Did you know that 12-year-olds in Singapore spend about 6 hours on their electronic devices each day?

Nurturing Digital Habits Header (900x600px)

We’re in the Fourth Industrial Revolution where everything technology is found in every aspect of our lives, and the digital world is now our children’s playground. Everything we see around us is being automated, for instance, that chatbot you’re typing to or the ordering kiosks at your favourite bubble tea shop. Isn’t it exciting that our children get to be part of something like Big Data and Artificial Intelligence?

While technology has many benefits, it also has its pitfalls. So, how do we ensure that our children benefit from the use of technology? How do you, as parents, create a safe and fun environment and prepare your children to learn about the world around them and help them to form healthy digital habits?

Learning and Playing With Technology

A Peek into JCP - Hands-on Robotics
Our Junior Coders play with Photon the Robot during class while learning all about computational thinking.

What better way to get to know technology better than by engaging your little ones through play?

Using tech toys is one way. Since 2015, the Infocomm Media and Development Authority has been developing the PlayMaker programme to introduce tech toys to preschool centres to enrich preschoolers’ learning experiences. Scratch Junior, Bee-Bot and the KIBO Robotics kit were some of the tech toys introduced.

Educational apps have also been making waves as a way for children to be productive and make the most of their time outside of school. The Coding Lab Team previously covered the Top 5 Educational STEM Games for Children that you can check out! Such screen time goes a long way in helping our little ones learn.

Workshops and classes are also available for children to learn about technology through play. For example, art is no longer limited by the physical world. There are digital art courses and various digital platforms that encourage creativity and design these days. We also encourage our students to get drawing in their coding classes to create gorgeous backdrops on Scratch or the coolest characters on App Inventor!

Whether they are physical tech toys, apps or classes and workshops, it’s important to choose the right ones to kickstart your child’s tech journey and nurture their digital habits.

3 Ways to Nurture Your Child’s Digital Habits

While there is a whole trove of resources on the internet, there are also online threats, cyberbullying, fake news, issues of privacy and more. It is important for our children to use the internet with due diligence as anything posted online lasts forever. How should you guide your child through their digital journey so that they become responsible digital citizens? We compiled key tips from the Media Literacy Council here:

1. Educate Yourself
Photo of girl using a desktop at our Parkway Parade campus
  • Know the ratings of movies, games, shows and videos that your children interact with.
  • Play their favourite games with them! It serves as quality time together too.
  • Encourage them to play in common areas like the living room.
2. Set Up Parental Control and Safe Search Settings

Ensure that the online world they interact with is already safe with Parental Controls. Not sure where to start? We’ve got our list of Top 5 Parental Control Software for more advanced settings or you can toggle web browser settings to restrict the websites that your child visits. Additionally, minimise exposure to violent or sexual content that have been flagged as inappropriate for children with Safe Search Settings on Google, Yahoo and YouTube.

  • MacBooks, PCs and web browsers can restrict what kinds of websites your children can visit.
  • Game consoles like Xbox and PlayStation control whether players have chat or video function.
  • Games like Minecraft have private servers so that you know who your children are playing with.
3. Create a screen time contract
Nurturing Our Children's Digital Habits - Screen Contract
An example of a screen time contract (Source: Media Literacy Council)

Sit down, talk to your children and draw up a screen time contract. This becomes an agreement between you and your child, instead of the imposition of rules.

  • Set boundaries and agree on how much time they can spend online for entertainment purposes.
  • Spell out the consequences of not sticking to the rules.
  • Create consistency by having a regular routine on how your children use technology.

So, what can parents do?

For those of us with younger children, you might be wondering how much time should your child be spending online and what you can do. We’ve compiled a set of guidelines below from an expert at KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital to help you navigate through this journey in introducing your child to tech.

Nurturing Digital Habits - What Should Parents Do (KKH and CNA)

We hope that you’ve learnt some useful tips about guiding your children’s digital habits! Here at Coding Lab, we strive to nurture future leaders in technology, equip them with digital skills and take steps to become digitally literate through our coding classes for Ages 5 to 18. Kickstart your child’s technological journey the right way with our fun-filled, MIT-inspired and award-winning coding curriculum today!

Curious and hungry for more tips? Head over to the Media Literacy Council’s website! They have more resources on data protection, fake news and much more for everyone, including parents, youths and even seniors.

(Written by Zulaikha and Nicole Loo, Edited by Cheryl Tang)

Best-in-class Curriculum for Coding

We are honoured to be the winner of multiple awards.
Thank You for your support.

Hop on board the Coding Lab train! Click here to get our monthly newsletters straight to your inbox.

Ages 5-6 | Ages 7-9 | Ages 10-12 | Ages 13-18

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Email us at learntocode@codinglab.com.sg
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#CodingLabParenting: How To Choose A Good Coding School

Singapore is increasingly embracing coding and programming in recent years, with the government pushing for a #SmartNation where the society, economy and government will become increasingly digitalised.

Image of Singapore's ranking for IMD-SUTD Smart City Index 2021
We are officially the world’s smartest city for 3 years in a row. (2021 Study by the Institute of Management Development (IMD) and the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD))

How to choose a good coding school - Graph of digitialisation of government services
The Singapore government has already achieved 99% digitalisation of government services back in 2021!

As of 2021, 99% of Singapore government services are digital from end to end, and Singapore is ranked the world’s smartest city for the third year running (Source).

The government also aims to make the entire society digitally inclusive and gain basic coding and computational thinking skills. One of these efforts includes students needing to complete 10 hours of compulsory coding in primary school. Schools offering DSA in programming are also increasing in number (Full list: MOE)

Understandably, interest in learning to code has increased more than five-fold over the past 3 years and parents are looking for good quality courses for their child. How does this translate to our work with students? Here at Coding Lab, we’re parents too. And we know what we want not only for our own kids, but for every single child that steps through our glass doors.

“I started Coding Lab when my son was born. Having come from the corporate sector, I knew that programming was a key skill that I wanted my kids to pick up. My wife and I took the plunge and started Coding Lab back then. She calls me obsessive when I hold our tutors to the high standards of teaching I went through at MIT, but then again she’s very particular about the learning environment and the human touch. It’s not easy to please both of us, but we’d like to think that our unwavering dedication to the highest standards in all areas ensure we provide the best learning experience for all of our students.

When we started, it was just the 2 of us. Today, we are proud to have a trusted team who share our passion to groom tomorrow’s leaders in technology, and uphold our vision for uncompromising standards.”

Yong Ning Foo, Founder and Educator, Coding Lab

Here are 5 key factors we think a great coding school must have:-

1. Comprehensive curriculum that drives results

With many programming languages out there and rapidly developing technology, the school’s curriculum should be comprehensive and up-to-date. It should prepare students with a strong foundation in programming as well as hands-on experience working on projects with real world applications, so that they can continue to benefit outside of the classroom.

At Coding Lab, we have an MIT-inspired, award-winning curriculum that is well-researched and thoughtfully curated to suit different age groups. We selected main programming languages for each of our age groups to learn in-depth: Scratch (7-9), App Inventor and Python (10-12) and Python (13-18), with a focus on computational thinking skills for ages 5-6.

How to choose a good coding school - Aidan Sin, Platinum Award Winner, HCIC 2022

HCIC 2022 - Evan Chua, Gold Award

Our students are trained to go in-depth into a programming language. 2 outstanding examples include Aidan, (who started coding at the age of 7) obtained the Platinum Award (Highest Honour for top 1.5% of participants) for HCIC 2022, and Evan, who achieved the Gold Award. 

Some centres allow their students to flit from one platform to the other. This means that students spend the bulk of their time getting accustomed to various platforms in a superficial fashion. Often, this is due to lack of expertise in the subject area, as it requires highly trained professionals to teach tough topics such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) or Data Analytics to teens or young children.

For example, our Ages 7-9 curriculum takes students through close to 180 hours of learning, using largely the Scratch platform, but allowing our students to deep dive into various areas of programming from Cognitive AI to Mathematical Modelling. This helps ensure students build up a strong foundation in programming, and most importantly know how to apply that knowledge in different areas of their life.

Flitting about multiple programming platforms is akin to learning how to play “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” on 6 different instruments and claiming that one can play all 6 competently after learning one song on each. Similarly, it could be detrimental to choose a centre that keeps changing programming platforms in the name of ‘exposure’ , which really just means that your child is not getting the deep exposure required. A good school must responsibly ensure that their students achieve true mastery of computational thinking, and how it is applied, regardless of platform used.

There’s a reason our students placed 1st and Top 3 in local and international competitions.

Our student Jun Min, 11, and his Fight Covid-19 simulator project. Even though he could have used Python or App Inventor, the new platforms taught to our 10-12 year-olds, he still chose to use Scratch to create his complex project. There is always something new to learn, especially on the platform students have used before!

Image of Jun Min's complex math code on Scratch
Jun Min has shown his in-depth understanding of complex exponential modelling to simulate Covid-19 on Scratch, just like the advanced modelling and simulation done by experts! Talented, driven students like Jun Min never get bored of previous platforms they have used, and constantly go back to them to develop new and advanced projects!

