19 Best Coding Games for Kids: The Most Effective Way to Teach Computer Programming

Like math and science, computer programming is a foundational skill that kids need to know to succeed in the 21st century. But before they can learn to code, they need to learn how to think logically and problem-solve. That’s where coding games for kids come in!

Coding games are a fun way for kids to learn the basics of computer programming while having fun. In this blog post, we’ll discuss why kids must learn to code, the best programming games for kids, and how parents can help kids with their learning. So keep reading to learn more!

INDEX

Why Kids Today Should Learn to Code

Coding Games for Beginners

Programming Games for More Advanced Coding Skills

How Parents Can Help Kids Learn to Code

Why Kids Today Should Learn to Code

From critical thinking and creativity to problem-solving skills and more job opportunities, there are several reasons for your kids to learn to code. Let’s review why programming skills are important to today’s young children.

Coding teaches kids to problem-solve.

Kids with problem-solving skills can overcome any challenge they may face. Learning to code will give your kids the opportunity to master this skill at a young age, and it can help them for the rest of their lives.

Programming teaches children to think.

Coding is not just about typing codes but also about educating kids how to think differently. A computer programmer needs to use logical thinking to code effectively, so does your child. They must be creative to transform an idea into something effective. Coding will teach kids to think of various ways to achieve their desired results.

Coding and programming are the future.

Coding and programming are essential skills to possess. Modern businesses rely on computer codes, not only those in the tech industry.

Children with programming skills will have an edge in life with more job opportunities available to them later on, regardless of the industry they’ll choose.

Learning to code is fun.

Learning to code is your perfect gift if you want your kids to have fun while enhancing their knowledge and skills in coding and computer science. They can learn different programming and coding skills just by playing the best coding games. And with practice, they can also gain valuable skills that can help them enjoy a meaningful and successful life ahead.

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Coding Games for Beginners

Beginners should familiarise themselves with computer science and programming languages. Here are some of the coding games to get started.

Scratch

Scratch is one of the popular free coding games for beginners. Kids learn the basics of coding with the Scratch blocks. Characters can be added to the program so kids can control them as they narrate their stories. They can also put together drag and drop blocks to give actions to their chosen characters, such as talking, moving, and even letting them interact with one another.

For younger kids aged 5-7, they can start with the Scratch Jr. This online platform introduces coding concepts and computational thinking through interactive games, stories, and easy-to-navigate interfaces. Your child can create animations and characters however they like.

In both coding games, kids can easily drag and drop blocks in various orders to customise their stories and characters. Though Scratch is an online game, Scratch JR is mainly available as a free app for tablets. Also, the latter’s features emphasise social development for young kids.

Hopster Coding Safari

Hopster Coding Safari is one of the unique, free coding games teaching kids as young as two years old the basic concepts of coding. It focuses on pre-coding skills, such as computational thinking, decomposition, and problem-solving, making it an educational and engaging app for young children.

Swift Playgrounds

Swift Playgrounds is an app offered on iPad and Mac to help kids learn the Swift programming language used for building Apple apps. This free app begins with the fundamentals of Swift, wherein your child can learn to write code to control characters. They may also move to different challenges and levels or even control robots and other connected devices.

Mimo

Mimo is a coding app for both Android and iOS devices that will make it a lot easier for your kids to learn coding anywhere. It offers a coding playground, quick exercises, and various features like goals and streaks to encourage kids and keep them motivated. Students can create profiles and share their projects.

Code Combat

Code Combat is a free browser coding game where students can program their adventure into a game. Kids may also work their way through programming games that present various coding concepts. The first one can tackle strings, parameters, and loops, while future games may cover topics like web development and functions.

Lightbot

Lightbot is an excellent app for beginners to get started with coding. It offers coding puzzles at different levels, and the goal is for kids to solve the puzzle game while learning programming skills. Through the app, students will learn about conditionals, loops, and more.

LEGO Mindstorms

The LEGO Mindstorm app will teach kids the basics of robotics as they learn to control robots. It offers video tutorials that educate children on how to program their robot to respond to touch or move. It even allows students to complete several challenges with their robots.

Minecraft

Minecraft combines education and creativity in powerful ways. It involves building anything with blocks and creating a world with them. It is a cool coding game where kids can go on adventures, make friends, and build a city.

Playing Minecraft helps develop a child’s good spatial awareness, which is a crucial part of brain development. This spatial thinking aspect can also result in a more in-depth understanding of subjects like science, math, and engineering. 

The best thing about Minecraft is that students can modify it. This feature allows kids to alter specific aspects of how the game was originally crafted and develop their own games with it.

For the Education Edition of Minecraft, students can write code to control various aspects of the game and finish tasks. It even teaches kids chemistry and other subjects using the Minecraft world.

Kodable

The Fuzz family has crashed on Smeeborg and needed to explore the different mazes on their new planet. Kids will use programming logic to drag and drop simple commands to help the family get through every maze while collecting coins. Kodable introduces younger kids to the basics of computer programming through loops, if/then statements, and step-by-step instruction games. What sets this app from other games is its lessons, added resources, and guidance for parents who want to help their kids learn.

