By DeVry University
September 10, 2021
5 min read
Coding is a vital component in the fast-paced world of technology. It’s also becoming a more common subject for young learners, resulting in a demand for coding resources for kids.
In fact, code.org’s research shows a significant increase year over year in the number of schools (from elementary through high school) that teach computer programming. It also shows that more students are engaging with the courses each year, learning basic principles and languages and building their own apps and sites.
All that learning isn’t only happening in classrooms, however. There are several independent coding resources for kids to access on their own and plenty of reasons for them to start coding at a young age.
Why Kids and Coding is a Good Combination
Beyond the sense of accomplishment they get from mastering a new skill, coding can provide kids with several benefits:
- It’s empowering. Technology is a big part of our daily lives and knowing how to code puts kids in control. When they understand how a computer works and responds, they’re able to feel more confident about using technology to support their schoolwork and their goals.
- It stimulates creativity. Coding gives kids the ability to explore their creativity as they build websites, games and apps. It encourages them to strengthen design and logic skills, which can lead them to express their ideas in new and innovative ways.
- It provides skills for life. Coding helps build strategies for problem-solving and communicating ideas. In addition, knowing how to code helps create a solid foundational knowledge that may prepare kids to pursue a growing number of tech career paths later on.
Learning the basics of computer science can be a great way to help kids gain confidence and technical skills. Let’s look at some resources that can help kids learn and build coding skills.
7 Coding Resources for Kids
Kids need different resources at different ages. For younger kids, coding skills are often best taught through games or challenges. As they get older and understand the concepts more directly, more instructional formats can be helpful.
There are countless resources available for learning and practicing coding. To start, here’s a list of seven low- and no-cost coding resources:
1. Code.org (all ages)
Code.org is a nonprofit aimed at getting coding into more schools and reaching groups that are underrepresented in the world of programming. The site covers resources from information on technical terms to lists of local schools that teach coding. Code.org hosts tutorials and self-paced courses, all at no cost, and its Hour of Code page encourages kids to get hands-on with coding games for every grade level.
2. Minecraft: Education Edition (all ages)
In recent years, kids of all ages have come under the spell of the building-based game Minecraft. The Education Edition (which charges users a $5 annual fee) gives kids an immersive experience with various STEM subjects. That includes a robust offering of lessons and games geared toward teaching computer science. This is sure to be an easy win with kids who are already fans of the game.
3. Codemoji (ages 5-14)
Codemoji works for kids into their early teens, but its image-based interface means typing ability is not a prerequisite to learning. Kids who are still learning to read can log on and learn, so this site is recommended for children as young as five.
4. Scratch (ages 8-16)
Scratch calls itself “the world’s largest free coding community for kids.” Geared toward learners ages 8 to 16, this programming language helps kids develop the fundamentals of programming.
Created by MIT students and used in coding programs in schools, libraries and museums, Scratch allows kids to build anything they can dream up. Learners use the simple drag-and-drop language to build games and animations and share them with others around the globe.
5. Code Monkey (ages 9+)
Geared toward kids ages 9 and up, Code Monkey teaches game-based programming. Learners don’t need any prior experience to get started. They learn to write code to move a monkey through a series of challenges. There are monthly paid plans, starting at $6 per month. But there are also a good number of free challenges for kids to click on without having to subscribe.
6. Code Monster (ages 13+)
7. Glitch (ages 13+)
Glitch is a free site that lets kids build and launch web apps on a secure URL. The site is intended for older kids who are learning to code. It streamlines the process by starting with a ready-to-go setup and gathering and simplifying coding tools. With this help, students can go live with their projects right on the site.
Another great feature of Glitch is that it lets kids collaborate. They can invite friends or classmates to their project, and everyone can work together and contribute in the same way they’d work on a Google doc.
Want to Learn More About Coding?
If you, too, share a love for coding, consider advancing your skills in this area of study. At DeVry, we offer undergraduate certificate programs, associate and bachelor’s degree programs that are designed to provide you with exposure to essential coding concepts –no prior tech experience is required.
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