2. Research-Backed Structured Roadmap

A good coding school should not only focus on going in-depth into a specific programming language, but must also have a structured roadmap where our students are properly trained on the basic programming concepts. For example at Coding Lab, our students are trained extensively in computational thinking skills using Python; which is then easily translatable across other languages such as C++ or Javascript. These same fundamentals also apply across different platforms or hardware such as the micro:bit, Arduino, or Thunkable etc – the sky’s the limit!

Computational thinking is a fundamental skill for everyone, not just for computer scientists. … Thinking like a computer scientist means more than being able to program a computer. It requires thinking at multiple levels of abstraction. We have witnessed the influence of computational thinking on other disciplines. For example, machine learning has transformed statistics. … Computational biology is changing the way biologists think. Similarly, computational game theory is changing the way economists think; nanocomputing, the way chemists think; and quantum computing, the way physicists think. Computational thinking is tomorrow’s reality.

Jeanette Wing, Executive Vice President for Research and Professor of Computer Science at Columbia University

Research has stated the importance of emphasising computational thinking skills. This is especially pointed out by Jeanette WingProfessor of Computer Science who is holder of a doctoral degree from MIT, and has been recognised with distinguished service awards from the Computing Research Association and the Association for Computing Machinery. Our first-hand experience and results also support this – our teenage students, with a strong foundation of core computational thinking concepts almost exclusively in Python, were able to later on pick up C++ programming very quickly to clinch 10 Medals in the National Olympiad in Informatics 2023.

Overall, we ensure our curriculum is well-structured, comprehensive and designed to prepare students to become future leaders in technology. Hear directly from our founder, who shares his philosophy and research on how we crafted our Coding Lab curriculum to be Best-In-Class.

Featuring Andrew, 13, winner of the Most Creative Award at the International Coding Showcase 2022. Andrew started coding with us when he was only 8 years old. He’s come a long way since!

Student Achievements - 26th NOI 2023
Our students obtained a total of 6 Silver and 4 Bronze medals at the 26th NOI, held in April 2023.

3. Reputation and Track Record

As much as schools claim to be good, we can only be assured of their claims based on the school’s reputation and reviews by parents and students themselves.

Coding Lab has a strong reputation as a leading coding school in Singapore, having received numerous accolades and recognition for its innovative curriculum, experienced educators and outstanding learning environment.

We are dedicated to nurturing future leaders in technology here at Coding Lab. We provide opportunities for students to apply their skills to solve real-world problems – both in the classroom and through competition experience. Whether it’s featuring their work in our #CodingLabStudents series or encouraging them to participate in our annual International Coding Showcase (held in conjunction with our Japan campuses), our student achievements give our students a voice with which to share their passion.

Image of our winners at the 2019 MIT App Inventor Summit
Our students did amazingly well and clinched several prizes at the Global MIT App Inventor Summit 2019!

However, it is impossible and unethical for us to claim to fully guarantee any particular results. What we CAN do is to work together with our students to ensure that their results are the best that they can be. You can trust us to provide everything we can for our students, so you can leave your child in our capable hands. Our track record definitely speaks for itself! After spending time working with our students, they have brilliant works to showcase to the public, and we are proud to have been part of their coding journey.

Our reputation has been acknowledged by various media outlets such as the Straits Times (we have been featured 3 times!), Channel NewsAsia and Channel 8, Lianhao Zaobao, etc. for our contributions to the education sector and commitment to promoting technology and innovation in Singapore.

Hear from some of our parents and students firsthand:

Coding Lab has been an excellent learning journey for my son. He is highly motivated to attend every lesson and loves the engaging curriculum. The instructors are knowledgeable and patient, which helps him to understand the concepts easily. Highly recommended!

– Felicia C.

My daughter has been attending Coding Lab for over a year and has grown to love coding. The instructors are passionate and supportive, and the curriculum is well-designed for children. I appreciate the regular updates and feedback on my daughter’s progress. Overall, we’re very satisfied with the quality of instruction and the learning environment.

– Aileen T.

Coding Lab has been a fantastic experience for my son. He has learned so much and is always excited to share his projects with us. The instructors are knowledgeable, patient, and supportive, and the curriculum is engaging and age-appropriate. We highly recommend Coding Lab to any parent who wants to give their child a head start in coding.

– Henry L.

My daughter loves coding and has been attending Coding Lab for the past few months. She is always excited to attend classes and loves the engaging curriculum. The instructors are patient and supportive, and they always provide timely feedback on her progress. I highly recommend Coding Lab to any parent who wants to give their child a quality coding education.

– Grace Y.

Throught these years, we have built a strong reputation among our students and parents for our commitment to providing high-quality coding education and fostering a supportive and inclusive learning community. As a leading coding school in the region, we believe that every child has a chance to shine; whether they want to program a Health Advisor app for Grandpa, a Python kitchen timer for mum, or participate in a competition – We nurture future leaders in technology.

4. Passionate and Highly-Qualified instructors

A good school needs to be have well-trained educators who are knowledgeable about their field and is passionate about teaching. They should also be able to provide guidance, mentorship, and support throughout their students’ learning journey.

At Coding Lab, our instructors are highly experienced and knowledgeable about their respective fields. Graduates from top universities with prior teaching experience and background in technology, our educators come from various sectors such as teaching, cybersecurity, engineering, computer science, defence technology, and more!

To ensure the best learning experience for our students, all educators undergo rigorous training about teaching methods and the curriculum so that we deliver what we promise. Even our enrolment consultants who ensure the smooth running of our centres are properly trained to interact with our students, with a strong background in hospitality!

Educators Team Photo
We are proud to present our team! Here is Yong Ning, our founder (far left) with some of our passionate Coding Lab educators!

Our educators support our students in various parts of their coding journey. Whether it be to spark their passion for coding, or to prepare them for Direct School Admission through coding, or help them for competitions such as the National Olympiad for Informatics, our passionate and dedicated educators have done them all and our students’ achievements reflect exactly that.

Our stringent hiring process ensures that our educators are top-notch in both knowledge and teaching abilities, and we’re glad to note that parents definitely agree with the high quality teaching that your children receive here at Coding Lab!

5. State-of-the-art, Comfortable learning environment

A school should have a comfortable learning environment with access to the necessary (as well as helpful) equipment and tools so that our children can thrive.

When it comes to equipment and tools, Coding Lab definitely is on top with our spacious, air-conditioned classrooms and all technology and devices such as laptops/ computers and phones provided for class use. With our boardroom-style classroom, with swivel chairs, full length glass windows, and even view of the sea from our Parkway Parade branch, our centres are made to feel like our students’ second home!

Image of Parkway Parade campus
A seaside view at our Parkway campus

Image of Educator Rachel using the Interactive Projector
Here is our educator using the interactive projector to engage her students effectively!

We also adopt modern technology to aid us with our teaching (and to display to students how technology can help ease our lives!). One example would be our Smart Interactive Projectors where our educators and students can annotate to visualise and illustrate our points. Other equipment such as drawing pads are ready for our educators’ use, so that our students can fully understand the lessons!

So to conclude…

Just like our children’s school admission exercises, we want to ensure they are with the cream of the crop and receive the best education possible with the most supportive learning environment. We have ensured that Coding Lab meets all of the criteria when it comes to being a good coding school, and dare we say it, the best in Singapore! 😉

Now that you know what you can consider before making your decision, why not choose us to kickstart your child’s coding journey? 😊

(Written by Thinzar)

We know that you’ve got lots of things to do, so we’ve hunted down and made a list of 5 Educational Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Games for Children – so you don’t have to search for them yourself! Now, screen time can be productive and educational, and the family can relax and wind down together after a long day.

Get your phones and tablets ready to download – and let’s take off into the world of educational games! 🚀

1. Smart Tales

For Ages 1-5

Learn STEM concepts through interactive animated stories and games with this award-winning app!

Smart Tales is a combination of STEM and the arts! Develop reading, logic and counting and learn important life lessons on respect, environment, using technology safely and more. With more than 300 fun lessons, this is the ideal educational app for your tiny tots to enjoy picking up STEM concepts through colorfully illustrated stories of animal friends!

Our Favourite Feature: Experiencing colourful, unique stories with fun characters every episode! 📗

Smart Tales is available for free (with in-app purchases) on App Store & Google Play

2. The Robot Factory

For Ages 6-8

TheRobotFactory Screenshot - Top 5 Educational STEM Games for Children
Choose your parts and build your robot!

Build your very own digital robot and bring them to life! 🤖

Ever wanted to design your personal robot? With The Robot Factory, players can choose the color and type of parts they want to piece their robot together with. Collect robots, test their performance in obstacle courses, and record their unique robot sounds as you develop creative-thinking, problem-solving and storytelling skills.

Our Favourite Feature: The satisfaction of finally equipping your robot with the right parts to successfully complete the obstacle course! 🎉

The Robot Factory is available for SG$5.98 on App Store

3. Lightbot: Code Hour

For Ages 4-12

Lightbot Screenshot - Top 5 Educational STEM Games for Children
Give commands to Lightbot to light up all the tiles!

Learn to solve problems using programming logic!

