Coding is an excellent tool for people to use at any age, but especially for kids. Kids are like sponges – they soak up every piece of information and continue to expand and grow at a rapid rate.
It’s always best to start them young with coding, so they can get a hold of coding skills quickly.
One of the best ways for a kid to learn how to code is with an online program.
Whether the program is in the form of an iPad app or program on the PC, these programs (see also: Beginner-Friendly Guide To Program Your Sphero BB-8 In 10 Minutes)are designed to help kids learn about coding and to improve their skills.
Plus, it means that kids get to spend more time on screens while learning some valuable knowledge.
So, if you’re looking for a program to encourage your kids to learn coding skills, you’ve come to the right place. Here are 6 amazing best coding programs for kids to improve their skills(see also: 7 Amazing Best Coding Classes For Kids To Improve Their Skills)!
Scratch is the largest free coding program for kids in the world that launched in 2007.
The aim of Scratch is to teach children about coding languages through a simple and colorful visual interface, which is as entertaining as it is informative.
Scratch is designed to promote and improve problem-solving skills and computational thinking.
It particularly specializes in block-based coding, which teaches coding languages through visual blocks rather than text, symbols, and phrases.
This is useful for helping kids learn about sequences, debugging, and loops, without the worry of making a typo.
While Scratch is designed for kids aged 8 to 16, ScratchJr is a simpler version designed for 5 to 6-year-olds.
This program does not require any previous programming or coding knowledge, (see also: Does Coding Require A Good Maths Knowledge?)making it a perfect program for beginners.
The best thing about this program is that it is completely free and available in over 70 languages.
This program is funded by the Scratch Foundation, which is a non-profit organization that relies on donations to keep Scratch free for all users.
The only downside is that Scratch only scratches (excuse the pun) the surface of coding.
While it covers the general principles of the coding language, it doesn’t go into detail about text-based coding language that is imperative for advanced coders. Still, it’s a good starting point.
Blockly is a great coding program for kids who are visual learners. It’s way easier to understand the general rules of coding languages with images rather than text, which is what Blockly aims to achieve.
This program acts like a jigsaw puzzle, wherein kids drag the blocks of code into the correct position to understand the basics of the language.
Blockly works a little like Scratch, in that it teaches kids the general basics of programming without going into the more complicated text-based language.
This makes it an ideal program for young kids who haven’t coded before, allowing them to transition to a text-based program shortly after.
The main difference between Blockly and Scratch is that Blockly is designed for older kids starting at the age of 11.
Of course, if you have a younger kid who has already grasped some coding skills, then Blockly is a good stepping stone to the next level.
Plus, Blockly is completely free to use and does not require any downloading, meaning it can be played on any device at any time with Wi-Fi!
CodeMonkey is one of the most popular coding programs for kids. Appearing on the Mom’s Choice Awards, CodeMonkey is a fun and entertaining game as much as it is an informative tool.
The aim of the game is simple – help the monkey gather bananas and save the world on his journey. This is achieved through learning and creating code.
CodeMonkey is one of those programs that teaches children valuable skills without them even realizing it.
It’s a great story-based program that is a good alternative to other gaming apps when kids get their designated iPad or iPhone time.
This program is designed for kids who have no skills in coding. It teaches everything from the ground up, from block-based coding to actual programming languages like Python and CoffeeScript.
The age range is large, too, with games suitable for 5 to 14-year-olds.
One of the best things about CodeMonkey is that it is all self-paced.
The program simply gives children the tools they need to progress with their coding skills, but not to the point where it becomes a chore. It’s meant to be fun, not homework.
4. Khan Academy
Khan Academy is an excellent non-profit learning tool that covers everything from history to biology, grammar to computer coding.
The coding lessons are interactive and guided through a “talk-through” lesson, wherein kids can pause the video at any point and experiment with the code on the screen.
It’s all self-paced to allow students to go at the pace they feel most comfortable.
Khan Academy is most suitable for students aged 14 to 18, making it an ideal coding program for teenagers and those looking to go to college.
While this is slightly out of the age range for younger kids, it means this program is also suitable for kids who have advanced skills in coding and are looking for a step-up to the next level.
The main reason why Khan Academy isn’t entirely suitable for young kids is because the material is slightly more technical than other programs.
This program is best for students who have mastered the basics with programming platforms such as Scratch or CodeMonkey.
If your kid is an avid video gamer, then a good way to encourage them to become interested in coding is with CodaKid.
CodaKid teaches kids how to make their own video games through coding. The tasks are completely creative, allowing kids to create their own roller coaster, Minecraft monster, and more.
The aim of CodaKid is to allow kids to make their own fully interactive video game.
Video games are one of the best storytelling methods, so not only is this a great way to begin their coding journey, but it also helps with their creative skills.
Plus, kids come out of the program with a tangible product to show to their friends and family.
CodaKid is one of those programs that focuses more on the fun of coding than the complexities of it, so kids rarely realize that they’re learning how to code while they’re having so much fun.
This program takes about 30–60 hours for each course, so it’s only really suitable for kids who are prepared to commit to the journey.
They also run summer camps, which is handy for keeping your kids educated and learning throughout summer!
Kodable is a popular coding program that is commonly used in elementary schools across the US.
Designed for kids aged 4 to 11 years old, this app provides basic coding skills and sets students up for advanced coding, wherein they can advance to another program.
Kodable begins with block-based coding through fun activities, featuring adorable animated creatures.
However, Kodable doesn’t just teach children how to code. It also teaches valuable life skills, including problem-solving, communication, creativity, resilience, and collaboration.
While some of the content on Kodable is free, most of it is only accessible with a monthly subscription fee.
Still, if you have the funds to commit to a high-quality coding program for your kids, this is a great option.
So, there you have it! There are countless coding programs out there for kids of all ages and skill levels, and most of them are completely free.
Hopefully, this guide has introduced you to your kid’s new favorite way of learning how to code.
Frequently Asked Questions
There isn’t really a minimum age for children to start learning how to code. However, the prime age is around 6 or 7 years old.
At this age, kids are developing their cognitive skills, which will help to make coding easier to understand in the future.
They should start learning basic coding skills, such as block-based coding, with programs suitable for their age.
There are several ways to get your 10-year-old into coding. Firstly, it’s important to emphasize that coding is a creative skill that can help kids design whatever they want via a screen.
So, if your kid loves video games, coding will help them to make their own.
The best way to encourage your child to learn how to code is by downloading age-appropriate programs.
These programs help to cover the basics of coding through fun activities and games.
If something is disguised as fun rather than homework, your kid won’t even realize that they’re learning invaluable coding skills.
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