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Three Ways to Teach Creativity through Coding

brain illustration that shows right hemisphere being analytical and left side being creative

It’s incredible to see the amount of creativity our students display

We know it surprises some people when we say creativity and coding in the same sentence. It just doesn’t compute (pun intended) for some people. These people see coding as computational, mathematical and, sometimes, boring. But there’s a creative side as well.

Coding is one of the most creative things one can do and one we see as a critical tool to keep this essential skill alive.

As kids, we use our imagination, we ask questions, paint colorful pictures, and build elaborate structures with our legos or pillows. But along the way, our capacity for creative thinking diminishes. It’s not because we lack the “creative gene,” we just unlearned it.

Through coding, kids nurture their creative gene and turn their abstract ideas into reality using very structured programming languages like JavaScript (which is what we teach).

Coding is the digital version of the pillow fort.

Here are three ways that coding inspires creativity:

Coding is Open-Ended

Creating something from nothing is possibly the best example of creativity. But it has it’s challenge as there’s often no exact answer — it’s not just 1+1=2.

Students have to be willing to discover and explore by themselves to take the application in any direction that they desire. This exploration leads students to create a full world entirely from their imagination – from the ground up. Sometimes discovering a new workaround will lead to an even more significant idea. Building a simple program without any help or a partially started template code can help kids learn so much.

Necessity is the mother of invention.

Coding Teaches Kids to Experiment

Creative thinking begins with an inquisitive mind. When kids are curious, they experiment, generate ideas, question assumptions, make mistakes, and learn.

With programming, kids expose themselves to this inquisitive mind. Even with a handful of commands to do simple tasks, they’ll find themselves gaining the confidence to try new and more ambitious things – things that force them to question each decision and ask

What if I try this?

Testing their assumptions frequently results in errors and bugs, giving kids the opportunity to find a workable solution.

Coding Strengthens Whole Brain Thinking

The left and right hemispheres of the brain control different parts of thinking and information processing.

  • The left hemisphere = logical, technical, and analytical thinking
  • The right hemisphere = imagination, artistic, intuitive thinking

Creativity is often associated with the right-brain, but the most creative thinkers and problem solvers can efficiently engage both sides of their brain. This “whole brain thinking” promotes active, project-based learning that encourages kids to create, design and build things.

Learning programming with like Code Naturally’s app is especially powerful because it requires kids to develop technical, artistic, and storytelling skills to create something visually compelling and fun.

And there are many more ways coding encourages creativity.

Creativity doesn’t require a giant, blank canvas. It just requires some tools and a desire to make something incredible and inventive with those tools. Coding is more than lines of code – it’s a way to make things happen on a screen uniquely or excitingly.

Coding is a mode of expression, and if you approach it as such, you can empower children to exercise their creativity. Here at Code Naturally, we’re always finding ourselves asking the question:

What can we express through code?

Through continually pushing students to use their creative mind as well as their scientific mind, coding can be an art form as well as a skill. This is how creativity is fostered, and we see it happening every single day. There are countless examples of our students creating meaningful work with their code. And with each command or animation, these kids are tapping into their creative gene that will eventually turn into solutions that will shape their world – both digital and physical.