Want to pick up new skills or continue testing the coding skills you learnt at Coding Lab? Train your little one’s puzzle-solving skills while they apply their knowledge of programming logic in this beginner-friendly game! The goal? To guide Lightbot the robot to light up tiles and solve 20 levels with commands that are common in coding, such as loops and conditionals. Remember to take eye breaks as solving these puzzles can be slightly addictive as they increase in difficulty.

Our Favourite Feature: The whirring sound effects that accompany Lightbot’s every action! 🚁 (Special mention to the sound the rising platform makes at the start of each level!)

Lightbot: Code Hour is available for free on App Store & Google Play

4. STEMWerkz

For Ages 5-12

STEMWerkz Screenshot - Top 5 Educational STEM Games for Children
Interact with a colourful cast of characters and learn STEM concepts!

Learn STEM through play and interactive videos!

Featuring more than 3,200 concepts across three zones: STEMWerkz Quests, STEMWerkz Channel and STEAMvalley, there’s something new to learn during every gaming session! Pique your child’s interest in STEM as they build their own towns and develop problem-solving and critical thinking skills. If you enjoy the free content, you can also consider getting their subscription plan to unlock more educational and engaging content such as live interactive lessons.

Our Favourite Feature: You get to interact with a wide cast of characters with interesting designs and stories! 👦👧

STEMWerkz is available for free (with in-app purchases) on App Store & Google Play

5. Khan Academy

For Ages 2-8 for Khan Academy Kids
For All Ages for Khan Academy

Interested in Math, logic, reading or just want to inspire a lifetime of learning and discovery?

Khan Academy has educational and fun programmes – not just limited to STEM – with thousands of activities and books for all! For little ones, the Khan Academy Kids app has thousands of colourful books, adorable characters and kinaesthetic activities such as yoga and dancing to accompany your child’s learning. Older ones can embark on their learning journey on Khan Academy (yes, even parents can use it too!), which is an extension of the web version, and teaches a range of topics through interactive exercises and videos.

Our Favourite Feature: The app contains topics for all ages, no matter the different interests, so learning is an exciting and educational time for all! 🌟

Khan Academy Kids is available for free on App Store & Google Play
Khan Academy is available for free on App Store & Google Play

Check out our specially curated Resources page for more on coding!

Interested to learn coding in a way that feels just like gaming? We teach Ages 5 to 18 age-appropriate coding in fun and engaging ways! Find out about our courses here.

(Written by Lixin Foo, Edited by Cheryl Tang)

Best-in-class Curriculum for Coding

We are honoured to be the winner of multiple awards.
Thank You for your support.

Hop on board the Coding Lab train! Click here to get our monthly newsletters straight to your inbox.

Ages 5-6 | Ages 7-9 | Ages 10-12 | Ages 13-18

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Email us at learntocode@codinglab.com.sg
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Today, our Educator and Assistant Curriculum Team Lead, Hovan Tan, will be sharing with us his insights and personal experiences with video games. He’ll also talk about understanding your child’s games, what you should be wary of and how video games are stepping stones to success for your child. Let’s hear from Teacher Hovan! 👇

Video Games. Many of us love and enjoy playing them as a hobby (even as adults), though by default, we try to have our kids spend less time on them despite their pleas to play on. Well, for as long as I can remember, I have always loved and enjoyed playing video games. My father (like all typical dads), felt that video games would distract me and result in poor grades – but this did not deter me from playing and still achieving at school.

Being an avid gamer taught me many skills and lessons. It was the spark that spurred me to take up Computer Engineering at University, and I now get to experience and inspire the joy of coding when I teach my students the code behind some of the games they play, such as Minecraft, Brawl Stars and Zooba.

Indeed, I learned a lot from playing Video Games. Let’s start by taking a look at some of the popular categories of games:

1. Types of Video Games (and what we can learn from them)

  • Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) games: League of Legends, Dota2, Mobile Legends, and Pokemon Unite, are examples of strategy role-playing games where two teams compete against each other.
  • First-Person Shooter (FPS) games: Typically use weapons and feature a first-person perspective. Examples include Call of Duty, Valorant, Counter-Strike, and Fortnite.
  • Strategy games: Include Age of Empires, the Total War series, Civilization, and any simulation games even on mobile.

There are many more types of video games out there, but the skills and benefits of each type will differ. MOBA and FPS games challenge the player’s situational awareness (where positions matter a lot), reaction speed to visual and auditory cues, and requires accuracy and multitasking. It also trains one’s visuomotor control and attention skills, so players of such games are more mindful of their surroundings, adaptable and great problem-solvers. When it comes to academia, students will be better equipped to face tougher problems and figure out solutions in stressful scenarios.

One example of an MOBA game is Pokemon Unite 👉

Image of Pokemon Unite for Video Games as Stepping Stones to Success

Image of Civilisation for Video Games as Stepping Stones to Success
Civilisation, an example of a Strategy game

Strategy games allow players to work on their critical thinking skills, as they manage teams, units or buildings. This can easily be viewed as a leadership role, where the players delegate and plan for the best outcomes.

Children will be able to improve their decision-making thought processes and learn to become better leaders in the future, with management experience under their belt. They will also be able to multitask effectively, which is a good skill as they juggle different curriculum in school and different challenges in their daily lives.

There are so many other skills and lessons that your children can learn from playing video games. We’ve also picked out the main lessons from gaming in a previous blog here.

Video games also provide you with opportunities to bond and interact with your children. This will help you to identify learning points in their gaming experiences, such as how to interact with other online users or how to win humbly and lose graciously. You could also get ideas for alternative activities that could interest them!

2. What dangers are present in online games?

That being said, we must tread the online domain with great care, especially when it comes to protecting our littles.

With the internet and online games today, one can easily communicate with almost anyone in the world from anywhere and at any time, opening up a world of possibilities and dangers too. For example, Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games (MMORPGs) have large communities and social interactions within the game. Having the ability to find people from around the world and chat with them allows friendships to be born and gives players a sense of belonging.

At the same time, we have to be concerned about safety, cyberbullying, security and privacy threats from online predators. For example, Roblox, one of the most popular children’s games in the world right now, is struggling to moderate content and create parental controls to protect children from being maliciously exposed to inappropriate content. 

Online fraud and scams are rampant in our technological world too, and there is also the allure of freemium and gambling games. These instant gratification games are addictive and younger children may not understand the nature of these purchases.

To keep up with this ever-changing fast-paced online world, we will have to learn how to protect ourselves and our loved ones from online dangers.

3. How can you keep your children safe and protected as they play video games?

Video games can provide you with opportunities to bond and interact with your children. This will help you to identify learning points in their gaming experiences, such as how to interact with other online users or how to win humbly and lose graciously. You could also get ideas for alternative activities that could interest them!

I highly recommend for you to do research into the games, and check on their available parental controls before allowing your child access to them. (There’s a reason we do not teach Roblox coding here at Coding Lab, despite the multitude of requests that come in!) You must be able to identify potential risks involved and work with your child to educate, learn, and mitigate any online threats (Yes, we approve of Minecraft!).

Here’s a good checklist to use to keep our children safe on the Internet 👇 (Source)

Image of checklist for Video Games as Stepping Stones to Success

Video Games – A Stepping Stones to Success?

As gamers, we should take the effort to understand how games are crafted. Behind each game lies a developer, a studio, perhaps even a multi-million dollar company leading the development of that successful game. Through blood, sweat, tears, and lots of time, these games were painstakingly created. This is a lesson by itself that I incorporate into my teaching and instill in the younger generation.

Creative learning utilises our vivid imagination and critical thinking skills to come up with ideas and solutions. This is especially evident in our classes when we have Hackathon sessions – based on the games they love to play, students are able to think about different aspects required for the program they want to create. I’ve had students program mini games ranging from themes like Minecraft to Zooba.

Just like our mini coding hackathons, a tremendous amount of thinking and planning has gone into creating the games we love to play, and I am heartened to see my students incorporate such extensive thinking and hard work when creating their own projects!

Image of Game Development for Video Games as Stepping Stones to Success
Here I am with my App Inventor students!

In hindsight, being an avid gamer taught me many skills and lessons. It was the spark that spurred me to take up Computer Engineering, and I now get to experience and inspire the joy of gaming when I teach my students to code.

Whether my students decide to do computer science or not in the future, learning to code in itself feels like a game with its own benefits, skills and lessons too. With colourful, drag-and-drop programming blocks like Scratch and MIT App Inventor platforms, the learning experience is now gamified. Each lesson feels like a game for my students and I, and I always think about how my journey with video games has come full circle.

As people’s perceptions of gaming change and our online world grows, playing video games is both a boon and a bane. It is up to us to be there to guide our children and keep them safe when they step into the digital age.

Do your children enjoy playing games? Give our award-winning, MIT-inspired coding classes a shot! Your children will get to dive into the world behind games and technology as they learn computational thinking and more core skills of the 21st century.

(Written by Hovan Tan, Edited by Cheryl Tang)

Read: 6 valuable lessons video games can teach your child

Coding Lab Educator Feature: Interview with Hovan Tan

Best-in-class Curriculum for Coding

We are honoured to be the winner of multiple awards.
Thank You for your support.

