Navigating coding for 6th graders can feel like a maze filled with endless choices. But don't worry, this guide is packed with insights to help you and your young coder get started on the right foot, without getting overwhelmed. From choosing the best language to kickstart their coding journey, and discovering popular coding classes that resonate with their interests, to sharing pro tips for teaching coding at home, we've got you covered. And did you know there are even top-notch free coding programs to help 6th graders get started? Discover the secrets to turning screen hours into a world of creativity and fun!

Take the first step by joining a free award-winning online small group Accelerated 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 6th 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 sixth graders, and more specifically, Scratch coding:

Picking a programming language

The free Scratch coding platform designed by the MIT media lab is a great starting point for sixth 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 Sixth Graders to Learn Coding

Downloading an app, sorting through YouTube videos, and buying some books for your sixth 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 But what happens if they get stuck on a line of code, learn outdated information, or find all it too overwhelming or confusing?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.

Chart showing different tools for learning coding

Live online classes are a great solution for helping your sixth 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 6-9 curriculum here.

Grade 6 coding curriculum

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 Sixth 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's coding classes for middle schoolers 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 sixth graders:

1. Accelerated Scratch

Our Accelerated Scratch coding class is tailored for middle schoolers who are new to coding, starting with the block-based coding language Scratch, and advances them through engaging and comprehensive lessons. Your child will be introduced to key coding concepts such as loops, conditionals, variables, functions, and even advanced features like cloning. Each session not only challenges their creativity but sets them up for success by mastering computational thinking skills. The projects range from animations and games to graphic designs and storytelling, ensuring that learning remains a fun and enriching process. Enroll today and watch your child's confidence and interest in coding soar!

2. Smart Devices: Arduino for Kids

Ever looked at your home automation system and wondered how it works? With our live online Arduino class, your student will dive into the fascinating world of electronics and circuits. But this is not just any electronics class; this series introduces students to Arduino, the popular system behind robots and smart home systems. Your child will design electronic systems for alarms, home sensing, motor controls, and more, all while learning to code these systems. No physical device is needed, but you can still buy an Arduino starter kit to bring the virtual lessons to life. From a quick intro to circuits, to creating a smart cars project and light shows, your child will have fun.

3. 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.

4. 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!

5. Mobile Coding for Apps and Games

Imagine your child not just downloading mobile apps but also creating them! In this class, students will dive into the world of mobile app development using Thunkable, a block-based programming platform that's both approachable and powerful. They'll explore key concepts like designing user interfaces, handling various mobile device features, and working with advanced cloud computing. From constructing games to building complex multi-user applications, your child will learn to apply their creativity in tangible ways that can even translate to real-world business opportunities. Beyond equipping them with sought-after computational skills, this course sets the stage for participating in exciting competitions like the Congressional App Challenge.

6. Python for AI

This live online course is a delightful dive into Python, a coding language celebrated for its simplicity and popularity, and used by tech giants like Netflix and Google. The class covers everything from the basics of Python to its applications in Artificial Intelligence, including intricate data structures and libraries. With the new curriculum, students even engage with ChatGPT to learn, debug, and brainstorm coding solutions more effectively. Guided by experienced teachers in small groups, students will master skills to create animations, games, and their very own independent Python projects.

7. Build Your Web: Javascript, HTML, and CSS

The Internet is like a bustling city that we all visit every day, but how many of us actually know how it's built? Here's a golden opportunity for your child to become an architect of the digital world! In this live online class, students won't just learn about the Internet and the World Wide Web; they'll also construct web pages from scratch, explore how the Internet operates, and delve into the layers of business around the online economy. It starts with the foundation: HTML and CSS, as your child crafts their first fan website. Next, they'll sprinkle some magic with Javascript, making websites that respond to viewers' interactions. They'll also build complex web projects, animations, and even online games. Imagine the spark in their eyes as they create, learn, and uncover the power of web development. If they've ever been curious about how their favorite websites come to life, this is a vibrant and engaging place to start!

8. Unity Game Development

Ever watched your child's eyes light up while playing games like Crossy Road, Among Us, or Angry Birds, and wondered if they could create something like that? Well, here's the chance for them to step into the exciting world of game development with Unity! Unity isn't just a playground; it's a professional game engine used to craft both 2D and 3D games, and it even dives into the realms of VR and AR. Imagine your child navigating the Unity ecosystem, scripting behaviors, modifying objects, designing levels, and orchestrating the entire game development process. They'll build real games in this entirely project-based live online class, mastering everything from character control and inventory management to the playtest and design cycle. So if your child loves games and has a creative spark, why not turn that passion into skills?

Top Free Coding Programs For 6th 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. W3Schools

  • Age Range: 11 and up

Students can explore foundational languages such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript through interactive examples and exercises using W3Schools. What makes W3Schools particularly appealing for young coders is its "Try it Yourself" feature, where learners can write and test code directly within the web browser, providing hands-on experience at no cost. From building simple web pages to more complex functionalities, W3Schools offers a free and user-friendly approach.

3. Google CS First

  • Age Range: 8 and up

Google CS First provides a curriculum to support to educators and parents wanting to teach their students coding. Even if you're not familiar with coding yourself, the platform offers the tools you need to guide your child through their coding journey. Google has collaborated with educators and universities to create content that aligns with best practices in teaching coding to children. It ensures that the material is not only fun but educationally sound.

Explore some free coding games for kids too. Learn more about coding for middle school students here.

How to Teach Your Sixth Grader Coding

Here are a few tips for teaching your child programming:

  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 to 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 6th Graders

According to, computing jobs are the number one source of new wages in the US. 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 in sixth grade, 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!