Diving into the world of coding for 4th graders can be an exciting adventure! Whether you're helping a curious young mind build their very first game or just looking to foster some tech-savvy creativity, knowing where to start is key. In the world of digital literacy, there's no age too young to start learning, and 4th graders are at a prime age to begin exploring. Discover the best language to kick off their journey, join award-winning coding classes designed just for their age group, and even explore free platforms tailored to their learning pace. Plus, see simple ways to make learning coding an absolute blast!

Take the first step by joining a free award-winning online small group Scratch class led live by an expert, and designed by professionals from Google, Stanford, and MIT! And explore fun free live online tech events for kids.

Pick the Best Coding Language for 4th Graders

Before you begin teaching your child coding, identify the right programming language for them to start. Here’s a handy chart to help, which shows that block coding is a great fit for fifth graders, and more specifically, Scratch coding:

The free Scratch coding platform designed by the MIT media lab is a great starting point for fourth graders. It's incredibly friendly for visual and kinesthetic learners. And has blocks that are color-coded and designed to move easily on the screen. Kids love the platform because they can quickly create games. To get your student set up with Scratch and learn how to use Scratch, check out this quick step by step video:

The Best Way for Fourth Graders to Learn Coding

Downloading an app, sorting through YouTube videos, and buying some books for your fourth grader are all great ways for student to learn coding. However you've probably encouraged your child to do this before, and maybe they're consistent for a few days, and then eventually drop it.

There are undoubtedly so many online resources and platforms where your child can get information and knowledge about how to code for free. But what happens if they get stuck on a line of code, learn outdated information, or find all it too overwhelming or confusing? They probably won't stick with coding, and they might never want to return to it. The opportunity to foster their passion for computer science might flash by in the blink of an eye!

As the chart below reveals, there are many options for learning kids coding. Live classes offer some of the most compelling benefits when comparing some key factors such as supportive help, interactivity, and thoughtful accurate learning paths that set students up for success.

Live online classes are a great solution for helping your fourth grader explore computer science and discover how it aligns with their interests. They are likely the best shot your student has at gaining real coding skills soon, because passionate teachers will hold students accountable and support them. In addition, live online courses adapt the material to kids' learning styles, they help students when they run into tough problems with their code, and they taking the 'thinking' off your plate with a carefully designed curriculum - so you don't have to plan your student's next step or worry that the content will be out of their reach and overly frustrating.

Learning quickly and accurately in live online classes and camps will best equip your student to gain valuable computer science skills. They are an investment, but they don't have to be forever. For example, here at Create & Learn, you can pick and chose the classes your child enrolls in based on their schedule and interests: which can easily match your child's preferred time engagement and growing passions. Explore the grades 4-6 curriculum here.

Of course, there's not just one solution for learning something new. Pairing live online classes with additional materials, such as free online websites and apps that encourage self-discovery, is a great way to round out your student's coding education. So let's take a look at some popular classes and resources to use.

Best Coding Classes For Fourth Graders

Create & Learn is an award-winning kids coding classes platform for children and teens in grades K-12 who want to learn to code and are looking for a comprehensive and well-regarded program. We offer 35+ online computer science classes and camps led live by US-based expert instructors with an average of 10 years of experience. With a systemic learning path for every age and interest, your student will discover their love for computer science in a safe, collaborative environment.

All of the classes' curricula are designed by professionals from Google, Stanford, and MIT, so kids build cutting-edge, real-world skills using the best technology. Cool hands-on projects, relatable real-life examples, and lively teachers keep computer science exciting. Furthermore, children get personalized instruction and support as they learn to code, because of the small group class format (typically 3-5 students). Your student will also earn a certificate upon class completion. Unlike other coding class programs, rather than being told a set of code text to copy and paste, in these classes, kids learn the underlying logic behind coding, and they're encouraged to express and build their creativity along the way with many options for applying their own unique spin to projects.

Create & Learn classes have been recognized and awarded by Minecraft Education, Meta, HulaFrog, ActivityHero, and SMASH. Parents have found the classes to be very effective for their children, and have rated the platform as 5-stars on Facebook. Beyond that, students have enjoyed over 1 million learning hours with the company. The company also provides a full satisfaction guarantee for their classes. Here are some of our most popular classes for fourth graders:

1. Scratch Ninja

Developed by MIT, Scratch coding offers a delightful entry into the world of programming for kids, using simple drag-and-drop blocks instead of error-prone syntax. In this class, kids will engage in interactive, inquiry-based learning, tackling projects that range from animations and games to storytelling. While building a fun jungle adventure to arcade-game inspired projects, your child will develop not just coding skills, but also built their critical thinking. And with small group settings and awesome teachers, learning feels like a playdate with friends! So why not give it a whirl? This could be the spark that ignites a lifelong passion.

2. Minecraft Modding Quest

Minecraft, one of the most popular video games ever created, also has an Education Edition that helps students to build their coding abilities. Through Create & Learn’s curriculum, students will learn about events, loops, functions, variables, and use that knowledge to develop mini-games and interact with their Minecraft world. Minecraft: Education Edition uses block coding, which helps to abstract away the complexities of text-based programming. Any student taking the course through Create & Learn will also receive a free license for Minecraft: Education Edition.

3. AI Explorers

Imagine your child's eyes lighting up as they dive into the magical world of AI, the same technology that powers self-driving cars and creates stunning AI-generated art. Now, that's not just a sci-fi dream! In this live online class, kids not only learn how AI works but also actually get to build their own AI system! Cool, right? From exploring real-world AI applications to hands-on experiences with cutting-edge products, this course is a fun-filled journey that fosters creativity and critical thinking. Help your child take their first step towards something truly groundbreaking; save their spot now to have fun with AI!

