Made with Code
Google's Made With Code project has a mission of encouraging girls to pursue careers in computer science. The Made With Code projects are easy to follow, and if your kids are completely new to coding, don't fret. There's something for both intermediate and beginning coders.
ScratchJr is an introductory programming language that enables young children to create their own interactive stories and games. Also available on iPad Ages 5-7
With Scratch, you can program your own interactive stories, games, and animations — and share your creations with others in the online community. Ages 8-16
Fun coding puzzler helps kids ease in to complex concepts. Free and paid versions available. Ages 7-12+
Solve puzzles, help the monkey, learn to program. Free and paid versions available. Ages 9+
For the iPad:
The Foos--Visual code meets story-based game; kids learn by doing. Ages 6+
Kodable--Fun programming logic for kids, great resources for parents. Ages 6+
lightbot--Colorful, engaging intro to programming for young kids. Ages 6+
Cato's Hike--Maze puzzler makes learning programming an adventure. Ages 6+
Cargo-Bot--Challenging puzzler teaches kids to think like programmers. Ages 10+
Even More Ways to Learn:
Age range: 12 and up
Age range: 12 and up
Language: Beginning programming syntax
Codecademy has been touted as the tutorial to teach anyone to code, even disenfranchised populations, and yes, even preteens. It lacks the cartoony sprites and colorful interface of any of the other kid-targeted tutors on the list, but it’s still friendly and simple to grasp.
Age range: 8 and up
Language: Original object-oriented 3D programming language
Platform: Windows, Mac, or Linux download
Alice was designed by researchers at the University of Virginia as a gentle introduction to object-oriented programming. Its namesake, the Lewis Carroll heroine, stresses the researchers’ emphasis on making coding appealing to young girls. In Alice, draggable blocks of text instantly affect 3D sprites in a virtual world. Kids can test programs while that they create them, watching the sprites change in real time as they manipulate the block statements.
Age range: 13 and up
Platform: Mac download
Two years ago, ReadWrite has reviewed Hackety-Hack as Ruby “for the absolute beginner.” Since then, it’s been recommended as an ideal introduction for teens. With cute graphics and simple explanations, teens can learn Ruby even if they’ve never touched another programming language before. The interface is divided into two screens, an “editor” for inputting commands and testing programs, and a lesson that clarifies the code in plain English. After the tutorial, users create and share basic games and programs.
Age range: 9 to 14
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