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Coding is increasingly becoming a crucial element of a child’s education. Parents understandably are looking for different ways to help kids develop coding skills at home. Coding apps for kids is just one of many available resources along with coding games for kids.

With increased demand from parent, I’ve seen a surge in coding apps for kids. The apps serve to introduce kids to coding fundamentals. Some of these apps are designed for children as young as three! Many of the popular apps focus on introducing children to the logic of coding. However, some apps will focus on specific languages. Regardless of the app used many teach the same fundamentals. Children learn about loops, “if-then” statements, variables, and conditionals. Keeping a young child’s attention is no easy task. Most of these apps use fun characters and a story to keep kids engaged.

Apps are an amazing resource for learning. For starters, they can be used wherever you go so long as your phone or tablet is present. This convenience is very much appreciated on longer car rides. Personally, I prefer handing over a tablet knowing it will be used for educational purposes and not mindless YouTube videos.

There are numerous coding apps for kids on the market. This article is designed to help dads select the best app for their kids. The apps are broken into categories for elementary, middle, and high school so you are sure to find something for everyone in the family.

Coding Apps for Kids

Elementary School

Code Karts

First up we have Code Karts. Available on Android and iOS with the appealing price of $0 (some in-app purchases can be made) this is a great starter app for a young learner. Your child will use drag-and-drop code to navigate a race car around a track. No prior coding skills are required and children that cannot yet read won’t be at a disadvantage. Kids will master the first 10 levels, all free, by matching colors. Spend just $1.99 and you will get 70+ additional levels with increased difficulty.

No racing game is complete with out a bit of competition. Players can race other cars around the track to test their coding speed.

Kodable

Kodable introduces your child to a friendly family of aliens that have crash-landed on a new planet. This new world is covered in mazes and it’s the player’s job to help the aliens explore the land. Kids use drag-and-drop blocks to guide the aliens on their journey.

With Kodable kids will develop logic and critical thinking skills. They are also introduced to JavaScript and Swift, actual programming languages used by professionals.

Kodable is currently on iOS and does require a subscription. The lifetime subscription is $120 and includes up to four player profiles. You can also select monthly billing at $6.99/month.

SpriteBox

Playing games with your children is one of the best parts of being a dad. If you and your kids enjoy Mario then you will love learning with SpriteBox! This 2D adventure game is similar in style to Mario, but teaches kids how to code. They start with simple drag-and-drop tasks and work up to learning proper syntax. Completing the adventure is achievable for young learners with some curveballs that might even stump dad!

Middle School

Sphero Edu

Using the Sphero Edu app (iOS and Android) kids can control one of multiple Sphero robots. A personal favorite is the mini R2-D2 and BB-8 from Star Wars. The robots are durable, waterproof, and great for kids in middle school. If you have younger children around you will need to be sure small pieces, such as balls and capsules used in the robot, don’t become snacks.

Sphero provides a bit of something for everybody with levels for different coding abilities. Kids can decide to start with drawing paths and using drag-and-drop blocks and eventually get into writing text-based code.

While fun and engaging, Sphero does require some financial commitment. The app is free but you will need to pop for the robots. If you’re a DIY-er this is a great opportunity to introduce your kids to the maker movement and learn coding at the same time!

Hopscotch

Hopscotch is great because it isn’t limited to just coding practice. Kids can develop multiple other STEM skills and pick up some artistic skills as well. This is really an app that a child can use for a long time to learn and develop new skills. Your kids will have the chance to control and command the actions of numerous characters including designs and illustrations.

It’s been said that sharing is caring. I agree and it’s also a great way to receive feedback and improve yourself. With Hopscotch kids will be able to share their creations, such as games, with an online community. They will enjoy the feedback from the community and have a confidence booster as they see their creation brining joy to others.

Hopscotch has a few drawbacks. For starters it’s only on iOS and does require a subscription of $7.99/month for advanced levels. The app is also more open-ended compared to others on the list. If your child is a creative type and likes to explore this is a great app for them! Kids that require a bit more structure might find the open-endedness a bit less exciting and possibly frustrating.

