Overview: Got a kid who loves gaming? Want to teach him a valuable skill which goes along with this interest? Here are 10 coding for kids resources they’ll love!
Our kids are growing up in a very different world than the one in which we did. Many of them have had smartphones in their hands since they were babies or young children. They’re familiar with apps and can intuitively figure out how to use them. And they can text with their thumbs, which is amazing to me!
As parents who didn’t grow up as surrounded by technology, it can be a challenge to figure out how to best teach our children how to not only survive but to thrive in this brave new world.
Fortunately, there are all sorts of amazing resources which are available to help guide our children to become familiar with computers and how they work and to learn valuable coding skills from a young age.
Here are 10 Essential Coding for Kids Resources:
1 – My First Computer Coding Book Using Scratch Jr (Ages 4 and up) – This fun, friendly guide is a perfect first introduction to computer coding. Discover how computers work and what coding does – then follow simple, step-by-step instructions to code your own stories and games. The coding uses Scratch Jr., a computer language designed for beginners, and ScratchJr is available as a free app for both iPad and Android tablets. For more information about Scratch Jr, see scratchjr.org. Helpful notes for grown-ups included!
2 – Look Inside How Computers Work (Ages 5 and up) – Each double-page spread has a stunning color illustration and several flaps to lift to find out more about what’s going on in the scene – such as what goes on inside a computer, how programs organize and send information around and many other facts. Learn about the history, and gain an understanding of how computers work.
3 – Lift the Flap Computer and Coding (Ages 7 and up) – An interactive introduction to information and communication technology, which explains what goes on inside computers to make them do what they do. With lots of flaps to lift and look beneath, fact-hungry children will devour the fascinating data contained in this bright and engaging non-fiction book. A return to the days when Usborne was a market-leader in computer books for children. Many of today’s tech professionals were inspired by Usborne’s coding books from the 1980s. Also available in Spanish.
4 – Coder Academy (Ages 7 and up) – The academy series features activities, cool quizzes, and super skill tests. Stickers, model, poster, and games included. Whimsical art and creative fun for anywhere! Discover the essential skills required on the way to becoming a computer coding expert in this innovative activity book, encouraging imaginative play and problem-solving. The fresh, contemporary artwork helps to make basic coding concepts accessible.
5 – Apex Learning (Ages 8 and up) – My son took 2D Game Design, MOD Design, 3D Animation, and 3D Modeling & Printing courses through a company called Youth Digital, which is now part of Apex Learning. These courses help kids to learn how to gain valuable skills using programs which are used in the industry by professionals but it’s done in a step-by-step way which is easy to follow and fun.
6 – 100 Things to Know About Numbers, Computers & Coding (Ages 9 and up) – These friendly books break info down into bite-sized chunks, making it an accessible introduction for anyone who wants to find out about these fascinating subjects. An eye-catching information book filled with one hundred interesting facts to learn about numbers, computers, and coding.
7 – Coding for Beginners using Scratch (Ages 9 and up) – An introduction to coding for complete beginners, this friendly and accessible book will teach children the basics of Scratch (a free, online program developed by MIT which is widely used in elementary schools), allowing them to get inside the code of their computer and create simple games and animations on screen. A new version (Version 3) of Scratch has been released. The current edition of this book will work for the majority of the features which are covered. There is also a supplement available with instructions for the updates: https://cdn.usborne.com/quicklinks-library/coding/using-scratch3.pdf
9 – Udemy(Ages vary up to adult) – Udemy has thousands of classes, including coding classes, to help your child learn pretty much whatever his or her heart desires. My sons have taken many of these courses over the years. They’re excellent! Be on the lookout for sales because these classes are pricey if they’re purchased at full price. But they often go on sale for $10-$15.
Have your kids ever used any of the above resources? Do you have any other great resources you can share with us? Please leave a comment below!