Create & Learn
Game Coding for Kids

Game Coding for Kids

Much to many parents' dismay, kids love playing games. Studies have shown that a moderate amount of gaming helps improve students' cognitive skills. Games like Minecraft, also allow students to be very creative while building together with friends. Many of the successful entrepreneurs and engineers started their career in technology because they enjoyed playing games and wanted to build their own. Creating games is also one of the most common reasons for students to start learning coding as well. So why learn building games, what kind of career opportunities are there in game related industry, and what are some of the best ways to learn coding via game development?

Get Started

Game Industry & Career Opportunities

With games like Minecraft and Roblox becoming the favorite pastime for so many kids, the first things that come to people's mind in terms of the game industry are companies that create games. The opportunity actually goes far beyond that. By the end of 2022, the game market size has already exceeded $200billion dollars per year and is expected to be more than $600 billion by 2030. Here we are showing some of the key segments in the game industry with some representative players. There are many companies in each of the segments.
Game Industry & Career Opportunities
How to Learn Game Development

Key Technologies and Career Opportunities For Creating Games

Building successful games goes much more beyond creating the game components that you can see. Successful games employ a very broad scope of computer science technologies. In fact, the game industry is often among the very first to adopt cutting edge technologies in order to offer the best gaming experiences.
  • General Programming: Popular programming languages such as C++, C#, Lua, Java, and Python are widely used in game development as well.
  • Game Development with Game Engines: Game Engines such as Unity and Unreal make it a lot easier to develop games. For instance, they include features like physics engines that simulate physics such as collision detection, gravity, and movement.
  • Cloud Computing: Almost all popular games are cloud-based. What this means, even though you are playing the game on your phone, computer, or tablet, the game also has some of its components run on the Internet. This can be something as simple as keeping scores for the leaderboard to multiplayer games like Roblox, Minecraft, or League of Legends, where states of players in the same games are constantly updated in other players’ games as well.
  • Digital Art and Design: Whether it is the giants or flying dragons in Clash of Clan, Zombies in Minecraft, or Pokemons in Pokemon Go, all the games you play have a team of artists to design the characters, their movement, and game environments.
  • Data Science: Every single detail of successful games is meticulously designed to create the best player experiences. Much of those decisions are based on data, in fact, a lot of data. Data science is increasingly being used in the gaming industry to analyze player behavior and preferences, the results of which are used to create personalized game experiences and future game design.
  • Artificial intelligence: AI is being increasingly used in games to create intelligent and responsive game characters and NPCs (non-player characters). For instance, in a soccer game, AI not only controls the strategies used by NPCs, but also the body movements to make them more realistic.
  • AR (Augmented Reality) & VR (Virtual Reality): AR & VR technologies are increasingly being used in game development to provide more immersive 3D gaming experiences. Some game engines, such as Unity, support VR programming as well.
How to Learn Game Development

Why Learn Coding Games for Kids

Learning game development is very beneficial to students for several important reasons.
  • Learn coding and other technologies: Building games is often the most effective way, and by far the most common way, for kids to start learning coding and computer science technologies. As highlighted above, developing great games requires a wide range of technical skills such as programming, cloud computing and AI that would be very useful for many other industries as well.
  • Accessible: Many tools and resources have been developed to help students learn coding easily by developing games. All students need is a computer. Some of the best tools are available for free, or at very low costs, such as Scratch, Minecraft Education, Unity, Roblox Studio, and more. There are also tons of tutorials and YouTube videos available online. To help students get started, Create & Learn offer a wide range of classes on many game coding topics.
  • Motivating, fun, and engaging: Kids are a lot more motivated to learn if they are excited about the topic. With game development, they can also enjoy the results of their efforts more quickly than coding other kinds of apps, so it is a great way to start learning and build interests.
  • Creativity & Problem Solving: There are a diverse set of ways that kids can apply their creativity when building games. For example, design game mechanics, create levels, draw characters, design game settings, and a lot more. Whether your child enjoys technologies, art/design, or storytelling, they will find interesting places to apply their creativity. In addition, as they figure out how to implement their ideas, they will be practicing a lot of problem solving along the way.
How to Learn Game Development

How to Learn Game Development for Kids

Professional game development spans a broad set of technologies such as general programing skills, cloud computing, AI, and more. We will focus here on the foundational skills that are specific for coding games. The appropriate path to learn depends on both students' age as well as their experiences. The following are what we recommend.