High School

Robozzle

Are your kids into logic puzzles? Do they enjoy some of the old school arcade games we enjoyed as kids, such as Pac-Man? If so then you’ve done a great job introducing them to classic games! Oh, and they should check out Robozzle. In this game kids will explore literally thousands of levels as they learn about conditionals.

Designed to foster out of the box thinking, Robozzle puzzles will require your kids to analyze different perspectives when solving a problem. I know this is an article on coding apps for kids, but parents might even find this one entertaining. The free version is great and you can make in-app purchases to get advanced features.

Codea

Codea is available on the iPad and is similar in style to Hopscotch. Users create interactive games and graphics using the Lua programming language. Using simple touch commands the user creates code from various menus. Adding your own sounds, images, and characters make the game that much more exciting.

The graphics are impressive, but the UI is a bit difficult. Be warned that younger children might quickly lose interest.


Kids can learn how to code with a ton of resources available online. Tutorials and videos are fun and engaging. Introducing apps to their learning will help teach new skills while reinforcing those already developed. With how much time kids spend on devices these days encouraging them to spend some of that time learning is a wise move. Some of these games, such as Robozzle, will provide enough entertainment that kids won’t view it as traditional learning.

Drop a note in the comments below if you feel I’ve missed an amazing app for this list.

As someone who writes code for a living I can say it is sometimes the best job in the world. Sometimes it isn’t, but I’m pretty sure everyone can make a similar claim. I’ve always been excited to share the things I enjoy with my kids. Heck, even my children’s friends have learned a thing or two. While coding is exciting it can be frustrating jumping in with no prior knowledge. To reduce the risk of children quickly losing interest I’m a fan of using coding games for kids to keep things interesting.

Turning coding into a game, something fun and exciting, will help capture a child’s attention. I dare say they might not even know they are learning!

Regardless of why you want to teach your child how to code, these games can make the learning experience fun for both of you. If you aren’t familiar with coding this could be a great opportunity to pick up a new skill and watch your child learn.

Now, let’s look at some of the best coding games for kids.

Coding Games For Kids

Preschool

You might not be able to teach an old dog new tricks, but a young mind can learn anything. Children, even preschoolers, can benefit from being introduced to coding concepts.

LittleCodr is a card game (bet you weren’t expecting that) designed for young learners. It’s a simple game that is interactive, engaging and doesn’t require staring at a screen. If you like playing games as a family you need LittleCodr. Kids get to use action cards (turn right) to get parents and siblings to do silly movements.

Kids get a laugh, but they also learn about linear thinking and executing actions in sequence.

For the nerdy music-loving dads this one is for you. Well, your kids but you can play along as well. Osmo Coding Jam combines music with coding skill development. Kids, and dads, use coding blocks to create music. You will need the iOS app to accompany the game blocks. Players will move the blocks around the board to change the music. Not only will children develop problem-solving skills, but they will also learn about melody and rhythm.

Kindergarten

ScratchJr is the younger sibling of Scratch, a programming language used by millions around the world. The Jr. version allows younger learners a chance to get their feet wet with programming. Kids will move a character around, make them dance, and much more by using the programming blocks.

As kids start to program their own games they will be introduced to new concepts. ScratchJr introduces coding concepts as well as math and language. Available for iOS, Android, Chromebook, and Kindle Fire, and the best part, it’s free!

Move the Turtle is a game available on iPhones and iPads. Kids will be introduced to the basics of designing and building computer programs. A cool little turtle is your champion throughout the game. As you and your child complete tasks the turtle will move around on the screen. This game introduces some more advanced concepts such as planning complex operations using simple commands. Children will also gain experience with loops, variables, and conditionals. Finally, your child will get to play around with using sound and graphics in the game. It’s a ton of fun and is used by schools around the world.

Elementary School

As we climb the grade levels we’ll start to encounter some games you may already be familiar with. You may be a bit surprised to learn that games can be a great tool to teach kids about technology and coding.

