The Ultimate Coding for Kids Guide: 50 Best Free Apps and Sites to Teach Kids to Code

Technology is all around us. Every day it is becoming a more integral part of our lives. Kids today have never known a world without smartphones and the internet. It’s important for children to be fluent in computer languages and to begin to learn to code. If you’re a parent who isn’t sure where to start, don’t worry!

There has never been a better time for your kids to learn to code and it’s also never been easier. Online coding classes for kids are more accessible and affordable than ever. With free and low-cost options, kids everywhere can start learning computer languages today. This is your Ultimate Guide to Coding for Kids. Here you’ll find the 50 best free apps and websites to start your child’s education in computer programming.

Table of Content

What is Coding?

At its base level, coding is the process of giving a computer a set of instructions to follow to perform a task. Each line of the code is a set of instructions that forms a script, and a set of scripts forms a program.

We communicate these instructions by using specific languages that a computer can understand. The most common mainstream languages include JavaScript, Python, and C++.

Coding is often referred to as computer programming. It is the backbone of technology and Computer Science. Coding is fast becoming a vital skill within a child's well-rounded education. 

What is Coding for Kids?

Coding for kids focuses on adding engaging and enjoyable elements to complicated concepts. Coding doesn't have to be difficult or dry.

It begins with games and drag-and-drop visual programming. Students can learn the fundamentals without advanced language or typing.

Kids will then advance to the common programming languages like Java, Python, and C++.  Many coding platforms and programs rely on games to make coding fun and interactive. Children will want to learn and create with even the most difficult skills and concepts.

Why Should My Kid Learn to Code?

Coding is fundamental to many parts of technology and our everyday lives. Social media, security systems, your phone, and even your thermostat relies on coding. Children with a foundation in coding have endless possibilities for their future.

Every child should learn to code because:

  1. Computer languages are like a second language. It is important to begin language  education when young to encourage fluency.
  2. Coding requires problem-solving skills and dedication. It helps develop critical thinking skills and enforces exceptional study habits. Kids who code often see improvement in their grades at school.
  3. Coding can be creative. It is a great way to encourage students who like art by teaching animation and game design.
  4. Coding gives kids an advantage for college and university admissions. Some coding classes even offer high school students college credit.
  5. Coding gives kids an advantage in their career prospects. Over half of the highest-paying jobs in America ask for some coding knowledge. New positions are being created every day. 

How to Choose the Right Coding Classes for Kids

Learning to code has never been easier and there are education options for every child. Kids of any age can learn these concepts if they have the right tools.  There are many options depending on your child's age, learning style, and your budget.

Kids who want to learn on their own can download apps and use websites like the ones listed below. This is a great way to begin learning to code. It is self-paced and often involves games or visual languages. These websites allow you to gauge your child’s interest in coding without spending any money.

For structured education, kids can attend camps or online tutoring. Geekedu offers affordable and thorough private online instruction for kids and teenagers.

Coding for Elementary School Kids

Apps

Algorithm City

Ages 8+

Algorithm City is a 3D-style game that teaches the basics of programming. Kids progress through levels, collecting gold, and solving puzzles while learning.

Cargo Bot

Ages 4+

Teach a robot how to move crates. This simple, yet challenging puzzle game encourages children to develop problem-solving skills. They will find fun, creative solutions while learning coding fundamentals.

Code Spark Academy

Ages 5-9

Code Spark Academy uses a variety of games to teach students the basics of coding. It is easy to begin and learn. It helps kids build  logical thinking and problem-solving skills through fun games.

CodeKarts

Ages 4-6

CodeKarts helps to develop logic, observation, and concentration in preschoolers. Kids guide a car through a track while gaining knowledge of early elements of pre-coding.

Coding Safari

 Ages 2+

Coding Safari is a fun and interactive game for preschoolers. It encourages logic, observation, and problem solving while introducing pre-coding concepts.

Daisy the Dinosaur

 Ages 5-7

Move Daisy the Dinosaur with drag and drop commands while learning coding basics. This game teaches children to experiment and discover programming with various fun challenges.

Hopscotch

Ages 4-11

This friendly app teaches kids the creative side of coding. Kids will build games, make art, and tell stories before sharing them with the community.

Kodable

Ages 4-11

Young students begin with visual-based coding games while older students progress to JavaScript. Students get creative and build characters and game levels. It is entertaining and informative.

LEGO Boost

Ages 8-12

Build with Lego and program your figures with code. Lego Boost combines the popular Lego visuals with an interactive learning experience.

Lightbot

Ages 9+

This puzzle-based game teaches sequencing, procedures, and conditionals in a fun environment. Move robots and blocks to solve problems in this intriguing game.

 

Move the Turtle

Ages 6-12

A simple but engaging game that teaches many coding concepts. Kids direct a turtle through a variety of pathways and tasks.

 

Rox’s Secret Code

Ages 5-8

This fun, interactive game teaches the coding basics. Kids help Rox debug her malfunctioning "Chorebot".

 

Run Marco

Ages 6-12

Move Marco through the level, while adapting and modifying code. This game encourages creativity. As they progress, kids will build their own levels and mini challenges.

 

Scratch Jr.

Ages 5-7

ScratchJr. is the introductory app for children beginning elementary school. These games help students to program stories and solve problems. It is an excellent way to introduce younger children to coding before moving up to Scratch.

 

Swift Playgrounds

Ages 8-12

Swift Playgrounds introduces kids to developing Apple iOS apps. It is a self-paced, challenging program. This is a great introduction to app building and the Swift programming language.

 

Websites

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Blockly

Ages 8+

Blockly Games is a series of games for children with no prior coding experience. It uses puzzle games to teach the fundamentals of conventional text-based languages. It is easy to begin with and features a clean design, but it may be difficult for younger children.

 

Code Avengers

Ages 5-12

A great introduction to web development and coding languages for elementary school students. Code Avengers has practical lessons that involve problem solving and completing challenges. Live support is available if kids get stuck or need help understanding some of the material.

 

Codecademy

Ages 8+

Codecademy is an extensive database of text-based courses in web development. Students can pick and choose the languages they are most interested in like HTML, CSS, Python, and Java.

 

Codemoji

Ages 6-12

Codemoji uses a drag-and-drop system to learn common programming languages using emojis. The courses progress from beginner to intermediate. This fun game is a solid introduction to HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

 

CodeMonkey

Ages 8+

CodeMonkey is an extensive resource that teaches beginners through games. Help the monkey gather bananas, solve problems, and progress the story. Children will then learn to build their own games.

 

RoboCode

Ages 5+

 

A fun, competitive game. RoboCode lets kids build their own robot in Java. It is interactive and fun, as kids  compete in challenges against other robots. 

 

Coding For Middle School Kids

Apps

 

Codea

Ages 12+

 

Codea combines written coded with a visual editor, making coding interactive and engaging. It encourages creativity and assists students in developing games.

 

DCoder

Ages 10+

DCoder is perfect for older students who have some coding knowledge. It is a fast and easy platform to develop and run programs right from a mobile device.

 

GameBlox

Ages 12+

Gameblox uses blocks-based programming to get students involved in building and designing games. It is easy to use on both web, and mobile, and encourages creativity and sharing your creations.

 

Grasshopper

Ages 10+

Learn JavaScript through a series of mini games. Grasshopper has two learning paths for various levels of experience. Students will work with real code as they navigate through the games.

 

SoloLearn: Learn to Code

Ages 10+

 

SoloLearn is a platform to teach kids and teens the basics of Java, C++, CSS, and Python. In this self-guided program, kids can interact with their friends. Kids will use their creations in head-to-head games online.

 

Stencyl

Ages 10+

A game studio in a box. Stencyl is an easy way to get started with game development and to publish games. Students can build using drag-and-drop or write their own code.

Websites

 

Code Monster

Ages 12+

Code Monster is a simple game that allows students to practice using JavaScript. The monster leads students through various puzzles and encourages self-motivated learning and research.

 

Code.org

Ages 10-18

Code.org offers free online coding for kids, regardless of background. Their Hour of Code tutorials are fast, hour-long sessions, to get kids coding as soon as possible. Kids can learn at their own pace, even if they have a busy schedule. Code.org is a nonprofit organization that has taught millions of kids to code.

 

Glitch

Ages 12+

A friendly community that supports collaboration and participation. Students can join a team and help to create programs. Edits happen live, so it's easy to see how changes in code can affect the complete project.

 

Scratch

Ages 8-16

Designed by the MIT Media Lab, Scratch is a programming language and an online community. Its visual block language is easy to learn and unintimidating. It is a free program that encourages kids to program and share interactive media. It focuses on the creative aspects of coding, like building games and animation.

 

Tynker

Ages 7-18

Tynker offers self-paced learning with apps and games to introduce children to coding. Age-recommended classes make it easy for any child to begin at a level that is engaging and catered to them. It promotes learning and creativity

 

Vidcode

Ages 9+

Create and customize video and images by adding text, filters, graphics, and more. Fun visual projects get more complex at every stage. Kids will gain confidence in building games and using JavaScript.

 

 

Coding for High School Kids

Apps

 

Mimo

Ages 15+

Mimo features small, digestible coding instruction with an easy-to-use interface. It teaches real coding languages to build practical projects like homepages and webstores.

 

 

Websites

AGupieWare

Ages 15+

A compiled curriculum based on the free courses offered by Stanford, MIT, and Berkeley. This university-level course covers a vast number of advanced Computer Science concepts. Teens who are looking to study Computer Science in post-secondary can use this to get a head start.

 

App Inventor

Ages 13+

App Inventor is a visual, block language for learning how to develop mobile apps for Android. Its Course-in-a-Box is a complete curriculum for students and teachers.

 

BitDegree

Ages 16+

This popular learning site has many free courses on a range of Computer Science topics. It's perfect for ambitious students looking to pursue app development or game design.

 

Code Combat

Ages 13+

Code Combat features personalized online instruction with gameplay. Kids play games while typing real Python and JavaScript to complete challenges. It incentivizes learning and keeps children engaged. They offer self-lead learning and private one-on-one instruction.

 

 

Code HS

Ages 13+

Code HS is a self-paced learning program for high school students. It features video lessons, coding exercises, quizzes, and paid online tutoring.

 

Code Wars

Ages 15+

Code Wars adds competition to learning. Train with other coders and compete in programming challenges. This is a fun approach to mastering coding skills and is a great way for kids to put their knowledge into practice.

 

Coursera

Ages 15+

 

This extensive library of online courses features real programming courses from universities. These advanced courses for older students with a strong desire to challenge themselves.

 

EdX

Ages 15+

Founded by Harvard University and MIT, EdX features thousands of university-level courses. Their Computer Science library is vast and sure to challenge ambitious high schoolers.

 

Free Code Camp

Ages 15+

A thorough resource of courses on HTML, CSS, JavaScript and more. This non-profit organization provides  high schoolers and adults with free coding education.

 

GitHub

Ages 15+

One of the most in-depth resources for coding and software development. Github allows students to explore the code created by working professionals. It also encourages collaboration on real working projects.

 

Khan Academy

Ages 13+

Khan Academy is a nonprofit foundation designed to teach students of all ages. There are exercises and instructional videos covering coding and computer science for children. Students have a personal learning dashboard and learn at their own pace. Millions of students around the world use Khan Academy as an educational resource.

 

MIT Open Courseware

Ages 15+

Sit in on a Computer Science class from one of North America's top universities. MIT offers free courses across featuring the same curriculum as their in-person classes. This is an excellent challenge for driven high schoolers.

 

StackOverflow

Ages 13+

 

StackOverflow is best for self-motivated students who  can learn without a curriculum. This question-and-answer site is an excellent resource for computer science knowledge.

 

Udemy

Ages 15+

 

Udemy has many practical courses for students with coding experience. There are free options for learning like video lessons. Students can follow along at their own pace.

The Best Coding Classes for kids of All Ages       

Getting Started with Geekedu for Free

Geekedu

Ages 7-18 

 

Geekedu delivers high-quality coding education at an affordable price. We even offer a few free options to get kids started learning to code.

 

For self-motivated students, we recommend checking out our blog. You'll find articles and tutorials written by Geekedu instructors and students. What better way to start learning than by seeing what other kids your age can do?  Every kid who writes a tutorial for us started out in one of these free trial classes. We want to encourage kids to have fun while learning how to code.
Check out our free learning resources 

Private Learning with Geekedu

Geekedu also offers a free trial class. This 60-minute class will introduce kids to coding. It is a private session with one of our qualified instructors who will build a learning plan for your child. Your instructor will be a professional who studied at a top university, or who worked in a big tech company. This class costs nothing and you are not required to buy. It's a great way to try out online coding classes without any commitment.

Full Coding Curriculum

Geekedu offers coding classes for every child - from beginner to advanced. We have a unique program designed to help kids understand how coding works and what it does. You’ll grow with the program. Start with the basics and continue learning until you’re ready for a competition or a university application.

Affordable Tuition Plan

high-quality coding education at an affordable price. 60-minute classes start as low as $32. Tuition prices are based on how many classes you want to take in a month. You can start with 4 weekly classes a month and work up to 3 classes per week. We want every kid to be able to gain the best coding education while fitting it into their life, price range, and schedule.

Geekedu is an expert in Coding and Math learning. Our goal is to inspire and empower youth to use their knowledge of technology to become the influencers, inventors and innovators of the future.

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