Ultimate Guide for Online Coding for Kids - 24 Free + Paid sites
Technology, artificial intelligence and computers, in general, have taken over the world, we all live in a digital age. Computers, AI and stuff have really made our lives and our work much easier. They have become a really important part of our lives, we are dependent on them for so many of our daily tasks especially our work-related tasks. We all are really tech-savvy and are capable of performing a lot of our daily tasks through our PC`s.
We all can perform daily ordinary tasks through our PC`s but how many of us actually know how to program a computer and how many of us know how the computer is able to perform a certain task and what all goes into programming a computer? I bet very few of us.
Many huge and successful names have urged people to learn how to code in order to open new doors and opportunities for them in their lives and in their careers. Here is what some of the big and successful names had to say:
We want every kid in the world to be excited about the many possibilities coding can unlock - for themselves, their communities and for the society. Everyone should have the right to learn computer science at school and beyond.
Sundar Pichai (Google CEO)
Everyone should know how to program a computer because it teaches you how to think.
Steve Jobs (Chairman, CEO & Co-founder of Apple)
Learning to write programs stretches your mind and helps you think better, creates a way of thinking about things that I think is helpful in all domains.
Bill Gates (Co-founder of Microsoft)
I taught myself how to program computers when I was a kid, bought my first computer when I was 10, and sold my first commercial program when I was 12
Elon Musk (CEO of Tesla)
Why Coding is Important?
As our world is becoming more and more dependent on Artificial Intelligence it is really very important for us to stay at pace with all the progress that is happening in the tech world and knowing how to code is going to become really important in a few years time, we need to teach our younger generation how to code and not only is teaching them how to code really good for their future but studies have shown that it also helps in making them smarter and better at problem-solving if you still think why your kid needs to learn how to code here are some facts for you:
Around 60 million jobs to be created by Artificial Intelligence by 2022. Source
75% increase in logical & abstract thinking skills in kids who code, learning to code has stunning cognitive-related benefits, such as problem-solving, computational thinking, analytical thinking, creative thinking, leadership-related skills, and even teamwork. Source
Many coding languages share similar features, so it’s easier to pick up another language once you know one. In the near future knowing how to code will be as necessary as knowing how to write is today. Yes, regardless of the field or career your students decide for their future.
The earlier you start the better it is: Starting at an early age it will help them master the art of coding by the time they grow up whilst also helping them to become smarter and sharper. Many experts believe that coding should be taught to kids in the school itself, it should be an equally important part of their curriculum. Here`s a link to an article published by the Harvard Business Review speaking in detail about the same Click here to read
So now that you know why it is so important to learn how to code, here are our honest suggestions for the best free as well as paid online coding courses for kids that will help them get started with their journey of becoming one of the best programmers in the world!
We're here to guide you through the process of choosing the best online coding course for your child and help you decide which one would suit your child the best and mainly answer the question of whether it's worth going in for a paid course and what are the pros or cons of it, so continue reading. It is important to note that all these recommendations we are going to give are in no particular order so keep reading till the end to see which website would suit your child the most.
Code.org is a non-profit organization, the one that organizes the annual hour of code. They provide a curriculum to schools and also have a website for kids with 4 courses teaching the kids computer science fundamentals. After each course kids can create cool games or stories which they can share online. Every child can see and be a part of over 74 Million projects showcased.
Their courses mostly use a block-based approach but one can opt to see the code in text form as well. Everything is puzzle-based along with informative videos and other awesome activities which teach kids the principles of computer science. The course is aligned with ISTE standards and the best part is that it won't cost you a penny so it's one of the best and most popular options out there.
What we like:
You get a lot of practice coding puzzles as per your requirement as non price. Most of the content uses animations and cartoon characters that student would like.
With abundant content also comes the issue of confusion. You need to spend time to find the right set of exercises as per your level. The lessons are not 1 on 1 but that is not a huge deal-breaker considering the quality you are getting.
Scratch is a platform we ourselves use for our scratch programming course, so we definitely recommend it.
What we like:
It’s a free block coding website for kids, developed by the MIT Media Lab. Scratch in itself is its own programming language and consists of graphical blocks. To add to that, Scratch has a huge online community where children can program and share a lot of stuff such as stories, games, and animation with people from all over the world. Younger children who are too young or have just learned to read can try ScratchJr, it is a very simplified version of Scratch.
