Your daughter may start out being in love with everything science, technology, education, math (74 percent of girls are, according to, well, science). The real challenge is keeping their attention. Only .3 percent go on to pursue the field after high school, according to Google’s Made With Code — the platform that’s trying to reengage the remaining 73.7 percent. So what is something technological and engaging that preteen girls use almost every day? Emojis!
Made With Code’s Emojify module lets your kid create their own emoji and has the added benefit of learning some coding skills. The point of the project is to teach young girls how to change the position of an object by changing its x and y values, a fundamental of basic programming. They can drag and drop to change the likeness, adjust features like eyes, clothes, and space helmet (with or without?), and download the finish product to a smartphone or tablet. Now, instead of a flood of impersonal yellow smiley faces with hearts for eyes, you’ll get a flood of pixels that resemble your kid.
Once she’s bored of this project, she can explore a variety of others on the Made With Code site, including teaching you how to make GIFs. Listen, when you said you wanted more father/daughter bonding time, you didn’t specify how.