Top 10 Fun Coding Activities for Kids

With how important technology has become, more and more educators and parents are looking for ways to teach computer science through coding activities for kids. Besides the obvious employment opportunities that advanced knowledge of computer sciences will bring children in the future, coding teaches them valuable lessons outside of technology, as well. Coding reinforces logic and problem-solving techniques that are essential for a well-rounded education.

With that in mind, there are a ton of engaging (and free!) coding activities for kids that will help them master the major concepts of coding, starting from as young as 2 years old. So with that in mind, let’s look at the top 10 fun coding activities for children:

10 Fun Coding Activities for Kids

 

  1. Unplugged Coding with Hotwheels

Let’s start with a fun activity that doesn’t even require the use of a computer! You can teach children the basic concepts of coding without ever touching a computer, so this is perfect for parents who don’t want to introduce computers to their very young children just yet.

By laying out a grid on the floor with some tape, you then add red construction paper to mark off certain grids blocks. Then, the challenge for your kids is to get their Hotwheels car from start to finish without running into any red squares.

This is a simple and basic activity that kids can do to learn pre-coding skills that will serve as a strong coding basis.

Level: Pre-coding

Skills: Algorithms, sequence

Ages: 4+

 

  1. Minecraft Hour of Code

Most students already love Minecraft, so why not use this familiar interface to teach them about coding? Minecraft for Education offers activities through different modules that will teach students how to use block coding.

The best part about this is that it is a hands-on experience that requires little preparation for parents and teachers. The game itself walks kids through important coding concepts. They’ll learn about loops, variables, functions, and more through these free coding activities for kids.

Level: Beginners

Skills: Blocks, Loops, Variables

Ages: 7+

 

  1. How to Survive as a Shark

Another great way to teach coding without the use of a computer, this game helps work on kids’ logic and sequential thinking skills. It’s based on the children’s book How to Survive as a Shark, so you can work on young children’s reading skills, too!

All you need is some foam board, construction paper, and some free downloadable cards to set up the board and set obstacles and food for the shark. It can also be played as a group, so it’s perfect for schools or for parents with multiple kids.

Level: Pre-coding

Skills: Sequencing, Logic

Ages: 4+

 

  1. Star Wars Building a Galaxy with Code

This is one of the best coding activities for kids out there. Through this free platform, children will learn how to program droids and even create their own Star Wars games. It’s even customizable so younger learners can focus on block programming while the older kids can work with Javascript.

The program functions like a game and has several levels and challenges for kids to work through, making an interactive way to learn coding.

Level: Beginners

Skills: Blocks, JavaScript

Ages: 7+

 

  1. Switch and Glitch Robot Adventure

This game is perfect for children since it has cute robots that teach them all about programming basics. The children will learn about algorithms while trying to save the day in this robot superhero game.

To progress, students have to figure out how to program their robots to complete tasks through both beginner and intermediate coding tasks. The best part for schools is that there is connectivity through a teacher’s portal that allows the teacher to monitor their progress.

Level: Beginner and Intermediate

Skills: Loops, Debugging, and Basic Algorithms

Ages: 3+

 

  1. Code Academy Website Builder

For older students, Code Academy is a great resource for students to get real-life practice with their coding skills. The program allows students to build their own website and will walk them through every step. Students are able to customize the website and make whatever they like, so it’s a fun and engaging way for students to see their skills put to the test!

Level: Intermediate

Skills: Website Building

Ages: 10+

 

  1. Play That Tune

For students who enjoy music, the Play That Tune app is one of the best coding activities for kids. It uses block skills and repetition algorithms to solve musical puzzles.

Kids will need to match the tune of their keyboard via their coding skills and is a great way to teach the basics of coding through an interactive and creative method. It’s also suitable for both beginner coders and intermediate coders.

Level: Beginner and Intermediate

Skills: Blocks

Ages: 10+

 

  1. Code with Anna and Elsa

Even Disney princesses can be experts in coding! For students who are big-time Frozen fans, this is a great platform to teach coding. They’ll learn the basics through snowflake patterns that turn into art.

This Disney-themed coding activity for kids teaches kids about the basics in a fun and artful way.

Level: Beginner

Skills: Blocks, Sequencing, Loops

Ages: 6+

 

  1. Lightbot

This activity is another one that’s perfect for slightly older kids. Intermediate learners will need to write codes to program a virtual robot. The students will need to write a successful code that a robot can respond to.

It’s a great responsive program that allows students to immediately test the functionality of their coding skills. It also has a wide variety of functions that the robots can do, so it’s one of the best coding activities for kids in Middle School.  They form part of the Hour of Code nationwide initiative.

Level: Intermediate

Skills: Sequencing, Debugging

Ages: 10+

 

  1. Cup Stacking Algorithms

Finally, this last coding activity for kids is another one that doesn’t require any internet access. All you need to do is get some plastic cups and download the free printable.

Students will need to learn what the different symbols represent and, based on a series of requirements and limitations, create a cup stacking design. It’s perfect to teach younger kids the basics of coding design.

Level: Pre-coding

Skills: Algorithms

Ages: 6+

 

Conclusion

There are tons of free resources for kids to learn coding, even from as young as two years old! Coding is a great skill for children as it involves problem-solving and logical thinking skills, so even if children don’t want to get into the computer science fields, the skills they learn will transfer to other areas as well. So make sure to try out these coding activities for kids and enter the world of computer science!

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