Finding the best coding classes for kids can be an overwhelming task. With so many options available, it can be hard to figure out where to start and what works best for you and your child. It doesn’t have to be though, if you know what to look for: a list of the pros and cons of the many options can be a helpful tool when deciding on a coding platform.
Today, we have pulled together a list of the best coding for kids classes, including free classes, apps, and websites! We've also included some tips on how to compare top kids coding classes. So if you are considering joining the world of coding, this is a great place to start.
Explore the best coding classes for kids
Computer science is a great way to broaden your child’s view of the real world, and develop their creativity, critical thinking, and problem solving skills. "Everybody should learn how to program a computer because it teaches you how to think." Steve Jobs once said.
In order for your child to successfully learn coding, you want them to be equipped with everything they need. Here we'll review the best programming languages for students to learn, how to teach your child coding, and much more!
What is the best programming language for a child to learn?
It is a blocked-based coding language that makes it easy for students to learn code by building characters and games. It provides a fun, visual learning experience, because kids can drag and drop code. Create & Learn offers a Scratch Ninja class program with live instruction online in a small group setting.
Scratch is a great place for kids ages 8-16 to begin. While Scratch Jr. is designed for children ages 5-7. We also offer a fun live online class for kids in kindergarten to first grade, Scratch Junior, that teaches coding with Scratch Jr.
How can I teach my child coding?
Teach your child coding by signing them up for online coding classes for kids. Live online classes make it possible to learn coding from a highly trained expert no matter where you live. Enrolling in live online classes is the number one option when it comes to teaching a child to code, because they provide a structured learning path and clear learning objectives. And because the instructor can ensure your child gets the answers they need to keep moving along, rather than getting frustrated and stuck.
Explore the best online computer coding classes for kids
We have narrowed down a list of the best online kids computer coding classes that are effective and fun, to get your child started on a successful path of learning to coding. Here are some top picks ordered by student age.
Scratch is one of the best ways to start coding because it’s a user-friendly language designed by MIT. It helps kids focus on learning the logic without worrying about messy typing because it's block-based. It empowers kids to create interactive stories, games, and animations within their first session. This particular Scratch class is super fun because students make a cool game.
Pros: Scratch is easy to use and is offered for ages 8-16. The language has a large online community and high ratings.
Cons: Your student will not need to learn the syntax to write lines of code. There is no mobile access for Scratch.
Why it’s the best kids computer coding class: 5 out of 5 rating from parents on Facebook. Scratch is a perfect starting point for introducing kids to programming. They'll learn computer science and coding concepts such as loops, conditional, motion, and sensing. Students also build a new project in each session, ranging from animation, games, and storytelling. Plus, the class employs a variety of interesting topics to teach logical thinking and inspire creativity, so kids are not only learning Scratch coding but also creating starting from day one!
Harness your child's love of Minecraft! In this cool coding class, kids will control agents to solve puzzles while interacting with different in-game characters. They will learn core coding concepts such as loop, operations, conditional, events, function, variables, and more. As students get more comfortable with these coding skills, they will also start building more complex structures as well as their own mini-games.
Pros: It promotes creativity, collaboration, and problem-solving in a safe immersive environment, where the only limit is imagination.
Cons: The class starts from the basics however it covers them pretty fast. For students who are new to coding, it's recommend you take Scratch coding classes first, before taking this class.
Ages: Grades 2-5
Why it’s the best kids computer coding course: The curriculum has been featured by Minecraft Education.
Do your children know what information they should or shouldn't show on social media or video games? Kids are online more than ever before, but do they know how to use the Internet safely and protect their privacy? When students join this class they'll explore a wide range of topics related to computer security, modern computers, and the Internet. They'll enjoy fun videos, games, and security tools, as well as building projects of their own.
Pros: It's led in a live online format by an expert, so students get feedback right away. It's also taught using an inquiry-based method that keeps kids constantly engaged.
Cons: You'll need to pick a course time that works for your schedule, as this class is not self-paced.
Ages: Grades 2-5
Why it’s the best online computer coding for kids: This is a great foundational class for any kid that is on their computer and the Internet.
Create with circuits and Arduino - the foundation of smart devices. We are surrounded by electronics: smartphones, computers, TVs, robots, and more! While lots of students have learned to code, few have had the opportunity to build a physical system, which opens up a brand new world. Learn Arduino coding online to create electronics projects for real world adventures at home.
Pros: Kids will create three awesome projects: Home Automations, Light Show, and Smart Cars, from circuit creation to coding. Also this class uses an Arduino simulator and does not require a physical device. However, if you prefer, an Arduino starter kits can be purchased online. The same code your student creates in class will work on the device without any changes.
Cons: This class works best on a computer with Chrome Browser installed and a mouse. Touchpads and Tablets do not work well.
