Coding Apps that Teach Kids Real Computer Programming

 

There comes a time when kids who are interested in learning how to code must step away from visual block, drag and drop coding, and enter the brave new world of coding with real languages.

 

Some parents opt to make this leap right away, while others wait until their child has a foundation with visual beginner platforms such as Scratch or Blockly.

 

Back in the day when I was learning to program, the options were limited. Figuring out the basics of coding was an exhausting process that required a lot of reading and experimenting.

 

There were no online tutorials, and most documentation was geared towards people age 18 and older. 

 

Today, it’s a whole different story. There are a number of online coding apps that make coding fun and creative, and there are even many free options available.

 

Here is a list of my favorite coding apps for youngsters who are interested in becoming future programmers.

 

1. Code.org

Platform: Web

coding apps

 

Code.org is a non-profit project dedicated to teaching kids of various ages and ability levels computer programming skills. The main goal of this organization is to present every student with the chance to master coding.

 

Filled with an impressive number of game-like interactive lessons available in different languages and exclusive videos in which such figures as Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and even former President Barack Obama share their knowledge and opinions on the subject of coding – Code.org is truly a great place for getting kids excited about computer sciences and programming.

 

From app development to game design and website creation – Code.org has courses on a variety topics and stages of coding. Apart from that, the organization also offers App Lab, a tool that makes it easy for kids to create and share their projects.

 

App Lab is an amazing web-based coding app that in many ways resembles Scratch. It uses the same drag-and-drop interface and a block-based coding system that makes it super easy for kids to develop programs.

 

In this app, students can design and share simple apps in a matter of seconds. Then they can code in JavaScript with either blocks or text, depending on their preferences or coding skills.

 

What sets this app apart is its unique option to switch from a drag-and-drop block system to “text mode”. The ability to transition between these two modes and see their text-based code side-by-side with their block-based sequence, makes learning to write code easier than ever before.

 

App Lab also has an asset manager that lets students upload images and sounds they want to use in their coding projects. This opens a whole lot of possibilities that will surely keep students entertained while playing around in App Lab.

 

2. CodaKid

Platform: Web

coding apps

 

CodaKid is an award-winning online kids coding school that teaches youngsters computer programming using real coding languages and professional tools. We accomplish this by teaching kids to program drones, create professional grade video games, build apps, and code Minecraft mods.

 

With hundreds of hours of student projects, CodaKid has several app development courses that educate kids how to build their own mobile game apps from the ground up, including Game Programming 1 with JavaScript and Game Programming 2 with JavaScript The classes are self-paced and they come with live support from a team of super-friendly, experienced engineers who love working with kids.

 

CodaKid courses are designed to teach kids how to code and fully comprehend computer programming concepts, such as conditionals, loops, and methods. Youngsters easily master the basics and are able to create their own lines of code and innovate in no time.

 

coding apps

 

We at CodaKid believe that coding is a skill that anyone can learn. Our track record proves that teaching kids to write code can be quite fun and inventive. To us, coding is more than a job skill. It’s an extremely powerful and valuable tool that can transform a child’s imagination into reality.

 

Teaching your kids to program doesn’t necessarily mean that you are investing in a future where they’ll be sitting in front of an office computer developing apps for their employer. Coders develop games, create animations and solve all kinds of problems. Once your kids master the skill – the possibilities are limitless! CodaKid’s main and only mission is to get students to acknowledge the fun side of coding and all the possibilities that come with learning how to successfully communicate with machines!

 

Since 2014, CodaKid has taught thousands of kids in over 80 countries to code like the pros. We’d like to think that we’re just starting and have plans to do even more in the future. Our camps and courses are unique because they are focused on individual students and small groups. We always encourage self-initiative and nurture kids’ curiosity. That has proven to be the most effective, engaging and fun way to learn.

 

3. BitsBox

Platform: Web

 

BitsBox is a fun subscription service that delivers monthly coding projects for kids. Even though the emphasis is on fun, every package has an extremely valuable education side to it. BitsBox projects teach children how to build functioning apps and apps for real devices. The narrative of every project centers around the concepts of free play, imitation, and repetition. BitsBox takes the process of learning to code, for example, in JavaScript, and chops the process in small, digestible chunks, that will surely keep kids engaged.