First up is Minecraft.

With 100+ million users you’ve most likely heard of the game. This is an extremely popular game for kids. While it looks like it’s mostly about making stuff out of blocks it also has some important lessons. Most notable is the logical thinking that is required. Problem-solving and thinking outside the box are also important to be successful in Minecraft. All these skills are necessary when programming. So while your kid isn’t technically writing lines of Python, they are learning coding fundamentals.

CodeMonkey is a fun online game that started out as a program for teachers to use in the classroom. It’s now available for use at home, though it does require a monthly subscription ($4.95 – $9.95). What’s super helpful about CodeMonkey is that you have a progress tracker to see how your child is learning over time. Kids have access to courses for K-8 with block-based and text-based coding practice.

Middle School

In Swift Playground (iOS only) kids will guide a character through a 3D world. This game introduces kids to Swift, a language created by Apple and used by professionals to create mobile apps. Users can interact by incorporating their own pictures, sounds and files into their creation. Kids can also share the games they develop with friends.

Looking for an exciting game that has been introduced in 100+ countries? Give LightBot a try. Players will guide a cool little robot through various levels trying to light up tiles. Topics introduced include sequencing, overloading, conditionals, recursive loops, and procedures. Available on iOS and Android this is a game that kids won’t be able to put down. For once, you might not be too upset when they are playing a game.


Thus concludes our quick list of coding games for kids. As you can see, numerous games exist that introduce many core coding concepts. You can find games for very young learners and get them started early. Coding is a great skill and those who can master the required skills will have tons of opportunities in the future.

Happy coding!

One of the best parts about being a parent is watching children learn something new. For me one of those exciting moments was when I started teaching my kids how to code. I’ve been asked by non-coding friends if they should teach their kids Python. If the child in question has show an interest in computers and coding I would say yes.

Python is a great language for beginners to learn. As we will see it’s user friendly and not tough to start creating fun little programs. The early years of childhood and adolescence are crucial in a child’s life. What happens in these early years will impact future life and career choices. While I don’t think every child should grow up to be a programmer, learning the basics has many benefits. From analytical thinking to problem solving, just scratching the surface of how to code can impart valuable lessons.

If you want to bring the magic of programming to your children starting with Python is an excellent choice.

Beginner-Friendly

As a beginner nothing is more frustrating that concepts that are too complex to grasp. Thankfully, Python doesn’t have this issue. C++, Java, and other languages have complex syntax and structures. This may prove difficult for a beginner to understand and discourage their learning. More than one person has tried to learn how to code and stopped because of these early setbacks.

Python thankfully doesn’t have this issue. The language is intuitive and text-based with a concise syntax. Unlike other languages, the Python syntax is fairly easy for humans to read.

When it comes to kids Python is a great introductory language. It frequently proves to be a stepping stone to other, more complex languages. Like many crafts a strong foundation is core to future success. Python can provide this foundation in a fun and beginner-friendly environment.

Easy To Set Up

Setting up a new Integrated Development Environment (IDE) can be a major pain even for an experienced programmer. Python doesn’t require a special development environment. If you have a computer at home and can access the internet you can start learning Python.

You can get started by downloading the software from the official Python website. Once you’ve downloaded the software you will run the installer and then jump into the interpreter to start coding.

For an easier introduction consider one of the many online learning courses. You can go to sources like YouTube and Coursera to start learning. You can also look at sites such as CodeMonkey for fun games that teach kids how to code in Python.

Growing Demand

We all want our kids to develop skills that will someday allow them to land a great job. Python is one such skill a child can develop early that will help later in life. Aside from the analytical and critical thinking skills, Python is also in high demand.

Python tops the hackr.io list of best programming languages to learn in 2020. Ease of learning was a consideration, but also projected future job demand. Python has unseated PHP (2017), C# (2018), and Java (2019) as the fastest-growing language. Consider Python was first released in the ’80s this is pretty good for an “old” language.

