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Our favourite coding resources - all free!

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Learning to code, like learning a language, requires a lot of practice. When we practice coding skills, we are developing ‘computational thinking’ -a type of analysis and problem solving that allows us to get computers to do the things we need them to do.

We get a lot of questions from parents about how to practice coding at home. We’re all for coding practice: The more children practice, the more confident they will become. The good news is that there are lots of high quality, free resources available online. Here are some of our favourites 

Apps

Whether you want to learn block based coding or play a game using programming logic, these apps are designed to make the task of learning code easier, and there’s something out there for students of all ages and skill levels. Here are the five best apps that will help your child learn to code.

Devised by MIT as a companion to Scratch designed for pre-readers. Create animations and simple games using icon-based coding blocks.

With this app children learn to solve problems, design projects, and express themselves creatively on the computer.

Need some inspiration in terms of what to make? Why not try these free lesson plans:

From blue{shift} education: http://help.blueshiftcoding.com/resources

Hour of code: https://www.scratchjr.org/hoc.html

  • Swift Playgrounds (iOS) - ages 8+

This free app teaches children to code using Swift (the language behind many of your favourite iOS apps). Our one reservation is that Swift is only available for Apple devices.

It’s a simple, text-based language and children will have fun solving challenges while learning the basics of Swift.

Coding games that teach computational thinking.

This is one of our favourites (in fact we use it in our Mini Coders class). It’s a programming puzzle game, and requires using programming logic to solve levels.

  • Goldie Blox Lite - The Rocket Cupcake Co. (iOS) - ages 4+

Use computational thinking to help Goldie deliver cupcakes around town. Based on the popular Goldie Blox engineering-oriented toys designed to create enthusiasm in girls for STEM subjects.

  • Hopscotch (iOS) - ages 8+

Has a slightly more sophisticated look and feel than Scratch’s block-based coding. Ages 8+. Slightly more difficult to use as well.

 

Websites

Try creating your own website with Thimble or practice visual coding with Scratch! Any of the websites listed below can help your child practice coding at home.

This is one of the best-known sites for teaching kids and teens to code. Learn to make your own app, game or computer drawing. Children of all ages can find something that will make them eager to learn and create, from pre-readers to teens preparing for further education.

Here children can create a variety of projects: short animation, interactive art, games and stories. Scratch is an excellent tool to practice visual coding and raise children curiosity and creativity while developing their computational skills.

Children can learn how to design their own web pages in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Students can make posters, postcards, comics, automatic haiku generators, and even full websites.

Khan Academy has lessons and tutorials on everything you’d ever want to learn. From computer science to art history. Here the whole family can learn to code for free. Khan Academy makes learning code feel very easy.