(Credit: Linda Liukas)
Give your kids a head start on coding with the book Hello Ruby, which teaches the fundamentals through adorable stories and activities.
Between robots, 3D printing and open-source gadgets, coding is a skill that will be in high demand in future generations. And it's easy enough for kids to learn, if it's presented in the right way.
Enter Hello Ruby, the brainchild of programming teacher and co-founder of Rail Girls Linda Liukas. Through the adventures of an adventurous and imaginative little girl (named Ruby, of course!) who has adventures with her friends.
Aimed at four- to seven-year-olds, the book is about what you can do with code and why, about solving problems and experimenting. It's also accompanied by an activity book so that children can get started on the basics of coding, with such topics as sequences, variables, patterns, and shapes, as well as software culture. There's lots of room for creativity through doodles, logic puzzles and a foldable mini laptop that shows what's inside a computer.
"Code is the 21st century literacy and the need for people to speak the ABC of Programming is imminent. Our world is increasingly run by software and we need more diversity in the people who are building it," Liukas wrote. "More importantly, writing software is about expression, creativity — and practical application. Our kids should learn to bend, join, break and combine code in a way it wasn't designed to. Just as they would with crayons and paper or wood and tools. I believe there's plenty to learn in programming logic and culture before showing children a single screen."
Your little one won't be writing Python scripts straight after reading it — but they'll have the basic tools to get started.
Hello Ruby and the workbook are offered as a reward for a minimum pledge of US$20 on Kickstarter, with an estimated delivery date of August 2014. Head over to the Hello Ruby project page to read more and pledge your support.