As the final bit of icing on the cake, Python developers can earn anywhere from $60K up to $110K+ per year. Not a shabby living at all!

Top programming language
Source: PYPL

Career Opportunities

In addition to commanding respectable salaries, Python developers have the luxury of working at a variety of companies. Facebook and Google, for example, use the language to develop new products. NASA, Amazon, Netflix, and many other big companies are also looking for Python talent.

These companies will continue to grow and so will their demand. Knowing how fast tech entrepreneurs innovate it is reasonable to expect when your kids are ready to land a job a new hotshot tech company might hire them.

Python likely won’t be the only language your child picks up over their career. Starting with this language is a good first step towards future learning and development.

Python Is Popular

Being such a popular programming language has a few benefits. The biggest benefit for new programmers is that you can find answers to almost every question online. The Python community is known for being friendly. Ask a question on a forum and you will get a bunch of helpful responses.

Naturally you want to ensure your kids are asking questions in a safe area and that the responses are helpful. I live by Stack Overflow. They have over 1.5 million questions tagged as Python. The responses tend to come fast and are typically helpful. Stack is also a safer area to ask questions as opposed to Reddit or other forums. Folks going to Stack Overflow are going for one reason: to ask, answer, or find solutions to coding questions.

Python Is Versatile

Python can be used across a variety of industries and for numerous applications. Interested in data science, machine learning, artificial intelligence, or big data? Learning Python and the accompanying libraries will be a huge step in the right direction!

When parents teach their kids python the children are learning more than syntax and structure. They are also learning how to develop automation tasks (very helpful!), game development, and much more. With even a bit of basic knowledge your child can begin building websites and basic games.

By virtue of its versatility Python encourages children to be creative and think outside the box. Kids can build a website or game and then get creative with expanding their creation. More advanced learners might consider integrating their love of coding with robotics. With a bit of effort and ingenuity your children could be creating some awesome robotic devices while still in high school!


When parents ask if they should teach their kids Python I’m always happy to discuss the pros of the language. Learning how to code can be tricky. Python provides a friendly introduction to coding which I find wonderful. It’s a skill that can be used throughout life even if you aren’t doing it professionally. The skills developed from learning how to code can help in almost any career. If your kids have expressed an interest in learning I’d say go for it! You can find plenty of free resources online to get them started. Honestly, the best way to learn is by doing.

Happy coding and don’t forget to check our site frequently. We’re building out a kid-friendly intro to Python course. We’ll be posting bite-sized lessons that will take your kids through many of the basics. From understanding variables and syntax to creating their first program.

Programming is a highly useful skill for your children to learn, regardless of the career path they pursue in the future. Teaching your children how to code helps them develop important problem-solving skills, encourages creativity, and builds communication skills. It that isn’t enough to get you excited, it can be a great opportunity to bond and have some fun. Here we provide our thoughts on why it’s important to teach kids how to code. Then, we provide some helpful tools for kids of all ages.

The Importance of Teaching Your Children How to Code

It’s tough to pinpoint one reason why children should learn how to code. So rather than try and pick just one, we’ve pulled together a few reasons why coding should be on your list of things to do with your kids.

Develop Problem Solving Skills

Learning the basics of coding, along with understanding how computers work, helps children to grasp how things work. They also develop an appreciation for all the effort that goes into the tech we use every day. Coding also helps children understand how software developers use math in order to solve problems. Logic and creativity go hand in hand for programmers.

Learning how to code at a young age will help children master overcoming adversity. How many times have you written code in 30 minutes then needed an hour or more to find that one, small error? Problem solving skills combined with patience will be very useful later in your child’s life.

Learn How to Think

Coding teaching us how to think. When creating a program it is much more than staring at a screen cranking out lines of code. A different thought process is required. Creating a quality program requires the programmer to identify a large issue, break it down into smaller parts and then solve the problem in an effective manner.

Preparing Them for the Future

It’s been said that software is eating the world. When you look at the number of businesses that hire developers these days that statement makes a lot of sense. Regardless of the career path your child pursues, if they have coding skills they will have a leg up on the non-coding competition.

