How to Explain Algorithms to Kids

  • admin
  • 2023-09-21
  • 4 min read

Algorithms are a very common part of both humans and computers. Both of them use algorithms to make interlinked decisions to problems.

Although these algorithms may seem complex, they are all simply elaborate sets of instructions that computers follow to produce a response. Humans frequently use (simpler) algorithms; a dinner recipe, for instance, is an algorithm.

Understanding how to create an algorithm can help kids establish a solid basis for logical reasoning and problem-solving. Children who use algorithms to think to acquire the cross-disciplinary abilities necessary to develop innovative, unique answers to various challenges in their personal lives and beyond.

Children may not think the term “algorithm” is important, but algorithms are all around them. Indeed, these algorithms control every aspect of their lives, including the technology they use and the everyday choices they must make. Thus, it becomes crucial to teach kids about algorithms and to explain them to them, especially if parents intend to introduce them to coding.

Ways to Make Kids Understand Algorithms

Begin with the Basics

Before learning about computer algorithms, children should have a solid understanding of some basic real-world applications. Parents can begin things by having their children create a detailed algorithm outlining their morning routine. This would also include the distance they must travel to wash their teeth, get to the breakfast table, and drink all their milk.

This enables them to break down routine tasks into small sections, which is simpler when using a computer for a specific reason. They would pick up sequencing, repetition, conditional logic, and other essential algorithmic skills along the way. They would be ready to understand things more clearly after being aware of the algorithm’s processes.

Teach Kids in the Kitchen with a Recipe Algorithm Activity

Cooking involves a lot of concepts similar to that of coding and algorithms. While one has fun in the kitchen with the kids while cooking, this exercise will assist the child with reviewing algorithms and other crucial coding ideas.

Explain to kids why it’s crucial to carry out the stages in a recipe in a particular order so that they completely understand algorithms. Encourage them to consider what can occur if they skip a step or perform the procedures incorrectly. This can also help a child grasp the idea of logical progression, which will help them do well in courses like reading and arithmetic.

Play a Few Rounds of an Online Game that Involves Creating Algorithms

It is preferable to play a few rounds of online games on coding and algorithms with kids if one is seeking a pleasant way to practice algorithms with them. Numerous online games will test the child’s algorithmic dexterity while also testing them against other kids in live competitions.

Also Read, Educational Online Games for Elementary Schools

Kids will like playing so much that they won’t even realise they are learning. Additionally, because each game is distinct, one can be sure that kids will always face a fresh challenge to hone their logic and problem-solving abilities .

Introduce Computer-based Algorithms to Kids Gradually but Consistently

Remember to wait until kids are familiar with algorithms in general before introducing them to computer and program-based algorithms. One can also take the help of online resources that provide learning modules for teaching algorithms to kids. These online resources provide the flexibility to choose the best learning option per the kids’ needs and interests.

Continuously Motivate the Kids

Encourage the kids to write down their morning routine or the algorithm for something even easier, like eating cereal or brushing their teeth. They will be studying crucial computational ideas like repetition (brush bottom left tooth five times), sequencing (place food in the bowl and then add milk), and conditional logic without even realising it (if the bowl is empty, stop eating).

Motivate the child to be as detailed as possible when giving directions. If the directions do not mention that the bowl is to be removed first so the computer can grasp the directions, milk will spill all over the floor.


Tell the kids they can create anything they choose. Encourage them to make whatever game or app they can think of that they would like to play. Help them realise that everything is conceivable and that they are capable of making any dream a reality. Children will naturally become eager learners when information is presented in a fun, interesting, and personal way. 

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