WHO: Ginessa (Mom), Selah (2), Elias (3), Eden (5), Judah (8) and Simeon (10)
WHAT: Code Ninjas
WHERE: 1113 Murfreesboro Road, Suite 410, Franklin
CENTER HOURS: Mon - Fri 12 - 7:30 p.m., Sat 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
STUDENT HOURS: Mon - Fri 3:30 -  7:30 p.m., Sat 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
ADMISSION: Pricing varies; call for rates
INFO: 615-640-2633 | codeninjas.com | franklintn@codeninjas.com

Get ready to have some fun at Middle Tennessee’s newest hotspot for kids, Code Ninjas.

Code Ninjas is a place where kids (ages 7 - 14) can learn how to build their own video games all while learning coding strategies, logic skills, math and problem solving.

I took my five kiddos to the newly opened Code Ninjas center in Franklin. Code Ninjas is not far from I-65. It's super easy to find. It's located in a shopping center space right in the popular Highway 96 Hobby Lobby parking lot.

EXCITED KIDS

On the way to Code Ninjas, I mentioned to my two oldest sons, Simeon (age 10) and Judah (age 8), that they were going to get to participate in coding exercises that will help them to see the hard work it takes in developing some of their favorite video games. They were so excited! 

Simeon said he had been introduced to a little coding as a part of our school’s STEAM efforts; Judah had no prior experience. 

Our appointment was on a Saturday at 10:30am. Most of the Code Ninja students come to code during after-school weekday hours. As a mom, I immediately thought about all of the added benefits of having a fun, educational experience like Code Ninjas on the weekend as well.

FUN WORKSPACE WITH KID APPEAL

Upon entering the Code Ninjas lobby, it's evident that everything is extremely nice, clean and well maintained. The minimal yet fun workspace was appealing to all of my kids! We were quickly greeted by Jeff, the owner, and a couple of the center's “Sensei” (teacher) employees. They gave me a tour and helped get my boys started. 

Simeon and Judah were then invited to step into the “dojo” (learning room) for instruction by their “Sensei” for the day. I was able to momentarily peek into the dojo but had to quickly step out as it is a parent-free creative zone.

Not to worry, though. The dojo has an entire wall that is actually a window looking out to the lobby. It allows parents to keep an eye on their child as they’re doing their work. I love this! It's the main area where kids learn to code. All instruction and learning takes place at the tables equipped with multiple laptop computers inside the dojo.

COLORING & COFFEE FOR THOSE WHO WAIT

While the boys were receiving their lesson, the rest of my children and I waited in the lobby area. There is a small table with learning toys for young siblings, a large screen TV and a coffee bar for parents. There is also a long table that sits right below the window to the dojo, complete with crayons and coloring sheets for little kids. It's a great spot for you to watch your kids having fun in the dojo.

Since I hadn’t originally planned to bring all of my children, I was pleased to know that my older kids could complete an entire lesson uninterrupted while there was plenty to entertain my younger kids during our wait. 

Jeff and his wife, August, made our entire family feel welcome as we waited. They were helpful in answering all of my questions. They both shared their hearts behind opening their own Code Ninjas franchise.  They are the parents of a young child who took interest in video games and coding early on. They realize firsthand how beneficial coding is to many different educational areas in their son’s life, including an overall boost to his self-esteem. It's obvious they enjoy the opportunity to partner with other parents in helping kids achieve success in the area of technology.

COLOR-CODED ACHIEVEMENT SYSTEM

Our hour seemed to fly by, and my boys emerged from the dojo along with two laptops and their Sensei. Both of my sons showed me what they worked on. They enjoyed sharing their individual thought process behind how they were intending to create their first video games. 

I was so impressed! They were able to do so much in just a short amount of time. I see how beneficial consistent instruction is, as everything is self-paced and you can continue to build upon the work you’ve previously completed. Plus, Code Ninjas rewards children for their achievements by promoting them along a series of levels from “white belt” to “black belt,” the highest level.

All in all, Simeon and Judah had a blast. I feel like their first lesson was easy enough for them to follow along and be able to visualize the future potential of what they can create. 

Code Ninjas is an awesome way to introduce young children to coding. The knowledgeable staff is fun, and they provide everything you need to get started. I learned we can open up our “Scratch” program accounts at home and review what our kids are learning. 

As a mom of littles and a former educator in our area public and private schools, I definitely give Code Ninjas “two thumbs up!”  If you have been looking for a way to supplement your homeschool instruction or to provide an educational extra-curricular activity that your kids will love, look no further. Code Ninjas is a guaranteed win-win for both parents and kids alike!