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Ep. 121 Unlocking Children’s Creativity through Computer Programming

Mar 17, 2024

In today's digital age, children are often seen as consumers rather than creators, glued to screens consuming content rather than actively engaging with technology. However, there's a growing recognition of the importance of teaching children programming skills, not just for future career prospects but also for fostering creativity and problem-solving abilities. In this episode, Dr. Felienne Hermans, a computer scientist and educator, sheds light on the significance of programming in children's development.

Felienne discusses that by learning programming, children can unleash their creativity by developing their own games, animations, and interactive stories. Programming provides children with the tools to turn their ideas into reality, empowering them to explore their imaginations in the digital space.

One of the key insights Felienne shared is the importance of starting early and making programming fun and accessible for children of all ages. For younger kids, tangible toys like robots and programming kits offer a hands-on introduction to coding concepts. As children grow older, visual programming languages like Scratch provide a playful environment for them to experiment and create.

Felienne also highlights the role of parents in nurturing their children's interest in programming. By engaging in coding activities together, parents can model a growth mindset and show that learning something new can be an exciting journey for both children and adults alike. Moreover, integrating programming into everyday activities, such as art or storytelling, can make the learning process more enjoyable and meaningful for children.

In addition to fostering creativity, programming also cultivates essential skills such as problem-solving, critical thinking, and logical reasoning. By engaging in coding projects, children learn to break down complex problems into manageable steps and develop resilience in the face of challenges.

As technology continues to shape our world, equipping children with programming skills is more important than ever. By embracing programming as a tool for creativity and exploration, parents can empower their children to thrive in the digital age and unlock their full potential. Whether it's creating their own games, animations, or interactive stories, programming opens up a world of endless possibilities for young minds to explore and create.



Felienne holds a Ph.D. in Software Engineering and, for 10+ years, has been a strong advocate for finding better ways of teaching programming and guiding the young generation early into the programming world.

 She is also a professor of computer science education at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam in the Netherlands and a high-school computer science teacher one day a week at Lyceum Kralingen in the Codasium program, which teaches kids to code.

About Erin:

With over 15 years of experience in the field of education, I am a passionate and dedicated educator, researcher, and podcast co-host who strives to improve the lives of children and parents through evidence-based practices and insights. I hold a Doctorate of Education in Human Development and Psychology from Harvard University, and I am currently the Chief of Education at Cooper, a resource for parents that provides research-based information on parenting and child development. 

About Michelle: 

I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. I specialize in working with children by applying my experience in developmental psychology and behavior analysis. As a parent myself, I know that navigating parenthood isn’t easy. With over a decade of experience, I’m here to help you apply evidence-based practices to create a stronger bond with your child through one-on-one therapy services and my Thriving Toddler online programs.

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