When teaching kids how to code, we see how delighted they are when they discover that they can make their own games in just a few lessons. Moreover, they can invite friends to play and share their just-created games! It is a great way to communicate with peers and make new friends.
While working on their projects, children master the fundamental coding concepts and develop skills such as critical thinking and technical design. In addition, children gain confidence in their ability to solve complex problems, ask the right questions, and find unconventional solutions. Those sound like the right skills for a digital future, don’t they?
To dive deeper into the coding world, we have selected the 5 best online coding platforms for kids. They are not only easy to learn, but most of them are free and have online support.
Access: online platform. Link access: www.tynker.com
Age: 5-15 years old
Cost: You can get acquainted with the platform using a free demo. The full version with access to all courses costs $75 for 3 months and $180 for 12 months.
Also, you can download the free Tynker Junior mobile application in the AppStore and Google Play.
The Tynker kid’s coding course is developed using the STEM methodology, which helps to quickly acquire knowledge through practice and a deep understanding of the processes. This approach is used by more than 80,000 schools and 60 million children in 150 countries. Global partners include brands such as Apple, Microsoft, Sylvan Learning and others.
As kids learn, they create games and animations, solve puzzles, complete missions and unlock new characters. So, for sure, it is a fun way to learn to code.
2. Minecraft Education Edition
Access: desktop application. Link for download: Download | Minecraft Education Edition
Age: 9+ years
Purpose: developing three-dimensional games and the study of programming basics
Code Builder was created recently – in 2017 – by Mojang Studios as a free educational program that allows kids to write code in the built-in code editor and run it in Minecraft. They can build new blocks and objects, program mobs (animals and creatures) and even develop mini-games. Once done, they can add the creations to the Minecraft world and invite their friends to play together.
Working on a mod (a modification of the Minecraft source code), children learn a lot of coding concepts, develop algorithmic and creative thinking, and pump mathematical knowledge.
Access: online platform. Access via the link: scratch.mit.edu
Age: 5-15 years old
Purpose: creating cartoons and 2D games and learning the basics of coding.
Scratch is a free online coding platform. It was created in 2007 by developers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT Media Lab). As of today, the platform is available in 70+ languages, and is used by many schools and after-school learning centres worldwide.
Using the Scratch platform, kids can create cartoons and two-dimensional games and program their characters’ behavior. The platform doesn’t use typing for coding. Instead, all programs are made up of coloured blocks that children build one by one with the help of a computer mouse.
4. Kodu Game Lab – Coding Platforms for Kids
Access: desktop application. Download here: Kodu Game Lab | KoduGameLab
Age: 9+ years
Purpose: three-dimensional game development and learning the basics of coding.
The tool originated as a Microsoft Research project in 2009. The Kodu Game Lab Kids Programming Course allows children to develop 3D games using the Kodu visual programming language. They can use tiles (tiles) to create the world’s landscape, fill it with characters and props, program the character’s behaviour and the game’s rules.
While working on projects, children learn algorithmic thinking and the basics of coding.
5. App Inventor – Coding Platforms for Kids
Access: online platform. Download here: appinventor.mit.edu
Age: 10+ years
Purpose: creating mobile applications for the Android platform
App Inventor was created by Google in 2010 and is now maintained by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT Media Lab). The platform allows you to program Android applications by building code blocks one by one.
As part of the App Inventor programming course for children, they will learn how to create native applications for mobile devices, understand UX / UI, graphics and the operation of game engines for mobile platforms.
To sum up, there are plenty of good platforms for parents looking to start teaching their kids to code. Of course, you can choose where to start based on your child’s age and interests. But as soon as the choice is made – get ready for the fact that the possibilities for your child will be endless!
If you have any questions, follow the link and enroll in a free trial lesson with Eureka Champs coding classes. In the trial lesson, your child will be able to try different directions and further learn what causes the most significant response.