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24 Best Coding Apps for Kids of All Ages


Coding apps for kids of all ages

Coding is one of those hot education buzz words, but there is real value in introducing and encouraging coding in children of all ages. Kids who are taught to code show increased logical thinking, improved creativity, higher math scores, greater problem-solving skills, and more self-confidence. There are numerous apps that teach students of any age how to code. Here are 24 of the best coding apps to get them started!

1. Scratch (Free)

Scratch – Coding Apps

Scratch is one of the earliest coding apps geared toward children. Created in 2003 by students at MIT, Scratch requires students to drag and drop bricks in certain patterns as they learn the language of coding. As children get the hang of coding, they can code interactive stories and games to share with others. Scratch is appropriate for children ages 5-16, but there is also a sister app called ScratchJr. designed especially for the youngest coders.

2. Coding Safari (Free)

Coding Safari for Kids by Hopster

This app allows children as young as age two to start learning how to code, but it is fun and educational for children up to age ten. Coding Safari teaches children how to code using animal puzzles and by creating their own animal habitats. Throughout the animal fun, children will learn key coding skills including decomposition, pattern recognition and algorithms.

3. Kodable (Free; Subscription $6.99/month)

Kodable -- Coding Apps

This app is great because it will engage children as young as six and as old as 16. Students will meet the Fuzz Family, who will take them on numerous adventures that teach them coding skills, including order of operations, algorithms, variables, and syntax. The numerous on-screen activities further reinforce the basics of coding for children.

4. Code Karts (Free for first 10 levels)

Code Karts - Pre-coding in Preschool

Code Karts is the perfect introduction of coding for children as young as age three. Engaging for older kids as well, Code Karts teaches the basics of coding with a racing game. Children guide cars through tracks using a drag and drop methodology. Once children are proficient, they can test their codes by racing other cars.

5. Osmo Coding Jam (Free)

Osmo Coding Jam -- Coding Apps

If your child loves music, this app will combine that with coding basics. Perfect for kids ages 5-12, Osmo Coding Jam allows children to organize blocks into patterns to create new songs. Once children use coding language to compose their song, they can share with family and friends.

6. Tynker (Free to Join; other costs vary depending on plans)

Tynker

Tynker is an extensive coding app that children as young as five and as old as 18 will enjoy. From learning the basics of coding to taking online coding courses, Tynker allows students to build games, create art, compose music, solve puzzles, and create mods.

7. Lightbot (Free)

Lightbot

Lightbot is a puzzle game where players use programming skills to solve the puzzles. It starts out simple for younger children but gets increasingly harder, making these upper levels great for older children and teenagers. Children get a robot character whom they use to light up tiles as they learn and implement coding skills, including loops and conditionals.

8. Box Island ($2.99 and up)

Box Island

The 3D game world that is Box Island is engaging and attractive to children in kindergarten through fifth or sixth grade. Children learn how to code by going on an epic journey through 100 levels of play. As they master things like loops and conditionals, they get to advance through the different levels.

9. Hopscotch (Free; Subscription $9.99/month)

Hopscotch

This app is quite versatile and allows students to get creative to make whatever they want. Aimed toward upper elementary and middle school age children, Hopscotch teaches kids how to code so they can make games, create art, and write stories. Children can also publish their creations for other children to learn from.

10. Everything Machine ($2.99)

Everything Machine App

Everything Machine is an app that teaches coding skills through the drag and drop method, but it also allows students to be creative. As they learn to code, students will be able to make a machine of their own imagination. Students can also use their device camera to make even more elaborate inventions.

11. Daisy the Dinosaur (Free)

Daisy the Dinosaur

This app teaches the basics of coding, making a great introduction for even young children. Using a drag and drop methodology, children create a code that makes Daisy the Dinosaur dance. Solving the challenges result in different moves and dances.

12. Algorithm City (Free)

Algorithm City is for children of all ages. As children guide a character to find and collect gold, they learn the basics of coding, including loops, functions, and command sequencing. The game includes 51 levels divided into four chapters – each of which teaches a different coding skill.

