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Best Free Hour of Code Resources

hour of code resources
(Image credit: Hour of Code)

The Hour of Code takes place every year during Computer Science Education Week, December 7th-13th. It’s designed to get kids excited about coding via brief, enjoyable lessons, typically based on digital games and apps.  However, you can also teach coding and computer logic with “unplugged” analog lessons, some of which are listed below.  

Not only are these Hour of Code resources free, but they’re also easy to use since most don’t require an account or login.   

Hour of Code How-to Guide (opens in new tab)
Get started with the go-to site for free Hour of Code tools, guides, tutorials, and resources. 

Hour of Code How-To Guide for Virtual Events (opens in new tab)
Teaching online? Check out Code.org’s step-by-step guide to planning and successfully implementing your virtual Hour of Code. 

Hour of Code Videos (opens in new tab)
This year, the team at Code.org will host a new series of easy-to-digest, 20-minute interactive lessons for teachers and students to stream from home or the classroom. Viewers will code along with the videos and learn to program apps, solve Minecraft puzzles, train an artificial intelligence algorithm, and more.

Hour of Code Participation Guide (opens in new tab)
Browse FAQs about how to run your Hour of Code. 

Code Your Own Flappy Game (opens in new tab)
Dive right into block-based coding with a simple and fun 10-step challenge: Make Flappy fly. 

Code your Own Angry Birds Game (opens in new tab)
The familiar and colorful angry birds and hapless piggies star in this fun 20-step coding challenge. 

Intro to App Lab (opens in new tab)
Create your own apps with App Lab’s tools and guidance.

Building a Star Wars Galaxy With Code (opens in new tab)
Kids drag and drop blocks to learn JavaScript and many other programming languages. Start with the explanatory videos or go straight to the coding. No account needed. 

Computer Science Fundamentals: Unplugged Lessons (opens in new tab)
From code.org, a complete guide to unplugged coding in the classroom. 

Hour of Code Activities (opens in new tab)
These diverse coding activities are searchable by grades, skill level, technology type, popularity, and topic 

Hour of Code: Best Practices for Successful Educators (opens in new tab)
This slideshare presentation explores best practices for a successful Hour of Code in the classroom. No account required, but consider logging in to read educators’ comments and ideas. 

13 Fun and Free Coding Activities for Hour of Code Week (opens in new tab)
Kate Victoria's blog devoted to K-12 coding offers a wide variety of short plugged-in and unplugged coding activities. 

Computer Science Without a Computer (opens in new tab)
Activites, printables, and curriculum tips for teaching computer science principles the analog “unplugged” way. 

Computer Science Field Guide (opens in new tab)
This free programming resource for high school students includes a teacher’s guide, curriculum guides, and interactive lessons. Originally developed for New Zealand schools, but now adapted for worldwide use.  

Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch Coding Lessons (opens in new tab)
Twenty coding lessons of increasing difficulty feature the Grinch and scenes from the beloved book. 

FreeCodeCamp (opens in new tab)
For the advanced learner, this site provides more than 6,000 free courses and tutorials that award credit upon completion.  

Girls Who Code (opens in new tab)
Free JavaScript, HTML, CSS, Python, Scratch, and other programming lessons that students, parents, and educators can complete at home. 

Google for Education: Hands-on activities with instructional videos (opens in new tab)
One-hour activities that use coding to transform ordinary aspects of curriculum into computer science learning.  

Khan Academy: Using Hour of Code in your classroom (opens in new tab)
A step-by-step  guide to the free Hour of Code resources from Khan Academy, including programming with JavaScript, HTML, CSS, and SQL.  

Hour of Code with Kodable (opens in new tab)
Free Hour of Code games, lessons, and worksheets. Create a teacher’s account to track student progress. 

A Minecraft Tale Of Two Villages (opens in new tab)
This free resource includes everything you need to set up your Minecraft Hour of Code, including Minecraft download, lesson plan, and tutorial on facilitating an Hour of Code. 

MIT App Inventor (opens in new tab)
Users create their own mobile app with a blocks-based programming language. Need help? Try the Hour of Code Teacher’s guide (opens in new tab)

Microsoft Make Code: Hands-on computing education (opens in new tab)
Fun projects utilizing both block and text editors for students of all ages. No account needed. 

Robotics and Circuits (opens in new tab)
Free activities for robots and computing kits, organized by grade, technology, topic, and proficiency.

Scratch: Get Creative with Coding (opens in new tab)
No account needed to start coding new worlds, cartoons, or flying animals.

Scratch: Interactive Holiday Cards (opens in new tab)
Everything kids need to create and share their own interactive holiday cards. 

Scratch Jr (opens in new tab)
Nine activities introduce kids to coding with the programming language Scratch Jr., which lets children age 5-7 create interactive stories and games. 

Supporting Students with Special Needs (opens in new tab)
Ideas for teaching coding to students with autism, ADHD, and sensory impairments. 

Tynker: Hour of Code for Teachers (opens in new tab)
Text- and block-based coding puzzles, searchable by elementary, middle, and high school level. 

W3 Schools Online (opens in new tab)
The original and best free, no-nonsense site for learning coding and programming—perfect for motivated self-learners and older students.