Teaching young children the basic principals of coding can help them develop their higher order thinking skills, as well as develop essential skills like troubleshooting and problem solving with a real world and personal meaning. There are many sites popping up with lessons suitable for younger ages that help teach these essential skills. The purpose of learning to code is essential, not just to those interested in becoming programmers and coders, but to most who will enter the workforce into fields not yet discovered using devices not yet invented.
Bitesize's What is Code? (from BBC)