Robotics can help kids develop the much needed 21st-century skills like coding, problem-solving, creative thinking, and innovative mindset, in a fun way.
As a parent, you can introduce your kids to the exciting world of robotics, even at home. But it is easier said than done. As a parent, you need to be diligent in how you teach Robotics to your kids as you will create interest or break interest in your child towards Technology by choosing how you do this. So if you are a parent who is serious about teaching robotics to your kids at home, then this article is for you.
4 Ways to teach Robotics to Kids:
1) Enroll in an online robotics course with live classes from experts
- The most effective way to introduce robotics to your kids is by enrolling them in an online course developed by experts. Since these courses come with a kit, live sessions, structured curriculum & lesson plans, your child will definitely love the process of learning & building robots.
- Be sure to choose the online courses that come with 1-1 live classes as you will get the complete flexibility to schedule the classes and your child will get a personalized experience for 100% success. Your child might as well get inspired by the teacher and develop a keen interest in science & technology.
- But be very careful in choosing the right course for your child. Take a trial class before you purchase so you can interact with the organization members to understand the depth of their curriculum, teaching analogy, kits provided, and the company profile. This will help you get a good idea to choose the best institute for your child.
2) Buy DIY Robotics Kits with videos or instruction manuals
- If your child is a beginner or if you are unsure about your child’s interest in robotics, getting a simple DIY robotics kit is a good option. Purchasing a robotics kit will help you understand how excited & interested your child is in robotics. It is recommended that you choose the age-appropriate kit so that your child can explore on their own.
- These robotics DIY kits will keep your child engaged for a period of time and you will even be amazed to see the kind of projects they build using these kits. Now the next-gen robotics kits are available online which come with a few live classes to help kids get started initially without any parental guidance.
- That being said, robotics kits are limited to only basic projects. Anything complex or advanced can’t be built using these DIY kits and your child might need a proper course to progress further. Be on the lookout for such signs and act immediately before your child loses interest.
3) Join a Robotics Club at School
- Following the success of young students in global level robotics competitions & olympiads, a number of schools have started to groom their students in robotics through Robotics Clubs. Your child can also join the Robotics Club at school to get started. Utilizing the resources and robotics kits available at the Robotics Club, children can start their journey in robotics.
- Most of Robotics Clubs are initiated to help students come together, ideate, build & compete at a global level. Having such a goal will definitely push your child to learn Robotics in their free time at school and excel in the subject.
- Sadly most of the Robotics Clubs are without proper mentors and students at times find difficulty in completing their projects for the competition. So if you are going to join your child in robotics, make sure to ask for frequent feedback & progress reports to keep a track of your child’s journey in robotics.
4) Parents can teach at home if they are experts at the topic themselves
- Being a parent you might as well wear the Robotics Expert hat and introduce robotics to your child. But this isn’t for everyone since robotics is an expert subject. So if you are someone who has experience in electronics & coding at an education/work experience level, you might teach the basic concepts of robotics & coding to your kids.
- A lot of online resources are available today for you to get started with simple robotics projects. This can be a good activity where you can spend productive time with your kids and excite them about science & technology.
- Not everyone can teach robotics as it is an expert subject. If you are not having the relevant experience mentioned above, do not try to teach robotics yourself to your kids as you might break their interest. Also, ensure that you can spend enough time weekly with your kids on the robotics activities. Any delay or break will make the child lose focus and interest.
As you can see Robotics is a complex subject and it is best done by experts. From choosing the right kind of kit, picking which projects to build and understanding concepts while building them, there are many nuances involved and they can make a lot of difference in how your child likes or hates Robotics. So it is recommended that parents enroll with expert robotics online classes provided who can provide the best learning experience for your child.
How to create excitement in my child to learn Robotics?
The sooner you start educating your child about robotics, the better it will be for your child as they enter the real world.
Here are some activities which as a parent you can do to create excitement in your young ones to learn robotics.
