From opening an app to navigating web pages, coding is in just about everything we do. With children having access to computers, smartphones, and tablets at younger ages, it can also be an opportunity to teach them how to use code at a higher level. Thankfully, there are many resources at our disposal that can help kids find, use and improve coding skills so that they will understand the logic processes behind coding and maybe find future career paths for adulthood.
Nancy Drew: Codes and Clues Mystery Coding Game
Nancy Drew: Codes and Clues Mystery Coding Game is aimed mostly at girls ages 6-9 but can be used by any gender to learn basic coding. Within the story lies a mystery that the player must use coding logic to solve. Using code blocks, the player will navigate a robot through the changing stages in order to solve the mystery. The paid version is available for both Apple iOS and Android devices.
Using coding, kids are able to race cars around a track. The free version allows access to 10 basic levels but the paid version (1.99) would allow access to another 50 levels of increasing difficulty. Children at any reading level are able to make and navigate the cars on the tracks using drag and drop and matching colors. Both free and paid versions are available for both Apple iOS and Android devices.
CodeSpark Academy is another game disguising cleverly integrated coding lessons for kids aged 5 and up. Students are able to drag and drop lines of code in sequence with a coding language called Scratch. With the game, kids are able to make their own projects and save them within the app itself. As they progress in knowledge and skill the daily activities grow with them, increasing in difficulty. The app was developed with help from Carnegie Mellon, Princeton, and MIT. Both the free and paid version (7.99 a month) is available for Android and Apple iOS devices.
Students aged 4-9 can learn both robotics and computer programming using the game Robitizen. The game teaches logic and problem solving using both interactive games and lessons. Logic processes like commands, conditions, and sequences help the students navigate the game while learning the skills necessary to proceed to the next level of their coding education. Languages like SmallTalk, Squeak, and Logo, languages said to be good for beginners, are utilized for early learners and pre-readers. Both free and paid versions of the app are available for both Apple iOS and Android devices.
For students who show an aptitude for coding and excel at most challenges placed before them by other coding apps, a good option would be Lightbot: Code Hour. Unlike many coding games for children, the difficulty level for this app can become difficult enough to challenge an adult learner, making this an app that is good for children of all ages. This app comes only in a paid version and is available for both Apple iOS and Android devices.
With the prevalence of computers, apps, and smart devices, it is becoming impossible to avoid coding. For this reason, it is a good idea to get children started early when it comes to teaching them the logic processes involved in creating web pages and designing applications. Some instruction and a lot of creativity could inspire a child to find themselves in this field of technology once they reach adulthood. (And possibly create the next multimillion-dollar mobile app craze while they’re at it!)
We would love to hear about your child’s favorite apps? Do your child have some go-to apps that engages your their imagination? Please share with our community.