Saturday, February 20, 2016

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Free Websites that Teach Coding for Kids

Free websites that teach coding for kids are a wonderful tool to help kids (and adults) learn the language and style that computers are written in.


We live in a very different world now than 30 years ago.  Thirty years ago nobody I knew had smart phones, used the internet, or carried tablets.  Today, my toddlers can navigate all three and my preschoolers want to know how they work. My 3rd grader started looking for help to code her own apps a few months ago.  I started this collection as we browsed the internet for something written for her.

It turns out that there are a lot of free websites that teach coding for kids.  Some are more comprehensive than others, but they all have something for our game-loving kiddos who want (and will probably need) to understand and write code.  There are only a few appropriate for preschoolers, but I've learned that preschoolers very quickly turn into older kids, so I've included websites for preschoolers and older kids.

As I scoured the internet for free websites that teach coding for kids, I came across a lot that have a free component (like one free class or introduction) and a paid component.  I included some of those in a section below the free websites.  I've done my best to only include free websites in the first section--if you see that one of them turns out to require payment, please let me know so I can move it to the other list too.  And if you have a favorite website that teaches coding, please leave a comment--I'd love to know!


Totally 100% Free (as far as I can tell!):

PluralSight: Free coding courses for kids.  Includes Scratch, Scratch Jr., Basic html, Teaching Kids to Program, and more!

Code Studio: computer coding classes for kids 4 and up!  Code studio uses drag and drop to teach programming logic.  From Code.org (see below).

Scratch: uses drag and drop for kids to create projects and then share them with others.  Scratch is a community created by MIT students, designed for kids 8 and up.

Scratch Jr.: is an app that uses drag and drop and is designed for kids as young as kindergarten.

Made With Code: has free projects and encouragement for girls to code.

Thimble:  Learn html, css, and javascript while working on free projects.  For kids and adults.

App Inventor: Make android apps on this website. For older kids and adults.

CrunchZilla Code Monster: A friendly monster teaches you to code. For older kids.

MIT App Inventor: An open source app inventor from MIT. For older kids.

Codecademy: Loads of classes with interactive feedback!  For older kids.

Mozilla X-ray Goggles: "See" the code behind websites and practice changing it with "goggles."  For older kids.

Khan Academy: LOADS of free computer and coding classes for older kids and adults.

Blockly: free drag and drop games to learn coding concepts, created by Google.

Gameblox: uses drag and drop block-based programming to make games

Kid's Ruby: Download this free program to learn Ruby programming language.

CyberSecurity Lab: Defend a company from hackers while learning about computer programming,




Introduction, Sample, or Partial Course Free with Other Paid Options Available:

Tynker.com: recommended for kids 7 and up.  The first course is free and the rest are about $50 per course.
Code Avengers: lots of free intro courses and lots of paid courses.  These are meant for older kids and adults.
Lightbot.com: is a series of puzzles that require programming logic to solve.  It has a free web-based puzzle, and apps available for purchase on devices like phones and kindle.  It has an option for younger kids 4-8 years old.

Code.org: a website dedicated to getting coding instruction available to all children and teachers.  Includes a free sample, links to other websites and sources to get live classes.

Stencyl: uses drag and drop (with an option to write your own lines) to create games.  Stencyl is known for making games easily.  Publishing requires payment.

Vidcode: Uses drag and drop codes for projects with your own pictures and videos. For older kids. Free to try, but users pay.

Code Monkey: an online game that teaches a code language called CoffeeScript. For older kids. Has a free trial and a paid subscription.

Code Combat: fun, medieval-themed lessons for elementary, middle, and high school students.  Free introduction classes and then paid classes.

Tech Rocket: a series of learn-to-program classes--at least six free and six paid classes.


We are joining in the 28 Days of Hands-On STEM activities for Kids this month!  Check out the homepage to see a list of all the great STEM activities from fantastic bloggers! 




Do you have any favorite free websites that teach coding for kids?  I'd love to know!  I'd also love to hear your experience with any of these that I've included!


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3 comments:

akmal niazi khan said...

This blog awesome and i learn a lot about programming from here.The best thing about this blog is that you doing from beginning to experts level.

Love from

Jason said...

Can you add Itch to your list? I love using it with students for inclusive lessons for Scratch. Http://www.itchcode.com

coderz said...

Another new coding website for kids: http://www.gocoderz.com/