We’ve had a lot of fun using the apps above, but I think that’s because we’ve looked at them not from a “let’s learn programming” mindset but from a “hey, want to make something? We can use this to do it” mentality. In Sarah Mei’s presentation on teaching Ruby to Kids, she talks about setting specific goals when you set out on this adventure, such as “I want Lily to be so excited that she explores things on her own after we’re done.” For us, learning to program isn’t the end result, but making something (through trial and error and learning basic skills in the process) is.
So along the way, I’ve learned as a parent to bite my tongue. The hardest part is refraining from hovering over my kid’s shoulder and stopping myself from saying “no, use this function, not that one.” Instead, I’m learning the features in the apps she’s using so I can say, “hey, look at what this does” or “what happens if we do this” and we discover together where we can go from there.