Make a computational game out of the drudgery
5-8 year olds
Ack -- this room is a mess! But, that is ok: take a deep breath and let's get your child thinking computationally while they clean their room.
First thing: let them decide how to form a game plan. What are the steps they need to follow to get their room in good shape?
Set a timer [20-25 minutes] and see if your child can get your room on time! The cleaning time is set!
Tell your child that it's time to put their strategic plan in action. Will it really be quicker? We'll notice what works or what doesn't.
While time is going, you might also want to keep score of how clean the room is getting -- if the 'problem is being solved'. Is your child following their own plan?
When your child finishes the cleaning, ask them what it felt like. Was it easy? Was it hard?
Also, challenge them to think through what they could do to improve next time they need to clean their room? Is there another step-by-step instruction model they could create, so they can always clean well?
Next week, let them try cleaning their room again to see if they can beat their previous cleaning time from last week
PhD in Education
Originally from Turkey, then Pittsburgh, now California
I got my PhD in educating kids how to code, and how to think computationally so they can thrive in STEM. I have been researching how Offline Activities -- where kids aren't in front of a screen, but are playing in the real world -- can help kids get core concepts of coding.
This fun activity teaches your child to brainstorm potential solutions and develop a deep understanding of the challenge. It also allows your child to break down tasks into a logical smaller steps and be aware, how we think and how the world works. Very meta -- by being more deliberate with how they think and plan, they can develop their computational thinking capacity.