Hop on board the Coding Lab train! Click here to get our monthly newsletters straight to your inbox.

Ages 5-6 | Ages 7-9 | Ages 10-12 | Ages 13-18

Call us at +65 6977 9641
Email us at learntocode@codinglab.com.sg
Chat with us via WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger

We all want our students to grow up to be successful – and as parents and educators ourselves, we understand this too. It’s important to note that there is no one definition of success for everyone. But in a world that’s increasingly becoming technology-driven, how can we help our children on their journey to their own definition of success?

Today, we speak to our Founder and Lead Educator, Yong Ning Foo, and our experienced educators, Salena Arsad and Evan Lim, on the qualities and skills your child will need to navigate this future in technology. Read on to find out more!

Key 1: Cultivating Grit

Photo of Evan guiding his students through their code
Our educators encourage students to persevere as they code and debug their programs, building grit and resilience.

The path to meaningful success is never smooth, so what helps your child to overcome the obstacles that they will face? Grit is the answer, Angela Duckworth, a Professor of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, concluded after years of research. She found that high achievers have more grit than talent.

What is grit? Grit is the passion and perseverance for long-term goals. Having grit is fundamental to your little one’s journey because it encourages your child to push on despite new and unfamiliar things.

Our Founder and Lead Educator, Yong Ning Foo, who has had bountiful work experience in both the public and private sectors, agrees that grit is required to overcome obstacles faced. He recalls a fond memory of one of his students: “When he (the student) first joined us, his response to any bug encountered was to wait for the teacher to give him the answer. But our teachers will only give hints and not direct answers, so he was challenged to think and solve the problem by himself and became highly independent in his learning. He then adopted the same mentality to learning Mathematics, and shared with us that his Mathematics grades had improved tremendously.”

Photo of our Early Childhood Educator Salena guiding our Junior Coders Programme student
Tutor Salena encourages our curious little Junior Coder to explore an activity.

This situation is a common occurrence in our coding classes – whether they are preschoolers aged 5 or an 18-year-old teenager – they will definitely encounter problems with their code and will need to problem-solve it. This process of debugging trains students to become problem solvers and also encourages perseverance and grit.

“Those that continue on would often find that the results are satisfying,” shares Salena, our educator with professional experience in Early Childhood Education and who graduated with a Master of Education (Developmental Psychology) from Nanyang Technological University. “The confidence gained from this experience would push them to new heights of growth, encouraging them to further expand their knowledge no matter how difficult it will be.”

Read: Cultivate Resilience with the Power of Inquiry-Based Learning

How can you nurture your child’s grit at home?

How can you nurture your child’s grit at home?

Encourage a healthy attitude to mistakes to instil a growth mindset. Share about failure being an opportunity to learn and grow. Praise effort, not the outcome!

Key 2: Turning Everyday Experiences into Learning Opportunities

Curious little ones often have lots of questions, and life experiences such as playtime, meal times, and learning a new skill can also become huge learning opportunities! For example, as they learn to communicate with computers via codes in our coding classes, they also learn to communicate with their educators and peers, honing essential life skills such as social and emotional development.

Gif of Salena's P101 Scratch 1 student Dylan presenting
We make it a point to nurture our students’ public speaking skills – even in our Scratch 1 classes when our young coders are just aged 7 to 9!

Did you know that teaching your child to regulate their emotions can also help them communicate more effectively? Better self-regulation means that they’ll be more attuned to and can address others’ needs efficiently, helping them improve their communication.

Encouraging your little one to share about things they like, such as their toys, can also be an excellent springboard to hone their ability in public speaking! At Coding Lab, we also make it a point for our students to have a Hackathon and Project Showcase at the end of each course to present and share what they have coded. Aside from building their communication skills, “We want them to be confident and proud of their creation, and to get others excited about it,” Yong Ning shares.

How can you enrich your child's learning beyond the classroom?

How can you enrich your child’s learning beyond the classroom?

We have some tips from Tutor Salena Arsad, our educator with professional experience in Early Childhood Education and who graduated with a Master of Education (Developmental Psychology) from Nanyang Technological University.

Encourage your child to express their thoughts and feelings. Instead of asking them general questions like “How was your day?”, follow up on specific ones about how they feel every day. I always ask my students, “What happened? Why do you feel that way?” By asking such questions, they will need to break down their thoughts and emotions into logical facts, and part of emotional regulation is to look inside and understand the reason why they feel that certain emotion. Following that, I would provide tips on how to handle such a situation if it ever arises again.

Teach your child to identify their emotions. Examine what triggers these emotions, and how they can manage these emotions themselves. Do not encourage negative rash behavioural responses – even ignoring can mean encouragement. Instead, show them the appropriate responses to that situation.

Spark their curiosity. Your child is naturally curious and this is a good characteristic as it tends to motivate them to find out more about the topic on their own. It’s important to encourage your child to explore and ask them questions to maintain their level of curiosity. In doing so, they also form connections between what they’ve learnt in class and what they experience in life.

Key 3: Picking Up Prized Technical Skills from Young

Music, dance, martial arts, sports, brain training, drama – there are so many enrichment classes to attend and so many technical skills for your child to acquire! Learning skills from a young age is the best opportunity to develop their brain and to give our little ones a competitive edge to stand out. But with so many to choose from, which one should you pick to future-proof your child?

“To be future-ready, our young need to be able to think critically, assess options and make sound decisions. They should have a desire to learn, explore and be prepared to think out of the box.”

– Nurturing Our Young for the Future, Competencies for the 21st Century, Ministry of Education (MOE) Singapore

Photo of Yong Ning guiding his students
Our young Scratch students are hard at work to train up their Computational Thinking Skills with Yong Ning’s guidance!

Technology is advancing rapidly and is quickly changing the way we live, work and play. “Whichever path is chosen, it will cross paths with technology,” advises Yong Ning. “As a parent and an educator, I would want all my children and students to be equipped with Computational Thinking skills (problem-solving skills derived from computing and computer science, to solve problems across all other areas), so that they can competently partake in the development and application of technology in whichever field they choose.” As our students learn to code, they are also learning to use technology – another key skill in our future, where they will have to pick up new technology quickly, efficiently and independently.

Indeed, technology is ubiquitous and even MOE is beginning to prepare educators and students for our tech-driven future. Every primary student will learn simple coding in school, and every secondary student will own their own personal learning device by 2028.

“Technology is fast-changing,” agrees Tutor Evan Lim, our educator who mainly works with teenagers, “so I always encourage my students to read up more and share with me what they have learnt. There are a lot of different resources available on the internet that they can utilise to learn more about different things.” For example, Tutor Evan’s passionate student Ng Chen-Yi was just 13 years old when he built on his existing coding knowledge and independently learnt to code his very own 3D shooter game with Ursina in Python.

Read Coding Lab Student Feature: Ng Chen-Yi, 13, Hwa Chong Institution

It’s important that your child learns a range of skills to set them up for success in the future. “There isn’t a single definition of success,” Yong Ning reaffirms. “It is different for each person as it is shaped not just by societal expectations but also the person’s personality, and their own life experiences. Every student will thus have to create their own definition of success.”

Heard of the age-old adage, “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime”? Cultivating grit, turning everyday experiences into learning opportunities and picking up prized technical skills from young are some key ways that you can equip your children. With lifelong skills such as Computational Thinking, communication and social and emotional development, you can nurture your future leader to become successful – no matter the path they choose.

Why not give your child a headstart with our award-winning, MIT-inspired coding curriculum for ages 5 to 18?

Want more tips on how to sustain this journey to success? Read Next: Health is wealth: Brain food for a healthy mind and body.

(Written by Lakshmi, Nicole, Amanda and Edited by Cheryl)

Best-in-class Curriculum for Coding

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Ages 5-6 | Ages 7-9 | Ages 10-12 | Ages 13-18

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Now that the holidays are here, you might be wondering which are the best shows and movies that you can engage your children with. Fret not! We’ve got the answer: Educational. Tech. Shows. And movies!

The team at Coding Lab has compiled our top recommendations for your child’s fun and enriching holiday, whether they are aged 4 or they are teenagers. Not only can they stay entertained, but they will also be able to learn a thing or two about technology and the world.

Click to jump in to:

Ages 3+

Ages 7+

Ages 12+

Family Time!

Note: Most age ratings are based on Common Sense Media‘s recommendations with information from the streaming platform.

1. Ask the Storybots

For Ages: 3+

Available on: Netflix, select episodes on Netflix Jr on YouTube

What it’s about: How do computers work? How do cell phones work? How do airplanes fly? This Netflix Original animated series answers questions from kids through song and fun, with Storybots characters who live in computer parts. To complete their tasks and find the answers to questions, they travel to the “Outer World”. In their journey, they meet other characters who explain how things work and through animation, it makes it easy for young ones to understand and fun for older kids too!

What we like: This two-time Emmy-winning series has an animation style that combines the real world with bright-coloured main characters. Each episode even includes guest stars that make it even more exciting, such as the rapper Snoop Dogg guest-starring as the Operating System in the CPU who explains all about binary codes. Overall, the show depicts the Storybots’ journeys to finding answers in an enjoyable way for kids, full of humour for older ones and educational for all. With big concepts made simple, amazing animations and catchy songs, it is sure to captivate the tiny tots in an educational time!

