15 best coding games for kids

If you’re a parent, chances are you’ve heard endless debates about how screen time affects children. And while it’s always a good idea to encourage your kids to put their phones, tablets and laptops down for some fresh air, there’s nothing wrong with giving your kids some screen time, especially if they learn something with their devices. . Looking for online educational games that your kids will actually enjoy? Then you’ll want to check out the best coding websites and games for kids, which can nurture everything from problem-solving skills to critical thinking to creativity.

Learning to code has many benefits that can also help children later in life. Besides being a highly valued skill in the workforce, coding teaches people how to work more efficiently and logically. As Steve Jobs once said, “Everyone in this country should learn to program a computer, because it teaches you how to think.” Of course, it can be helpful to learn a little about coding and its benefits before you get your kids started (and no, teaching your child to code doesn’t mean you expect them to become the next Steve Jobs). Here’s what you need to know about coding programs for kids:

What is coding, in simple terms?

Simply put, coding tells a computer or machine how to perform a task. As a representative of Raspberry Pi Foundation explains, “Coding is an aspect of digital creation. When you write code, you are writing instructions for a computer to follow.” As complex as they may seem, computers are actually simple devices, which is why you have to give them very simple instructions which you then fit into a complex set of rules. And learning to provide these instructions isn’t just useful for computers – it challenges programmers to communicate with computers in a way that makes sense.

Why is coding good for kids?

Teaching your child to code will not only make them a computer whiz, it will also teach them many other valuable skills. “When young people have the opportunity to learn and create with code, they can do amazing things, whether it’s expressing themselves creatively, highlighting real-world issues, or controlling a robot,” says the Raspberry Pi Foundation representative. “Coding also helps build young people’s resilience and problem-solving skills, as debugging is a key part of the process to make sure their code works properly. .” Yes, they can get frustrated at times, but that’s part of the process!

At what age can a child start coding?

Just like when learning a new language, it’s both better and easier to pick up coding skills at an early age. “There is research on children’s ability to learn aspects of coding as young as three years old, as well as kindergarten and early elementary school,” says the Raspberry Pi Foundation representative. Usually learn coding by programming graphical symbols. Then they move on to block-based coding and text-based coding.” Start by introducing your child to a simple game, then progress to more complex games as they develop their skills.

The best coding games and programs for kids in 2022

If you are looking to get your child interested in coding, coding websites and games is the best way to do it. You do not know where to start ? Start with our list of the best kid-friendly coding websites and games, many of which you can play for free.

  • Platform: iOS, Android, Kindle Fire
  • Pricing: Free
  • Age range: 4 years and over

Think your preschooler is too young to learn to code? Think again. Code karts makes coding possible for kids as young as four, using racetrack-themed logic puzzles and over 70 different levels (plus two different game modes).

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With interactive games and over 70 different lessons, Codable manages to break down computer topics into basic concepts that children can understand from the age of four. Kodable also allows users to unlock new avatars as they progress through levels to keep them motivated.

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  • Platform: iOS, Android, Kindle Fire
  • Pricing: Free
  • Age range: 5 to 7

Perfect for young learners, ScratchJr is an introductory programming language that allows children to create their own interactive stories and games. By programming blocks and animating their characters, users are exposed to new mathematical and linguistic concepts, as well as the building blocks of programming.

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Developed by research from MIT, Princeton and Carnegie Mellon, codeSpark Academy teaches all the basics of computer programming through daily activities, puzzles and games customized for your child’s skill level. Best of all, new content is released every month, so your kids never get bored.

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Another great option for toddlers, CodeMonkey is an online community that helps kids with no previous experience learn to code. Kids will love the game-based education, and parents will love how CodeMonkey lets you track your child’s progress as they develop new skills.

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Designed to make programming accessible and fun for children as young as five years old, Tynker gives kids the opportunity to write interactive stories, program drones, and explore other STEM topics, regardless of their previous experience. It can even be played offline without an internet connection, so kids can play on the go.

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  • Platform: Navigator
  • Pricing: Free
  • Age range: 8 to 11

Designed by MIT programmers, Stripe is the world’s largest free coding community for kids. It’s a place where users can use code to create stories, games, and animations, whether they’re just starting out or ready to tackle more complex topics and concepts.

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  • Platform: Navigator
  • Pricing: Free
  • Age range: 9 to 13

Created by the Raspberry Pi Foundation, World Club Code lets older kids start their coding journey with fun activities and no coding experience necessary. Kids can create a robot avatar, make music, design a t-shirt, or even teach the robot to dance. They also earn a badge for each project they complete and can share their coding creations.

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  • Platform: iOS, Android, Kindle Fire
  • Pricing: $2.99 ​​for the app
  • Age range: 9 years and over

LightBot is a programming game that challenges users to solve different puzzles using commands, while learning basic programming concepts. With 50 different levels, this one is sure to keep kids busy for a while (and for kids four to eight, there’s also an easier version called LightBot Jr.).

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One of the easiest coding games for kids, CodeCombat combines the world of fantasy (think: knights and dragons) with the basics of coding. Each lesson is presented as another chapter in the overall storyline of the CodeCombat universe, which is what makes this game so much fun.

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  • Platform: iOS
  • Pricing: Free
  • Age range: 10 to 15

First introduced on Shark Tank, Hopscotch is a platform that lets kids explore projects, create their own games, and learn to code along the way. The free app even provides step-by-step video tutorials that teach users how to create games, animations, and apps to see how the software is made.

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  • Platform: Mac, Nintendo Switch, Nintendo Wii U, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Windows, Xbox 360, Xbox One
  • Pricing: $6.99 (application), $26.95 (PCs and Macs)
  • Age range: 10 years and over

Perhaps the best known coding game for kids, Minecraft is to use blocks to build objects, interact with other characters and progress to new levels. It may seem simple, but it gives players the freedom to create and explore almost without limits (while completing missions and pursuing objectives).

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  • Platform: iOS
  • Pricing: Free
  • Age range: 10 years and over

Although only available on iOS devices, Fast playgrounds is still known as one of the best coding teaching apps for kids. While playing, kids can play and experiment with coding through interactive puzzles, while learning basic coding terms and functions.

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  • Platform: iOS, Android
  • Pricing: Free
  • Age range: 12 years and over

With tons of mini-lessons, projects and challenges, mimo is a platform that makes learning to code fun and accessible. The site offers daily goals, streaks, and achievement badges that will teach kids how to build websites, automate tasks, build apps, and more, all while it feels like they’re playing a game.

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  • Platform: Navigator
  • Pricing: Free
  • Age range: 12 years and over

Also created by Raspberry Pi Foundation, Projects is a catalog of over 250 free coding projects for young people to explore and improve their coding skills. From creating a stress ball app to coding musical instruments to creating a racing game, there are plenty of projects available, and each project is designed to be completed in an hour.

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