- Show how technology is used in real-world: Everywhere your child's goals - your home, car, school, shopping mall etc. have smart devices which use technology. Show them to your child and make your child realize that it is all science and not magic!
- Encourage your kids to build DIY projects: Start with simple projects that are easy to understand and comprehend. You will get a lot of ideas on the internet and YouTube for DIY projects on robotics. Encourage your kids to do an innovative yet simple robotics project and give them credit. In addition to developing your child’s excitement towards robotics this activity will also improve their self-confidence too.
- Engage your child with Robotics Kits/Toys: Today a number of Robotics kits & toys are available for kids to build and explore technology. Most of them are really simple and easy to use as they are made for beginners. You can get a few interesting robotics kits/toys for your child and get them excited towards robotics. When your child successfully explores the robotics kits & toys, they would develop a great interest in Robotics.
- Introduce tech gadgets: Most tech gadgets today use a lot of the latest technology tools and are very intuitive. Introducing such gadgets to your child will make them curious about technology and explore them in their own way. This curiosity will make your child excited about technology whenever they see one. And this will also bring in a spark in your child to build a gadget on their own.
Overall, doing all these activities help them feel motivated and confident in their abilities, which can encourage them to continue learning and exploring robotics.
How difficult is it to teach Robotics to kids at home?
Teaching robotics to your kids at home can be very challenging if you are not sure about the resources and the expertise that it takes. Below are a few points for you to understand the difficulties that parents generally face when they teach robotics to their kids.
- You need to be careful while choosing the right kit and resources to teach robotics to your kids. A complex kit will make your child give up the interest and if the kit is too easy, your kid will find robotics less interesting. So it is recommended to get expert assistance in choosing the right resource or kit for your kid before you start.
- Creating a lesson plan may be more difficult if you are a beginner to the subject and have no prior expertise with robotics. Making kids learn robotics without a lesson plan or structure will confuse them with concepts and make them hate robotics. Having an incremental learning experience is very crucial for kids to relate the concepts learned and progress further. So before you begin teaching robotics to your kids ensure that you at least have a draft of a lesson plan to follow.
- Additionally, based on the age and learning ability of your kid, the level of robotics that you should introduce will differ. So first, introduce a few robotics activities to your kids to understand their abilities and optimize their level of robotics. If you are someone without any technical background, understanding the level of your child can be tricky as you will not know what to look for.
- Kids should be continuously engaged in activities related to robotics so they don’t lose interest. A lot of parents start but giving enough time to keep kids engaged in robotics will become a challenge eventually. Remember kids can master robotics only through continuous ideation and the building of projects hands-on. So before you start, check whether you can spend up to 10 hours weekly on the robotics activity with your kids or not.
So, teaching robotics at home can be a daunting task for parents, if not prepared as per the above points.
What is the material required to teach robotics to kids at home?
To teach robotics to kids at home, you need a good Robotics Kit and lots of excitement in your child along with some patience! Here are a few resources which might come in handy if you decide to engage your kids in robotics:
1. Robotics Kit for beginners: First thing you need to understand is about the Robotics elementary level or beginner level kit. It is nothing but a starter level.
Robotics at the elementary level involves designing, building fundamental circuits, and even fundamental programming without complex wiring and connections. This level is perfectly suitable for kids aged 8 to 10. Check the best robotics starter kits for beginners.
If you are interested, you can learn more details about the various levels of Robotics kits available for kids in the upcoming blogs.2. Educational resources: You can teach your young ones about robotics using the online materials and lesson plans that are readily available. A few of these online resources will also include easy to use components, activity booklets or instruction manuals. If they come with DIY video tutorials then it is an added bonus.
Also, at Playto Labs, we are providing online robotics classes for kids aged (8 to 16). You can either purchase only the kit which comes with easy to use kits & video tutorials or you can get enrolled in the robotics course to get kit + live expert assistance to build robots. Many parents found these classes helpful as they come with a structured curriculum and provide an incremental learning experience for the kids.3. Other materials: You may require additional materials depending on the specific robotics activities you have planned. Following are a few important ones:
- Microcontroller(Arduino, Raspberry Pi.)