Ages: Grades 4-9
Why it’s the best online computer coding for kids: This class includes a full satisfaction guarantee and was designed by Google, Stanford, and MIT experts.
If your child is interested in exploring more advanced code writing and computer science programming languages, Python is a great way to get started. Python for kids is an easy transition option from block coding. Students are able to create their own projects and animations using easy text-based coding. It makes mastering programming language fun.
Pros: Python is a simple yet popular coding language and a great introductory to text-based coding.
Cons: Python is used for a higher level of student and not good for coding beginners.
Ages: Grades 5+
Why it’s the best online programming for kids: 5 out of 5 rating from parents on Outschool and Facebook. Online Python classes introduce students to a simple programming language that sets them up for a strong future with coding. Children can even learn elements of Python that are relevant to Artificial Intelligence, including data structures and libraries.
6. Computer Science Principles (AP Level)
Have you ever thought about how do computers work exactly? How does a computer understand the code we write? How do computers talk to each other? How to keep our data secure? In this Computer Science Principles class, students learn a wide range of important fundamental topics in computer science such as binary, encryption, networking, and more. It is a great step for learning more about system and architectural aspects of computers.
Pros: This class also meets the requirements for the APCSP exam as defined by the College Board. Any student who has learned Python can take it regardless of whether they want to take the AP exam or not.
Cons: There are fewer class schedules to pick from and it tends to fill up quickly during certain times of the year.
Ages: Grades 6-12
Why it’s the best online computer coding for kids: This class was developed by expert AP computer science educators.
Discover best free coding classes for kids
Also be sure to check out some free coding classes for kids that pack a lot of fun. They can be a great way to test the waters!
Does your child love playing Minecraft? In this free Minecraft class, students are introduced to the platform for coding on Minecraft. It is easy to use and very powerful. They will also start building their very first mod, and they will complete two challenges in this class. This is an advanced coding class. But in this free intro class, we will not code on Minecraft itself but will use an emulator instead, because it takes a lot of time to enable coding for Minecraft.
Pros: Get step by step guidance to get set up with a fun platform. Enjoy instruction from a live expert, and a small class size that fosters collaboration.
Cons: There might not be dates that line up well for you.
Ages: Grades 4-7
Why it’s the best online kids computer coding course: Build on existing passion! Students get to learn coding based on a game they already love playing. They'll build their creativity and critical thinking, and create something they're proud of.
This class is for students who have not had any experience with Roblox Studio before. Students go through the process of installing and activating the Roblox Studio. Students also complete a self-paced tutorial to create a simple interactive experience. The teacher will walk through the process, do demos, and answer questions as needed. Build your first Roblox game, and have fun!
Pros: Roblox is one of the most popular children's games today! Turn your child's passion for playing the game into passion for coding the game.
Cons: Used for a higher level of student, and not good for coding beginners.
Ages: Grades 4-8
Why it’s the best computer coding class: One of the most powerful aspects of Roblox coding is the ability to create multiplayer game experiences quickly. After this intro class, you'll be set up to continue learning how to create cool things.
Designed for ages 10-16, Hopscotch helps students create games and turn their drawings into animations. You have a canvas to create games, turn your drawings into animations, and build anything else you can imagine. When you’re done coding, you can publish your game for your friends and family to play.
Pros: There are a variety of ways to explore creativity and art in this app. Kids can see apps and games that others have created, and learn from each other in the community. So it's great for those with a big imagination.
Cons: There are no goals or objectives to guide your child. It's just a creative platform.
Why it’s the best for learning computer coding: Hopscotch allows freedom of expression and creativity. Kids are allowed to create and code without having to follow a specific set of instructions.
The Swift Playgrounds app is a way to learning coding by solving puzzles using the programming language Swift. It makes it easy to drag braces around code, wrap existing code in a loop, or choose from dozens of drag-and-drop snippets on your iPad or Mac. Swift is a powerful programming language created by Apple, and is used by the pros to build today’s most popular apps.
Pros: Swift is compatible with Sphero and Dot/Dash Robots. Also there are lots of creative choices and diverse challenges in the app. It has lessons or free play, and kids have the option to make their own blocks or use pre-made ones. Plus discover dozens of channels with fun new challenges created by leading developers and publishers.
Cons: It can't be used with a desktop, and need an iPad. Device requirement makes it hard for the classroom.
Why it’s the best way to learn computer coding for kids: The learning is interactive and hands on which make it fun to experiment with code. You are able to connect to multiple devices such as Sphero and drones by Parrot.
Now that you've explored some great coding classes to get started with, check out a few coding websites for kids that also feature fun challenges.
Check out coding websites for kids
Coding websites are a popular choice for teaching kids to learn coding too. This list of websites include coding platforms that offer engaging projects for kids to explore.
11. MIT Scratch
MIT's Scratch is a block-based coding website designed for kids. Users can create projects on the website using a block-like interface that's very beginner friendly.
