Free Introductory Resources For Kids Learning to Code

lego computer

As we enter another week of social distancing in the wake of COVID 19, we know that many parents are looking for ways to entertain and educate their children now home from school or taking online classes for part of the day. 

In an effort to help you keep the youngsters entertained and help them learn something new, we've compiled a list of resources (many of them free!) to help you children and teens learn to code. 

For the Youngsters

Scratch

Grades: 3 — 10

Why we like it: Designed by MIT students, Scratch offers the opportunity for students ages 8-16 to build stories, games, and animations and share with others in the Scratch community. Think of this as virtual legos. 

 

CodeCombat

Grades: 5 +

Why we like it: CodeCombat is a game-based computer science program where students learn real code and see their characters react in real-time. With resources for educators and students, CodeCombat offers courses for JavaScript and Python, two very popular programming languages. 

 

Tynker

Grades: K +

Why we like it: Tynker empowers kids to create with 40+ award-winning block and text-based courses and more than 3,700 learning modules, there's more than enough to keep the kids busy! The interactive courses allow students to move through the curriculum at their own pace and seamlessly transition to languages like JavaScript and Python. There are resources for parents and educators, too!

For the Teens

Pluralsight

Grades: 9 +

Why we like it: Formerly a code school, Pluralsight allows users to see where their skills stand, master the latest technologies and show off their expertise. Pluralsight will help you choose which courses are the best fit for you, shows you how many hours each course will take and what skill you will accomplish from it. 
 

Codeacademy

Grades: 9 — 12

Why we like it: Codeacademy offers free courses as well as paid-packages to help meet students where their skill level is. From learning basics to learning to apply job-ready skills, Codeacademy gives students the ability to choose what they learn, practice as they go, and get instant feedback! Codeacademy programs focus on  Web Development (HTML/CSS, JavaScript), Programming and Computer Science (Python, CMD Line), and Data Science (Python, SQL). 

For K — 12

Code.org

Grades: K —12

Why we like it: Offering resources for students, parents, and educators alike, Code.org offers a full course catalog for students from Kindergarten to 12th grade and beyond. This non-profit is dedicated to bringing computer science to all students. Full-length courses are offered as well as one-hour code tutorial activities featuring favorite characters from Star Wars to Frozen and everything in between.


CodeWizardsHQ

Grades: 3 - 12

Why we like it: CodeWizardsHQ offers online classes for children 8-18 (3rd-12th grade) years at varying skill levels. Class topics include game programming, Scratch, Web Development, HTML & CSS, Databases, Front End Development, Python Web Framework, Building Mobile Apps, and more! 


Girls Who Code

Grades: 3-12

Why we like it: Girls Who Code is on a mission to close the gender gap in technology. By equipping girls with the tools they need to learn to code, creating community, and offering resources that serve as a pathway to successful careers, Girls Who Code is making an impact! They've created resources specifically for learning to code at home for beginners to intermediate levels. 


Code Avengers

Grades: K-12

Why we like it: With resources for students and teachers alike, Code Avengers helps kick-start students' future with digital at-home learning. You can choose the path that fits your student best and it just a few clicks, make screen time productive! The best part? The programming is fun for students and meets the national curriculum for digital technologies.