13. codeSpark Academy ($9.99/month)

codeSpark Academy

This app is made for elementary age students and is designed to teach the basics of coding using images rather than words. Students interact with the app to complete puzzles, play games, create projects, and design games as they learn how to code and program. The app was created based on research from top colleges, including MIT, making it comprehensive and educational.

14. Grasshopper (Free)

Grasshopper

Grasshopper is a great app for anyone of any age new to coding. It introduces the basics of coding. Children will play games that teach them how to write JavaScript, with increasingly more difficult challenges as they master concepts.

15. Spritebox ($4.99)

SpriteBox Coding App

This is a video style adventure game that teaches coding along the way. The goal is to find the pieces of a broken rocket ship. As children hunt down the missing pieces, they solve puzzles, explore worlds, and interact with other characters. As they master basic coding skills, they will progress to using Swift syntax. This app is great for early to upper elementary age children.

16. Run Marco! (Free)

Run Marco!

Children either become Marco or Sophia as they work through the game by thinking like programmers. The tutorials and activities are designed to teach children ages 6-12 essential coding skills such as sequence of commands and logic. This app uses blockly programming language.

17. Mimo (Free; various costs within the app)

Mimo: Learn to Code

Mimo boasts the ability to teach children how to code in just minutes a day. The app personalizes lessons based on individuals, making it perfect for children of any age. As children learn at their own pace, they will begin to master programming languages such as JavaScript, Python, and SQL.

18. Lego Boost (Free to download, $125+ for Lego Boost Creative Toolbox)

The LEGO® BOOST app

This app pairs with a Lego Boost Creative Toolbox to teach kids how to code while they play with Legos. Children join a team to bring their Lego creations to life as they also learn and master coding techniques. Using drag and drop code, children of all ages (and adults) can also add sounds and movements to their projects.

19. Think and Learn Code-a-Pillar (Free; optional purchase of the caterpillar toy for $50)

Think & Learn Code-a-pillar™

Young children can begin to learn coding skills with this app. Their goal is to help the caterpillar get to the end of the maze while also eating enough food along the way. As children master concepts, the levels get more challenging. The app works without the optional caterpillar toy, but the toy enhances the game.

20. Swift Playgrounds (Free)

Swift Playgrounds

Children can take guided lessons to learn the basics of coding, or they can go on a wide variety of challenges to let them practice coding skills. This app is perfect for beginners but is also engaging for children of all ages. It uses the programming language Swift to help children learn to create and explore worlds and characters.

21. Robozzle (Free; In-app purchases to go beyond the first 15 puzzles)

Robozzle

Robozzle is an engaging and entertaining app for middle and high school children. They will teach a robot to carry out a variety of tasks that also teach them to code. The puzzles range in ability level so children can choose the best ones for their current coding abilities.

22. Programming Hero (Free; $39.99/year)

Programming Hero

This app allows elementary age children and up to create their own game while learning coding. Children can also earn points, gifts, and badges along the way. Programming Hero also offers instant help so children can ask questions as they learn. A series of engaging quizzes further teaches children how to become coding masters.

23. CodeCombat (Free; $9.99/month)

CodeCombat · GitHub

In this app, children choose their own hero and then go on journeys and quests that also teach them coding basics. The characters are perfect for elementary and middle school age children. Quests might include lava pits and laser beams, or children might try their hand at creating their own games.

24. Enki (Free)

Enki

The Enki app has won awards and is appropriate for everyone. The app works by becoming a coach to teach basic coding skills. As children learn new skills, they can apply them as the lessons and activities get harder. Children can also work with other children as they learn.

Whatever app you choose, coding is a great skill for any child to learn and apply. In addition to being fun, coding will also help prepare children for the ever-advancing world of technology.

Also Check Out:

24 Best Coding Apps for Students of All Ages

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Sara Ipatenco

Senior Member

Sara is a 1st-grade teacher at a private school in the Rocky Mountains. She loves to read, sew, and travel. She spends most of her time away from the classroom with her husband and two children. They love taking long walks, watching movies, and playing board games together.

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