At Club Hub UK we love highlighting kids activities. We see lots of pre-school classes, dance and football classes, but more recently we’ve seen lots more Coding clubs for kids. These sort of classes just would not exist ten years ago and it’s amazing to see what type of things kids activity providers are providing for children throughout the U.K.
As Coding becomes part of the school curriculum it is more important than ever for children to start learning about computing and all the amazing ways they can use it in the future in their every day life. Here’s a few of our best coding kids clubs, in their own words.
Mama Codes – Liane Katz
At mama.codes, we believe that coding education can be so much more than video games. We connect coding to children’s interests and passions, and teach them how to code anything they can conjure up in their imagination!
Our creative coding courses feature step-by- step projects using the tablet-based coding app ScratchJr, which uses icons rather than text on the command blocks. This means we can open up the world of coding to ages 3-5, as well as 6-8.
I co-founded mama.codes along with 2 other mothers who worked in digital industries spanning coding, digital marketing, product management and digital journalism.
“We were clear we wanted our kids to learn the vital 21st century skill of coding, especially our daughters who were aged 4-6 at the time.”
However, we couldn’t find engaging and creative coding resources that were accessible to your average parent and offered a sustained learning opportunity. So, we invented it! We created programmes of accessible and fun projects, drawing on early literacy teaching methods such as repeating small sequences and patterns. We practise them in a range of contexts until the children can use them independently – a little like Digital Lego!
When you make coding all about storytelling, it’s suddenly a lot less scary for everyone involved. We also supply schools and pre-schools with resources and training (educator.mama.codes) and are working on an exciting home subscription to help children practice at home.
Wacky Bots – Nikè Onyia
Nikè Onyia started Wacky Bots to inspire a love of coding in children aged four to fourteen in Scotland.
She believes that while there are many ways for kids to get coding, robotics is arguably the most attractive to the young mind – the satisfaction and thrill they get when they see their creations talk, move, animate and respond to external stimuli totally blows their minds.
Beyond the fun and games, robotics with Wacky Bots incorporates STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, math) as children learn about the science of sensors, develop algorithms, and learn how to build stable functional structures.
Nikè has been fortunate to have two tech-loving children, aged 9 and 11, who have been very willing guinea pigs, as she developed suitable robotics workshops with a strong fun factor. Today, her initiative, Wacky Bots offers robotics to children as young as four. She has supported several schools and runs after-school, weekend, and holiday clubs in Aberdeen city and shire.
Richer Education By Sian Chalkley
Richer Education was established by Rafael Hernandez and I (Rafael taught mathematics for twelve years in inner London schools and I taught science for six years in inner London schools too). Throughout the years involved in education, we both perceived that generally, the approach to communicating knowledge to children tends to be rigid and prescriptive in schools due to the time constraints and pressure to deliver the school curriculum. We therefore developed the idea to design STEM courses with a particular emphasis on permitting children to discover and explore relevant STEM subjects, by themselves, being led by specialists in their fields.
“Our coding class aims to continue fostering successful learners by putting the power of coding into the minds and hands of children.”
Our course offers an exclusive opportunity to learn about coding with specialists in the field. Children are encouraged to explore and learn to code in an environment that is conducive for learning and fun. In our classes, we continually stimulate children with real-world challenges. Equally, we go an extra mile by developing children’s problem solving skills, teamwork, and resilience.
The age range of our classes is 7-14, and our tutors are specialists in the subject with PhD or a masters degree in UK universities like UCL and Cambridge.
And I just had to mention Mini Epic!
Mini-Epic is a new online platform where parents can create and send personalised video invitations for children’s parties. After selecting one of their professionally animated templates, you simply add a photo of your choice along with you party details, and within 60 seconds your personalised video invitation is ready to send to your guest list via email. When your guests reply, you can see their RSVPs within your account, enabling you to keep track of who’s coming.
Mini-Epic also allows you to download your personalised video invitation to share with a closed group on social media if you don’t want to send it via email.
Jonathan Shine, the Founder of Mini-Epic and a father of twin seven year old girls, has been surprised by the feedback he’s had from parents using his platform:
“What’s been really interesting are the comments we’ve had from mums and dads telling us that their children were really involved in creating their invitation, and how their school friends wanted to know how they managed to create such a ‘cool’ video.”
A professional motion graphics designer for the past eight years, Jonathan was inspired to create the children’s range when his daughters asked him to make one for their birthday last year:
“We sat down together to sketch out some ideas and their imaginations just blew me away. Not only did they know what they wanted, but there was an inherent understanding that using a computer could help make their vision come to life. We sent their invitation out a couple of weeks later and the response we got was incredible. We soon had other parents asking us if we could make one for their child’s party, and a year later here we are with our own online platform.
If you know of any more kids coding, computing clubs we’d love to hear all about them and add them to Club Hub UK.