Geek Parents & Kid Computers

Ryan Simpkins plug at
Thu Dec 19 12:30:48 MST 2013

I have been looking for ways to teach my children geeky skills in a way that
allows the whole family to participate. Last night we discussed control
structures. I set some of them up in a line. Each child in the line was a
statement in the "program". A child "object" would walk through the line,
following the program structure. Example:

kid_object[0] = {type=girl,age=6,eyes=blue}
kid_object[1] = {type=boy,age=7,eyes=blue}

for each kid_object -
 kid[0] - if (kid_object.type==girl) then
 kid[1] -   say "what does the fox say?"
 kid[2] -   say "NE NE NE NE NE NE NE!"
 kid[3] - else, spin twice
 kid[4] -       clap 3 times

We tried a couple different control structures. It didn't take long before
they had mastered our programming language and set about "programming" each
other. Especially fun was watching them discover their first 'infinite loop'
by literally spinning in circles, realizing they would never meet the
'do..until' condition set. What activities have you done with your children
(young and old) to encourage an understanding in all things geek? Share your
ideas, please!


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