- Sensors (IR sensor, Accelerometer, soil moisture sensor)
- Actuators (LEDs, Buzzer, Submersible Water pump, DC motors, servo motors)
- Other accessories (connecting wires, screwdrivers, batteries, wire strippers)
The above-mentioned components are the most commonly used materials in building robots. Having these components handy will help your kids to explore the robotics subject further.
What challenges will I face while teaching Robotics to Kids?
As mentioned above, teaching robotics to your kids by yourself might be a difficult task. You might encounter a few difficulties when instructing children in robotics, such as
- Lack of experience: If you don't have proper knowledge of electronics and components then you might not be able to help your kids when their robotics projects aren't working. You might need to spend some time building the basic robotics projects yourself before you start teaching
- Lack of Knowledge: You will face challenges when you don't have a thorough understanding of the electronic components and parts you are employing for robotics. Even a small wrong connection will short-circuit the entire project and you need to start building the robotics project from scratch again.
- Limited resources: Finding materials and activities to use in your lessons may be challenging if you don't have access to a quality robotics kit or educational resources developed by experts.
- Time and patience: Both are required while teaching robotics to children, particularly when you are working with younger kids who are not yet familiar with the subject. You might need to exercise patience and be prepared to repeatedly teach concepts, explain ideas and demonstrate the approaches.
What skills should parents have to teach Robotics to Kids?
- First, parents need to have a good understanding of the topic that they want to teach i.e. they should have a sound understanding of the components that will be used, and the programming language to be used.
- Parents should also have patience, as teaching robotics requires lots of trial and error. You should be encouraging so that your child can try and build robots.
- Parents need to prepare the Robots in advance and ensure their child won't get bored if they make mistakes in front of their child - just like any teacher prepares before taking a class! This might need up to 10 hours weekly on the robotics activities along with your kids.
- You should also have some hands-on experience with any of the programming languages so you can understand the logic behind the coding of robotics and explain it to your kids in simple terms.
- Also, you need to plan the robotics activities in advance so you will know the roadmap your kid is going to follow in mastering robotics. So put your planning hat on and make sure to prepare the lesson plan to teach robotics before you start.
What are other parents doing to teach Robotics to their kids?
Many parents already know that engaging their kids in robotics can only be successful through a formal course. Any activity done with just the kit without the right approach will not add much value to the child.
However, if the child is struggling with the material or losing motivation, it may be helpful for a parent to join and provide additional support and encouragement.
Where can I find good Robotics teachers for my child?
- Good Online Robotics Training Companies provide good teachers. They also provide the right kind of kits and curriculum and train their teachers well. Since they are online, they also monitor the quality of the program using technology and ensure it all goes well. Your chances of success are highest with this option.
- To teach your child robotics, you could also think about hiring a private teacher. Robotics-specific tutors can be searched in online portals or through regional resources like tutoring centers or educational consulting organizations.
- You can enroll your child in a school that has Robotics classes for kids. But this might not be practical if Robotics is considered an additional subject at the school and the school might not dedicate the best resources for this. You can also visit some Robotics clubs available for children at several community centers or after-school programs. But these teachers mostly introduce only basic robotics to kids and do not follow a scientific approach to curriculum and training.
But in our opinion, we do not recommend hiring teachers alone as you will find it challenging to get the right components & coordinate the sessions schedule. A wise decision would be to register for a robotics course from a reputed organization that provides kits + 1-1 expert teacher assistance. This will help your child to understand robotics effectively and build further interest in the subject.
Teaching robotics to children at home may be a daunting task but nevertheless, an important one that you as a parent need to address. A smarter way would be to spend your time & energy on identifying the right platform where your child can learn and build robotics projects in a fun way. Remember the goal is not to introduce robotics to your kids yourself but to see your child develop 21st-century skills through this learning activity. Hope you got some good insights into how you can teach robotics to your kids at home and some useful resources here.