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The Best Coding Games for Kids and Teens

Did you know that there are many coding games for kids today, totally accessible to beginners to learn the basics of programming? The ability to write code to program a computer or develop apps is a valuable skill that can help you throughout your life. So, it’s best if you start developing your child’s interest in coding at an early age.

Read on to discover the best games that will get your child or teenager on the track to learning computer programming.

Contents:

Coding for Kids

coding games for kids

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There are many kids coding games for learning to program and for all ages.

It is sometimes disconcerting to see our children so comfortable with a tablet, a smartphone or even a computer. They handle these devices perfectly from an early age. For example, we are always amazed to see 18-month-old toddlers slide blocks on a tablet completely naturally.

However, it seems important to us that our children are not simply consumers of technology. It is essential that they understand it in order to be able to become an actor in it. You can start programming at almost any age, babies aside. Still, if you want to get kids coding, the earlier they start, the more likely they’ll be hooked. The trick is to get them interested in the first place.

Isn’t there a better way to understand technology than to learn the basics of coding and programming?

We, therefore, deliver here some of the best children’s games to learn to program that we have selected for their educational side but without forgetting the playful side.

Best Coding Games for Kids

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Programming games should be considered the best of the lot among the many amusements, toys, and games available for your child. The new era of computing is well and truly established. It is now necessary to prepare your kids to be able to keep up with the high pace of technological advancements, including computing.

Also, teachers and parents are rushing to find the best computer learning games today. A phenomenon that does not leave the experts and suppliers of games for children insignificant. You are spoiled for choice when looking to find the best coding games for kids online.

For this reason, it is essential to invest time and research to find the most interesting coding games for your kids.

Minecraft: Education Edition

children to learn to code

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  • Platform: iOS, Android, Kindle Fire, Web Browser
  • Age range: 5+
  • Pricing: $5.04 User/Year (Annual Commitment)

Minecraft is a highly popular game, and even those who have not played it, have at least heard of it. The game is on almost every device you can think of these days, and the kids can’t get enough of it.

Minecraft: Education Edition is a learning-specific version of the very popular block-based game Minecraft. So, while students will be drawn to the game anyway, this also allows teacher controls to help educate them as they interact with this virtual world.

The game has a wide range of uses in education, from helping students learn about history and geography to teaching them about science and math. Teacher controls allow educators to set up specific Minecraft worlds for their students to explore and use for learning activities.

This game is good for any age student and covers all grade levels. In addition, kids will stay motivated with the ability to create their own virtual worlds in a game they love. It’s also simple enough that even the youngest children can pick it up fairly quickly.

Tynker

coding programs for kids

Credit: tynker.com

  • Platform: iOS, Android, Kindle Fire, Web Browser
  • Age range: 5+
  • Pricing: Starting at $15 per month

Tynker is an application dedicated to children aged nine and over. Using puzzles, this game introduces the notion of programming and teaches how to create a game easily. Once installed, it requires no Internet connection.

Scratch

coding games for kids free

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  • Platform: iOS, Android, Kindle Fire, Web Browser
  • Age range: 6+
  • Pricing: Free

Scratch is more than a programming game. Instead, it is a comprehensive platform that allows users to try out games shared by other Minecraft users. You can also submit your own creations. Similar to Minecraft, most of the fun for kids comes from making their own games, not playing others. When it comes to coding for kids, that’s a big motivation.

Created by the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab, Scratch is available for free. It’s far from the only free app on this list, but it’s definitely the one you should check out. Not only can it be perfect for your teaching purposes, but you can even have fun with it.

CodeMonkey

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  • Platform: iOS, Android, Kindle Fire, Web Browser
  • Age range: 7+
  • Pricing: Starting from $6 per month

Unlike the majority of games on this list, CodeMonkey seems to be aimed exclusively at teachers. This means that the price is quite high. The game is more expensive than Minecraft, although not as expensive as a Mindstorms kit.

Like most games here, CodeMonkey runs entirely in a web browser. The Gameplay is similar to other games of the genre, but you guide a monkey instead of an unnamed hero. One thing to note is that the game seems to rely on Chrome. Running it in other browsers may result in unexpected behavior, or the game simply doesn’t work at all.

Hopscotch

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  • Platform: iOS, Android, Kindle Fire, Web Browser
  • Age range: 10+
  • Pricing: $7.99 per month

One of the most used programming games for kids in school to learn how to program. Warning, the application is in English. It is, therefore, necessary to accompany English-speaking children to master the basic actions. Application present in the selection of the Best CM2 applications in 2016.

CodeCombat

code games for kids

Credit: codequest.koudashijie.com

  • Platform: iOS, Android, Kindle Fire, Web Browser
  • Age range: 9+
  • Pricing: $9.99 per month

As the name suggests, CodeCombat is a game that sees you writing code in order to control a hero on an epic quest. This is a community project designed for teachers. This makes this game particularly well suited for introducing programming to schools.

The CodeCombat game uses existing programming languages, in contrast to some games that either use pseudocode or their own streamlined programming languages. JavaScript and Python are supported. Both of these are among the most commonly used coding languages of the present day.

