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Coding Resources for Kids

Coding Resources for Kids

A curated list of resources for teaching coding to children, from ages 5 upwards. Suggest links in the comments below.

Early Years

  • “Make a Sandwich” game - A simple game where the class has to instruct a computer (the teacher) to make a ham sandwich. This introduces the idea of computers following instructions. Here's another example.
  • Hello Ruby - Various activities, including making a remote control to control your friends.
  • Bee-Bot Floor Robot - Programmable robots that can be used to introduce sequencing and following instructions.
  • Coding For Kids: Without a Computer - A collection of activities away from a computer that encourage and teach basic computing concepts.

Key Stage 1 (5-7 Years)

  • Hopscotch - An iPad app for creating simple games and apps by dragging and dropping colourful blocks and images.
    • Basic Edition - Free, but there are in-app purchases to acquire new characters.
    • School Edition - Costs £7.99, but has all characters unlocked.
  • Makey Makey – An invention kit that turns everyday objects into computer inputs.
  • ScratchJr - A simplified, trimmed down version of Scratch. Only on iPad.
  • Run Marco! - An adventure game in which you must give an intrepid explorer sequences of instructions to reach crystals. It offers a nice step-by-step mode where you can run the instructions one at a time to work out where you went wrong.
  • Lego - Any Lego set could be used to introduce the concept of following a set of step-by-step instructions like a computer does.
  • Robot Turtles - Board game for kids to learn basic programming concepts. Focuses on sequencing. Purchase on Amazon.
  • Nina and the Neurons: Go Digital - A series of short games that introduce the basics of sequencing and building up rules. There is also a special series of Nina and the Neurons programmes on CBeebies that focus specifically on computing.

Key Stage 2 (7-11 Years)

  • Code Kingdoms - An adventure style game, similar to Run Marco!, with a level editor for creating your own adventures.
  • Code Monkey Island - Another board game for basic programming concepts. Combines aspects such as conditionals, loops, assignment, and strategic thinking. (Appears to be US-only, but waiting to find out if they ship to the UK).
  • Technobabble - An online app by the BBC for creating simple games by plugging together different actions and rules.
    • Tutorial Videos - Follow two short videos to learn how to make a simple Asteroids clone.
  • Code Club - A nationwide network of volunteer-led after school coding clubs for children.
  • Scratch - A online-only app, much like Hopscotch but far more in-depth in the scope and possibilities.
  • Hour of Code - Much like Scratch and Hopscotch, using a blocks based structure, but with a series of short exercises to introduce concepts gradually, using well known characters.
  • Shaun the Sheep’s Game Academy - A series of video tutorials and Scratch projects.
  • Cargo-Bot - An iPad game in which you program a series of robots to move crates to solve puzzles. Created using Codea.

Key Stage 3+ (11 Years+)

  • Codea - An iPad app for making any app you can think of. Some of the qualities of Hopscotch and Scratch, but at a much higher level, introducing text-based programming using the Lua language.
  • JavaScript for Kids, by Nick Morgan - an introduction to JavaScript that teaches programming essentials through patient, step-by-step examples paired with funny illustrations.
  • Learn to Program with Minecraft Plugins
  • Greenfoot - An interactive Java development environment for simple two-dimensional applications.
  • Kids Ruby - A basic Ruby development environment for creating simple command-line applications.
  • Let's Make a Mario Game - An excellent in-depth tutorial showing how to use the Processing.js library to make a Mario game that runs in a web browser.

For Teachers

  • Computing ITT & CPD - A curated collection of resources for use by those training teachers to deliver the new primary computing curriculum
  • Espresso Coding - An entire course (including supporting materials) for teaching coding to all ages. Requires a paid subscription.

General Reading

Teaching Ideas

  • School App Store: Setup a website where children can upload their creations to share with classmates. It would be sort of like a mini app-store for the school. They could even charge a small fee or ask for donations and give any money raised to charity.
  • Blindfolded Obstacle Course: Mark out a simple course using cones. Then one pupil is blindfolded and the rest of the class has to give instructions to that pupil to help them through the course.
  • After-school Workshops: Children can come along with ideas for things they'd like to make and get some one-on-one time to help them figure out.
@getify

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commented Jan 13, 2015

Some quick resources to mention:

@craigsssmith

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commented Jan 13, 2015

Oooo, I particularly like the look of the Robot Turtles game. I'll be getting that to try out with my boys. :-) Thanks for the links.

@nihar33

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commented Jul 15, 2018

Best tutorials for kids - Coding for kids

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