So your child is ready to learn coding but you're not sure where to begin? No problem! Today we've rounded up some of the best online coding platforms for kids to learn how to code.
Children can begin learning computer science and STEM already at the young age of five years old. Kindergarteners these days are already playing with cell phones and know how to navigate YouTube. Applying that curiosity to creating projects of their own and understanding how computers work with coding will set them up for future success. As Apple CEO Tim Cook said, "Coding is the most important second language for everyone to learn."
Discover the best coding platforms for kids
The best coding platforms for kids open their eyes to a whole new world! These coding platforms offer all sorts of learning, from personalized guided live interaction with experts, through to self-guided challenges. So no matter your child's learning style or busy schedule, you're sure to find the perfect fit.
Create & Learn is an award-winning STEM class platform on a mission to provide top-quality Computer Science education to students in grades K-12. There are more than 30 different fun courses to choose from that cover a wide range of topics such as coding, robotics, Artificial Intelligence, game development, smart devices, and more.
All of the classes and camps are held live online in small groups (typically a max of five students) and are taught by experienced teachers,. The classes can even be taken together as a learning path, empowering students to build their skills progressively. The curriculum was developed jointly by tech experts and experienced educators from Google, MIT, Stanford, Airbnb, Uber, and more, with a strong focus on developing students’ creativity and critical thinking skills using project and inquiry based learning. The classes have been recognized by Minecraft Education, Facebook, HulaFrog, ActivityHero, and more.
Create & Learn also runs regular free large-group events with speakers from NASA, Google, and other top companies that every child is welcome to join! Begin with a free coding class to give it a try, or jump right in with a starter pack designed for beginners to learn coding and have fun.
2. Khan Academy
Khan Academy can be a nice fit for older and more advanced students who'd like to supplement live classes with some learning on their own. With Khan Academy students practice at their own pace, first filling in gaps in their understanding and then accelerating their learning.
Khan Academy’s library of trusted, standards-aligned practice and lessons were create by experts. Their content covers math K-12 through early college, grammar, science, history, AP®, SAT®, and more. Khan offers computer programming lessons in HTML, SQL, and JS.
Code.org is a nonprofit with a catalog of courses they've designed, and some from 3rd party partners as well, to help guide students in grades K-12 on their coding path. Kids in Grades K-5 can learn to make their own game, app, or computer drawing, all with self-guided lessons. So this coding platform is a nice fit for students that can keep themselves motivated!
Designed for older students in elementary school classrooms, their Course C is a popular place to begin. It teaches students to create programs with sequencing, loops, and events. Translate their initials into binary, investigate different problem-solving techniques, and learn how to respond to cyberbullying. At the end of the course, you can create your very own game or story you can share. The course guides you step by step through each project right within your browser.
W3Schools is a freemium educational website for learning coding online. For students in middle school and high school, W3Schools is a great resource for coding tutorials in multiple languages. Students can get detailed information on coding topics in an easy-to-digest format.
The site does a great job breaking concepts down into small pieces and lets students try out tiny code snippets to reinforce fundamental concepts. Get started by creating your first web page with HTML, and then style your web page using CSS.
For kids, W3Schools will be better to use as a supplemental resource. It does not provide longer exercises or more independent work.
Scratch is a platform designed by MIT that is a great way for children to learn coding. It's a free programming language and online community where you can create your own interactive stories, games, and animations. And kids as young as kindergarten can take part in using Scratch, through their tool designed for kids ages 5-7, Scratch Jr.
Scratch coding uses intuitive blocks that can be snapped together to tell a story or create an animation. At the same time, Scratch incorporates key coding concepts like loops, conditional statements, and variables. So Scratch serves as a great introduction to focus on computer science principles without worrying about syntax (typing errors!).
To make an account, click “Join Scratch” in the upper right corner. Then follow the instructions to make a username and password. Check how to get started with Scratch programming for beginners. Or if you already have an account check out Scratch projects for kids ideas and ScratchJr projects for kids.
Enjoy the best coding platforms for kids
STEM stats show that STEM jobs are expected to grow 10.5% between 2020 and 2030 compared to 7.5% growth for non-STEM jobs. This equates to 1 million more job openings over 10 years! It's not too early to get started.
Only 26% of elementary schools and 38% of middle schools offer computer science classes. So check out these online coding platforms for kids to begin your child's coding adventure.