Scratch provides a lot of avenues to learn complex concepts but without a streamlined curriculum, you would find it a little tough to use blocks such as cloning, broadcast and conditional loops.
Price: Free 60 min trial session, the full course is paid.
NotchUp teaches kids app development, game development, python programming, artificial intelligence, and web development through LIVE online Coding sessions in their preferred language. Our courses are designed by a team from IIT-D, IIM-A and Harvard to delight your child and prepare them for the digital future, we have a really Adaptive Curriculum and we believe that every child is different, and so is their learning path.
We have flexible timings so you get the luxury of choosing the time and date for all your sessions. Our courses are gamified with rewards to keep kids excited and engaged. We also provide a monthly detailed progress report to track the progress of your child.
What you would love about us:
In addition to all this, we have the most reasonable prices amongst all the other paid options and we offer true value for money and a money-back guarantee! We make sure that your kid gets quality attention and that they are able to grasp whatever we teach so if you`re looking for a paid option NotchUp is definitely one of the best and value for money options out there.
We might seem a little biased here but seriously we are one of the best-paid options available out there without a shadow of a doubt.
What we like:
It is pretty simple and uses a gamified method and simple graphics in order to make kids understand the concept. You can code using blocks as well as the in built text editor
It may be restrictive in the types of interactive projects that you can make using the blocks,but overall it's a great website for kids to start learning how to code using text and blocks
Price: A sample lesson is free but total access to their library and private Minecraft server requires a subscription.
Kids can learn how to build their own games, apps and learn how to program Minecraft mods on their website. Their course is self-paced and hence it`s easy to understand and pick up for kids. They teach block as well as text-based programming.
What we like:
Their course is gamified and space-themed and there are all kinds of cool aliens and spaceships etc in it which make it a fun learning experience for kids. Kids progress through 3 levels during their course according to their age. Tynker in their course helps the kids to create their own game on Minecraft and make their own mods, apply skins etc. They can opt to go for a paid version which will give them access to a private Minecraft server where they can create their own game safely and later invite friends to play their game with them. It`s a good option for kids of every stage be it a beginner or an advanced student.
The free account is very restrictive in the number of games you can play. Even with the pro - account, you get access to more games and levels but doubt resolution is something that this platform does not cater to.
6. Code Combat
Price: Core levels are free but advanced levels require a monthly subscription.
What we like:
CodeCombat students learn a lot of commands that only exist in the game world. While this is fine in the game, some "structural" commands could have easily been replaced by the correct Python command and maybe a few more little things here and there.
Price: Free but also has Annual subscriptions.
Stencyl is a game creation software that lets users publish iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows, Mac, Linux, HTML5 & Flash games without writing a single line of code.
What we like:
They use a graphical interface which is very similar to Scratch, but with new functionalities and more ready-to-use blocks in order to make work easy. Kids can build their own worlds and characters and edit them in detail and in their own innovative way to make them more eye-catching and awesome. The graphics are kid-friendly and, for advanced students who want to see the text-based code, there is the option to see and edit the text-based code in their game. It requires a software download and set up, they offer extensive support in their forums. Stencyl is great for the kids who love games and game development and like to add details in their design.
Games tend to lag if there are too many assets in the games. Like scratch, there is not a stepwise curriculum that the student to follow to learn about advanced concepts
8. Code Monkey
Price: They have an annual subscription fee.
Code Monkey teaches kids coding through fun-filled online games. Kids aim to help a monkey gather bananas by writing code. The player has to work through a series of challenges and eventually ends up learning enough code to be able to build their own game.
What we like:
It's more suitable for really small kids because it`s very basic the slightly older kids should maybe look for another option.
Price: Trial is free and they have a tiered annual subscription
Coddemoji strongly believes in the idea that typing proficiency is not needed to code hence their platform teaches coding by the help of images, they strongly believe that students can learn to problem-solve and find solutions just by looking at images. Hence, children as small 5-year-olds can also learn how to code. If your child loves images or you want your child to start out easy this should be the one for you.
What we like:
We really like their ideology and perception of coding.
It's pretty basic, nothing too advanced.
Price: Limited trial period n then a tiered annual subscription
What we like:
This is a great platform for beginners to start with text-based coding, but it mostly focuses on web programming
12. Code Avengers