Coding for 12 year olds should be a main focus in schools and summer camps! In this post, we will discuss fun ways to get 12 year olds involved in the world of coding.

The critical age of 12 allows students to feel confident trying something new, but also will require the right balance of support and games to keep the child interested.

We are going to provide some ideas to get your 12 year old interested in computer science! Don’t let your 12 year old miss out on the beauty of coding and all the opportunities it will open for their future.

Explore coding for 12 year olds

Coding for 12 year olds is quite important because it is the beginning stage of a path in computer science. Oftentimes, if students learn code after the age of 12, they begin to lose interest and experience a lack of confidence in the subject. To encourage your 12 year old to engage in coding, we have some ideas for you to begin the process.

Can a 12 year old learn coding?

A 12 year old can learn coding very easily. Oftentimes, 12 year olds are beginning to get involved in gaming, social media, and other elements of technology. Animations and video game creation are all based on coding. 12 is the perfect age to spark an interest in coding, specifically so that as the child enters high school they begin furthering their coding skills.

Coding toys for 12 year olds

Coding games are interactive, with a purpose and mission. These games teach children basic coding and programming concepts through play. Gamification of learning has significant research behind it. It is becoming quite popular to teach difficult concepts through games to foster creativity and enjoyment. When you select a coding game for your child to try, be sure to pick one that sparks their interest. There are many options to pick from. Here are some examples:

Coding robots for 12 year olds

Coding robotics is a great application activity once 12 year olds learn simple code. Creating robotics code gives the robot instructions to follow. This stimulates scientific inquiry and encourages students to utilize trial and error to produce a desired result. Here are some coding robots that utilize programming in their daily functions:

Top free coding programs for 12 year olds

Here are some of the top free coding programs for 12 year olds.

1. Create & Learn's coding program

Create & Learn offers computer science classes in 18+ different subject areas. Our classes are small group sessions, taught live by engaging instructors. Our curriculum is designed by experts from MIT, Stanford, and more.

Pros: Game-based and interactive
Cons: Need to attend class at a specific time

2. Code.Org's coding program

Plethora of choices and games! Tons of tutorials and independent learning opportunities.

Pros: Expansive and global
Cons: Children will need to work independently

3. Blockly.games

Block based coding for beginners! Uses interactive challenges for high engagement.

Pros: Entertaining and fast-paced
Cons: Independent work and requires parental assistance

Discover the best coding classes for 12 year olds

1. Minecraft Code Units 1-3

Minecraft coding is very intricate. This class builds students throughout the process, from basic functions to complicated programming!

Pros: Based on a very popular game, Minecraft
Cons: Requires a commitment to build on knowledge from each unit

2. Intro to Python Coding

Transition from block coding to text coding! Students will learn to animate in Python.

Pros: Entry level, game based, and fun!
Cons: Requires a solid understanding of Scratch

3. Accelerated Scratch Coding

A great introduction to Scratch code for Middle Schoolers.

Pros: Based on animations and block coding
Cons: Basic Scratch is not as fun for older students

Best apps for 12 year olds to learn coding

1. SoloLearn

Available for iOS and Android; Allows students to learn coding languages like Python and Java from anywhere!

2. Encode

Tiny lessons that allow students to learn coding like HTML and CSS in small chunks.

3. Mimo

This app teaches coding through game creation and website development.

Get started with coding for 12 year olds

To get your 12 year old started in the field of coding, try a free coding class or app! Depending on your child’s interests and learning preferences, there are many options on the market for you to choose from, such as Create & Learn's online classes for grade six and above.

Apps are nice because you can have your child learn when it works for them, at their own pace. The online live classes are great because they get feedback from a live teacher and many of the classes are free.

We hope this gives you ideas regarding where to begin your 12 year old’s coding journey. Up next, learn more about computer programming for kids.

Written by Lauren Mauel, a Create & Learn instructor with 8 years of teaching experience. She also has a BS in Mathematics, an MS in Analytics, and is a PhD candidate. She loves seeing kids' creativity come alive.