Programming Games for Teens

coding games for beginners

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Of course, there are plenty of ways to learn to code, with hundreds of manuals, video lessons, and guides available. However, practice is the best thing that will help you learn a new programming language or library. And this is where many people often hit a snag: they have a lot of learning material but seriously lack personal experience in using the theory.

As with all other predicaments, there is a solution to remove boredom from the process of learning how to code. It’s a coding game! Such games assist in learning to code in general or improving knowledge of a specific language. The games mentioned in the following list are well-suited for young teenagers interested in learning how to code or improve themselves if they’re already learning it in their schools.

Swift Playgrounds

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  • Platform: iOS, Android, Kindle Fire, Web Browser
  • Age range: 13+
  • Pricing: Free

Swift Playgrounds is an application developed by Apple for iPad and Mac, accessible for all levels. The goal: to learn the Swift programming language in a fun way. This game guides you through puzzles first to understand the fundamentals. You’ll be surprised to know that professional developers also utilize Swift Playgrounds to create coding apps.

Lightbot

coding game for kids

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  • Platform: iOS, Android, Kindle Fire, Web Browser
  • Age range: 13+
  • Pricing: Free

Lightbot, which is fundamentally a puzzle game, seeks to impart programming knowledge without the user being aware of it. Although not popular in Minecraft or LEGO levels, it has worked quite well so far. More than 20 million children have played Lightbot to date.

This does not focus on teaching an actual programming language but rather focuses on programming-related concepts. Lightbot teaches kids about concepts including sequencing, overloading, recursive loops etc.

Lego Boost

best coding for kids

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  • Platform: iOS, Android
  • Age range: 14+
  • Pricing: $159

LEGO games have always been great sources of inspiration for creative kids. As they always seek to perfect their works by simmering creativity and adaptations. With this LEGO BOOST programming game, children will have the opportunity to build either a car or a robot from Lego pieces and control it via a tablet.

Lego Boost gives free rein to the child’s creativity as a construction game. And as a programming game, this game gently leads the child to understand the logic of things. Lego Boost is programmed from an application that is intended for it; hence it is necessary to have a tablet that is compatible with said app in order to be able to take full advantage of the potential of this game. The latter has been equipped with different sensors, including a color sensor and a distance sensor. The 847 LEGO pieces in this set are all compatible with standard LEGO pieces.

Robocode

learn coding for kids

Credit: a.fsdn.com

  • Platform: iOS, Android, Kindle Fire, Web Browser
  • Age range: 13+
  • Pricing: Free

In Robocode, you learn to program by controlling a tank that battles against other tanks and practice writing code along the way.

Robocode is an old game (launched in 2000) with very detailed tutorials that explain all aspects of the game to you. Its mechanics are quite simple, so you won’t waste time before starting to play it. Tank battles are always fun. Robocode has a large number of fans thanks to its attractive and balanced game process. Just think that the game launched in 2000 is still regularly updated and maintained by its fans today.

In Robocode, you have to write your robot tank’s AI using a bunch of popular programming languages, including Java and C#. So, you can practice your real, applicable coding skills every time you play. Furthermore, Robocode is a completely open-source project, which means you can reuse it to do just about anything you want. Fans have created all kinds of mods and addons for Robocode for years. Moreover, in Robocode, you can improve and learn a whole bunch of different programming languages, not just one particular language.

Tips on Playing Online Programming Games

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When playing online programming games, it is important to come up with an elaborate play mode and game story as early as possible during the process. This can prepare you for any difficulties that come up later. Furthermore, by doing so, you can avoid getting frustrated and giving up on the game altogether.

Another tip is to use cheats and hacks sparingly. While they may give you an advantage in the short term, relying on them too much will make the game less enjoyable in the long run. If you find yourself stuck, try taking a break and coming back to the game later with fresh eyes. With a little persistence, you’ll be able to overcome any obstacle.

Use an emulator to test your game before release, get the same testing mobile device, and outsource the game to a specialist for testing. By following these tips, you can be sure that your online programming game is as error-free as possible before release. This will give you the best chance for success and avoid any potential player frustration.

Parents and teachers should consider it their responsibility to make the online gaming experience a kid-friendly one before allowing young impressionable kids to have a go at it. Games that are meant for children should not contain profanity, sexual themes, or excessive violence. Parents and teachers should also monitor any online gaming chat channels and block off the ones they think a minor should not access.

Finally, remember to have fun! Online programming games are meant to be enjoyed, so make sure to set aside some time each week to play. By doing so, young teenagers can improve their skills and relieve some of the stress that comes with day-to-day school life.

Congrats, Level Cleared

The above games and others are a great way to get kids interested in programming, but they’re not the only way. Know that there are also other more personalized learning methods to benefit from. While many kids will need a game’s reward system to keep them coming back, other kids may be interested in coding for coding’s sake. For these children, the game elements can even get in the way.

As a teacher or parent looking for the best computer gaming experience available today, you are in luck because there is no shortage of options. However, with so many different games available on the different mobile app stores featuring coding functions, it can be hard to decide which one will suit your child’s needs most effectively.

Luckily, there are other ways to start programming with kids without immediately throwing them to the bottom. For some examples, check out our list of coding apps to help kids learn to program. So, happy gaming and learning!

The picture on the front page: August Phunitiphat/Shutterstock.com

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