Last Updated on January 3, 2021 by The Soft Best
The Best Coding Apps for Kids: Whether you have decided that your child has his own mobile or if you only leave yours from time to time, in addition to configuring the device correctly and installing the corresponding parental control apps (such as Family Link ), it does not hurt to take advantage the situation for the child to learn by playing.
Benefits of Mobile Apps to Learn to Program
We spoke to the founders of Robots for Kids, who believe that starting at 4 is a perfect age to learn to code. It is a language that is already present in their life, in school, and in some toys, they have at home. Teaching them to manipulate this language can be a way to open up another dimension of knowledge, a bit like what happened to us when we were taught English as children.
What is the best coding app for beginners?
Mobile applications’ benefits to learning to program are encouraging creativity in children in solving problems; develop analytical and logical thinking. Learn new skills even if you have no idea about computers or programming; You don’t need to invest a lot of money, and they are aimed at all ages, and the challenges are usually progressive.
The Best Coding Apps for Kids
Both in Google Play and in the App Store, we can find a multitude of educational games specially created for this purpose. Some of the most popular ones try to teach kids the basics of programming while having fun. We review some of them below.
1. Bit by Bit, the Coding app for children
This app was developed with the help of children, parents, and educators. The game has very simple mechanics and is ideal for children who still cannot read or count.
They have to solve puzzles, which progress in level and consist of taking the colored Bits to their destination. They will learn by playing and without realizing the concepts of programming.
- It works on iOS and Android devices.
- Price: Free
- Age: between 5 and 11 years old.
2. Kodable – Programming for Kids
Fuzzes need your help. They are very curious aliens that roam the planet Smeeborg and find all kinds of challenges in their explorations.
The child is the one who has to program them to overcome them. A very graphic and fun game, little ones don’t have to know or read. Includes a lot of challenges in the free version.
- Works on iPad and Android (tablets only).
- Price: Free (with in-app sales to unlock advanced programming options such as loops, functions, and variables).
- Age: from 4 to 11 years old.
3. Code Karts Pre-coding for kids
Code Karts introduces pre-programming to children from 4 years old through a series of logic puzzles in the form of a race. The goal is to use the steering blocks to get the car to the finish line through careful observation of the track and some logical thinking.
It has more than 70 levels (10 of which are free), various obstacles disguised as enigmas, a very intuitive user interface adapted to children, and two different game modes: Classic or Competition. The download is free but offers in-app purchases.
4. Cargo-Bot, an app to play
Cargo-bot is a puzzle game where the child has to help a robotic arm to move boxes by programming its movements. The objective is to move the boxes with the minimum steps.
The more efficient, the more points you earn. Warning: if the children are very young they can get frustrated because the difficulty progresses and some games are a challenge even for parents.
- Works on Android tablets and mobiles, Google Play and IOS, AppStore.
- Price: Free.
- Age: from 7 years.
5. codeSpark Academy: Coding App for Kids – a very successful game to play at home
A very successful game to play at home, and that is also sweeping in schools. Children are responsible for helping the animals that live in the city of Foosville to solve challenges and puzzles.
- It works on mobiles and tablets on Google Play and the AppStore.
- Price: free for 7 days (after the monthly subscription or one-time payment to buy the license).
- Age: 4 to 9 years.
6. Toca Blocks
Recommended Best Coding Apps for Kids between 9 and 12 years old, Toca Blocks is a building application to create worlds, play in them, and share them with friends. Combining the blocks makes it possible to discover their characteristics, turn them into something different, and change their shape and color.
It is an open game without rules or time limits and with a very simple interface. Also, it allows you to take photos with a unique Block Code so that others can import your world and get the codes of others to import their worlds into your own. It is priced at 4$+ on both platforms but does not include ads or in-app purchases.
7. Hopscotch: Code & Games
Hopscotch means “hopscotch” in English, the typical schoolyard game. With this app, children will create their own animations and video games.
They will program with colored blocks that are dragged and dropped on the screen. It is also social because they can share their video games with other users.
- Works on iPhone and iPad
- Price: Free (includes subscription plans to unlock more advanced and customization options).
- Age: for children between 9 and 11 years old
ScratchJr is inspired by the famous Scratch programming language (used by millions of children around the world) but adapted for users between 5 and 7 years old. The goal is to create your own interactive stories and games by fitting graphic programming blocks with which you will make your characters move, jump, dance, or sing.
