CodingThe world of teaching kids to code has come a long way from the BASIC computer language classes I attended in grade 6. Here are some of the online resources helping to grow the coders of the future.
This Massachusetts Institute of Technology project has been an explosive success among parents and kids alike. It's especially designed for kids from ages 8-16 to get a foundational knowledge of coding. One bonus is that this website is so popular, it's easy to find complementary project idea books for the kids to use. I only wish it came in an app like the junior version. I just transitioned the girls to this website last week and they love it. Sugar has already built and published 3 games. Spice has struggled with understanding the site and would prefer to continue using the Jnr version but her sister is helping her out. I may buy them this book if they run out of project ideas.
Coding for kids ages 5-7. This comes in an app and I can attest that my kids have enjoyed building animations and storyboards on this app since they were 5 years old. An accompanying tutorial book can also be purchased for this
This is another coding website but unlike the ones listed above, it comes with a monthly subscription fee.
The wonderful people at Coding Wizards HQ have the most comprehensive list of free coding resources that I've seen. The ones I listed above are the ones we've tried or heard good things about.
ArtOne of the more exciting things that has come out of this COVID-19 quarantines is a lot of artists sharing their craft for free. I'm really grateful for their generous hearts. Some free resources that have brought the girls much joy are:
Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems
Drawing lessons with Mo Willems, the acclaimed author of many kids' favorites including the very hilarious Don't let the Pigeon Drive the Bus as well as the Elephant and Piggie series. He's currently the Artist in Residence at home for the Kennedy Center and he's up to episode 15 on the doodles. The videos are fun and easy to follow.
Draw everyday with JJK
Video drawing lessons with Jarrett J Krosoczka whose website is also a treasure trove of drawing activities.
Dav Pilkey At Home
Art lessons from the author of Captain Underpants and the Dog Man Series. We are #teamdogman over here and usually buy the books within a week of launch. It's high on both girls' list of favorite books.
Draw with Disney
Drawing lessons direct from the Disney Animation Studios.
Note: There are more video resources being shared by artists on Instagram and Facebook but I haven't bothered with those because the girls are too young for social media accounts on those platforms.
Second LanguagesEnglish language lessons from the British Council
Duolingo: This is our go-to for the girls to learn french and spanish. Both girls have apps installed in their iPads and they're able to learn both languages concurrently.
Rosetta Stone: Free if your local public library has a subscription
BBC Languages: Free website resources for learning 40+ languages. This appears more geared to adults so may not hold the kids' attention for long.