Great apps to help your children learn to code

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Coding, the art of writing in computer language, is essentially the backbone of all technology today. From the apps on your cell phone to the headlights in your car, everything is designed and controlled by programming code. Considering that technology is a vital part of modern society, it’s no surprise that educational professionals are recommending kids start learning these skills early. Learning to code is similar a learning a second language, and it is easier to acquire if exposed to at a young age. A whopping 71% of all new STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) jobs are in the computing field! There is no better time to prepare for the future. Here are some great apps that focus on coding for kids!

Tynker is a fun app that makes coding approachable for all ages. Using colorful characters, fun minigames, and treasure collecting, students are given interesting coding-based challenges they must solve to progress. Tynker also works with interlocking blocks of code, so students can easily learn popular languages like JavaScript and Python. What’s also really cool about Tynker is that it shows students some of the real-life applications of code. Minecraft, an incredibly popular building block based adventure, is one of the most played video games in the world right now. Tynker allows students to create their own custom modifications to Minecraft, allowing them to make custom character skins, objects, and more! By doing this, students are able to directly see how coding is implemented in real world scenarios – in this case, video game programming!

Kodable is also a very cool visual-based app that teaches kids JavaScript, a great entry-level language. Kids direct cute characters along maze-shaped paths, collecting coins along the way, all while learning syntax and variables. Kodable is perfect for younger students (K-5), and their programs are even recommended for kids as young as kindergarten level. JavaScript is a fundamental programming language used in nearly all website design, so it’s definitely a great place to start!

CodeCombat almost feels like a video game, but it’s a fantastic code teaching app for all ages! Students are able to play levels and make changes to the code, allowing them to see the results in real-time. CodeCombat is a lot of fun for older students, and the creators can boast over 5 million players. The app is also available in many different languages – the service is so popular, it has already been translated into over 50 languages!

Daisy the Dinosaur is the perfect way to introduce code to young children. Best for ages 5 to 7, Daisy the Dinosaur allows kids to move Daisy using basic commands to learn the fundamentals of coding. Another great feature of this app is the split-screen setup – kids do all the coding on the top screen, and immediately see the results of their work on the bottom screen, causing Daisy to perform an action. This app is also completely free, so it’s a great starting point!

Coding skills are required to learn any programming language, and there is no better time to introduce your kids to these concepts. Technology is increasing rapidly, and we rely more and more on it every day. From the next smartphone to self-driving cars, coding will be responsible for many of the technological advancements of tomorrow. The future generation of programmers will be the kids that start learning code now, so don’t delay!

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