When it comes to skills kids should learn for the future, coding should be at or near the top of every list. While every kid might prefer to be a professional gamer, coding skills will be in demand for years to come. Through the use of imagination, puzzles and games, coding can be fun and entertaining. Finding apps that can help teach your kids to code is easy, as they number in the hundreds. Weeding through to find the best choices can be tough, so we have done for the work for you.
1. CodeSpark Academy
An award-winning choice available on Android and iOS, CodeSpark Academy is one of the best known coding apps for kids from 4 to 10. With more than twenty-million children in over 200 countries using the app, it is clear to see why this app is a favorite. Using its own patented “no words” interface, children are introduced to the fundamentals of computer programming. Through interactive activities, puzzles and step-by-step creative projects, learning is fun and engaging. Its lessons are based on collaborative efforts with teams at MIT, Princeton and Carnegie Mellon, which gives it a strong claim to fame. The app is free to download and costs $7.99 a month to continue lessons.
If you want an app that can give your children (ages 4 to 13) a leg up right from the start, give LightBot a try on Amazon, Google Play and iOS. It makes learning code fun through the use of games and puzzles. LightBot is a good choice for kids who are already a little knowledgeable in the coding field. There are 20 free levels to begin with and more than 50 total levels in the paid version for $2.99. Advancing to more complex lessons requires skill and aptitude that kids can develop through interactive lessons. Do not let the cute animated robot fool you. LightBot can even be a little difficult for adults.
4. Box Island
Box Island is one of the most interesting apps in this space. The app is designed to feel like a video game while still educating. Available for Android and iOS, kids ages 7 and up must help the hero, Hiro, move around the island and avoid dangerous obstacles. Kids are immediately immersed in the 3D game world which is ideal for kids who would rather be playing video games. The narrative gameplay is enjoyable and fun, helping to keep kids glued to the screen for hours on end. Kids will control each sequence of gameplay through drag-and-drop, and that ensures kids are learning problem-solving skills. Box Island ranges in price from $2.99 to $7.99, depending on skill level.
Incorporated in elementary school curriculum all over the world, Tynker is an excellent app for kids. With some of the best step-by-step tutorials in the coding space, it is no surprise that Tynker is a hit with teachers. Rated for kids ages 4 and up on iOS and Android, the price can be a little steep, ranging between $1.99 for one lesson to $95.99 for the entirety of the app. Fortunately, the latter pricing is mostly in use in schools. This ensures parents will not not be responsible for the highest pricing levels. Tynker does a fantastic job of teaching kids to explore STEM in new and engaging ways. That they can also learn to modify Minecraft or program drones is just icing on the cake.
An outstanding choice for ages eight and up, ScreenPlay is an incredibly engaging app. Advancing to new lessons requires app users to immerse themselves in the app and learn basic programming concepts. The massive variety of puzzles ensures the game never gets old. With a price of just $0.99, this app is hard to ignore. That the app can be utilized in three languages – English, Portuguese and Spanish – just makes it all the more attractive for parents to use. Using acting scenes as the backdrop, each level gets progressively harder, all while easily holding user attention. ScreenPlay is available on iOS.
Coding skills will play a major role in potential future job opportunities. Helping kids to learn coding now in ways that are interactive and fun will help set them on the right path. Whether we like it or not, families are immersed in technology, and that requires an entirely new skill set. Help your kids prepare for the future today and they will be ready for the world of tomorrow.