There are several dimensions we consider when evaluating what to teach students

  • Ability to create fun, diverse projects based on students interests
  • Enable learning of coding knowledge in age appropriate ways and at the same time build computational thinking skills that are in line with what’s used in the industry
  • General quality of the tool e.g, performance ease of use, feature richness
  • How well students will resonate with it
  • Accessibility of the tool, free and well built tools are the best
PlatformBest for GradesWhy we like itBlock/Text CodingOur Classes
ScratchJrK - 2Very intuitive and fun to use for little kidsBlock
Scratch2 - 8Most popular kids coding platform, very well designed by MIT. Kids can start creating in 30min, and can also use it to build very sophisticated games as they learn more.Block
Minecraft Education3 - 6Build fun interactive mini-games for the popular Minecraft game. Easy for students to code on Minecraft.Block
Minecraft4 - 8You can build more sophisticated Minecraft mini-games, with additional coding features.Block with a bit Text
Roblox Studio (block based)4 - 10This is by far the easiest and most effective way to build Roblox games and get introduced to a professional game engine for younger students.Block
Mobile Games5 - 10Learn game development features that are unique to mobile games, such as touch screens and gyroscopes. We also introduce important cloud computing tools in our class.Block
Python5 - 12Python is one of the most popular programming languages for professional engineers. It is also the easiest text based language to learn.Python (Text)
Roblox Studio (use Lua)6 - 12Use Lua, the official coding language for Roblox coding to develop games and get familiar with how game engines work in general. It provides Developers of different skill levels with a comprehensive and intricate set of tools.Lua (Text)
Unity6 - 12Unity is a top game engine that can be used to build both 2D & 3D games, for mobile, desktop, and a variety of other hardware. You can also use it for AR & VR. It is both powerful and relatively easy to use.C# (text)

Start With Free Classes

Join top-rated kids coding classes

Our small group free coding classes, live online experience, and awesome teachers set every child up for success. Discover the magic in technology and have fun when you get started today.

Free Intro to Scratch Coding

Free Intro to Scratch Coding

Grades 2-5

Code games and animations with beginner-friendly Scratch coding

Enroll FREE
Beginner Roblox Game Coding - Free Intro

Beginner Roblox Game Coding - Free Intro

Grades 3-8

Start learning Roblox game coding the simple way

Accelerated Scratch - Intro to Coding for Teens

Accelerated Scratch - Intro to Coding for Teens

Grades 5-10

Fast-paced introduction to coding: build games, stories, and animations

Free Intro to Python Coding

Free Intro to Python Coding

Grades 5-10

Learn a real-world programming language, with a focus on AI

Learning Pathways for Different Age Groups

Grades 2-4
Grades 2-4

FAQ

What's the difference between Scratch and Scratch Junior?

The two share the same cat mascots :), but other than that, they are very different. Scratch Junior is specifically designed for younger students with bigger blocks and functionalities that map younger students’ development stage. Scratch, created by MIT, has a lot more advanced functionalities and covers a much broader set of essential coding concepts.

My kid is in 3rd grade, should he/she start from Scratch or Minecraft coding? Or My kid is 5th grade, where should we start?

Unless your child has had quite extensive Scratch experiences before, Scratch coding is what we recommend doing first for most elementary and middle school students. This is because Scratch is well designed and provides a clean focused way to learn general coding fundamentals.

Our other classes are all designed assuming that students have had pretty strong foundational knowledge about coding with Scratch, so we go through the basics very fast.

Extensive Scratch coding experience means roughly having learned at least half a year of Scratch at school, or taking two week-long Scratch camps. If your child has done some Scratch, but not a lot, he/she can start from Part 2 or 3. Join our free intro class to talk to the teacher and get a sense of the best place to start.

Does my kid need to take all of these classes to learn game development?

Except for Scratch coding, which we recommend everyone as the starting point, you can pick and choose what you enjoy from the list of the classes. The classes all cover very different content and we do recommend taking most of them, which you could do over the span of several years, to learn different skills related to game development.

These virtually taught classes are so engaging, my son really enjoys them and is so excited to show us the coding projects he has completed on all 3 levels of Scratch Ninja. We will definitely be signing him up for more classes and thoroughly recommend Create & Learn to other parents.

Amanda E.
Create & Learn Parent

Amazing instructor. Can really keep my daughter engaged in a fun way. Thanks to Create & Learn my daughter's tech scores have skyrocketed at school.

Bhavi P.
Create & Learn Parent

Amazing virtual classes that taught my son about coding. He has taken 3 classes and he loves them all. They have some really good programs. I would definitely recommend this website and I plan to sign him up for more classes.

LM P.
Create & Learn Parent
CNBC
El Carmelo
Herbert Hoover
GSV Cup
Activity Hero
Hulafrog
SMASH