Code Monkey

Code Monkey is an online community helping beginners to learn coding and programming concepts. It uses text-based languages and games, so students are immersed in written programming languages. It also rewards kids for their good work and keeps them motivated.

Code Kart

Code Kart is about racing cars on custom-made tracks. Kids use the drag and drop method to create tracks using colour matching. But an upgrade is necessary to open more levels.

Code Karts is among the best kids coding games for beginners because players don’t often have an idea that they’re leading to code. Instead, they’ll think playing this game is a treat. In most cases, kids learn to play it before even reading and writing.

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Programming Games for More Advanced Coding Skills

Once your kids know the basics, they can level up and learn more advanced coding skills. Here are some of the best programming games they can try.

CodinGame

CodinGame is one of the free online games for kids with some coding experience. Students can work through different challenges alone or with several players. Every challenge involves a lot of fun while learning. Kids can also play their games in different programming languages, such as Ruby, JavaScript, PHP, Python, and Swift.

Besides kids, CodinGame is also developed for computer programmers. It offers profiles for professional programmers seeking employment from companies. Advanced kids and young adults who like typed code can also have a great time playing CodinGame. Their code may be used to drive results in online games like spaceship battles.

Unity

Kids who love playing Angry Birds will surely love Unity because it was built using this game development platform. Unity is best suited for advanced programmers who want to create games. It teaches kids how to make virtual reality, 2D or 3D games. It offers a knowledge base and complete documentation. Kids interested in this platform can explore the games developed by others in Unity and publish their own apps.

Roblox

Roblox offers kids the opportunity to play Roblox games and even create their own.

Students can create a world with the pre-loaded options in the Roblox Studio or personalise their own with code. By creating games, they can learn to use code to convey the story they want. Once finished, they can upload their own games to share with the others.

Qbotik

Qbotik is an app for iOS and Android devices for kids to learn the different features of robotics, such as torque, rotation, and motorised joints. Students must learn how to control a robotic arm to gather different cubes. As they move through each level, they will face more challenging tasks.

Qbotik also introduces concepts like gravity, forces, and degrees of freedom. It is an excellent way to learn how real robots work while having fun.

Hopscotch

Hopscotch is a coding app for iOS devices where kids aged 10-16 can code up games, apps, and animations to experience how to create software. It also handles syntax errors so students won’t get stopped by mistake. Once finished with their creation, kids can share their projects and explore what others have developed.

Hopscotch is ideal for creative kids as it uses both artistic and STEM skills. It offers numerous options to create interactive stories using designs, illustrations, and characters. It also rewards students for learning programming logic without the boring pieces as it features an engaging and visually stimulating interface.

Osmo

If you are too concerned about your kids being glued to the screen at such a young age, let Osmo teach programming and coding to your young children.

Osmo connects the virtual world with the physical world in an effective yet fun way. It has introduced games for kids where students can connect physical coding blocks to create games and control characters through the Osmo tablet. Students can use the game kit pieces for coding, drawing, and more to create what they like. Then, the app will scan the game pieces to bring your child’s creation to life.

Moreover, kids can enjoy various games for the console. In Coding Jam, students can use code blocks to develop catchy jams with samples and beats. In Coding Awbie, younger kids can use programming blocks to guide the charming monsters through different challenges.

SoloLearn

For older kids who want to learn programming concepts, SoloLearn is worth a try. This app offers several languages like HTML, Python, CSS, and JavaScript, where students can learn the basics of each programming language.

SoloLearn is unique because it has a feature wherein the code challenges against real opponents, allowing kids to test their skills in comparison to other students.

Codea

Codea is a visual programming language for developing games, interactive apps, graphics, and animations. Whether your child wants to discover a new way to understand mathematics, create games, or visualise their thoughts, Codea offers the best tool. This code-based platform allows students to build simulations and programming games on iPad. All they need is a great idea!

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How Parents Can Help Kids Learn to Code

As parents, you should give your kids the opportunity to explore the tech world even at a young age. This way, they will understand what they will be using in the future as they enter the workforce. The best way to help your young children learn to code is by playing coding games together as a family. Also, you must encourage kids to create their own apps and games by learning and reading about coding together.

Playing programming games and apps with your kids is an excellent way for them to learn the basics of coding and programming without feeling bored and overwhelmed. This will also help you understand what your little ones are learning, so they can confidently share how they feel about the concepts and skills being taught to them.

Moreover, you can help your child by setting up coding challenges that online resources can easily solve. Lastly, help them in finding coding clubs or enrol them in relevant courses, such as coding classes for kids, computer basics, and game design for kids.

Prepare for the Future

Coding is a crucial skill in the future because it is a part of the digital transformation. Jobs that will require programming and coding skills will grow exponentially because products and services are being digitalised. Start honing your child’s potential today. 

Get started with programming games and courses. Check out our coding classes for kids now!