Kids Coding

There's a wide range of apps and websites to help kids get into coding.

The simplest apps all used a block-based approach, where you building a program by dragging and dropping blocks that snap together. Each block is an instruction. Games will start with very instructions available and build up as you progress through the levels.

A learning path for very young kids

For young kids, even pre-reading, and for absolute beginners of any age, here's what I suggest you try:

First get them to do the "Kids Coding" doodle from google.

It looks like this:

google_bunny.png

It's super cute, there are just 6 levels, and it teaches you the basics of writing a short program, running it, and trying again. You learn to avoid repetition by using simple loops.

Then get them to try Course 1 from Code.org.

This course starts extremely slowly, so you might need to help them skip over a few of the easier lessons: but only if they're bored... if they're having fun let them go as slow as they want.

code_dot_org.png

Those two programs represent a great start!

Next, get them to decompile the Windows Operating system and have them patch a DLL at runtime. Woah, no, wait a second, we need to step back a little.

Image Article
Google Doodle: Kids Coding Google Doodle: Kids Coding
Course 1 from Code.org Course 1 from Code.org
Cargo-Bot Cargo-Bot
LightBot LightBot
Daisy The Dinosaur Daisy The Dinosaur
Run Marco! Run Marco!
Fix the Factory Fix the Factory
Kodable Kodable
RoboZZle RoboZZle
Human Resource Machine Human Resource Machine
Hopscotch Hopscotch
Swift Playgrounds Swift Playgrounds
Small Basic Small Basic
Tynker Tynker


Here are some of the best:

The difficult thing is finding one that moves at the appropriate pace for your child's current age, knowledge and interests. If your child is bored, see if there's a way to make the game run faster or a way to skip ahead by a few levels.

There are also various puzzle games that introduce a programming concept.