4. Pokémon Game Building

In this fun live virtual class, students are guided by an expert teacher to complete four cool Pokémon games with fun Scratch coding. Find out how to create, catch, care for, and play games with the Pokémon of your choice. Along the way, students will review and master key coding concepts that are foundational to future game building, such as lists, variables, messages, and cloning. They'll even learn how to use their computer's video camera to interact with their characters so they can control them with hand gestures - a powerful feature that opens up brand new capabilities for building games in Scratch.

5. Canva

Dive into the colorful world of Canva with our live online design class. It's more than just playing with pictures and fonts; it's about unlocking imagination, digital storytelling, and beautiful design. Your child will learn to use Canva's intuitive drag-and-drop tool to craft everything from posters and cards to videos. They'll explore fonts, sizes, effects, and what makes a design really pop. And the best part? By the end of the class, they'll have their own design portfolio ready to be shared and admired. It's not just about making art; it's about learning a valuable skill that nurtures creativity and self-expression.

6. Data Superpower

Ever wondered how Netflix knows just what movie you'll enjoy next or why some YouTube channels are so popular? It's all about data! With our live online Data Superpower classes, your child won't just learn about data; they'll see the world through a brand new lens. They'll interact with relatable data through their favorite topics like sports, movies, and games, learning how to find insights and tell compelling stories with data. Think of it as a superpower, one that helps in understanding how companies like Google and Amazon succeed. But it's not just for future tech wizards; even journalists and lawyers can benefit from this skill!

7. Create with ChatGPT

Imagine your child learning how to plan, write creatively, and even code a ChatBot with the help of an AI system that's smart enough to pass Google Interviews and Bar exams. Sounds thrilling, right? In this live online, expert-led course, your child will embark on carefully designed projects that will sharpen critical thinking, boost creativity, and help them understand both the strengths and ethics of using ChatGPT. It's not just about asking it to solve a calculus problem; it's about discovering how to think systematically and innovatively. Help your student step into the future, have fun, and master a valuable tool that's shaping the world!

8. Beginner Roblox Coding

Does your kid dream of designing their own Roblox games? Well, this is their chance to turn that dream into reality! Our live online, expert-led Roblox coding class is tailor-made for young game enthusiasts. Students will dive into exciting topics like if/then logic, loops, variables, and even multiplayer game creation. Picture the joy on your student's face as they invite friends to play games they've crafted themselves, or the pride as they showcase their knowledge through a quiz game on their favorite subject. Plus, our class sizes are small, ensuring individual attention and support as students navigate Roblox Studio.

Top Free Coding Programs For 4th Graders

Free coding programs designed specifically for this age group are a wonderful supplementary resource, offering interactive and engaging platforms that make learning both fun and effective.

1. Free Coding Classes

  • Age Range: 7 and up

Free coding classes for kids are a great way to introduce computer programming to students and help them find new interests. From fun beginner languages, to awesome Roblox game development, to more advanced programming that drives real-world innovation - find a great free introduction computer coding class for your child to enjoy!

2. Code.org

  • Age Range: 4 and up

Code.org offers a wide range of curriculum and activities, including the popular "Hour of Code," - a global movement aimed at encouraging people of all ages to engage with computer programming through a one-hour coding experience that's accessible to beginners. They often use characters and themes from popular movies and games, such as Star Wars and Minecraft, to make the activities more relatable for children.

3. Google's Blockly Games

  • Age Range: 6 and up

Blockly Games is a self-paced series of educational games that teach programming created by Code with Google. The free platform is designed for children who have not had prior experience with computer programming, and after completing all the challenges students will be equipped with the skills use conventional text-based languages. Complete the maze, bird, movie, and music games, and more!

Explore some of the best coding games for kids too.

How to Teach Your Fourth Grader Coding

Here are a few ideas and activities to keep in mind as you help teach your student to code:

  1. Incorporate Their Interests: Whether it's creating a game or designing a virtual garden, align the coding projects with your child's hobbies or passions. By integrating what they love, you'll make the learning process engaging and relatable. Explore these fun Scratch project ideas to get started. Or follow a tutorial such as how to make a Mario game in Scratch.
  2. Break Tasks into Smaller Challenges: Complex problems can be overwhelming, so break them down into smaller, manageable tasks. Encourage your child to solve one part at a time, guiding them gently through each step. This method builds confidence and a strong foundation in problem-solving. Challenge them tackle these Scratch exercises as a simple starting point.
  3. Encourage Regular Practice with a Reward System: Like any skill, coding requires consistent practice. Create a schedule that includes regular coding sessions, and consider implementing a reward system where achievements are recognized with small incentives. It'll keep your child motivated and foster a positive association with coding.

Get Started Learning Coding For 4th Graders

According to Code.org, 67% of all new jobs in STEM are in computing, yet only 11% of STEM graduates are in Computer Science. Introducing coding to 4th graders taps into their natural curiosity and creativity, allowing them to experiment, build, and problem solve. Beyond that, in a world where technology is rapidly advancing, understanding the basics of coding prepares children for a wide range of future careers, not just in computer science. By starting at this critical age, kids can create a strong foundation for higher-level computer science education and an edge in the increasingly tech-driven world. Get started today by enrolling your student in a free live online coding class!