Coding for Kids: 18 Best Coding Websites for Kids

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Inside: A great overview of coding for kids, the learning benefits of coding and 18 best coding websites for kids.

“Mum, you have to see this really cool game I coded in IT today. I created a drawing program that allows you to change the pen colour and everything!”

My daughters have been learning to code at school for the past few years now. They absolutely love it. After all, as a kid it’s super cool to see a code that you have created work as you intended it to. Hey, I would think that’s pretty cool even now and I’m 40-something!

There’s no denying that computer science is essential to our modern day lives. Technology makes our lives easier (most of the time!) and everywhere you turn you are surrounded by it – from your TV to your phone to your car and smart home appliances.

At this stage I have no idea if either of my children will choose to work in a computer science field once they enter the workforce but I do appreciate that children need to understand the importance of computer technology, and I think it’s helpful for them to understand how computer programs work, what code is and how it works because learning to use code is really cool and it helps kids develop important thinking and learning skills that have applications far beyond the reach of their keyboard.

Computer coding for kids

What is coding for kids?

Coding is the act of writing instructions for a computer to make the computer perform a task. Coding may also be called programming. A finished set of computer instructions is called a program.

Every app, game and software program we use requires a coded program to work. Many of our household appliances and even our cars also require a coded program to work.

For a program to work it must be written in a way that a computer understands. This is done with a computer language. There are different computer languages designed for different types of computer programs.

These computer languages include HTML, Javascript, C and Python. Essentially the computer language converts human generated instructions into binary code – that is, strings of ones and zeroes that tell a computer what to do.

When learning to code, children typically learn to use simplified, visual programming tools that allow them to build programs with pre-made blocks of codes that can be stacked together to form a sequence of instructions. This is commonly called block coding or block programming.

Children will then typically move on to learning to program with text-based programming languages that use words, abbreviations, numbers and symbols to create the coded instructions.

To learn to code children need to also understand how computers work, they must develop computational thinking.

Computational thinking involves a logical thought process to solve a problem, including the ability to spot and troubleshoot mistakes when a program does not work as you intended it to. Computer’s only work as well as the instructions they have been given! If a program’s instructions are not written correctly then the program won’t work properly.

Very young children can even begin to learn the principles of coding without touching a computer. These types of coding games and activities provide opportunity for children to learn the basic principles behind coding and to develop the logical thinking sequences, or computational thinking, that are helpful once they begin to learn to code on a computer.

RELATED: Teaching coding? Check out this big collection of Picture Books about Coding for Kids and Picture Books About Digital Citizenship.

 

Why Teach Kids to Code?

Coding teaches kids that finding a solution to a problem often involves a logical sequence of steps or actions. It helps to develop problem solving skills such as perseverance, trial and error and understanding of cause and effect, analytical thinking and reasoning skills, as well as math and language skills.

Coding also challenges children to think creatively and to pursue innovative ideas and solutions. We Are Teachers shares a detailed article outlining the many benefits of children learning to code.

At the end of the day, kids think coding is fun and I love that it really works their brains. And if my kids are going to be engaged on a screen, I would rather they be using it to create something rather than passively consuming entertainment!

Best Coding Websites for Kids

18 Best Coding Websites for Kids: Websites for Teaching Programming Skills

There are many websites where kids can learn how to code but they are not all created equal. The list below highlights eighteen of the best coding websites for kids, offering online coding lesson, tutorials and games for kids from age 4 through to 18 years. The list includes a mix of free and paid resources, useful for learning to code at home or at school.

1. CodeMonkey

Format: Online, app, game based coding   Ages: 4+ – 13+ years    Cost: Free & paid

CodeMonkey invites users to code with block or text based programming language to solve a variety of progressively more challenging puzzles (each level includes an additional piece of code or new function to use). Great for home and school, the website includes coding courses across a range of levels – from Code Monkey Jr for 4+ years to Coding Chatbots for 13 + years.

Get started with CodeMonkey‘s free 14 day trial.