Not only can a career as a developer be rewarding, it is also high-paying. With a shortage of developers, especially for emerging technology such as AI, those who are proficient in the right languages will be able to demand a rather cushy salary.

We’ve touched on just a few points why you teaching your children how to code is a good idea (don’t forget about cyber security!). We could write a short novel if we wanted to list all the reasons. Suffice it to say that it is an important skill for a variety of reasons. Now, let’s get into the fun part! Educational resources to develop your children’s coding skills.

Entry Level Programming Games

The youngest children respond best to programming resources that focus more on graphics than the actual code itself. It’s true that many of these educational apps come with an 8+ age rating. However, if your child is able to read and understand cause and effect then the following games should be suitable as an introduction to coding.

Daisy the Dinosaur is a free game found on Apple’s App Store. Children will manipulate a dinosaur, Daisy, through various challenges that introduce loops, events, and other basics of programming. At the first glance you will notice this is a very basic app. That’s why it is in our entry level section. Daisy presents a simple, fun, and non-threatening introduction to programming for young kids. The app has a free version so you can see if it’s a fit without having to pay up.

A free, web-based resource from MIT is Scratch. With activities for parents, educators, and curious kids Scratch was designed for kids 8-16.

Scratch is an excellent tool to teach kids about developing animations, creating interactive stories and games all using drag-and-drop blocks. Navigation is very user-friendly and designed to keep kids engaged. You can even design custom costumes for your characters!

Not only can you design your own characters, but Scratch provides nearly limitless methods to make the character do what you like.

Once you and your child have developed your masterpiece you can save the file and share it with friends. Scratch doesn’t allow you to create an app ready for the Play Store or App Store, but it still provides a great experience and learning opportunity.

Once you’ve had a chance to play around with Scratch you can move on to Stencyl.

With Stencyl, you can use a platform that is similar in feel to Scratch, but allows you to publish games. You can publish to Android, iOS, HTML5, Windows, and Mac. Note that it’s free to publish to the Web, but paid plans ranging from $99/yr – $199/yr are required to publish to desktop and mobile.

Stencyl is fun because it provides a drag & drop option for new users. They also enable more advanced users to create and share custom blocks through code and imported libraries. For the advanced dad or kid, building and sharing custom blocks could be a rewarding challenge.

Advanced Programming Games

Once you’ve mastered the basics it’s time to step up to more advanced games.

For those who want to create a serious Android app, check out App Inventor from MIT. With over 8 million registered users and 35 million apps built, App Inventor provides tutorials to help add your custom developed app to that growing list!

At first glance App Inventor will remind you of Scratch and Stencyl. However, the differences quickly become obvious. App Inventor is packed with all the methods, functions, and other coding elements that are needed to build an actual Android app.

While App Inventor is packed with features, it isn’t the most user-friendly. Middle school and high school students would likely do best with this tool.

Alice provides an introduction to object-oriented programming languages, such as C++. It’s a free 3D programming tool that incorporates the use of building blocks to create games and animations. Kids can program 3D models, camera motions and scenes.

The drag & drop functionality is helpful and even a bit better than Scratch as it’s less cluttered. A great benefit is the ability to transition to a standard programming language from the visual building block interface. This is done by converting programs, called methods in Alice, into a Java IDE (think NetBeans).

Alice is recommended for students that are 10+ as the move to a more traditional coding sans blocks might be tough for younger learners.

Coding MOOCs

Massively open online courses (MOOCs) have been around for a while, but they seem to be getting increasingly popular with people spending more time at home. Courses tend to offer more formal training in programming. From basics all the way to advanced levels, MOOCs can be a great way to supplement learning.

Some of our favorite platforms include Codecademy and Khan Academy.


It would be tough to highlight every app and platform that would be useful in teaching your children how to code. The big takeaway here is that resources are available and can be used for either a very low cost or for free. For dads who want to learn to code with their kids some of the above platforms and resources can prove fun for all ages and skill levels.