To teach kids to code apps or programs is not easy, but there are great solutions out there. Diane H Wong from DoMyWriting says that in fact, coding apps for toddlers and programming apps for kids are becoming more popular with IT and computer science being so important in our days. There is obviously no one best coding app for kids, but here are some of the best apps to teach kids coding.
Scratch is by far the most popular coding app for kids currently used in many schools all around the world. It is available for free both on the web and for Android and iOS which is probably why it is so well-known. It also has a separate version called ScratchJr to be used on mobile platforms by younger kids between the ages of 5 and 7, but the regular version is suitable for kids and teenagers.
Scratch was first developed back in 2003 by MIT students and staff. The coding language it uses is specifically suitable for 5-to-16-year-olds. The language uses visual blocks or bricks that can be used in a drag-and-drop way on a workspace to build certain logical chains. This way, the child can better understand the most basic principles of coding. The website is also notorious for its numerous learning materials, instructional guides, and discussion forums.
Kodable is another relatively well-known coding app for kids. It is available for free both for iPhone and iPad, but there is no option for Android or web, unfortunately. There is also a paid pro version for those who want to get access to more features. Just like Scratch, Kodable is suitable for younger kids as well as older teenagers (from 6 years old and up). At the same time, it is remarkable for guiding users from a basic to a complex level of coding.
Tynker is a free coding app available both on the web and for iOS devices, but it also has a paid premium upgrade option. It is a relatively new app, but it has already become quite popular. Visually, Tynker is very similar to Scratch, but it is mostly focused on teaching programming instead of directly applying it like in Scratch. It is suitable both for younger and older kids and teenagers with an option to study Python for high school students.
#4 Daisy the Dinosaur
Daisy the Dinosaur is a free programming app for iPad and iPhone. What sets it apart is the fact that it is specifically made for kids of 4-7 ages making it the perfect choice for younger learners. The app was created by the same team that earlier developed another coding app for kids called Hopscotch. If you have tried that app, you will find Daisy very useful because it has a similar user-friendly interface with limited features that is best for beginners.
Daisy the Dinosaur gives the most comprehensive and easy-to-understand introduction into the world of programming for young learners. It uses such functions as conditionals and loops without actually making the child memorize what their names are and rather understanding the logic of how they can be used. The dinosaur Daisy can be made to jump, move, or dance by using the drag-and-drop commands.
Lightbot is not a free app, but it is definitely worth it for those who want more advanced options. It has two versions: an Android version that costs £2.33 and an iOS version that costs £2.99. The app is most suitable for children and teenagers aged 4-13. Lightbot is considered to be one of the more challenging programming apps, so it is best used for quick learners or those who are already on a somewhat advanced level.
The app does start with easier levels, but once you start getting to the top, it can become challenging, even for adults. Users get brief instructions at the beginning of every level explaining what they should do. The levels can then be replayed. Once you complete the level, you get access to the next one.
Last but not least, Cargo-Bot is a free coding app available both for Android and iOS devices. It is suitable for children aged 10 and up. This app specializes in puzzle challenges that incorporate a robotic arm that needs to be programmed to perform various tasks, mostly moving colored boxes to create a particular design or pattern.
Cargo-Bot was initially created on an iPad by using a touch-based coding app called Codea. Codea, in turn, is based on the programming language Lua which means the logic behind Cargo-Bot is very similar to that language and prepares learners to use Lua. That being said, using Lua right away would not be suitable for younger users.
All in all, teaching kids to code is a great solution for anyone who sees that their kid is interested in learning more about computer science. Use the apps in this article to allow your kids to be better at coding and learn every aspect of programming.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Frank Hamilton has been working as an editor at essay review service Best Writers Online. He is a professional writing expert in such topics as blogging, digital marketing and self-education. He also loves traveling and speaks Spanish, French, German and English.