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The book also earned bonus points with my family for the sheer fact that the coding exercises were fun, and allowed for creativity. By integrating the use of online web applications, such as JSFiddle, kids work using a visual interface that shows both the input and output on a split-screen. My daughter’s favorite beginning exercise was changing the colors and line densities on an on-screen bubble machine. She loved that she could see exactly the point in the code where the color controls occurred and that she could easily select new colors for the design from a reference table in the book.
More advanced coding projects in the book allow kids to build their own animated robots and create games. Kids can also learn how to upload their completed game to their own website for free. Each lesson builds upon the information from the previous chapter, so kids really get to see the big picture of how coding works as they progress. And as with many other of the For Dummies series books, highly technical terms are explained to kids using plain English and real-world examples. Even my 13-year-old son was interested in what this book had to offer.
Jennifer traveled to two continents as a nonprofit administrator and later helped run a small village in Lake County. But the real adventures began when she and her husband put down roots in Libertyville and started a family. Mom to a teenage boy and a tween girl, Jennifer spends her time changing radio stations in her minivan while driving to band concerts, learning new texting lingo, and keeping track of the latest trends in electronics and hairstyles.
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