Top 5 Free Coding Games for Young Students
Next time you find yourself boarding an airplane, sitting in a waiting room, or dining at a family-friendly restaurant, take a minute to survey how many children are playing with a tablet, cell phone, or other type of tech device. With more than 42 percent of children under the age of eight now proud “owners” of tablet devices, chances are fairly high that even your own children might be some of the little blue-lit faces you notice as your eyes search for tech-connected kids.
Kids have more access to digital devices today, more than ever before. By teaching children the basics of coding at a young age, you can capitalize on their interest in computers and technology and provide them with the foundational knowledge needed to excel in this new-age world.
What is coding, exactly?
In broad context, coding is the act of writing “code”: the language used to provide instructions to computers, software applications, phones, and websites. From your Facebook and online banking applications to the websites and browser pages you visit online, a specific code (also known as programming or developing) is responsible for making all of these digital experiences work.
Why should kids learn code?
As complex as coding may seem, many educators consider it to be the “new literacy” of the modern world. By enabling students to learn to code, we can better prepare them to succeed in our high-tech, hypercomputerized society. Moreover, knowing the basics of code doesn’t commit children to a destiny in the IT industry, but it will help them to quickly and naturally excel in future careers like web design, software development, engineering, manufacturing, technology, and science—and much more.
At Connections Academy, young students have access to interactive online technology courses. This helps them gain the familiarity with the basics of using a computer that they’ll need to further their skills and education as they advance through grade levels. By starting with simple things like internet safety, keyboard familiarity, and draw and paint programs, students are able to master the basics, then confidently advance to navigating more complex programs like Microsoft Office and coding software that helps them write, organize, analyze, and present information and data.
Depending on the specific Connections Academy®–supported school, available electives may include 2-D Animation, 3-D Computer Modeling, AP Computer Science, Emergent Computer Technology, Introduction to Computer Applications, Web Design, and Game Design. Many technology courses are also available individually through International Connections Academy online private school. These options give students many opportunities to develop valuable skills for their future careers.
Learn coding for free
Fortunately, as a parent, you don’t have to dip into savings or break the bank to teach your young students the basics of coding. With the help of these five free coding games for kids, your children can build on the valuable skills and foundational knowledge needed to understand and master the basics of coding, all while having fun with the gamelike features.
With over 148.7 million participants and coding activities for children of all ages, Tynker offers a wide variety of self-paced hour-long online courses that teach children everything they need to know about coding. Joining is free, and familiar themes like Barbie, Candy Quest, Hot Wheels, and Peeps make students eager to learn.
Whether students need to learn the basics of computer science or are ready to code and design their own computer games, CodeMonkey’s game-based learning module makes understanding and mastering code fun for children of all ages. CodeMonkey offers a free trial period, and students can also access some courses for free through third-party sites.
From the developers at Apple comes Swift Playground, a revolutionary app that teaches programming language. Designed for students of middle school age, Swift helps students master the basics of key computer programming concepts by prompting interactivity through cartoon avatars living in a dreamy animated world.
Students five years old and older are introduced to the basics of programming with this fun interactive coding game. As students advance through the tasks outlined in Move the Turtle, they’ll learn how to plan complex operations through the use of simple and intuitive commands. Students will also be comfortable with concepts like loops, procedures, variables, and conditional instructions.
This is the only app on our list that costs money, but it is so affordable and also so great that we felt we had to include it. Lightbot Junior is ranked the top coding puzzle app for children ages four to eight. Designed to teach children the basic idea of coding concepts, it asks students to solve puzzles that help establish general computer science concepts. (Android and iPhone users can download the app for $2.99.)
Teaching your child the basics of coding doesn’t have to be an arduous task. With the help of these fun interactive coding games for kids, your students can learn enjoy learning and mastering key concepts of computer programming. If you’re interested in getting your child even more involved with technology and computer programming, learn more about the online courses offered by Connections Academy and by International Connections Academy online private school.