grade school kids who love to play the game and want to learn the fundamentals of creating fun mods. Core Computer Science Skills, 3D Modeling and Texture Mapping Techniques are taught at these camps.

If your kid is an experienced Minecraft user, consider trying a more advanced camp where they can create a custom game experience using Java. Java is widely used programming language for students interested in understanding more about app development. Java camps are also frequently paired with Minecraft and Python.

Python Coding Camps

Python is a popular, all-purpose language used in real-world applications; web and software development. The lines of code are shorter and simpler than other languages, making it easier for kids to learn Python. It’s a good language to learn after Scratch because kids don’t need previous experience if they want to skip to an introductory Python camp.

While some Python camps are available for kids starting in 4th grade, most support middle school aged kids. The ability to type is beneficial for those starting to learn how to code at a more accelerated level. 

Web Design Camps

Web design is typically reserved for advanced students because JavaScript is used with other programming languages — e.g. HTML and CSS. At some web design camps, students will program a functional website. 

Video Game Design Camps

Support young gamers interested in specific video game design. Students learn basic app development principles, including UI/UX design and advanced programming techniques using Javascript, HTML and CSS. Programmers use JavaScript to create interactive features that run on websites, such as games. It is the leading client-side programming language on the web today, making it a valuable learning experience for young coders.

App Development Camps

Mobile app programming for kids is fun because they are so present in our daily lives. From listening to music to watching silly videos, apps are everywhere. In App Development Camp, third grade students (and older) learn the basics of mobile programming from layout to coding the active components.

Roblox Camps

Inspired by the online gaming system where users create avatars and play games in user-generated 3D worlds? Register for Roblox Camp. Since users don’t need a strong foundation in coding to make a game, Roblox appeals to a wide age range. Younger campers use the built-in Roblox Studio to cultivate 3D worlds without the need for text-based code. More advanced users access the popular LUA coding language for game actions, elements and mechanics. Kids work to publish and share their game to the Roblox community by the end of camp.

”The types of gameplay on Roblox are just as limitless as the imagination of the creators themselves.”

Roblox Corporation

3. Explore Every Option

Now that you’ve assessed your kid’s age and prior programming experience, check out coding camp options for your family on ActivityHero.

Download our iPhone app for easier access. Search by location, category, age, and other criteria to help you find the best option. Early bird discounts could save parents up to $100.