If you have been hesitant to teach your kids how to code because you don’t think you are prepared for it, I have great news for you -- Your kids don’t need you to have a Computer Science degree or a big budget to teach them how to code. There are dozens of excellent resources available for kids to learn coding for free. Today we’re taking a look at some of my favorite free coding apps and games for kids that you can start with today.
One of the most common misconceptions about teaching kids coding is that it requires lots of time and financial investment, along with a parent who already knows how to code. The reality is, kids can learn coding at a very young age without screens, with parents who don’t have any experience with computer programming.
We live in an information age where anything you could possibly want to know or learn is right at your fingertips… Or your child’s fingertips. So the short answer is YES, your kids can absolutely learn coding for free!
As adults, we know that some of the most in-demand skills in today’s job market are in computer and software programming, which require a foundational knowledge of coding. But ultimately, not every child will want to learn coding and pursue a career in tech. For this reason, it’s important to create a stress-free approach to learning how to code. Inviting your child to learn in a fun, exciting way allows them to decide for themselves what they want to do with the knowledge they’ve been given.
Simply put, a very limited (or zero dollar) investment means no pressure to commit. The freedom to move around and play with different free resources instead of sticking to just one paid resource gives them a wide array of learning experiences and tools.
Additionally, free resources are typically unlimited and on-demand, meaning you won’t have to commit to a schedule that rearranges your family’s lifestyle.
Code.org is a nonprofit created by twin brothers Hadi and Ali Partovi, with the goal of making coding education accessible to students from underrepresented and marginalized racial/ethnic groups. Code.org makes the connections between other subjects like math, science, and social studies with computer science. Some of the activities available are creating animated poetry, interactive ecosystem models, and interactive apps with story morals.
Similar to Scratch, Blockly uses code blocks that snap together and create a program. Kids have unlimited access to simple games that teach loops and conditionals, and mathematical equations.
From Carnegie Mellon University comes the Alice Project, a free downloadable program that uses animations and stories to teach programming to kids. Alice also provides supplemental tools and resources for parents and teachers. Kids will love the rich graphics and details as they learn the fundamentals of programming for free.
In contrast to Alice is Code Monster, a simplified version of typing code and running programs as the coding is changed. Code Monster is a great way for kids to see how a program changes with the quick change of letters or numbers.
Scratch is the largest free online coding community for kids, while Scratch Jr is available for kids to learn computer programming as young as 5 years old. One advantage of Scratch is its global online community, where students and parents can turn to for support and advice. Featured projects are a great starting point for kids to gain inspiration and learn from others.
Available for iPad or iMac, Daisy is a free app that uses drag-and-drop coding blocks to animate Daisy’s movements. By learning and experimenting, kids naturally learn to code as they are entertained by watching Daisy’s movements change with every change in their coding blocks.
Available for iOS, SpriteBox Coding allows kids to learn coding by using icons, then graduate into using Swift syntax. Swift is the intuitive programming language utilized by iOS, iPadOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS. SpriteBox contains 70 puzzles for kids to solve, keeping them entertained and excited about learning to code.
Available on Apple, Google, and the Amazon Appstore, Code Karts is a simple preschool-aged coding game using visual blocks with arrows to program a race car going through a maze of streets. Using the power of observation and logic, kids are engaged in learning and able to correct their mistakes on their own.
Available for iPad or iMac, Hopster Coding Safari allows kids as young as 4 to learn fundamental computer programming skills. With this game, kids will use coding to get a tiger back to her den, or a penguin back to its Antarctic Ice Hole. Using engaging and interactive fun, Coding Safari teaches children computational thinking such as pattern recognition and algorithms.
As seen on ABC’s Shark Tank, Hopscotch is a coding app available in the Apple App Store that teaches children computational skills. With games, apps, and animations, Hopscotch allows kids to experiment, learn, and experience how software is created. Hopscotch also encourages entrepreneurship through Hopscotch Pro, where other game players can now pay creators with in-app currency seeds.
If you want to unlock your children’s learning potential today, try the GeekPack® Create and Code Camp -- a fun way for kids to learn the creative magic of coding!
Watch your children’s confidence skyrocket as they take on a 5-day coding challenge, graphic design, and the foundational tools for mobile app development.
If your kids aren’t beaming with pride after creating & coding with the GeekPack® Create and Code Camp, or their confidence doesn’t skyrocket, or if they aren’t raving about the skills they’re learning within 14-days, we’ll issue you a full refund!
It is undeniable that technology will continue to expand and grow and fill our lives more and more as time goes on. By equipping kids with the coding languages, logical thinking, and visionary perspective to improve their lives, you’re giving them more than just an in-demand job skill -- you’re giving them the tools to create their future!