Duration: 20-28 minutes per episode

2. Brainchild

For Ages: 7+

Available on: Netflix

What it’s about: This show covers topics such as social media, space, motivation, and more in an exciting way. Through scientific experiments, interactive games and illusions, it explores and answers questions that your children might have on the various topics. Hosted by Sahana Srinivasan, the young girl is relatable as she introduces topics and keeps you intrigued. 

What we like: It’s a refreshing take with a witty and humorous host, and a colourful show that gets your children into science, in touch with their emotions, learn more about technology and filled with life lessons about teamwork and kindness. Produced by the creators of the popular Brain Games series, you can be sure that it is engaging and entertaining for a family of various ages! The only downside of it is that it only has 1 season with 13 episodes and many viewers asking for more. 

Duration: 22-24 minutes per episode

3. Coding Bytes

For Ages: 7+

Available on: YouTube

What it’s about: These small, byte-sized video tutorials by our passionate Coding Lab educators invite your little ones to join in the fun to code their own projects at home with Scratch, MIT App Inventor and text-based Python programming language. Through easy-to-follow videos, your children can choose from an array of projects, ranging from a colourful Augmented Reality game to a maze game, as well as a phone app to catch fishes, and more!

What we like: We love that the videos are short and sparks little ones’ interests to explore the programming world even further. There are also checkpoints in the video to encourage children to pause and code alongside to successfully code a project of their own. With simple explanations, demonstrations and colourful graphics, it is engaging and sure to keep your little ones entertained and occupied!

Duration: 5-11 minutes per episode

4. Big Hero 6 – Movie and The Series

For Ages: 7+

Available on: Disney Plus (movie, series)

What it’s about: You may remember how robotics prodigy Hiro and inflatable healthcare robot Baymax captured many hearts when it took to the silver screens 8 years ago. The animated comedy film and its high-tech superhero stars is worth a watch for the young kids (and nostalgic rewatch for the parents!), and you can now continue following the adventures of Hiro and Baymax in a show series as they go up against scientifically-enhanced villains!

What we love: There are lots of possibilities with coding and technology, and we love that the premise of both the movie and series of Big Hero 6 stretches one’s imagination of the world that could be. With a gorgeous animation style, an Asian lead, lots of laughs and heartwarming scenes, it is an enjoyable film that also imparts life lessons (and a great refresher before Baymax! releases end-June.). It also might just inspire your little one to explore more tech!

Duration: 1h 48mins for movie, 24-26 minutes per episode

Did you know? Our students Ages 10 to 12 learn to develop their very own Baymax, a personal healthcare companion, in our Python Junior 1 course. Find out more here!

5. Ron’s Gone Wrong

For Ages: 8+

Available on: Disney Plus

What it’s about: This film is set in a world with social media and follows awkward teenager Barney and his new “Best Friend out of the Box” robot named Ron, whose algorithm was originally designed to help one make friends. Ron then turns out to be a defective robot who goes against his programming. Catch the action-packed adventure as Barney navigates friendship and life with Ron!

What we like: This animated comedy is perfect for family movie night with younger kids. With endearing characters and a heartwarming story, it touches on how technology can help us while also emphasising on the importance of maintaining human connection. We love that it touches on codes, algorithms and digital security – giving a great insight into what goes on behind the technology that we see – while also entertaining through the many antics of Barney and Ron!

Duration: 1h 52mins

6. Veritasium

For Ages: 12+

Available on: YouTube

What it’s about: Want more technology videos for your children to think about? Veritasium explores science and engineering, featuring experiments, expert interviews, demonstrations, and discussions with the public about science. This Youtube channel was created and narrated by Derek Muller, an Australian-Canadian science communicator, filmmaker, television personality and inventor.

What we like about it: Each video is packed with content that will be eye-opening and intriguing. With the help of Derek’s extensive experience in his field, Veritasium is able to explore a myriad of topics in a comprehensive way, with complementary visuals and graphics. You should definitely give this a go and let your children explore whatever topic they are interested in. Given the nature of these topics, you can also join your children in this learning experience and enjoy some quality family bonding time!

Duration: Around 6-30 minutes per video

7. Steve Jobs

For Ages: 14+ (Coarse Language)

Available on: Netflix

What it’s about: Your teenagers may know of Apple, iPhone and Macs, but do they know the story of the fearless visionary who made it? Inspired by the life of Steve Jobs, this film covers the events of the Macintosh launch in 1984, being forced out of Apple, the NeXT Computer in 1988 and then after returning to Apple, the launch of the iMac in 1998. It showcases the genius behind Apple and his flaws, while also putting human connection at the heart of it all. 

What we like: It’s been 11 years since Steve Jobs passed away, so it’s a good way to introduce one of the greatest innovators in recent years to your teenager. With witty lines, great acting and scenes that will make you hold your breath, this is the better film on his life (compared to the film Jobs). There is much to learn from the story of Steve Jobs as he led in art, design and the man that has revolutionised the very world that we are living in today. 

Duration: 2h 2mins

8. Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell

For: Family time with children of All Ages

Available on: YouTube

What it’s about: This German-based YouTube channel creates amazing animated videos that explain a broad spectrum of topics, from quantum computers to futurism, medicine and biology, and so much more. Kurzgesagt aims to spark curiosity about these topics, while laying out the facts, and also hopes to inspire others to learn through good humour and engaging storytelling.

What we like: These short, “in a nutshell” videos explain complicated issues in a clear and concise way, with brilliant animations to accompany it. With a narrator explaining concepts clearly and so many video topics to choose from, it is perfect for your child to find out more about the world. It is also no wonder that Kurzgesagt has racked up almost 2 billion views! Its great pacing, narration and colourful animation will have your children hooked from start to finish and interested to find out more!

Duration: Around 6-15 minutes per video

9. The Speed Cubers

For: Family movie time for children of All Ages

Available on: Netflix

What it’s about: For all the competitive spirits out there, this documentary explores the world of competitive Rubik’s Cube speed solving. It follows the unusual friendship of two speedcubing champions, Feliks Zemdegs and Max Park. 17-year-old Max with autism, as they grow and overcome adversities.

What we like: Did you know that a speed cuber can solve a Rubik’s Cube in under seven seconds? It’s a seemingly simple subject that is interesting even if you do not know how to solve a Rubik’s Cube. This inspiring and positive documentary imparts values of sportsmanship and friendship. Above all, it teaches one that winning is not everything, and is a good opened for many conversations that you can have with your children.

Duration: 40 minutes

10. The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

For: Family time with older children Ages 12+
(This show is rated PG13 – Parental Guidance advised for ages 12 and under)

Available on: Netflix

What it’s about: Based on the impressive real-life story of 13-year-old William Kamkwamba in Malawi, Africa, the Netflix Original tells the story of The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind. Against all odds, the determined young boy was inspired by a science book and skills learnt in school to invent an unconventional way to save his village from famine and other environmental disasters. Even though the title gives away the ending, the movie does a wonderful job of telling the story, which is filled with father-son moments as well.

What we like: This heartwarming movie touches on climate change, technological breakthroughs, the importance of education, family and determination, and is a real tearjerker. It’s also a great story to inspire your child to impact the world and to show them that age doesn’t matter when it comes to inventions. 

Duration: 1h 53mins

We hope that these recommendations will help you to make the most of the June holidays as it entertains and educates your children and family! After all, learning can take place everywhere, not just in the classroom.

Did we miss your child’s favourite educational tech show? Let us know at community@codinglab.com.sg

Read Top 10 shows/cartoons to teach children about STEM

Read Tech Podcasts & TED Talks to get you psyched about tech (we’ve shortlisted the essential 5!)

(Written by Cheryl Tang and Oliver Zhang)

Best-in-class Curriculum for Coding

We are honoured to be the winner of multiple awards.
Thank You for your support.

Hop on board the Coding Lab train! Click here to get our monthly newsletters straight to your inbox.

Ages 5-6 | Ages 7-9 | Ages 10-12 | Ages 13-18

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Email us at learntocode@codinglab.com.sg
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With the major easing of Covid-19 rules, we’re looking forward to even more fun techtivities that we can have in May! Whether you’re enjoying as a family or for your tiny techie to have a blast, do remember to keep all masks on indoors.

For May’s #TechFact, did you know that a programming language based entirely around Pikachu sounds exists? “Pikalang” is one of many esoteric programming languages – creations which are not meant for practical use, but for purposes which range from comedy to art.

Image for #TechFact (May Techtivities)
Pikalang is an esoteric programming language (also known as esolang), which is a type of programming language that explores how codes are written but does not actually have any practical uses.

Now that we’re familiar, keep scrolling to discover the techtivities that you and your family can experience this month! ✨

Jewel-rassic Quest

Go on a dinosaur-themed augmented reality (AR) game that brings storytelling to life through digital interactivity. Travel 89 million years back into the Dino-verse to the Cretaceous period with Jewel Changi Airport’s new attraction, the Jewel-rassic Quest. Armed with a TimeLens device, you’ll get to go on an AR Mission, hunt for dino eggs, unlock minigames and do much more around the world-famous airport as a family!

