Coding games and activities on the computer is a great way to teach your Code Club the fundamentals of coding and get them involved in creative and imaginative ways of thinking.
Although learning coding with computers is extremely beneficial, kids average time spent looking at screen is increasing. Learning principles of coding is vital to a student becoming a computational thinker, which can all be done unplugged!
There are plenty of ways for the kids in your club to interact with each other without the need for a computer. Here are five activities and tools that teach these principles while still getting your club coding in a new and different way!
1. Printable Scratch blocks
This FREE and downloadable zip file has all the Scratch blocks that your Code Club kids know and love in a printable form. They can be scaled to how big or small you want them too! Create big ones for the entire class to do a project together or smaller blocks so everyone can create their own. Over 60 blocks are in the zip file which will download straight to your computer!
2. CS Unplugged
CS Unplugged is a collection of free learning activities that teach Computer Science through arts, crafts, games and puzzles. CS Unplugged is a great resource with printable activities and lessons that empower kids to understand the ideas that computer science covers, without having to be an expert programmer, or have the latest tech. Try the Binary Beads project, that’s our favourite!
3. Makey Makey Operation game
This one we’ve done ourselves and it’s super easy! All you need is a Makey Makey board and the imagination of your Code Club. Although this activity needs the online Scratch program for a part of it, it’s a great way to show how coding can work in the real world and feel the technology working in their hands. Kids learn about circuitry, coding and STEAM! Find the instructions here!
4. Bits and Botts
Educational tools like LittleBits and Ozobots are a great way to teach the fundamentals of robotics. There’s no limit to what kids can make with these tools and each kit comes with instructions and guides to take their coding and tech skills into the world of robotics all without a screen.
5. Computer Science-in-a-Box
The National (American) Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) have released a FREE computer science curriculum to expand kid’s knowledge of computer literacy by providing activities to fundamental coding concepts including binary code and algorithms, and even includes answers to the worksheets provided. Download it here!
There are so many more ways to teach coding, but these are just a few to give your Code Club a little break from the screen and show them coding in a new context to spark their imagination in a different way!