Be it Amazon, Google or Facebook; all the top companies in the world are technology behemoths. And it’s going to become pervasive as we age. So, if you are a forward-looking parent or a software developer mom, now is the time to get your kids into coding. It not only introduces them to the world of programming but also logic and creative thinking. I have sorted through a bunch of apps and made a list of best coding apps for kids using Android and iPad which teaches coding through games and puzzles. Let’s check them out.
Also Read: Best Educational Apps for Kids
Best Coding Apps for Kids
1. Coding for Kids (Age: 7+)
Teach your kid programming fundamentals with small interactive games. This app is designed for young kids which teaches them about simple sequences, loops, functions, debugging, arrays, and coordinates. Everything is animated in a 2d layout with bright colors. This helps kids ease into the game without letting them know they’re learning valuable skills.
You can choose a category like sequences and then a game of your choice. Yes, there are multiple games in one category to keep things interesting. I decided to play connect the dots. This app is best for kids who are still in their primary school and learning about basic math as it is both fun and educational. In-app purchases begin at $30 per year.
2. Grasshopper (Age: 15+)
These coding puzzles explain various terminologies like variables, strings, loops, arrays, conditionals, operators, functions, and objects. In the final stage of learning, the app takes you through a series of ‘Animations’, which helps you learn drawing shapes using the popular D3 library.
3. Scratch Jr (Age: 10+)
Learn to program by animating cartoons. Developed at MIT, ScratchJr is a coding app for kids with games designed to teach fundamentals of programming. The first page has two sections – the home page and the help section. The help section gives you a brief introduction to how the app works. The home screen stores all the projects you make on the app.
Kids are given puzzles like feed the cat. They will have to arrange the blocks in a sequence that will allow the cat to move forward.
There is an option to choose time delay, loop, and speed function among others. You can add many characters and background to the narrative and make an interactive storyline. You can also share your project The only thing missing from this app is that you can’t import your own characters but instead you have to draw everything from scratch.
4. SpriteBox (Age: 8+)
SpriteBox is an adventure game where your avatar has to go through a maze and solve hurdles to get ahead. When you first open the app and press the play button, it starts as any classic arcade game. You start in a world accompanied by a Fairy that helps you pave the path during your adventure. The hurdles are actually puzzles that can be solved with sequencing and looping parameters.
In my opinion, Spritebox is good for kids who have no idea about coding and you want to plant the idea of how fun coding can be at an early age.
Also Read: Best Educational Apps for Kids
5. CargoBot (Age: 8+)
Cargo-bot takes the innovative design on cargo crane style layout to teach programming fundamentals. The app comes with a crane based game where the objective is to arrange the different colored boxes on the pedestal using different moves. This app aims to stimulate your problem-solving skills with simple puzzles where you have to sort the boxes, move them to certain positions according to its color, etc.
The idea is to find the simplest solution using the fundamentals of programming such as sorting, looping, if-else statements. If you get stuck during a level you can look for hints which is better because you still have to program the crane. Cargo-bot implements the fundamentals in an interesting concept which is actually used in docks and warehouses. Overall the game is pretty challenging and it requires a lot of brainstorming to figure out some levels.
Download Cargo-bot: iOS (Free)
6. Algo City (Age: 5+)
Algorithm City is a 3D 8-bit style game that helps kids learn basic programming structure. The game has a minimalistic appeal-like monument valley. It has a tutorial to give you a basic idea of how to play the game. The layout is in 3D and your avatar can be facing any direction. You have to take it to the objective (the gold coin) using the forward, left, right and jump commands. These tiny details are intentionally kept in the game to stimulate creative thinking.
The app is absolutely fantastic and I had a blast while testing it. It really helps you to optimize your approach in figuring out the solution. Algorithm City is a coding app for kids who want to develop problem-solving skills.
Download Algorithm City: Android (Free)
7. M1M0 (Age: 12+)
You begin by selecting a course of your choice. There are multiple chapters that you have to finish to unlock the subsequent chapter. After every course, you get a personalized certificate that shows the achievement in the topic. You can learn from a list of courses available like – become a hacker, make a game, build an app, etc. You can take challenges in the app and solve the quiz based on your level in the course which is a great exercise tool. M1M0 has a modular structure.
The full version costs you $30/ year which gives you unlimited access to the courses.
8. SoloLearn (Age: 12+)
Not only you can learn about a topic but you can take code challenges against real opponents to test your skills. It has an in-built code editor for most languages which lets you run snippets of code on your phone. And the forum style community discussion boards are very helpful if you want a solution to a problem.
It is recommended for students looking to expand their skillset and are already familiar with the basics.
9. codeSpark Academy
Unlike other coding apps for kids where they play a game or solve a puzzle to learn how to code, codeSpark will allow them to build their own coding games. How cool is that? They will learn to program and then apply them in real-life scenarios. The curriculum was developed in collaboration with colleges like MIT.
A lot of care was taken while developing this coding game for kids. To make it safe, there are no in-app transactions, who interaction between kids and 3rd parties and no ads. A safe environment to learn to code. Helps with focus. Have more than one kid in the house? Create up to 3 profiles. There is a wide variety of games and courses available in this coding app for kids.
10. Lightbot (Age 4 to 13)
Lightbox is new on the scene of coding apps for kids but comes with stellar reviews from parents and kids alike. More suitable for kids who are familiar with the concept of code games, Lightbot is really fun to fool around with. The free version has 20 levels while you can unlock to reach level 50.
With each level, you will notice your skill and aptitude improving. It comes with a multiplayer mode where different players can save progress at various points. Suitable for friends and siblings alike.
Which are the best coding apps for kids?
Spritebox, Cargobot, and Code for Kids are good to learn the fundamentals like sequence and looping. Scratch Jr lets you animate your favorite characters, SoloLearn, Mimi, Grasshopper are good if you want to learn real coding. Tell us which does your kid likes the best?