Though WordCamps have always been family-friendly, some have been taking things a step further and creating activities just for kids. This is a great option for parents who want to bring their kids along, but it’s even more beneficial for the children themselves. Introducing children to WordPress early is a great way to open their eyes to technology and coding.
David Laietta, WordCamp Orlando organizer, sees kids’ activities just another way to make WordCamps even more inclusive. “This can be improved by offering up ways to get the younger members of our community more involved,” he said. “As well as give them a safe, structured jumping off point while allowing their parents to attend as well.”
WordCamp Miami has provided a space for kids since 2014, and this year is no different. Organizer, David Bisset, is excited to bring kids activities to WordCamp Feb. 19-21.
“I think it’s important for anyone to start learning technology early, whether it’s WordPress, coding, or just blogging,” Bisset said. “I think WordPress will rely on fresh, young and new approaches from young people in the coming years. There’s a lot of competition of kid’s time and i think it’s important for WordPress to show through WordCamps that there’s an avenue for them to learn how to code and blog.”
Activities in Miami won’t differ as much from the tracks in Orlando and St. Louis, but the idea is to make kids feel like they are a part of the conference from the beginning. Kids 9 to 14 are welcome to participate, and will receive their very own attendee bag, called a child theme metadata container, as soon as they walk in.
On Sunday morning, kids and parents will learn how to safely publish kid-friendly content online. Then comes nitrogen frozen ice cream, lunch, and finally a crafts and STEAM workshop. To round everything out, there will be the first ever kid’s panel at the end of the day, details coming soon. It will be a place not just for kids, but for families to learn and practice WordPress.
Bisset’s three daughters are excited to participate. Since Bisset has been organizing WordCamps for years, it is like an annual holiday and they even make their Barbies attend WordCamps throughout the year.
WC Miami has featured events for children for a few years now.
In 2015, Lucas Lima helped organize kids events at WordCamp St. Louis. Lima, along with Chris Koerner, and Eric Juden created a Multi-Site and allowed the kids to each take a site and play with it. Then the three presented on topics such as What is WordPress, Security and Safety, Free and Open Source Software, and more.
At the end each child got the chance to present their blogs and show off what they accomplished. Lima had fun seeing the creativity and jokes each kid utilized. All around it was a big hit. The kids, parents and speakers had a lot of fun. The only thing Lima would change would be adding a couple snack breaks throughout a four or five hour period.
“If we want WordPress to succeed on the fight against internet controlling systems and segregation of content, we must teach our kids how to use WordPress,” Lima said.
What do you think about children’s events at WordCamps? Are there any events you would like to see? Comment down below.
Editor’s note: A previous version of this post inaccurately named Lucas Lima as an organizer of WordCamp Pheonix instead of St. Louis. The post has been changed to reflect this information.