Code Monkey coding for kids website


2. Code.Org

Format: Online, game   Ages: 5+ years    Cost: Free

Code.org is the original home of Hour of Code and well renowned within education circles. With sections dedicated to  interactive tutorials and projects for grades K-5 and 6-12, code.org starts kids off with block coding before moving into Javascript, HTML and CSS. This comprehensive resource is awesome for learning to code at home or in the classroom.

Click through to learn more about code.org.

Free coding games for kids


3. Scratch & Scratch Jr

Format: Online, app   Ages: 5/8+ years    Cost: Free

For kids aged 8-16 years, Scratch is a great tool where they can learn how to code practically anything they can dream of. With Scratch coders can program interactive stories, games, and animations — and share their creations with others in the supportive online community. The system uses block programming

Scratch is free to use for all coders, and schools can access the tools license-free.

Younger children can learn too with Scratch Jr, created for 5-7 year olds.

Click through to get started with Scratch.

Coding for Kids with Free Coding Games Websites


4. Blockly

Format: Online   Ages: 8+ years    Cost: Free

As the name suggests, Blockly teaches coding through a series of puzzles with block programming. Kids need to solve a series of eight puzzles, dragging and dropping the blocks of code to solve a specific challenge. Blockly is a simple tool created for children who have not had any prior experience with computer programming with the goal of introducing conventional text-based coding languages. Children need to be able to read independently to progress through the lessons without adult assistance. 

Click through to give Blockly a go.

Coding for Kids Websites That Teach Programming Skills


5. Code for Life

Format: Online, lessons    Ages: 6+ years    Cost: Free

Designed for use with students in elementary/primary school through to high school, Code for Life uses Blockly and later Python to learn everything from basic coding principles through to coding through game play. The comprehensive lesson plans are a great resource for teachers.

Learn more at Code for Life.

Code for Life


6. Bitsbox

Format: Subscription box    Ages: 6+ years    Cost: Paid

Unique to the other inclusions on this coding websites for kids list, Bitsbox is a subscription box with supporting website that provides a physical product as support for kids learning about coding. Each box includes instructional support materials that teach parents and kids about coding concepts and commands, a series of themed project cards and progress stickers, as well as a project binder and dividers to help keep learning materials organized. Kids log into the Bitsbox website and have fun coding with JavaScript to create video games, greeting cards, simulations and more.

Find out more about coding with Bitsbox.

Websites to teach coding for kids


7. CodaKid

Format: Online, game   Ages: 7+ years    Cost: Paid

Offering hundreds of hours of video tutorials and coding tools, CodaKid teaches kids to use real programming languages (JavaScript, Java, Lua and Unreal Blueprints) to do all sorts of awesome coding tasks – create Minecraft mods, design games, build apps and websites, create for Roblox, program drones and more.

Start with a 14 day free trial at CodaKid.

Codakid


8. Coding Kingdoms

Format: Online, video lessons    Ages: 8+ years    Cost: Paid

Great for home use, Coding Kingdoms uses interactive video coding lessons to guide school age kids through the comprehensive coding program. Users start out with block coding before moving to Java and Lua text based coding languages to create games and mods for use in the popular computer games, Minecraft and Roblox.

Get creating with Coding Kingdoms.

Coding kingdoms website


9. Tynker

Format: Online, app   Ages: 8+ years    Cost: Free & paid

Used by kids and schools all over the world, Tynker teaches coding through comprehensive step-by-step tutorials. Once the tutorials are completed, children can then create their own puzzles, games, websites and apps. The website is free to use (block coding) but requires subscription for coders who want to take their expertise to the next level (progress to Javascript and Python languages). Includes free programs for teachers, as well as a comprehensive paid coding curriculum.

Check out Tynker for some fun online coding fun.

Coding websites for kids


10. CodeMoji

Format: Online    Ages: 8+ years    Cost: Free trial/paid

Codemoji capitalises upon childrens’ fascination with emojis as a clever visual code to teach the basics of computer coding, web design and animation. Includes a great library of animated Learn to Code tutorials and interactive coding lessons. Coders can get started with a free 14 day trial followed by a monthly/annual subscription for home or classroom use.

Visit codemoji.com for more information.

