Nowadays, STEAM education has become an emerging trend worldwide. But, for many parents, introducing their kids to coding can be a challenge, since coding seems to be a very abstract subject for kids. To solve this problem, many software apps and services have been created in the past few years to make STEAM education easy to understand and practice. Here are 10 free resources that parents can use to guide their kids into the coding world. If you also have no idea to choose the right coding language for kids to start with, you can check this blog which lists the most popular and suitable coding language for kids to start with.
Scratch is a programming package designed by MIT’s Media Lab. Currently, the most widely used visual programming language for kids, Scratch is used in more than 150 different countries and is available in more than 40 languages. The software makes coding as simple as using building blocks. Scratch is featured in a lot of educational robots, such as Makeblock’s Codey Rocky. Scratch allows your kids to practice coding while controlling their robots’ movements by dragging and dropping pre-loaded commands. To help kids improve their coding skills, Scratch encourages educators from around the world to share projects, tutorials, and other resources on their website. The Media Lab’s Scratch Team also feeds instructional content to its platform.
Code.org is a website where advocates for wider access to computer science education, especially for women and underrepresented minorities, provide tools for kids of all ages to learn the basics of coding and computer science. The website offers diverse courses for students in grades K-12 and professional learning for instructors. Kids can also find tutorials for over 24 million projects from a variety of sources, such as Minecraft and Play Lab.
3. Made with Code by Google
Made with Code aims to empower kids, especially girls, by teaching them computer programming skills. The website has adopted visual-based coding, and each project is relatively short and relevant to kids’ interests. What’s more, Made with Code’s mentoring videos feature outstanding women from various industries, hoping to empower young women with their inspiring stories.
4. Khan Academy
Stencyl helps kids learn to code without burdening them with too much technical jargon. It is a video-game development tool that allows kids to create 2D video games for computers, mobile devices, and websites. Like Scratch, Stencyl is a building-block-style programming tool that allows kids to create a simple game by dragging and dropping blocks of code, giving the child a good understanding of how coding works.
6. Code Monster from Crunchzilla
To get kids interested in coding, CodeCombat turns complex facts and concepts into a fun game. CodeCombat is a free web-based role-playing game (RPG) in which players explore and use programming languages to win a battle. To activate on-screen roles, making them move around, engage in battle, and fight enemies, kids must use code. The website also offers self-paced courses, using a game to demonstrate to kids how to use both basic and advanced code.
Alice is a free software program that allows a child to create animations, build interactive narratives, or program simple games in 3D. Projects are created in a block-based programming environment. By simply dragging and dropping graphic tiles, kids can learn fundamental programming concepts while developing their imaginations. There are lots of tutorials and video examples for Alice on YouTube. Alice’s official website also provides lessons, exercises, and tutorials that are created by the development team and the worldwide user community. Alice plans to be a widely accessible tool to encourage diverse use of and access to early computer science education.
10. mBlock 5
Many Apps are free to download and use for mobile devices, such as mBlock 5 and mBlock Blockly. With these Apps, kids can learn and code with the assistance of AI technology. These Apps are also compatible with open-source hardware. It allows them to turn their codes into real effects of light and sound and makes coding visible in the physical world.
Other Resources for Kids Learning to Code
There are lots of YouTube videos out there teaching kids how to code in a fun way, this blog lists 20 YouTube channels teaching kids coding.
You also could check the “Ultimate Guide for Parents – Coding for Kids” to understand how to help your kids to start with learning to code.