Early childhood education has become more important than ever. New Age Parents are smarter and more proactive in giving the best education to their kids very early. A lot of research, too, was done on early childhood education - especially around STEM and Robotics.
Read this blog to get more clarity on what is the right age to start learning robotics for kids. And also what does the research says about introducing robotics to Kids early and answers to some frequently asked questions by parents.
What age is ideal to introduce your child to Robotics?
According to a Research from Tuft’s University’s Department of Child Development, the right age to start learning robotics is 7 to 8. At this age, kids have enough abilities to learn Robotics and Robotics will help kids improve their abilities further! As a result of this exposure to Robotics, kids will improve their understanding and ability to connect with technology and engineering topics much better. Kids will also develop a better understanding of the real world and become more curious to learn Science and Math in School.
Because learning Robotics has so many advantages, it is recommended by experts all over to get kids started on Robotics started as early as possible. But you might be thinking, "My kid is too young to understand anything as complicated as robotics”, Right? Read below to know more about right age to start learning Robotics.
Why can kids learn Robotics very early?
- Your child is undoubtedly smarter than you believe - Unlike your generation, your child has exposure to gadgets much earlier. If you and your child start using a new gadget today, your child will pick it up faster than you!
- Kids are very curious at this age - If you want to check your child’s curiosity about learning robotics, see how your child responds to gadgets or puzzle kits and, you are going to see the interest and excitement in their eyes.
- Robotics Kits are well-designed for this age group - When you think of Robotics Kits, don’t image large industrial robots. Instead, researchers and toy companies have developed amazing Robotics Kits which are perfect for kids of age 7-8.
- Robotics will have minimal screen time - Unlike Coding classes, where kids spend a lot of time on screen. Robotics involves real-world kits. So 70-80% of the time, kids will be working off the screen and looking at the screen only when needed.
Due to these reasons, kids today can learn Robotics much early than kids in earlier generations.
What does the research say about introducing kids to Robotics
There is a lot of research done on Robotics for Kids and how it impacts them. Below is a summary of the same.
According to research from Tuft’s University’s Department of Child Development, introducing robotics to kids can aid in a better understanding of mathematical concepts such as numbers, size, and shapes, and it also helps in building a range of skills and visual memories. In their study, they realized that kids came up with new ideas and they showed more interest in creating and building robots.
Their research has shown that introducing robotics to kids at a young age will help them in understanding Programming, Maths, and Science.
The study says that learning robotics should focus on three things:
- Fundamental engineering principles like solid design and construction.
- Fundamental programming abilities like sequencing, repeat loops, and conditional branching.
- Scope for unrestricted imagination and aesthetic design.
Is starting robotics early really important?
Yes, starting robotics is important, especially if the child is showing interest in solving puzzles, building things, or having a fascination with creating objects and many more.
According to Research from Tuft’s University’s Department of Child Development, the benefits of using constructivist methods like Robotics in early childhood education (pre-K to 2) have been recognized and they saw significant benefits of engaging children in active inquiry and creating playful experiences.
This recommendation is based on 4 pillars:
- First, in setting up an environment where children can learn by doing.
- Second, the importance of objects that can help children develop concrete ways of thinking and learning (computers are one great example of such objects).
- Third, the notion that new ideas empower the individual; they afford new ways of thinking and new ways of putting ideas to use.
- Fourth, the premium of self-reflection, the best learning happens when children are encouraged to explore their ideas.
Starting robotics at an early age will not be an issue or tough, because robotics kits are specially designed for kids of various age groups. They are composed of blocks that can be connected easily to one another to make various circuits; a tiny computer is also embedded in the blocks, which can be programed to take input from its environment by using different sensors, and can power motors or light sources to turn ON and OFF. It will greatly aid their development of problem-solving skills and technological fluency.
Can kids build Robots?
Yes, kids can build robots very well if they get the right guidance from teachers and a kit that is right for their age for kids to start robotics.
There is a misconception that robots mean heavy devices that are used in factories or scary robotics like those we see in movies. Robots that kids build are very different. Kids will build Robots - which are small devices and projects like turning lights, ON and OFF automatically. Small vehicles that follow lines, doors that open and close automatically, projects where water is given to pets automatically, etc.
So any solution to a real-life problem that can be solved with logic, sensors, and actuators is called Robotics. Kids would love to build and solve problems that they face in real life.
In fact, at Playto Labs, we have already trained more than 50,000 kids of age 8-16 across 38 countries in Robotics and kids love the classes they get from us. Some of them even went on to win amazing scholarships and prizes in competitions across the globe.
How do you know your child is interested in Robotics? What signs should you look for?
Robotics is a subject that involves curiosity, real-world problem-solving, logical thinking, hands-on building, and creativity.
To determine whether their child is interested in robotics, parents can check for the following:
- If the child is curious to know how gadgets work.
- If the child is curious to open and see what is inside the toys.
- If the child is curious to know how mobile phones work.
- If the child gets excited to see robots and tries to communicate with it.
- If the child is creative and builds structures in Lego - Robots, are Legos that are smarter!
- If the child likes to participate in competitions.
- If the child likes creative ideas.
- If the child is curious to know about new things.
Will learning Robotics add more pressure on children?
Not really. Robotics is a practical activity and your kids will feel that they are playing with Robots. So they enjoy it and it takes the pressure away from them!
Robotics helps kids learn Science, Math, Technology, etc. while kids think they are playing. It is the most effective and least stressful way to help kids learn. So you can be rest assured that enrolling in Robotics will not add any more pressure on children, but it makes them learn by decreasing pressure!
For example: Let’s take an example of remote-controlled car project. While building it, the child will understand what is a remote-controlled car, how it works, how it moves, how to put it together, how to code, etc. At a young age, your child will be curious to know about things. They will show interest in making those experiments and will want to know what happens next. As a result, they will learn a lot by just playing!
Should children know coding before joining Robotics Classes?
No, coding is not needed before joining any robotics classes. Robotics is the best way to learn Coding. Because kids will learn Coding while building real-world projects, research shows that kids will learn Coding much more effectively through Robotics.
Young kids of ages 7 to 8 can learn to code through Robotics very easily because robotics kits come with a drag-and-drop programming interface. Your child will learn Coding naturally while building Robots.
Can children build Robots without learning Science and Maths first?
Kids can begin learning robotics without any prior experience in Science or Math. Modern Robotics kits and curriculum are designed in such a way that children learn Science & Maths through Robotics!
For example, while building a project about a sunrise alarm, they can understand what a light sensor is and how it works, they can get hands-on learning experience while working on practical projects which will help them to understand Science much better.
This is a much better way to introduce kids to concepts of light than by explaining on the blackboard as kids will actively learn vs learning passively.
Which is the best way for kids to learn Robotics at a very young age?
The best way to teach Robotics to kids is to enroll them in well-designed Robotics Courses developed and taught by experts. This way, you can be assured that kids will get the best Robotics Kits, Best Robotics Curriculum, and Best Robotics Teachers. Selecting the wrong kit will make it hard for kids to learn. Similarly, selecting the wrong curriculum won't give kids the right exposure. They might lose interest if done wrongly.
So although there are several Robotics Kits available in the Do-It-Yourself model, where kids can build robots by using manual videos, it is strongly recommended to enroll kids in good robotics online classes. The right setup, explanation, and motivation provided by experts can make the classes much more beneficial to children.
It is also recommended to enroll in long-term courses than short-term ones. This way, kids will get time to learn and also understand how the concepts are applied in real life as they develop exposure to the world around them. Because of these reasons, online robotics classes are recommended as kids can pursue them easily from home. Online classes also ensure quality teachers as they are monitored by the companies vs offline classes where it is hard to keep track.
The online robotics classes from Playto Labs are a very well-designed course keeping all these factors in mind. Playto Labs offers various Robotics Courses for kids from various age groups. Playto Labs has specially designed kits and curricula designed by experts for kids of various age groups - starting as early as 8 years.
Also, encouraging children to participate in various Robotics competitions, and taking them to Robotics Expos specially designed for younger kids will help a lot. Parents can also show some videos of robotics to children to develop more curiosity in them.
According to research done by academicians and Child Education experts across the world, the right age to start learning robotics for kids is 7 to 8. Researchers and governments across the world are encouraging kids to start learning robotics early and are making it a part of the curriculum at schools.
There are many reasons why kids can learn Robotics early. There are many benefits of learning Robotics early. We wish you all the best in your journey of introducing Robotics to your child at an early age.
Hope this article clears all your doubts regarding the right age for kids to start learning robotics. Good luck!