Parents Perspective

Let Santa Teach Your Kid How to Code

Screen Shot 2014-12-02 at 11.44.42 AM
When I was little, I desperately wanted to see Santa Claus with my own eyes. Every Christmas without fail, I'd wake up in the middle of the night and run downstairs to catch him in the act. (Naturally, I had always just missed him!)

Kids looking to stalk jolly old St. Nick this holiday will have it a little easier than I did, thanks to Google's Santa Tracker.  This year, the site features an interactive village full of games, videos, and educational trivia. Each day in December, more games and challenges are unlocked, making the site like a digital advent calendar. Your child can learn to say "Santa" in different languages, explore holiday traditions around the world, and more. Of course, when the big day arrives, the family can keep tabs on Santa's location too.

While there are plenty of Santa Tracker options out there, I particularly like Google's because some of the games will teach children technical skills, such as basic coding through Javascript. Coding tends to get an unfair reputation for being nerdy, boring, or difficult, but Google's been working hard to dispel that stereotype; earlier this year, they also launched the girl-focused Made With Code program to reduce the gender gap in the computer science and tech industry. I'm guessing these holiday coding challenges will be so fun, kids won't even realize that they're learning something most adults consider tricky. Getting them interested at such a young age should keep them from becoming intimidated of the challenge.

Happy holidays!

How to Make Easy Christmas Ornaments