Puzzles, Games, Challenges, and Computer Coding Concepts for the Problem Solver in You!
By: Jennifer Szymanski
Published: August 27, 2019
Publisher: National Geographic Kids
Coding has become super popular among middle-grade kids. Writing codes to create their own games, apps, or make robots move are something I see kids in our school district doing all the time. Schools are making it part of their technology time and kids are loving it.
Coding is figuring out how to do things and then how to explain how to do something. Even though it seems mostly all about science, or computer science to be more specific, it also takes a lot of creativity to write code. Codes are everywhere these days, in our car’s computer, in our home’s smart systems, in our clinics and hospitals’ surgery units, and code is even used to produce the music we listen to.
In CODE THIS!, kids will learn about algorithms, cryptology, debugging, binary code, binary search, pixels, optimization, making shapes, and so much more! Step by step instructions about the basics of coding gets kids started and they are reminded of the importance of covering every step of the process, in the right order, much like following a recipe. There are simple instructions with hands-on experiments for kids to do including pictures of every step of the process. Kids can try cracking codes and puzzles in the book using cryptology.
I have to admit, this book sat on my review shelf for several months because I was intimidated by it. I thought it would be too hard for me to read and understand since I am pretty clueless about coding. But, I found this book to be so fun to read and I marked a few experiments to keep in my back pocket for when I’m subbing and need a time-filler or for when I have my nieces and nephews here.
If your child loves the Maker Space at school, loves puzzles, or is interested in coding, get them this book for Christmas. All the activities will keep them busy over the holiday break and they won’t even realize they are learning because the experiments are so much fun.
The end of the book includes solutions to all the puzzles in the book in case your child gets stuck. There are also challenges to push kids further by trying more-advanced programming. A glossary is included so kids can be sure to understand all the terminology used when coding. Step-by-step instructions, photographs of each part of the process, and fun ideas make this a win for middle-grade kids that want to try their brains and hands at coding.