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Early Childhood Education

How the Hour of Code Can Impact Even the Youngest Learners

Susan Meyer

Communications Specialist, TCEA

The Hour of Code is a global movement held during Computer Science Week each December to provide coding activities that can be completed in an hour. The activities are available for ages 4 to 104, and anyone can host an event.

The goal isn’t to teach students everything they need to know about coding — an impossible task to complete in an hour. Instead, it’s to show them that coding can be fun and exciting. It also shows teachers how versatile coding lessons can be and how they can work for students of any age.

Starting early

Early learners can benefit from learning to code by developing critical thinking, collaboration, and problem-solving skills. Even kindergarteners can become coders by learning basic processes on computers with free apps like Kodable or resources like, with age-appropriate robots like Dash & Dot or Sphero, or even completely unplugged with paper activities to teach directions and movement like SitSpots.

Skills beyond coding

Students can work in pairs to solve coding challenges, helping them learn communication and teamwork. As part of learning to code, they will also begin to understand that there are multiple ways to solve a problem. Learning the ins and outs of each platform is less important than learning to think like a programmer and explore solutions from every angle. Students will also learn how to embrace failure as part of the process. Failure to solve the problem on the first try is all part of learning to be a stronger coder.

Educators can help their students of all ages develop lifelong digital literacy skills by learning more about the Hour of Code, hosting their own event, or exploring ways to include programming thinking in their curriculum all year long.

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