 

Here’s how the service works:

 

Once you subscribe, BitsBox will start delivering themed packages each month. The packages include toys, play accessories, and nicely illustrated books. Your kid can choose which project they’d like to complete. Next, once they find the one that interests them the most, the instruction directs them towards the official BitsBox site. After they land on the homepage, the students need to type in the code of the app they’re interested in.

 

coding apps

 

The site will then run the app on a computer, and they will need to scan the QR code of the app they want to try. At that point, users will be granted access to the projects and all its features. Whatever changes they make on a desktop computer, they will automatically sync on a phone or tablet.


BitsBox is a fun and extremely useful app that approaches learning to code like learning any other human language. This company offers an impressive number of projects that teach coding across different ages and skill levels. They believe that your kid will never get bored with their service because BitsBox offers one of the friendliest and most engaging ways to learn computer programming.

 

4. CodeCombat

Platform: Web

coding apps

 

Best suited for older kids, CodeCombat promotes learning of different computer programming syntaxes and structures.

 

The game is super easy to set up. All the players have to do is create an account, log in and start playing! New players are allowed to skip the tutorials and go straight to the forest where they the actual game starts. Of course, this isn’t really advisable for inexperienced coders. If your kids don’t know the ABCs of coding in their sleep, they should start from the beginning.

 

The gameplay is quite simple: Once the game starts, the screen is split in two. The right side displays a code editor, while the left brings up a labyrinth. Inside the labyrinth, the players see their character. Using Python, JavaScript, and other programming platforms and languages, players control their on-screen characters. They make them move around, battle and defeat enemies.

 

Commands have to be typed in correctly in order to move the character. The game rewards clean code and intelligent thinking. If users write messy code or continue to produce robust coding solutions – their warriors will wander aimlessly around until they’re killed.

 

At first, CodeCombat can be challenging for beginners. But for those who are willing to put in the work – CodeCombat offers a fun learning experience. The levels are well-designed, and the hints actually help players overcome challenges and pick up valuable coding tips.

 

Levels and missions gradually increase in difficulty, so players are constantly challenged and encouraged to tryout new concepts and improve their coding skills. If they get stuck somewhere along the game, players can turn to the CodeCombat community for help. The no-code policy prevents community members from physically writing lines of code for other players, which is great because your kids won’t be able to cheat their way through the game.

 

5. KhanAcademy

Platform: Web

coding apps

 

Khan Academy is a well-known website and an app where youngsters can learn everything from K-12 math, chemistry, biology, arts, history, to computer science and programming.

 

The best thing about this app is that it allows full access to Khan Academy’s extensive video library on the go. With over 3000 educational videos available in its repository, the Khan Academy app has a reputation online as a great tool for kids who are interested in expanding their existing knowledge on any number of different subjects.

 

For aspiring coders over the age of 15- the Khan Academy website is a nice place to start. The site offers multi-hour, self-paced courses in JavaScript, HTML/CSS, and SQL. These courses teach kids how to build graphics, interactive visualization, animations, and more.

 

Roblox Studio

 

The students can quickly pick up where they left off and download videos or entire lists and watch them at their own pace. If you sign up as a coach, the app will notify you every time your student completes a challenge. Once your child passes the starting courses, you can enroll them in other advanced courses.

 

Everything on Khan Academy is free. All your kids need to start learning is an account. The courses are available to everyone in the world, as long as they have a good enough Internet connection to download the app.

 

The only real downside to using the Khan Academy app is that it’s limited to just playing videos. The site itself gives students the possibility to test what they’ve learned while watching the videos through exercises and actual coding assignment. With the app, these key features are not accessible.

 

 

coding apps

 

Wrap Up

 

Thank you for taking the time to read this article from beginning to end. As you can see from everything written above, there are some exciting apps and websites that make learning to code fun. 

 

Did we miss something that you think should have made our list? If so, please let us know your thoughts by leaving them in the comments below.

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