Free Tools to Teach Kids How to Code
Whether you are trying to test out the coding skills you've honed playing with the Hack Computer or just looking for an easy way to get your kids into computer science, finding affordable resources to help kids learn how to code can be a bit daunting. We thought we’d put together a shortlist of some tools to help. Of course, determining the best way to teach kids to code really comes down to their individual interests and learning style, but these tools offer plenty of options.
Using a block-like interface, Scratch allows users to create projects - like interactive games, stories, and animations - and share them with others in their online communities. The block structure is really helpful for helping the kids to understand the concepts of coding without getting bogged down by the technical skills.
Code.org provides free online courses in coding designed for any age group. If you don’t have time to take a full course, they offer fun hour-long tutorials, designed to teach you a specific skill in a crunch.
Code.org co-founder Ali Partovi on why everyone should learn how to code.
Perhaps better for older kids (12 and up), Codecademy is seeking to disrupt the education system by offering coding education online for free. While they do offer premium memberships, many of their resources are available to anyone.
With a mission to offer free world-class educational tools to anyone, anywhere, Khan Academy provides personalized learning resources for all ages. Their website offers practice exercises, instructional videos, and a personalized learning dashboard that empower learners to study at their own pace in and outside of the classroom.
This fun mix of RPG-style gameplay and text-based coding. The experience is predicated on the notion that games provide a natural environment to encourage learning through trial and error. Gameplay also helps make the learning experience feel less tedious, and, well, fun! While their core product is subscription-based, their free product teaches basic syntax, arguments, and strings.
As you can see, there are plenty of free tools to teach kids to code, these are just a few that we find helpful. Of course, if you are looking for a safe computer to hone your child's coding skills, check out the Hack Computer. This full-stack laptop teaches kids how to code by encouraging them to hack and explore.