“I am often stunned and charmed by the simple brilliance of what children say. But, you have to be willing to listen.”
– Mike Farrell
When I was a child, we often didn’t have a television. Consequently, we spent a lot of time as a family with other diversions including playing board games. One might think that quaint pastime was a thing of the past; but, not only is it providing entertainment to new generations of families, it has taken on a decidedly modern spin.
Samaira Mehta is a nine-year-old inventor who is about to take the world by storm. She has taken the humble board game and turned it into a teaching tool that just might help a lot of kids and other people learn valuable skills that will help shape the future.
You see, in addition to playing board games, Samaira loves to do computer coding, and she thinks this is a pastime more kids would love if they just had the chance.
“Coding is fun,” she asserts. The uninitiated among us will have to take her word for it for now, but soon adults, as well as children, will have the opportunity to learn coding in a fun way.
When I asked her why she feels it is so important for children to learn this skill, she told me, “Coding is the future. It’s in everything. People who want to be leaders need to know how to code. It helps them to be better thinkers.”
How does a young child become interested in computer coding? “Let me tell you the story of how I got to know about coding,” Samaira offers. “Some time back, my dad played a little prank on me. He showed me something on his laptop that had one button and a command that said, ‘Press this if you are beautiful.’”
He asked me to give it a try, but when my mouse pointer touched the button, the button disappeared. I was like, ‘How did you do that?’ Am I not beautiful? What’s going on here?’” He said, “This was made by coding,” and then I was like, “I want to do that too,’ and that’s where it all started.”
From that simple beginning, Samaira developed a love for coding. “From then on, whenever I got on the computer, I would go to the website to practice debugging, problem-solving, sequencing, and conditional.”
“As the tasks got harder, I enjoyed the challenges each new level presented to me. I began to learn problem-solving skills I now think are essential for everyday life. It’s very important for kids to learn coding because coding is starting to become an important part of life.”
She decided to do something to help make it easier for kids to learn coding. Using her stuffed rabbit as an inspiration, Coder Bunnyz, a board game designed to teach coding was born.