Coding Resources and Links
CODING AND COMP-SCI
RESOURCES AND LINKS
Coding can be learned by kids of all ages, even starting at the TK and kindergarten levels. Since Technology has become a part of our everyday lives, coding for kids has become more important than ever.
Here are some great resources about coding and related links about computer science (in alphabetical order):
Algorithm City (ages 8+)
Algorithm City is a 3D style game where kids can learn the basic concepts of programming, such as command sequencing, functions and loops, and more. Play and code to make a character progress by collecting gold and solving levels.
Amazon Future Engineer (ages 11+)
Amazon Future Engineer is a childhood-to-career program that aims to increase access to computer science education for children and young adults. The program offers opportunities to explore computer science and technology through content centered around the processes at Amazon’s Fulfillment Centers and by connecting schools with career talks led by Amazon tech professionals.
Blockly offers a simple and engaging way to introduce kids to coding. Students can complete eight different interactive challenges such as puzzles, mazes, creating music, and more. To complete each challenge, students utilize drag-and-drop blocks of code that become increasingly complex with each level of the challenge. Children can run their program anytime while they are creating it, enabling them to visualize what they are coding and how to utilize the tools they have been given to solve each challenge.
Code.org is a nonprofit dedicated to expanding access to computer science in schools and increasing participation by young women and students from other underrepresented groups. The organization inspires students to try programming each year with Hour of Code, which offers one-hour beginner coding tutorials in over 45 languages. Code.org also provides mini-lessons, videos, fun tutorials, and projects to help students learn computer science at home.
Code for Life (ages 6+)
Format: Online, lessons
Designed for use with students in elementary/primary school through to high school, Code for Life teaches everything from basic coding principles through to coding through game play using Blockly and later, Python. A library of comprehensive lesson plans offers a great resource for teachers.
Gamestar Mechanic (ages 8+)
Format: Online, learn coding through game play
Gamester Mechanic uses fun, game based quests to help coders learn game design, with the goal to code and share their own video games. Free to play and learn at home and school, it’s a popular choice in Information & Computer Technology classrooms.
CodeKarts (ages 4+)
A pre-coding game for preschoolers to play. Kids learn to develop observational skills, concentration, and logic by guiding a car through various tracks.
CodinGame (ages 11+)
Format: Online, game and puzzle based coding
CodinGame allows high schoolers to improve existing coding skills by exploring game play and creation. This free coding website helps students practice by solving puzzles, competing in coding battles, contributing to multi-player games, and learning coding in a variety of languages including C++, HTML, Java, Python, Ruby and Swift.
Even professional coders and adults enjoy this site with the free tutorials making it easy to get started with any coding task.
CodeMonkey is an AWARD-WINNING online platform that teaches kids real coding languages like CoffeeScript and Python. Children and teenagers learn block-based and text-based coding through an engaging game-like environment.
Codemoji (ages 5-8)
Code Maven (ages 12+)
Lessons are introduced at a faster pace and with more demanding challenges than Code Monster, introducing advanced concepts such as animating objects and creating a scoring system.
Particularly useful for kids, Code Monster features two adjacent boxes. One displays code, the other shows what the code does. As you play with the code (with some help from a prompt), you learn what each command does.
Coding Safari (ages 2+)
A free app with a focus on pre-coding skills like problem-solving, decomposition, and computational thinking. Coding Safari is engaging and educational for children as young as two years old!
CodeSpark Academy (ages 4+)
With over 1,000 fun, free activities and a simple-to-use interface, CodeSpark Academy is the perfect app to introduce kids 5-9 years old to programming.
Code Wars (ages 13+)
Designed for high school age coders with experience, this website provides a platform with real coding problem solving challenges.
There is a wide variety of text based programming languages to choose from.
Create & Learn (ages 7-10)
Create & Learn lets kids play and explore multiple interests like Scratch, robotics, and digital design. They offer a free Scratch class for getting started and host online events with top experts.
Daisy the Dinosaur (ages K+)
Coders make Daisy the Dinosaur dance with simple drag and drop blocks that makes coding easy and fun for first timers. Your child can find solutions to a range of fun challenges while learning coding basics about sequencing, loops, and events – all for free!
You’ll find this fun coding app for kids in K-3 in the iTunes store.
Hopscotch (ages 4-11)
Create games, art, stories, and more with kid-friendly programming. Kids, ages 4-11, can program and publish unique games and apps to Hopscotch’s fully moderated community, where others can play and learn from their creations.
Khan Academy (ages 12+)
LEGO Boost (ages 7-12)
Lego Boost is an app that allows kids to build different Lego models and program them with code. Children can program their models to make sounds and move using drag and drop code.
MIT App Inventor is a visual programming environment that allows all ages of learners to build fully functional apps for Android and iOS smartphones and tablets. This blocks-based coding program was developed by a team at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab to inspire and empower all people––especially young people––to be creative with technology. The easy-to-use coding environment facilitates the creation of complex, high-impact apps in significantly less time than other coding environments.
Move the Turtle (ages 6-12)
Using visually engaging graphics, kids as young as age 6 can implement various programming concepts to direct a virtual turtle and complete unique tasks. The app comes in both iPhone and iPad format.
RoboCode (ages 5+)
Ever heard of robot fighting? Well here is a cool alternative! RoboCode lets kids build a robot in Java or .NET in order to play and compete against other robots.
Scratch is the world’s largest free coding community for kids, designed by the Scratch Foundation, a nonprofit organization. With Scratch, students can program interactive stories, games, and animations – then share their creations with others in an online community. This platform was developed to help young people think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively. Younger students can also get inspired to engage with programming through the free ScratchJr app.
Spritebox (ages K+)
This free kids coding app is great for young learners. Spritebox helps children learn how to code first visually, and then manually. Coders embark on a journey to find the pieces of a broken rocket, exploring different worlds, meeting new characters, solving puzzles and unlocking cool outfits.
Stencyl is game creation software that lets users publish iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows, Mac, Linux, HTML5 & Flash games without code. They use a graphical interface similar to Scratch, but with new functionality and even more ready-to-use blocks. Kids can build their own worlds and characters and edit them in detail to make them more complex. The graphics are kid-friendly and, for advanced students, there is the option to see and edit the text-based code in their game. Requires software download and setup, but offers extensive learning support in their forums and there is no cost for the starter version. Stencyl is great for kids who appreciate game development and detail in design.
Swift is a programming language created by Apple and used by professionals to build apps for use on Apple devices. With the Swift Playgrounds app, students are able to learn Swift through an engaging and fun set of challenges. Starting with the “Fundamentals of Swift” lesson, students can create programs with real-world applications for app development, and as they progress in their learning, they’ll learn more advanced concepts through puzzles, challenges, and completing levels in the app.
Toy Theater (ages 5-13)
Toy Theater is a collection of educational games for kids that are free, fun, and interactive. There are courses on coding, but also other subjects like Math, Reading, Art, and Music. It’s a great website that is well-designed, user friendly, and cute enough for younger kids, but deep enough for older students. They have been around since 2001 and have over a million users per year, so they offer free resources that are well-made and high quality. They also have tools for teachers who want to incorporate games into their lessons.
Unplugged Activities (various ages)
Coding for kids can be screen-free too. If you prefer more hands-on activities, go ahead and try some unplugged activities. This is a compilation of different computerless games to play and paper activities to print. Plenty of free coding for kids resources here.