The best coding books for kids help children learn a fundamental skill to prepare for their future. Learning code through books is a plus and a great complement to online courses, because kids can work at their own pace.
Whether they need a little longer to work on a skill or are ready to move on, books give them that option. They are also able to explore more activities on their own.
So today, we share a few helpful books to complement livestream courses, including books designed for beginners, picture books, and more. Or if you like learning with live instruction better than reading, jump right into the best coding classes for kids.
Explore the best coding books for kids
If your child learns best through reading and writing, then coding books may be the best place for them to start. From how to help your child in their coding adventure to ways for them to code their own games, explore some of the best options.
This coding book provides clear, step-by-step instructions to teach kids coding basics and fun projects. Kids learn how to use problem solving skills to build games and animations with Scratch and Python.
Why it’s great for kids: This book is great for ages 9-12, because it's a fun and approachable way to introduce kids to coding.
Pros: Everything is broken down into chunks, so it is easy to follow and understand. And the book provides a glossary, index, and relation of coding to the real world.
Cons: Could be overwhelming for younger kids.
2. Coding for Kids in Scratch 3: The Complete Guide to Creating Art, Artificial Intelligence, and Computer Games for Beginners
This book inspires kids to pursue frontiers of technology such as Artificial Intelligence, Video Game Bots, Machine Learning, Augmented Reality, and Multiplayer Computer Games. It provides a great flow, with each lesson building on the previous. This book also gives examples of why concepts are important, while offering clear and concise instructions.
Why it’s great for kids: Ages 8-12 will enjoy this book because it offers instructions that are easy to follow with great examples.
Pros: Great starter book for kids. Coding for Kids in Scratch 3 offers an engaging step-by-step guide to the fundamentals of coding and is easy enough for kids to look through independently.
Cons: May not offer enough lessons for those that are more advanced or have already coded.
This book teaches Python skills to older kids through engaging and interactive activities. Kids learn to create code blocks as well as draw and move shapes with the turtle module.
Why it’s great for kids: Ages 10-18 will enjoy colorful illustrations and screenshots throughout the book that make solving more complex problems accessible. Each chapter offers a tricky challenge if kids are up to it.
Pros: Offers 50 activities for kids to explore with step-by-step guidance.
Cons: Uses advanced terms kids may not be familiar with yet.
Check out this step-by-step book with instructions on how to build your own games using Scratch. Kids can learn key concepts needed to code their own games.
Why it’s great for kids: Ages 6-11 will enjoy this book because they can make up to 20 popular games from Snake to Brick Bouncer. Also, the book moves up in difficulty, but maintains easy to understand explanations and instructions.
Pros: Combines coding with making games to keep kids interested.
Cons: If kids are not interested in gaming then this may not appeal to them.
Discover the best coding books for beginners
Just getting started with coding? No problem, we have you covered too. For many kids books are the still a great way to learn, plus you can take them with you anywhere. Here are a few of the best coding books for beginners to try out at home.
Why it’s great for kids: Ages 6-11 years old will enjoy this book because it's great for beginners and offers tons of ways to code in a user-friendly manner.
Pros: How to Code offers a starting point for beginners, as well as in-depth instructions.
Cons: This book does not come with the software needed for the programs mentioned. However it does tell you where you can find them for free online.
Coding Games in Scratch is mainly based on the coding language Scratch, a block-based visual programming language. Coding and computer science concepts are also explained throughout the book.
Why it’s great for kids: Ages 8-12 will have fun creating interactive animations and computer games using a free online platform.
Pros: It's easy to use - even for kids with little-to-no experience coding.
Cons: You will need a computer with Scratch on it to utilize this book.
This book provides a hands-on introduction to coding with Python that is perfect for beginners. Kids learn simple coding actions and how to think like a computer using Python. This book is full of exercises with step-by-step instructions.
Why it’s great for kids: Ages 6-9 will enjoy this workbook, which provides examples and exercises for kids to practice before they try to code in the computer program.
Pros: Offers a solution page, glossary, and notes for parents.
Cons: You will need to download Python to use this book.
See the best picture books about coding
There are also many picture books available for kids that may need a visual to connect the content to. Picture books are a wonderful way to engage kids in discussions about varieties of coding concepts.
How to Code a Rollercoaster is a picture book where kids navigate through an amusement park with coding skills. Kids learn about variables, loops, sequences, and Python.
Why it’s great for kids: Ages 4-8 will find that this book makes coding fun and adventurous at the same time. This story also touches on math skills while coding.
Pros: It's a great way to introduce coding concepts using a theme park setting to keep kids engaged.
Cons: It's geared towards younger students, but has advanced text.
My First Coding Book is a hands-on introduction to offline coding. It has puzzles, mazes, and games that teach basic coding concepts. Kids will develop critical thinking and logic skills while exploring this book.
Why it’s great for kids: Ages 5-7 will enjoy simple and easy-to-follow instructions. It walks them through the decision-making process while explaining concepts they are completing.
Pros: It's geared towards younger kids just starting out and not overwhelming.
Cons: It doesn’t require a computer, but still teaches coding.
This is a lift the flap book that offers interactive information on computers and coding. Each flap offers facts about the component shown. The book explains how computers operate based on code along with an introduction to Scratch.
Why it’s great for kids: Ages 8-10 will enjoy a fun way to learn the basics. The flaps offer a different way to introduce information that is engaging.
Pros: Fun and interesting introduction to coding and key concepts.
Cons: Information is not too in depth given the age group, but it is very detailed.
How to use the best coding books for kids
How do I start teaching my child to code?
In order to start teaching your child to code, make sure they are not overwhelmed. Pick material - including books and courses - that are on their level. Starting out with an introductory book or online class is a great way to begin. Scratch coding for kids is one of our most popular classes for beginners.
Is coding good for kids?
Coding has become one of the most important skills kids can learn for their future. Coding strengthens logical thinking, problem solving, creativity, and math. When students learn to code, it not only gives them a better chance at success, but also allows them to understand the technology around them.
Enjoy the best coding books for kids
All of the books mentioned in this article provide step-by-step instructions for kids to follow. Each will empower children with a basic understanding of coding concepts that can transfer to an online platform.
Now that we have covered a variety of books to use while learning to code, make sure you chose a book that matches your child’s age and ability to maximize their potential.
Next check out a fun Scratch tutorial for kids.
Written by Amanda Hendrix, a Create & Learn instructor with 10 years of teaching experience. She also holds a Masters in Educational Leadership, and a BS in Elementary Education.