Pros: This site is easy to use, and has a large online community and high ratings.
Cons: It does not teach a specific programming language but offers pre-made blocks. It also does not offer mobile access.
Why it’s the best: Scratch allows students to share projects within the community and learn from others, therefore offering resources and support.
Kahoot! is an online game-based learning platform in quiz form. Kahoot offers students a way to test their knowledge of skills, reinforce content, and to boost knowledge retention.
Pros: Kahoot provides a fun and exciting way to learn while playing a game. Multiple people can play at a time and students can create your their quizzes.
Cons: It can be complex to track individual data if children need to do so.
Why it’s the best: Student motivation, engagement, and participation is high. When playing Kahoot it is often perceived as a game instead of learning. And the site gives kids many topics and choices to choose from. Get started with a fun tutorial on how to make a Kahoot! game.
Code.org encourages kids to learn computer science, with lessons offered for beginners as early as 4 years old. Kids can learn how to create games, apps, or drawings.
Pros: Code.org offers many choices and it also has lessons that kids move through level by level once they master a skill. Beyond that, they offer Hour of Code tutorials for all sorts of age groups.
Cons: While this site is free and offers unplugged activities, you need to make sure kids are starting where they need to and not at a level that's too advanced. There is a scaffolded curriculum that can be followed.
Why it’s the best: Code.org is a great option for kids because they are able to advance based on their skills at their own pace. This is also nice because it can easily be used at school or home.
14. CS First
CS First is a site that offers a computer science curriculum of hands on lessons and videos for students 10-14 years old to create their own projects with Scratch. The materials make it easy to teach coding in a variety of ways and offer lesson supplements.
Pros: Offers a variety of resources to educators and students to get them interested in coding.
Cons: There is more video instruction rather than teacher led unless you are in a classroom.
Why it’s the best: Computer science concepts are available to students at no cost and through many different topics so that all have the tools to access coding.
Blockly is a self-paced site used to teach programming to those with little to no experience. Players use games to learn text based languages. It is a drag and drop system.
Pros: Kids are able to quickly learn the basics of coding, making it easier to code for inexperienced users.
Cons: Blockly does not teach a coding language, but instead uses pre-made blocks.
Ages: 10-14 years old
Why it’s the best: Blockly offers a visual presentation by putting pre-made blocks together like a puzzle. It is a great option for beginners, who can learn through a series of games including mazes, music, and movies.
How to compare top kids coding courses and programs
When comparing coding courses and the best online STEM classes there are a lot of factors to take into consideration. Here are a few key indicators you will want to consider.
1. The student to teacher ratio
Having a small student to teacher ratio makes individualized learning possible. With a smaller class size, teachers are able to give more one-on-one instruction to students and focus on their needs. Quality classes are going to have smaller amounts of students in them.
2. Strong community reviews
See what others are saying about the courses. Look for positive reviews and high levels of online community involvement. Students should be able to communicate with others in a safe learning environment.
Qualified, experienced, and caring instructors are definitely a must have. Instructors should be engaging and willing to go the extra mile for their students, while displaying positive interaction. Follow up summaries and feedback should be offered from instructors as well.
Classes should be offered at a variety of times and days for each level or program. Having an option for make-ups is a plus too. You also want to look for trial classes to explore before you spend money on a class you are unsure your child will enjoy.
Online coding classes kids love
Kids enjoy learning coding by engaging with topics they already enjoy. Here are a few creative subjects that entertain kids while they learn essential computer science skills:
- Scratch coding: Because it's so beginner friendly this is a student favorite. With Scratch, your student will already be able to animate characters and create games in their first class session. This programming language is like a fun toolbox that makes it easy to build anythin they can imagine.
- Minecraft modding: Minecraft coding is very popular because of the popularity of the video game platform itself. With modding, kids can find out how to edit and enhance the game they already love.
- Roblox Studio coding: Roblox coding is an online coding class kids love because it gives them the power to create cooler things and bring to life unique worlds in their video games.
- Python coding: Python is a great place to begin for high school students because it's a fundamental language for building all sorts of real applications and projects. It's used by top tech companies today including Spotify, Meta, and more.
Try the best coding classes for kids
Remember coding not only prepares children for future job opportunities, but also gives them an advantage in technology and academics. When choosing an option to teach your child to code, make sure they are successful by considering your options. The websites and classes listed here are sure to be fun and effective platforms.
To get your child started today, check out our award-winning free online coding classes and the best coding classes for beginners. Our curriculum is designed by experts from Google, Stanford, MIT, and Code.org, and ensures a comprehensive computer science educations across 25+ amazing subjects. Our teachers are all based in the US with years of experience in their fields, and have been trained in our proven inquiry-based and project-based style of instruction that builds children's creativity and problem solving skills, in addition to their coding skill set!
Up next, learn more about how children can code mobile apps.
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.