How to Teach Your Kids to Program with Swift Playgrounds

Learning to code is among the most important skill in the current digital era. This is why Apple found it prudent to simplify the seemingly steep learning curve by introducing Swift Playgrounds. While these skills may not help you land into direct employment, it imparts beneficial skills to kids and knowledge of how current tools and products operate. Therefore, learning to code should not only be included in your kids’ childhood education but should also be part of ongoing education.

Coding with Swift Playgrounds

Apple rolled out the “Everyone can code” initiative, which aims at making it easy for everyone, including adults and kids, to learn the fundamentals of programming. The program is centered on Apple’s Swift coding language and not the common C++ and JavaScript languages. Unlike other programming languages, Swift Playgrounds is a simple and interactive language that gives learners a perfect balance between efficiency and design.

Learning to Code with Swift Playgrounds

Learning to code with Swift Playgrounds is very easy. For starters, you don’t need an Apple product to code with Swift Playgrounds. Nearly all Apple stores conduct workshops dubbed “Today at Apple,” which are rotational workshops on how to code with Swift. As such, you can spend some hours daily with your kid on Apple stores learning how programmers do the magic. The workshop also trains on robotics, Garageband, and other topics depending on the group of participants.

However, if you have an Apple device at home, you can start coding with Swift Playgrounds anytime as follows;

  1. Download the Swift Playgrounds programming language. It runs on Mac and iPad formats.

  2. Downloading Apple guides on coding with Swift that outline the basics of coding with Swift. The guides include Everyone can code Puzzles and Everyone can code adventures.

  3. Encourage kids to solve puzzles that teach them the basics of coding. They will be using the same commands and codes as professional programmers.

  4. Students can then progress to advanced challenges once they master the basics. Swift Playgrounds designers continually add new challenges ensuring that learners never run out of concepts on the app.

Learning to code with Swift Playgrounds doesn’t require any prior knowledge, making it perfect for kids and beginner students.

Pros of Teaching Your Kid to Program with Swift Playgrounds

Equipping your kid with the proficiency to code with Swift Playgrounds is undoubtedly worth the effort. Below are some benefits of learning this programming language;

  • Rapid Development Process

Kids getting started in programming should begin with a language with a rapid development process to avoid being disheartened at the start. Swift Playgrounds is a clean, easy, and expressive language with simple grammar and syntax. Compared to Objective C and other coding languages, it is concise, thus requires fewer codes to complete an instruction.

It also comes with an automatic reference counting feature, which tracks and manages the app’s memory. As such, developers don’t have to waste their time and effort doing this manually. This explains why it takes less time to code iOS applications with Swift.

  • Easier to Scale

Besides the rapid development time, kids get to code future-proof programs whose features can be extended with ease. Since Apple uses and supports Swift, introducing your kid to Swift Playgrounds is a long-term investment. That aside, onboarding new codes is fast due to the simplicity and conciseness of its codebase. Swift’s syntax is also written in natural English, making it easy to read for kids.

  • Better Safety and Performance

Swift Playgrounds was essentially designed to outshine predecessor coding languages. The initial version of the language demonstrated more than a 40% increase in performance than Objective C. With more refinements, recent tests and benchmarks by expert programmers have also proved this. That aside, there are several ways to optimize Swift Playgrounds for better performance.

Safety is another key strength of this language that makes it perfect for beginners. It comes with a high-end typing system and error handling abilities, preventing production errors and code crushes. With a short feedback loop, learners can see and fix their errors almost immediately. This significantly reduces both the time and effort required to fix bugs while minimizing the chances of deploying low-grade codes.

  • Very Supportive Open Source Community

Availability of a supportive programming community is a crucial consideration when choosing a good programming language. Fortunately, Swift Playgrounds has an active and vibrant community that is ready to help. With this, kids will have access to limitless learning resources, ranging from e-books, community guidelines, third-party apps, podcasts, and more.

Bottom Line

Teaching your kids to code with Swift Playgrounds is an excellent way to introduce them to programming. Since Apple apps are built on this language, kids can learn to code and apply their knowledge in creating Apple apps. Note that the downloaded Swift programs can take more than 40 hours. Therefore, don’t rush your young coder into mastering all concepts at once. Similarly, take advantage of the “Connect” section at the end of every chapter to extend knowledge about specific concepts. If learning at home proves challenging, you can enroll your kid at the Coder School for hands-on training.