Image of Jewel-rassic Quest for May 2022 Techtivities
Picture Credit: ByKido

When: Permanent
Where: Jewel Changi Airport
Price: From $22.50
Learn more here.

Apple’s Grow with Creativity for Kids

Yes, we’ve brought up Apple Workshops before – but this time it’s specially for kids. To commemorate Global Accessibility Awareness Day, Apple is collaborating with Superhero Me to bring inclusive arts programmes to their spaces for ages 6 to 15. The artists from GROW will lead sessions and teach creative projects such as animations, stories, songs, games and more using iPads and iPhones in the cosy Apple stores.

Image of Apple's Grow with Creativity for May 2022 Techtivities

When: 23 April – 28 May 2022
Where: Apple Stores in Singapore
Price: Free
Learn more here.

Future Makers

Got an aspiring engineer in the family? This exhibition is exactly what you need to find out more about this potential occupation. Hear about the noble contributions of engineering to individuals and society and interact with the exhibition. From flying drones and rovers to robots carrying large-format screens and an escape room to test your wits, it is recommended that you spend about an hour on this exhibition at the Science Centre Singapore.

Image of Future Makers for May 2022 Techtivities

When: Permanent
Where: Science Center Singapore
Price: From $8
Learn more here.

Got more time to spare?
You can also drop by the Brickman Wonders Of The World, a LEGO Brick Exhibition at The Annexe, Science Centre Singapore available until 3 July 2022.

Code Your World with Minecraft

Your child may already be playing Minecraft with their friends, but do they know how to code with it? ⁣⁣⁣Introducing Coding Lab’s latest research area for Advanced Computer Scientists ages 10 to 12: Minecraft: Code Your World!

Our special Minecraft programme jumps straight to advanced coding and uses Code Builder software to teach tiny techies to design their own world and program structures such as the Great Pyramids. Expect a smorgasbord of coding and learning the Coding Lab Way for your little adventurer, with our thoughtfully curated and age-appropriate curriculum.

P21S-MiCr Advanced Computer Scientists: Minecraft: Code Your World banner

When: 30 May to 24 June 2022
Where: Parkway Parade and Bukit Timah (KAP Mall) only
Price: From $452.34
Sign up here.

Fun Fact:
Our students from Coding Lab Japan participated in the National Microsoft Minecraft Cup conducted in Tokyo, Japan, and won the Best Coding and Most Creative Awards in 2019 and 2021 respectively. Read more about it here!

June Holiday Coding Camps 2022

Coding Lab’s MIT-inspired and award-winning curriculum seeks to instil a passion for coding in every student. With a myriad of exciting courses for Ages 5 to 18, it’s the perfect place for your child to begin their coding journey and get a headstart in life!

This upcoming summer school holidays, come walk through our Coding Lab doors and enter the wide wonderful world of coding. With a curious mind, dedicated educators and stunning workbooks, your child is all set to embark on their exciting coding journey! You can even opt for Online classes anytime. Sign up here or feel free to drop us an email, call us or WhatsApp us to get in touch.

June Summer Holiday Coding Camps 2022 Banner

When: 30 May – 24 June
Where: Parkway Parade, Bukit Timah (KAP Mall), Seletar Mall, United Square and Online
Price: From $401.52
Sign up here.

Bonus: Stand a chance to win more than $400 worth of prizes!

The secret’s out: we’re expanding our home at Bukit Timah (KAP Mall)! Named after a pioneering MIT researcher and educator in technology and education, our Papert room is the latest extension of Coding Lab – complete with our signature look and feel. We’re talking floor-to-ceiling glass windows, boardroom-style rooms, 65″ flippable state-of-the-art monitor and much more. 

To celebrate this, we’re having a lucky draw! Simply sign up / renew ANY Coding Lab course from 20 April to 5 June 2022 and you will be entered into our lucky draw* to win:

👉 Grand Prize: Gold Class EagleWings Cinematics movie tickets x 1 pair
👉 Other Prizes: LiHO vouchers x 20
👉 EagleWings Cinematics movie tickets x 10 pairs

Sign up for your Coding Lab class now!

Image for #TechNews (May Techtivities 2022)

This month’s #TechNews is about Allie the AI chatbot digital assistant answering visitors’ questions about artefacts in the Asian Civilisations Museum’s Jewellery Gallery virtual exhibition. 🙋

The chatbot was jointly developed by the National Heritage Board (NHB) and the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), and they are looking to bring tech to other local museums soon. 🤖

Experience the AI-guided virtual tour for yourself here!

If you haven’t seen our previous techtivity recommendations, check out our April #TechtivitiesOfTheMonth, which includes more cool, tech-related activities you can do with friends and family!

(Written by Cheryl Tang and Trinh)

Best-in-class Curriculum for Coding

We are honoured to be the winner of multiple awards.
Thank You for your support.

Hop on board the Coding Lab train! Click here to get our monthly newsletters straight to your inbox.

Ages 5-6 | Ages 7-9 | Ages 10-12 | Ages 13-18

Call us at +65 6977 9641
Email us at learntocode@codinglab.com.sg
Chat with us via WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger

Whether you’re having your Easter Holidays or it’s back-to-school, here are more fun techvities to mark in your calendar this month, especially with the easing of safe management measures! 

For April’s #TechFact, have you ever wondered what Sir Stamford Raffles looked like in real life while staring at his statue by the Singapore River? Today, using AI and machine learning, you can now generate realistic pictures of historical figures and anything you can imagine with just a click! Give it a try with Artbreeder here.

Image for #TechFact (April Techtivities)
Generate pictures with your very own computer and machine learning model Artbreeder!

Now that we’re all warmed up, keep scrolling on to discover techtivities that you and your family can indulge in this month! ✨

‘Weird But True!’ Exhibition: Learn Interesting Facts With National Geographic

National Geographic is having a Weird But True! Exhibition packed with visually stunning photos and colourful graphics. Your little techie is sure to have a fun and exciting outdoor trip as they plunge into the fascinating worlds of the plant and animal kingdom. 🌱

Spanning 290 square metres in Cloud Forest at Gardens by the Bay, visitors can expect captivating, larger than life photos, colourful graphics and catchy texts. The photographs are a curated collection from National Geographic’s extensive library. 🤩

Image of Weird But True (April Techtivities)

When: 22 Feb – 31 July 2022
Where: Crystal Mountain (Level 4) at Gardens by the Bay, Cloud Forest
Singapore Residents – $12/adult, $8/child, $8/senior
Standard – $20/adult, $12/child
Learn more here.

Got more time to spare?
Find out more Weird But True! fun facts about animals, places, abilities and more random things here.

Fungus Humongous

Get ready for a trip for the whole family as you venture into Fungus Humongous, a magical forest where everything, from fallen branches to all kinds of fungi, has been scaled up to huge proportions! 😮

Did you know? The arts space that you see today was designed based on what children thought about the concept! Experiential workshops were conducted by the artists to collect insights and research, which inspired them to design for a better experience. Special considerations were also paid to the flow of the space, its material selection, and interactive touch points – to make it enjoyable for children of all abilities. So rest assured that your child will have a wonderful time as they play and learn! 🙌

Image of Fungus Humongous (April Techtivities)

When: Until 8 May 2022
Where: The Artground
Price: Free
Learn more here.

Changi Experience Studio

Grab your little techie for a journey of fun and discovery through the exciting virtual world of Changi Airport! From interactive games to amazing projection experiences and immersive shows, engage in wonderful technological adventures. ✨

In this first-of-its-kind digital attraction, the whole family can experience the magic of technology while learning about aviation and what it takes to keep one of the world’s best airports going. How awesome!

Image of Changi Experience Studio (April Techtivities)

When: Permanent
Where: Changi Airport L4
Singapore Residents – $19/adult, $13/child, $13/senior
Standard – $25/adult, $17/child, $17/senior
Learn more here.

Easter Holiday Coding Camps

This upcoming Easter Holidays, come walk through our Coding Lab doors and enter the wide wonderful world of coding! 🤩 With a curious mind, dedicated educators and stunning workbooks, your child is all set to embark on their exciting coding journey. 🛣

 Whether they are attending physically or online – we’re excited for everyone to experience the joy of coding. 🥰 Sign up here or feel free to drop us an email, call us or WhatsApp us to get in touch!

Banner of 2022 Easter Coding Camps

When: 4-14 April
Where: Parkway Parade, Bukit Timah (KAP Mall) and Online
Price: From $401.52
Sign up here.

2-Hour Easter Coding Workshops

Celebrate Easter with some fun learning how to code in our exciting 2-hour coding workshops! 👩‍🏫 Best of all, you don’t need prior coding experience. This means that you can bring a friend who’s new to coding to join in the fun. 🤗

  • Our young techies can create a fun game of Catch The Easter Egg as they discover key concepts like loops and conditionals in Scratch Junior (Ages 5 to 6). 🐇
  • Scratch warriors will get a fun introduction to programming functions like clone and sensing as they program the rabbit to collect eggs that spawn randomly (Ages 7 to 9). 🥚
  • Python enthusiasts will get to familiarise themselves with pattern recognition and loops as they use Python Turtle to create an Easter Day Card (Ages 10 to 12)! ✨ 

Banner of 2022 Easter Coding Workshop

When: 16 April
Where: Bukit Timah (KAP Mall) or Online
Price: From $65
Sign up here.

