Daughters inspire South Tyneside mum to teach next generation

Techytots new play group, Gemma Murray with daughter Isla Murray, 3.
Techytots new play group, Gemma Murray with daughter Isla Murray, 3.

A South Tyneside mum-of-two is preparing a next generation for the hi-tech world of work.

Gemma Murray has founded TechyTots to introduce pre-school children to IT coding, the first step to programming.

Techytots new play group, Gemma Murray with daughter Isla Murray, 3.

Techytots new play group, Gemma Murray with daughter Isla Murray, 3.

Gemma, who has more than ten years’ experience working in schools with children of all ages, as well as three years running preschool and family classes, was inspired by daughters Lilly, five, and three-year-old Isla.

“Helping them grow and learn inspired me to create TechyTots. I realise how important an understanding of coding will be to children’s lives,” she said.

“Four-and-five-year-olds can learn the foundations of coding and computer commands before they can even write and spell words.

“TechyTots use unplugged play to lay the foundations and instil the early steps of coding. Through play, we encourage children to use sequencing, create patterns, loops and explore the newest coding toys available.

Learning to code prepares your children for the world we live in today, and the world they will live in tomorrow.

Gemma Murray

“Experts suggest coding to be introduced as early as the preschool years – coding is similar to reading, writing and arithmetic in terms of its symbolic and communication qualities, and in this regard, it’s appropriate to begin introducing coding concepts at the same time these other preschool concepts are learned.

“Just as languages open up the ability to communicate with worlds of people, programming gives children the ability to create technologies that impact those around them. Children can use their programming skills to build things that could change the world.

“Learning to code prepares your children for the world we live in today, and the world they will live in tomorrow.

Techytots’ activities have been created alongside early years teachers and a professional software engineer, with a different theme each week. Youngsters will play with technical toys, undertake tactile activities and play musical games, all of which are easy, fun and supported by staff.

Classes run between 10am and 11am each Wednesday at St Paul and St John’s Church Centre, in South Shields, and 10am and 11am each Friday at Cleadon Park Library.

In September a new session will start at The Word between 10.30am and 11.30am each Saturday. Visit www.techytots.co.uk for details.