It is also possible to modify the characters in the painting editor, add your own voice, and even insert photos of yourself. Its developers claim that they have taken care of all the details of the design to coincide with the cognitive, personal, social, and emotional development of young children. The download is free and does not include in-app purchases but does allow donations to the Scratch Foundation.
Scratch Jr allows children who cannot read or write to create their first animations and simple games through programming by dragging colored blocks on the screen. Developed by the MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a recognized American university), Scratch is the programming standard for children, and this Best Coding Apps for Kids for the little ones is essential on your tablet (it does not work on mobile phones).
9. Lightbot: Code Hour
Lightbot is a very entertaining and addictive game. The objective is to get your robot (Boybot or Girlbot) to illuminate all the blue tiles on the floor through the programming commands.
The children will have to create sequences, try and test their solutions because the game does not tell them where they have made a mistake in the puzzle.
- It works on mobiles and tablets: Android, Google Play, and on iOS in the AppStore.
- Price: Free lite version. Paying Lightbot Jr (for children from 4 to 8 years old) and Lightbot Programming Puzzles (+ 9 years old).
- Age: for children between 4 and 11 years old
10. Tommy the Turtle, Learn to Code: Kids Coding
Aimed especially at children between 6 and 8 years old, this game aims to teach the fundamentals of coding with commands, sequences, and simple circuits. Additionally, audio, visual, and tactile inputs can be combined to enhance multisensory learning.
It includes a fun Challenge mode, a voice guide that accompanies any task so that it is easier to understand, and animated animal characters with 3D characteristics. Downloading the game is free and does not include ads or in-app purchases.
It is the eighties looking game. They will have to collect all the stars but getting them will not be easy, especially in the advanced levels.
It is unnecessary to know about computers to solve puzzles, but you need to be patient and give the coconut a good time. Includes more than 1000 progressive challenges.
- It works on mobiles ( iPhone and Android) and tablets ( Android ).
- Price: Free with in-app purchases.
- Age: from 6 years.
12. Code Adventures
Created with educators’ help and tested in schools, this game attempts to delve into the foundation of programming and many other skills such as logical thinking, problem-solving, patience, persistence, and self-confidence.
To do this, it proposes a multitude of aesthetically and carefully designed puzzles for children between 6 and 12 years old and structured into five basic programming categories. It includes 32 levels with humorous sounds, adorable characters, and a friendly environment without purchases or ads within the app.
13. Daisy the Dinosaur
A game created by those responsible for Hopscotch to introduce programming to elementary school children. The goal is to create animations for the dinosaur Daisy and make her dance and move around the screen.
An app with clear instructions and beautiful graphics. It can be played in free mode (create what you want) or in challenge mode, where there are 6 proposals to solve. It works in a graphical drag and drops environment to design the programming sequences.
- Works only on iPad.
- Price: Free
- Age: between 6 and 8 years.
14. Tynker: Coding for Kids
Tynker is a very intuitive and visual-only app for tablets that allows children to create games, animations, and solve music or physics challenges by programming with colored blocks.
It hooks a lot since they can also configure scenes, sounds, and characters invented by them. They have to know how to read since the explanations are in the text.
- Works on iPad and Android
- Price: free tutorials and 40 challenges (in-app purchases to access more advanced challenges).
- Age: 7 to 14 years.
How can I teach my child to code?
Before you start learning, you need to understand that explaining something to a child is often more difficult than an adult. At the very least, you need to be more diligent, patient, and restrained. Otherwise, all participants in the educational process will have a nervous breakdown.
If you do not plan to teach your child programming in 1C, it makes sense to send him to English courses to have at least a basic understanding of English terms and texts.
Before starting training, it is advisable to set a goal. Think about what your child should achieve after mastering this or that aspect of programming. For example, if you want to teach him how to use a computer at an advanced level, you will most likely not need to delve into languages like C ++. It will be enough to just master Scratch, as well as tell and show how the Webworks. Already at this level, the child will stand out among his peers.
If your goal is to get your child interested in the profession of a programmer, then it makes sense to start developing a curriculum. To do this, you can watch how the material is presented on YouTube in a video with a lot of positive comments. Also worth paying attention to is Khan Academy. There are many materials for children and adults out there, and you can simply translate them and use them to educate your child.
Note Perhaps it would be more rational first to teach the child to build small algorithms, then teach the basic concepts of English, and only then move on to programming.
Before making a high-quality programmer out of your child based on your interests, try to understand his character and, in accordance with it, choose what is more suitable for learning. There is no need to try to realize your dreams in a child; more often listen to his interests and desires.