Image for #TechNews (April Techtivities 2022)

You might’ve spotted this while on the road. This month’s exciting tech news is about National Parks Board (NPark)’s animal detection system!

Pairing CCTVs with analytics technology, LED lights will activate whenever the system detects animal activity. 💡 To help reduce roadkill and keep wildlife safe on the road, NParks has developed this to alert road users of wildlife crossing so that they would reduce their vehicles’ speed. 🚗 It was first deployed at Old Upper Thomson Road and is now at Rifle Range Road. 

Learn more about the animal detection system here!

Bonus: Brickman Wonders of the World LEGO Brick Exhibition

Looking forward to finally travel but you can’t go just yet? This LEGO exhibition at the Science Centre Singapore deserves a special mention this month!

With more than 50 of the world’s most iconic landmarks built by a LEGO Certified Professional, the world is brought to you – no passport required. This interactive and educational journey includes a 3.6-metre tall CN Tower from Canada, a Titanic ship build that weighs 120kg, and the St Basil the Blessed Church from Russia, which took 320 hours to build. You can even get creative with the one million LEGO bricks in the Master Builder Zones!

Image of Lego Brick Exhibition (resized)

When: 25 March – 3 July 2022
Where: The Annexe, Science Centre Singapore
Price: From $23
Learn more here.

If you haven’t seen our previous techtivity recommendations, check out our March #TechtivitiesOfTheMonth, which includes more cool tech-related activities you can do with friends and family!

(Written by Zulaikha and Trinh)

Best-in-class Curriculum for Coding

We are honoured to be the winner of multiple awards.
Thank You for your support.

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March is one of the sunniest months in Singapore and we can’t wait to explore around with a brand new list of fun techtivities that you can do for the month!

For March’s #TechFact, we always hear of encryption in cybersecurity, which helps to keep our data safe. Did you know that encryption dates back to ancient times, with one of the earliest methods being the Caesar Cipher? Yes, named after Julius Caesar!

Image for #TechFact (March Techtivities)
Psst, Google has a standard method of Gmail encryption called Transport Layer Security (TLS)! As long as the person with whom you’re emailing is also using a mail service that supports TLS, all messages you send through Gmail will be protected and remain private for you and the recipient. 

Now that we’re all warmed up, keep scrolling to discover techtivities that you and your family can indulge in this month! ✨

Total Defence 2022

In commemoration of the 80th anniversary of the Fall of Singapore, Singapore Discovery Centre has curated many exciting exhibits, showcases and programmes to enable us to learn more about our past. 🇸🇬🌟 One of them is XD Theatre Ride: TD Special – a 4D multi-sensory ride experience full of thrilling twists, turns and explosive effects. Your kids are sure to have a blast and discover the wonder of how technology is able to provide such experiences!

Come join in the fun with your family and friends in exploring how Singaporeans overcome past incidents and challenges through each of the six pillars of Total Defence. With technology utilised in many of the activities, your little techie will have a whale of a time as they learn with ease and on the go. ✨

Banner of Total Defence 2022

When: 15 Jan – 27 March 2022 (depends on the activities)
Where: Singapore Discovery Centre
Price: Free
Learn more here.

Shopee Code League

Shopee Code League is back again with a 2-week coding league consisting of two rounds of intense coding competitions, open to all students and professionals!

This year, get to put your coding skills to the test by challenging yourself to solve algorithmic puzzles designed by the Shopee Engineering team. Participate with your buddies to solve real-world problems, and battle it out as the region’s coding champions. 🏆

Shopee Code League 2022

When: 14 – 26 March
Where: Online
Who: All students and professionals
Price: Free
Learn more here.

To Be You

If you are looking for some virtual activities to do with your family and learn something new then To Be You is perfect for you — it is an award-winning Singaporean interactive fiction game that lets you experience life as someone else! Built with the intention of getting to the heart of empathy, players are given the chance to literally walk a mile in someone else’s shoes as they play characters of different identities (be it race, religion, lifestyle, etc.) in the game.

To Be You was conceived to help dismantle stereotypes and reduce prejudice, and ultimately foster greater empathy and inclusiveness among Singaporeans. This idea was one of the winners of the 2020 MCCY:Mission Unite Hackathon.🌤️ If you’re a coder, it’s more ideas for meaningful coding projects that you can build yourself!

Image of To Be You Game

When: Permanent
Where: Online
Price: Free
Learn more here.

Coding Bytes – Under The Ocean

If you’re not yet familiar with Coding Bytes, it is our special series of small, bite-sized programming projects to welcome budding students into the world of coding by following along and doing it on their own at home! The third App Inventor instalment features Tutor Yue Wei, who teaches us how to program a fishing game with a Game Boy interface. 🎣 Join your little one as they program the medium-sized goldfish to eat the small fishes to gain points, while avoiding the big fishes to live longer! 🐟

Added your own twist to the program? We’d love to see it! Tag us @codinglabasia on Facebook or Instagram and stand a chance to be featured! Don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel too to get notified on our latest videos.

Includes: Engaging, fun and quick tutorials on Scratch and App Inventor programming
Watch the series here.

March Holiday & Easter Coding Camps

This upcoming March and Easter Holidays, come walk through our Coding Lab doors and enter the wide wonderful world of coding! 🤩 With a curious mind, dedicated educators and stunning workbooks, your child is all set to embark on their exciting coding journey! 🛣

Your child’s safety is of utmost importance, which is why the sanitising of classrooms and safe distancing will be put in place at all times. You can even opt for Online classes anytime. Sign up here or feel free to drop us an email, call us or WhatsApp us to get in touch!

Banner of 2022 March Holiday and Easter Coding Camps

When: From 14 March
Where: Online, Parkway Parade, Bukit Timah (KAP Mall)
Price: From $401.52
Sign up here.

Image for #TechNews (March Techtivities 2022)

Did you know that there’s a new, tuition-free and teacher-less (read: independent) way to study tech for adults of all backgrounds in Singapore? 😮 That’s right, this is now possible with 42 Singapore, a collaboration between Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) and the French non-profit Ecole 42.

Together, 42 Singapore hopes to develop a pipeline of tech talent for the burgeoning digital company. This Computer Science programme is open to anyone above 18 years old regardless of academic qualifications and will commence by the end of 2022, so keep on the lookout for admissions information!

We certainly hope to see more people getting into tech, especially in this digital era. 👀 You can read more about 42 Singapore here!  

Another interesting #TechNews: the first-ever Metaverse Fashion Week (MVFW) is happening 24-27 March 2022 on Decentraland! It’s free as long as you have your digital wallet and are ready to buy NFTs. What are Decentraland, cryptocurrency and NFTs? Don’t worry, we’ve got NFTs simplified for you here.

If you haven’t seen our previous techtivity recommendations, check out our February #TechtivitiesOfTheMonth, which includes more cool tech-related activities you can do with friends and family! 

(Written by Zulaikha and Trinh)

Best-in-class Curriculum for Coding

We are honoured to be the winner of multiple awards.
Thank You for your support.

Hop on board the Coding Lab train! Click here to get our monthly newsletters straight to your inbox.

Ages 5-6 | Ages 7-9 | Ages 10-12 | Ages 13-18

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Email us at learntocode@codinglab.com.sg
Chat with us via WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger

As we usher in the Year of the Rabbit, the Coding Lab team wants to keep our students and children safe on the internet, so we’ve compiled a list of our top 5 Parental Control Software for you to manage their screen time. We first launched this in 2022’s Tiger year for Tiger mums out there. And we’ve just refreshed this list to include the latest features and enhancements in 2023! 💻🤓 (Also look out for some bonus software below! 😉)

Photo of girl using a desktop at our Parkway Parade campus
Our young Scratch 1 coder navigating the online world to create her own project!

We’ve seen many children (yes, even our Scratch 1 kids!) with their own smartphones. In fact, two-thirds of Singaporean children aged 7-9 use their smartphones daily and are active on social media. Despite the age restrictions, children have their own Facebook and Instagram accounts.

Do you know what your children are doing and who they are interacting with on social media?

If you don’t, you’re not alone. Here’s how you can get to the bottom of it all: Parental Control Software.

What are Parental Control Software?

Parental Control Software are applications, features or software that allow you to monitor and limit what someone does online. In the past, features were mainly blacklisting websites and checking your children’s searches. Today, it has evolved into tools that allow parents to monitor what your children are up to, control or schedule screentime, and even track the locations of their children’s smartphones – all simply by logging in to your Parental Control Software account.

That’s why we’ve got a list of our Top 5 Parental Control Software that can be great tools to help you safeguard your kids from the dangers of the web. Read on to find out which one suits your needs best!

1. Net Nanny

Available on Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, Chrome OS and Kindle Fire.

