The Ultimate List of Tutorials, Apps, and Games to Teach Kids Coding

Welcome to the Computer Science Education Week! By now you may have heard of this little thing called Hour of Code, a global initiative from Code.org and CS Ed Week to get everyone—adults and kids alike!—to try just one hour of programming. Why? No, not so everyone can become programmers, but because exposure to programming can teach logic, problem solving, critical thinking, and demystify technology. Oh, and it’s also fun!

So if you’re ready to try programming, but you’re not quite ready to install a compiler and hack your first “Hello, World!” in a text editor, here’s a very long (and we’re thankful for that) list of online courses, tutorials, apps, and games that teach kids (and adults!) to program.

Lightbot—Solve puzzles with this adorable robot. Apps starting at $2.59, Hour of Code edition is free. Ages 4-8 and more challenging puzzles for kids 9+. (Web, iOS, Android)

The Foos—Help these adorable creatures through puzzles and interactive stories. Wordless. Free. Ages 5+. (Web, iOS, Android)

Move the Turtle—In which you move a turtle (for you Logo fans) through various tasks and challenges. $3.99. Ages 5+. (iOS)

ScratchJr—Scratch’s little brother! Wordless. Free. Ages 6+. (iOS, Android)

Kodu—Software by Microsoft for kids to program their own games. You can read the full GeekMom review. Wordless. Free. Ages 6+. (Software)

Code.org—A multitude of interactive tutorials themed around kids’ favorite franchises: Minecraft, Star Wars, Frozen, etc. Free. Ages 6+. (Web)

Tynker—Tynker provides interactive tutorials and puzzles for kids. $40/course or $99/bundles, plus free game-building tutorials for Hour of Code. Ages 6+. (Web)

Kodable—Help fuzzy aliens explore mazes by giving them instructions. App is free (but does offer in-app purchases). Ages 6+. (Web, iOS, Software)

Monster Coding—Solve puzzles and activities by programming your monster. Free. Ages 6+. (Web)

Run Marco—World-themed adventure game through coding with Blockly. Free. Ages 6+. (Web, iOS, Android)

Daisy the Dinosaur—From the makers of Hopscotch comes this simple programming app to make this cute dinosaur dance. Free. Ages 6+. (iOS)

Scratch—One of the most popular options out there, kids can create their own stories and games. Free. Ages 8+. (Web)

Pocket Code—This app lets you code your own code in the Catrobat visual programming language. Free. Ages 8+. (Android)

Cargo-Bot—Help a robot move crates in these 36 puzzles. Free. Ages 8+. (iOS)

Cato’s Hike—Help Cato navigate his world through 60 levels and 12 tutorials. $4.99. Ages 8+. (iOS)

RoboMind—Help a robot navigate and solve puzzles. Read the full GeekMom review. Free for personal use, but requires license purchase for educational or commercial use. Free access to classrooms during Hour of Code. Ages 8+. (Web)

Khan Academy—Online courses on just about every subject, including programming. They are offering three special Hour of Code courses covering JavaScript, HTML/CSS, and databases. Free. Ages 8+. (Web)

Box Island—Beautiful 3D game where you help a box named Hiro collect clocks (no, I don’t know why). Free for the regular edition and Hour of Code edition. Ages 9+. (iOS)

CodeCombat—This game is a bit like a MMORPG, except you have to beat your opponents by, you guessed it, coding your attacks. Hour of Code edition is free. Ages 9+. (Web)

Code Monkey—Help the monkey get his bananas by directing him around. Free access to some puzzles for Hour of Code, subscription fee starting $29/year to unlock all challenges. Ages 9+. (Web)

Google CS First—Create your own animated stories. Free. Ages 9+. (Web)

Hopscotch—Make your own games and share them with their online community. Free (but does offer in-app purchases). Ages 10+. (iOS)

Codesters—Create games in Python. Free. Ages 12+. (Web)

Quorum—Biology-based adventure to learn the Quorum programming language. Offers screenreader support for the blind and visually impaired. Free. Ages 12+. (Web, Software)

Grok Learning—This site offers basic programming courses in Python and an intro course to HTML/CSS. $30/course, $100/year unlimited. Ages 12+. (Web)

Code Avengers—Interactive online courses for adults and mature teens. Kid-friendly tutorial to build a JavaScript game is free for Hour of Code. Ages 12+. (Web)

10 Minutes of Code—If one hour is too much commitment for you, try Texas Instruments’ 10-minute tutorial for programming your TI calculator! Free. Ages 13+. (Web)

Vidcode—Aimed at teenage girls, this site teaches JavaScript to make and share videos. A lot of their lessons are free, packages also available starting at $19.99/year. Ages 14+. (Web)

Made with Code—Another one aimed at teenage girls, this site offers projects themed around arts, music, and fashion. Free. Ages 14+. (Web)

Microsoft Touch Develop—Full curriculum of games and apps, or just play the games on your own for Hour of Code. Free. Ages 14+. (Web)

MIT App Inventor—Use a simple drag-and-drop visual editor to build and publish your own apps on Google Play. Free. Ages 14+. (Web)

Hackety Hack—Learn the programming language Ruby with these beginner lessons. Free. Ages 14+. (Software)

CodeHS—Online courses, videos, challenges, plus help and feedback from real live people! Basic plan is free, additional services available at a cost. Free hour-long tutorials are available for Hour of Code. Ages 14+. (Web)

MakeSchool—MakeSchool offers intensive summer programs in New York, Sunnyvale, and San Francisco with tuition of $4,000, but their website offers a tutorial to make a Pokemon-style gaming app using the programming language Swift. Free tutorial. Ages 14+. (Web)

Code School—Over 50 entertaining storyline-based courses teaching Ruby, Javascript, HTML/CSS, iOS development, Git, and databases. Course intro is free, $20/month to continue. Adults and mature teens. (Web)

Udemy—Online learning marketplace where instructors can post their own video courses. Starting around $50/course. Adults and mature teens. (Web)

Lynda.com—Online courses on every subject including hundreds on programming. Unlimited access for $25/month. Adults and mature teens. (Web)

Codecademy—Online programming courses to learn Java, Ruby on Rails, AngularJS, Python, jQuery, JavaScript, PHP, databases, website building, and a few more things. Free. Adults and mature teens. (Web, iOS, Android)

If I missed anything, please share in the comments. Happy coding!

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Ariane is a programmer married to another programmer. Together they have two little girls who don't stand a chance against their nerdy lineage. Ariane can also be found illustrating for Intelligently Adorable.