By Sarah June Fischer May 2, 2015

Teach Your Kids to Code: Engaging Resources to Get Them Started

First penmanship, then typing, and now programming—this is the evolution of skills that students as young as elementary age are learning alongside math, writing, and science. While programming classes aren’t in every school district yet, more grade schools are incorporating computer science studies, and students are discovering how engaging and creative it can be.

Why should kids learn to code? Besides that computer programming is a fast-growing industry with huge potential, learning to program can improve decision-making and problem-solving skills. Computer programming repeatedly requires the process of hypothesizing, exploring, experimenting, evaluating, and drawing conclusions, and fosters collaboration and teamwork.

I do think this dynamic around kids growing up, building games, and playing games, is an important one because I think this is how a lot of kids get into programming. I definitely wouldn’t have gotten into programming if I hadn’t played games."

—Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO

Get your kids started in computer programming with these sites that provide fun, interactive, and engaging games and tutorials in web development, computer science, and more.

Flappy Bird Tutorial

Flappy Bird

Code.org is dedicated to exposing more K-12 students to computer science through programs and events like the annual Hour of Code. This tutorial was created for the yearly event and lets kids create their own Flappy Bird game. Try it out »

Khan Academy

Khan Academy

The training material on Khan Academy is great for beginners of all ages, and their tutorials cover more than just programming. The computing courses focus on programming and computer science, and teach HTML, CSS, and JavaScript through the creation of games and animations. Try it out »

Scratch

Created by the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab, Scratch is a free drag-and-drop learning tool. It focuses on teaching kids creativity, reasoning, and collaboration through creating games, stories, and animations. Try it out » Then check out Scratch Day 2015!

Made With Code

Made With Code

Made With Code—a tool from the minds at Google—aims to get young students started in programming through step-by-step tutorials and fun, interactive games. Try it out »

Kidsruby.com

Kidsruby.com

Kidsruby.com gets kids a lot closer to the code from the very beginning. They work with the Ruby programming language through a downloadable program that works on any computer. Try it out »

App Inventor

MIT’s App Inventor gives young entrepreneurs a way to make apps for Android. This block-based programming tool makes it easy for students to create simple apps quickly and start exploring bigger projects. Try it out »

DinoHulk

DinoHulk

Dinohulk, created by Code Fellows alum Diana Pham, makes learning fun through web comics that teach about technology and web development. Try it out »

Hopscotch

Hopscotch

Using the popular drag-and-drop training method, Hopscotch lets young developers create art and games as they learn programming concepts. The intuitive interface and engaging animations make this educational resource a fun way for kids to learn. Try it out »


Did we miss one of your favorite resources? Let us know!