Paid options only.

Photo of Net Nanny's web interface.
Net Nanny’s web interface (Image Credit: Net Nanny)

We kick off the list with one of the Parental Control Software that has been around the longest. With its web-filtering technology (which allows you to control the content that your child accesses online), monitoring features, screentime management, well-designed and easy-to-use apps and web portal, Net Nanny is available on a number of platforms.

Granted, it only has paid options. Furthermore, the geofencing features, which allows you to establish boundaries around ‘safe areas’, is still rather basic. Net Nanny also lacks some features on its iOS version, but it is still considered almost as good as its Android counterpart.


  • Wide platform support
  • Web-filtering
  • Easy to use and well-designed interface
  • Runs as well on iOS and Android


  • Relatively expensive
  • Lacks some features on iOS
  • Basic geofencing features

Price: USD $39.99/year for a single Windows or macOS desktop device, USD $54.99/year for up to 5 devices, USD $89.99/year for up to 20 devices

Find out more about Net Nanny here.

2. Qustodio

Available on Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, Chrome OS and Kindle Fire.

Free with paid options.

Photo of Qustodio's Parental Control interface.
Qustodio Parental Control interface (Image Credit: Qustodio)

Just like Net Nanny, Qustodio is also available on many platforms. But where Qustodio really stands out from the competition are its call and text monitoring features, something that most other Parental Control Software do not offer. You can allow or block calls or specific phone numbers, and view text messages.

It offers a free option that covers one device with basic functionalities such as web-filtering, web and social media monitoring, time limits and an online monitoring dashboard. Keep in mind that features are limited for iOS, which does not include calls and text monitoring, as well as the Panic Button that would enable your child to send an SOS when they need help.


  • Calls and texts monitoring
  • Easy-to-use User Interface
  • Broad platform support
  • Extensive features


  • Relatively expensive
  • Web-filtering is not consistent
  • Limited features on iOS

Price: Free for 1 device with basic features, USD $54.95/year for 5 devices, USD $96.95/year for 10 devices, USD $137.95/year for 15 devices.

Find out more about Qustodio here.

Customers of Singtel, you’re in luck!
Get deals and discounted prices for Qustodio here

3. Kaspersky Safe Kids

Available on Android, iOS, Windows, MacOS.

Free with paid options.

Photo showing Kaspersky Safe Kids's web interface.
Web interface of Kaspersky Safe Kids (Image: Kaspersky Safe Kids)

Get the best bang for your buck with Kaspersky Safe Kids, which is loaded with many key free features, such as web-filtering, screentime management, and more. Access to full features is affordable for an unlimited number of accounts and devices. As an antivirus company, the paid version also boasts features such as GPS locator, screentime scheduling and real-time alerts for accessing sites or leaving ‘safe areas’ (geofencing).

That said, its web interface is slow and the app could have been better designed. Features to block or activate web control on iOS devices are also limited. Overall, the free version is definitely worth a try to test it out for yourself before deciding whether you should purchase it.


  • Affordable and great value
  • Broad platform support
  • Extensive features
  • Unlimited devices


  • Limited features on iOS
  • Sluggish web portal
  • Unintuitive mobile apps

Price: Free for basic features including web monitoring, time limits and app management for unlimited devices, SGD$15/year for full features on unlimited devices. You can choose to get the bundle with Kaspersky’s antivirus software from SGD$35/year.

Find out more about Kaspersky Safe Kids here.

Editor’s Note (Jan 2023):
‍‍Several software updates for Kaspersky Safe Kids have since been released in 2022 for both Mac and Windows, improving the application performance and fixing several application issues. Find out more about this here.

4. OurPact

Available on Android and iOS.

Free with paid options.

Photo showing OurPact's app interface.
App interface of OurPact on iPhones (Image Credit: OurPact)

Looking for the best app control for iOS? Look no further than OurPact. This is the only Parental Control Software that offers this level of iOS functionality, with user interface and app management being its strongest features. Schedule screentime for your child and block all apps with a simple button.

It is important to note that installation requires a computer. Some key Parental Control Software functions of OurPact are lacking, such as limited web-filtering and no monitoring of texts. If your family is iOS-first, there are currently no alternatives that offer anything close to this level of control over iOS devices.


  • Best parental control software for iOS
  • Great user interface
  • Excellent app management


  • Limited web-filtering and monitoring
  • Complicated installation requiring a Windows or MacOS

Price: Free for 1 device with basic features, USD $6.99/month for Premium for 20 devices and all but one premium feature, USD $9.99/month for Premium+ for 20 devices with the full premium feature set

Find out more about OurPact here.

Editor’s Note (Jan 2023):
‍‍OurPact has since released new, enhanced family locator features for both iOS and Android devices, enabling parents to get real-time GPS updates on the precise locations of their children. Find out more about this here.

5. Norton Family

Available on Android, Windows, iOS.

Paid options only.

Photo showing Norton Family's web and app interfaces.
Norton Family’s web and app interfaces (Image Credit: Norton Family)

Rounding off our list is a brand known for its antivirus software. Norton Family offers a comprehensive range of features, such as monitoring, scheduling screentime, and geofencing, with the goal of encouraging parents to teach their children healthy online habits. Its web-filtering is one of the widest with 47 content categories to choose from, such as Alcohol, Drugs, and Mature Content.

The app management works well, though only for Android devices. It is also not compatible with macOS. While it is easy to set up, the web portals are not the most well-designed ones, and its mobile apps are not exactly user-friendly. It is relatively affordable if you are considering getting its suite of antivirus programmes bundled together with Norton Family.


  • Excellent web-filtering and monitoring
  • Unlimited devices
  • Easy setup and installation process


  • Relatively expensive
  • Poor mobile apps accessibility and web design
  • Limited iOS features and does not work on Macs

Price: From SGD$69.99/year, bundled with Norton’s antivirus software.

Find out more about Norton Family here.

Editor’s Note (Jan 2023):
‍‍Norton Family’s price has reduced to S$29.99 per year for the first year. Then, S$44.00/ year bundled with Norton’s antivirus software. Find out more about this here.

Generate a Family Agreement on internet and technology use together!
The Smart Talk encourages parents and children to talk about ground rules for internet safety.
Click here to get started!

2023 Update!

To herald this new year, we have updated this blog with more alternatives of highly-rated and effective parental control software that may be suitable for your family! We have found that the following parental control softwares have unique features that make them good additional options for parents to consider. 👇

6. Kidgy

Available on Android, Windows, iOS.

Good for parents with younger children below 13. Free and paid options available.

Photo showing Kidgy's web and app interfaces.
Kidgy app interface (Image Credit: Fanappic)

We love how the Kidgy application is both user-friendly, and an effective parental control software which can help to monitor your kids’ messages, calls and apps’ usage online! It provides comprehensive one-page reports on messaging and app-usage details, and enables you to block dangerous sites through its internet filter.

What’s more, the Kidgy app also includes unique and valuable features like a Panic Button for emergencies, GPS Location Tracking for safety and even a Daily Schedule Planner to help educate your child on organising their daily tasks!


  • 24/7 Customer Support via phone or email
  • Daily Schedule Planner
  • Kidgy Geofencing helps set precise safe areas and alerts you when your child leaves these safe areas


  • No time limits
  • Relatively more expensive

Price: Free with upgrade option of S$13.98 per month

Find out more about Kidgy here.

7. Google Family Link

Available on Android, Windows.

Excellent free option and possible complement to your primary parental control app

Photo showing Google Family Link app interface.
Google Family Link’s app interface (Image Credit: Mezha Media)

For parents that would prefer a more basic and intuitive option, Google Family Link is a free app that comes with most of the functionalities needed in a parental control software. It is hassle-free and easy to set-up, providing clear instructions and descriptions for both parents and children.

This app is perfect for families that would like another app to support and complement their existing primary parental control software, or for those that would prefer not to spend money on such software.


  • Fast and easy set-up
  • Excellent and detailed app filtering for Android and Chromebooks
  • Set daily screen time limits and restrictions for timings like bedtime


  • The kids’ app is only available on Android and Chromebook (while the parents’ app is also available on iOS and web browsers)
  • Limited web-filtering and video supervision

Price: Free

Find out more about Google Family here.

As a coding school, we know that it’s important that we let our little ones continually explore the digital world while also staying safe and vigilant. The use of Parental Control Software allows us to be aware of what our children are up to online, to limit screentime and prevent stranger danger – ultimately, it is up to us, as parents, to educate them on healthy online habits that will stay with them for life!

Coding Lab wishes everyone a blessed Chinese New Year! We wish you success and good health. 🧧

Read Next: Inculcating healthy digital device habits

Written by Oliver Zhang, edited by Thinzar Htet and Gracia Goh

Best-in-class Curriculum for Coding

We are honoured to be the winner of multiple awards.
Thank You for your support.

Hop on board the Coding Lab train! Click here to get our monthly newsletters straight to your inbox.

Ages 5-6 | Ages 7-9 | Ages 10-12 | Ages 13-18

Call us at +65 6977 9641
Email us at learntocode@codinglab.com.sg
Chat with us via WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger