Coding recovers the children’s development after the Covid-19 pandemic
Since 2019, the Covid-19 pandemic has obliged the world to undergo prolonged lockdowns. This aspect influenced children on so many levels, especially those who went through ages 3 and 6 during the pandemic. The pandemic contributed to stressful and anxious parents and children because of global shutdowns of outdoor and indoor settings, social restrictions, as well as school closures. The restrictions that happened during the children’s development may trigger psychological issues if they are ignored and not treated properly. During this preschool age, children go through developmental milestones that include fine and gross motor, cognitive, language, emotional, and social milestones.
Fine and Gross Motor
To start with, fine and gross motor skills intrinsically develop as the child grows, so that would not be fully affected by the pandemic. However, playing outdoors is fundamental for children to build on their gross motor skills as they explore outside, away from the electronics and screen exposure.
Because schools and childcare programs were closed, in addition to social distancing, children missed out on the experience of socializing and the sufficient criteria for development. Staying at home did not help children grasp the social and cognitive stimulation they would normally have outside. In this case, children did not learn how to develop interpersonal relationships, share with peers, and behave in groups. Research has shown that there is also a delay in speech and language, especially for social interacting aspects. Children did not have the chance to observe the facial expressions of others, where they were only able to see the eye expressions of stress and anxiety of the Covid-19. Lack of smile exposure also affects their development, in addition to the fact that they minimally socially interacted and said “Hi” to strangers, as the older generation did when they were young. Thus, when everything goes back to normal, adults (educators and parents) should be aware of the idea that almost all children are new to what they will go through in terms of socializing and interacting.
As mentioned, children only observed others’ eyes because of the masks, instead of being able to identify others’ emotions from full-face expressions. This may delay their own emotion regulation, emotional intelligence, and the ability to identify others’ emotions and act upon them. Most of the time, children were probably examining this developmental milestone at home, depending on their family. Yet, the pandemic was not a normal phase the world’s population has been going through. Many people have lost their jobs, the economy has been going through crises, and health was at threat. The family and the home situation were not the picture-perfect situation children witnessed; yet, some families created one and knew how to overcome the stressors, while others did not. Therefore, children went through different experiences and developed differently.
The internet existence is at out luck in this pandemic. Children were able to learn a lot through the internet. However, it is not as beneficial as a hands-on play that is also purposeful. Cognition also develops intrinsically in children, but external factors and learning are vital for helping them grow and build on it.
How coding sessions are beneficial for children to recover from the pandemic:
Purposeful and hands-on play is essential for children to tackle their cognitive, social, and other developmental milestones and skills they can acquire. Coding sessions exist to teach children and help them learn through play. Coding enhances their cognitive skills from the age of 3, which children cannot develop intrinsically or online. In addition, coding facilitates their metacognition, critical thinking, problem-solving, decision-making, and other beneficial skills. These skills are not easily built, especially when children were in lockdown. Furthermore, coding sessions incorporate an average of 6 coders in the session. Children would not be overwhelmed by the number of peers they would engage and interact with; it would prevent the shock and anxiety of socializing after the pandemic. Initiating activity engagement in pairs and in groups will help the coders develop their social skills and interpersonal relationships. This will definitely boost their confidence and self-esteem. Coders will learn how to share, not only with people they know like their family but also with strangers, such as their coding buddies. Sharing is not necessarily for items only, but also ideas, thoughts, decision-making, and accepting them. Accepting others’ opinions and trying to look at things from another perspective is an important life skill. Moreover, coding sessions would help expand the development of their fine and gross motor skills, which may have been delayed since the pandemic. Coders will finally be able to experience outdoor and hands-on play with other children.