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40 Sites & Apps for Teaching Kids to Program or Code

30 Sites & Apps for Learning to Program or Code

With so many STEM-related career opportunities in the 21st century, it's no wonder that STEM topics are considered a key part of learning in today's classrooms. Because of this, more and more students are learning coding and programming earlier than ever before. Fortunately, there are many cutting-edge web tools and apps that help teachers teach, and students learn, coding and programming skills. Below is a list of some of the best resources for students and educators who want to learn how to program and code.

*This list is in alphabetical order.

  1. Boogie Bot - A super fun iOS app that teaches kids how to program and code using Blockly - Google's visual programming language. Kids drag and drop code to make the robot dance.
  2. Coda Game - A free iOS app that helps students create their own games, such as Air Hockey, Flappy Bird and Platform and learn how to program or code. Kids’ creations can be shared with others.
  3. Code Avengers - A great site for teachers who want to teach their students how to code games, websites, apps, and more. Kids as young as five  can learn foundational coding skills . 
  4. Code Karts - An interesting and fun iOS game designed to teach students as young as four how to code by programming a car to drive through a racetrack and finish a race.
  5. Code Kingdoms - An excellent site for students to learn how to code games like Minecraft and Roblox through a drag-n-drop interface.  For teachers, the educator portal allows them to track and monitor student progress.
  6. Code Kingdoms: Treasure - A cool free iOS app that teaches students ages 8-14 how to program and code by drag-n-dropping blocks of code to have their character move around a board and collect an item. Games can be played and shared with friends. 
  7. Code Monster - A fantastic user-friendly site with a deceptively simple interface. Students learn how to program Javascript by practicing in side-by-side windows and watching what happens as they type in commands.
  8. Code with Google - A new initiative from Google to help students strengthen their STEM skills and learn to program/code. It combines Google’s free curriculum and coding programs from beginner to advanced.
  9. Codecademy - This interactive site helps students learn how to program in Javascript,  PHP, Ruby, or Python using stepwise instructions. A free Basic plan is offered as well as Pro and Teams plans. 
  10. CodeCampKidz - Offers 24/7 access and live sessions for kids to learn HTML, CSS, JS, and more. 
  11. CodeCombat - A fantastic way to teach coding including HTML, CSS, and more through playing a game by typing text instead of dropping blocks of code.
  12. Codelicious - A wonderful Computer Science Curriculum for grades 3rd-8th designed to teach students Javacsript, Photoshop, game creation, and more.
  13. Codemoji - An innovative new site that uses emojis to teach kids to code and tracks student progress through an educational dashboard, which helps to assess student progress and differentiate instruction.
  14. TheCodePlayer - Video walkthroughs guide users in learning HTML5, CSS3, and Javascript.
  15. CoderZ - An innovative site for learning how to program or code 3D virtual robotos through gamified lessons. CoderZ offers robotics coding competitions for students of any skill level as well. 
  16. codeSpark Academy - A fun way for kids 4-9 yrs old to learn how to code through activities, puzzles, projects and more by interacting with the Foos. The app uses a patent pending "no words" interface. 
  17. Coding, the Musical - A free iOS game designed for girls age 4-8  to teaching programming and coding by creating their own musical.
  18. Daisy the Dinosaur - From the creators of hopscotch, this fun iPad app  teaches kids how to program and animate by dragging blocks together and watching Daisy the Dinosaur animate the action.
  19. Dystopia - This innovative site teaches students how to code through a digital graphic novel.

    [Robotics in the Classroom]
  20. Gamefroot -  Provides excellent resources for teachers to learn or teach coding.  Gamefroot for Education’s “ learning packages“ and workshops for teachers and students help to integrate Gamefroot and STEM into curriculum.
  21. Gamestar Mechanic - A nice site for teachers to teach students how to program games by reinforcing skills such as problem solving, writing, storytelling, and more.
  22. Grasshopper - A free mobile app that teaches students how to program through Javascript by playing through games and puzzles.
  23. Hopscotch - A wonderful iOS app that teaches kids how to program and create animations by dragging and dropping blocks together.
  24. Human Resource Machine EDU - Designed for classroom use, this fun iOS game lets students program their worker to complete an assigned task. Requires a Filament Learning account, which includes standards-aligned curriculum. 
  25. hyperPad - Formerly known as GamePress, hyperPad allows students to create games, apps, interactive books and more. This iOS app is ideal for learning the basics of programming with lots of resources and activities for educators.
  26. Kodable - A fun iPad app designed for younger kids that has them controlling fuzzballs to complete each level.  Each level deals with a simple concept of programming with higher levels exploring more advanced concepts.
  27. MIT App Inventor - A wonderful site filled with a multitude of educational resources for teaching students how to program mobile apps. 
  28. Osmo - An award-winning education game system for the iPad that teaches students how to code through three different games (i.e. Awbie, Jam, and Duo).
  29. Pixel Press Floors - An amazing app that lets students create games by drawing them.
  30. Programmr - A nice way to learn programming by solving coding exercises.
  31. Quest - An innovative site/app for creating text-based games that will show/hide the programming language while it is being worked on.
  32. Sam Labs - Sam Labs Alpha Kit is an educational kit designed for the classroom that ignites creativity and teaches students how to code and more.
  33. Scratch - Probably the most popular site on the list, as 1000s of students have created online games through their very easy-to-use web interface.
  34. Scratch Jr - A spinoff of Scratch designed for younger kids 5-7 yrs old to teach them how to code and create interactive stories by drag-n-drop blocks of code.
  35. ScreenPlay - A fun game that introduces the basics of programming by solving puzzles through a variety of worlds.
  36. Sketch Nation - A fantastic easy-to-use mobile (iOS/Android) app for students learning how to create games. Included are multiple lesson plans for educators to help integrate STEM into the classroom.
  37. Stencyl - A wonderful site for creating iOS or Flash-based games by putting blocks together (i.e. Scratch).
  38. Swift Playgrounds - A free iPad app that lets students learn how to program in Swift. This is a fun and easy-to-use app that has users take on different challenges and even integrates with iTunes U.
  39. Tynker - A great site for students grades 4-8 learning how to program.
  40. while True: learn() - An innovative iOS game in which students learn to communicate with a cat by moving blocks of code to solve puzzles.

David Kapuler is an educational consultant with more than 10 years of experience working in the K-12 environment. For more information about his work, contact him at dkapuler@gmail.com and read his blog at cyber-kap.blogspot.com.