From Apps to Board Games: Useful Resources for Teaching Kids to Code

It’s never too soon to teach your kids to code! Introducing basic programming skills can be challenging if you yourself are new to coding. Fortunately, there are a lot of resources both online and off that parents can share with their kids to help them begin learning about programming. Learning to code won’t just benefit your child’s future, it will also teach them skills like problem solving, strategy, creativity, and cooperation that they can use right now. Plus, it’s fun! The following resources are for preschoolers through teens and they will all get your kids thinking about the type of logic used in coding and the basics of programming. So check out these resources to teach your kids to code!

Kids learning how to code

Toys:

LEGO Mindstorms – This series of kits contains hardware and software to build customizable, programmable robots targeted at middle school aged kids but also popular with adults. Perhaps the first toys ever to teach kids programming basics.

Robot Turtles – “Teach your kids to code before they learn to read.” A powerful claim but the simple commands used to program the robot turtle will teach kids what it means to write code, debug, and use functions. Aimed at preschoolers, this board game should be a hit for the whole family.

Primo – Another resource for kids that doesn’t require literacy, Primo is a playful physical interface that teaches programming logic.

Sphero – The world’s first app-enabled robotic ball you can program and interact with in myriad ways. Good for kids or adults.

Apps:

Hopscotch – drag and drop blocks of code then play what you build.

Move the turtle – ages 5+ teaches the kids programming basics

Daisy the dinosaur – another drag and drop interface that teaches the basics of objects, sequencing, loops and events by solving this app’s challenges.

Books:

Hello World!: Computer Programming for Kids and Other Beginners – “A gentle but thorough introduction to the world of computer programming, it is written in language a 12-year-old can follow, but anyone who wants to learn how to program a computer can use it.”

Hello Ruby – “Hello Ruby is a children’s book that teaches programming fundamentals through stories and kid-friendly activities.”

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