Kids coding games websites


11. Gamestar Mechanic

Format: Online, learn coding through game play   Ages: 8+ years    Cost: Free

Gamester Mechanic uses fun, game based quests to help coders learn game design, and code and share their own video games. Free to play and learn at home and school, it’s a popular choice in ICT classrooms.

Check out Gamestar Mechanic here.

Gamestar Mechanic


12. Code Monster

Format: Online, lessons   Ages: 8+ years    Cost: Free

Introduce kids to Javascript programming through fun and interactive sessions with a cute, blue monster. Simple to use, there are two boxes – children code in one box and the result of ther code displayed in the other box!  Children need to be able to read independently to progress through the lessons without adult assistance. The site includes 59 lessons and user progress through the levels is automatically saved if accessed through the same computer and browser.

Have some coding fun with Code Monster now.

18 Coding Games Websites for Kids


13. Khan Academy

Format: Online, coding lessons   Ages: 9+ years    Cost: Free

Well known for its elaborate and intricate math program, Khan Academy also offers an instructive stream for kids wanting to learn how to code. The lessons are free and suitable for kids in the elementary/middle school grades. They use Javascript language and are quite detailed and a little technical. The site utilizes talk-throughs that kids can follow as they create their own programs in the site’s editor panel.

Alltogether there are 40 talk-throughs, 35 challenges and 9 projects, that could take anywhere from 15 to 40 hours to complete. There are also advanced Javascript courses for coders who want to take their learning even further

Find out more at Khan Academy.

Coding for Kids Websites for Teaching Programming Skills


14. CodeCombat

Format: Online, game based coding   Ages: 9+ years    Cost: Free & paid

This is a cool site for kids who love playing online games and want to learn how to code as they play. The games are interactive, with players writing lines of code to control the action onscreen. Players can choose either Python and Javascript languages, with  difficulty increasing as coders advance in stages through the games.

Children can play the eleven CodeCombat levels online without creating a login though they will need to create a free account to save their progress through the game levels. There are also paid subscription options for further levels and paid personalized lessons for children who would like to learn more about coding. CodeCombat also offers school licensing plans with substantial teacher support materials.

Learn to code while gaming at CodeCombat.com.

Coding Games Websites for Teaching Programming Skills


15. Vidcode

Format: Online    Ages: 9+ years    Cost: Paid

While assuming some prior knowledge of coding, Vidcode includes over 300 online coding tutorials alongside project, discussions, lesson plans and more. Lessons begin with a drag and drop script before moving into JavaScript text-based programming. With an emphasis on creativity, coders can create stop motion videos, music videos, filters, memes and more

Get creative with Vidcode.

Vidcode


16. Stencyl

Format: Online    Ages: 10+ years    Cost: Free & paid

Stencyl is block coding, just like the popular Scratch, but with turbo boosted capabilities! Users can create games to be published across a variety of platforms with simple block coding. Includes tutorials and an extensive range of helpful resources, including an Education Kit for schools.

Try Stencyl for free at stencyl.com. Paid upgrades offer more game sharing options for those who wish to publish their completed games and educational licenses for schools.

stencyl


17. CodinGame

Format: Online, game and puzzle based coding   Ages: 11+ years    Cost: Free

CodinGame allows middle schoolers and high schoolers to improve their coding skills by exploring game play and creation. This free site helps students practice by solving puzzles, compete in coding battles, contribute to multi-player games, and learn coding in various languages including C++, HTML, Java, Python, Ruby and Swift. Even professional coders and adults enjoy this site. Free tutorials make it easy to get started with any coding task!

Get gaming at CodinGame.

CodinGame


18. Code Wars

Format: Online   Ages: 13+ years    Cost: Free

Designed for high school aged coders with experience, this website provides a platform with real coding problem solving challenges. There is a wide variety of text based programming languages to choose from.

Start coding with Code Wars.

Coding Games Websites for Kids


For more great coding for kids ideas for your home or classroom, check out our list of Coding Apps for Kids.

15 Super Cool Coding Game Apps for Kids Who Love to Code

Looking for a gift for a kid who loves to code? Check out this list of 12 Super Cool STEM Toys for Kids Who Love Coding.

11 Award Winning and Highly Rated Toys for Kids Who Love to Code


Pin for later:
Coding for Kids infographic

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