In a rapidly developing digital world, coding is the ‘Next Big Thing’.
In September 2014, programming was introduced to the National Curriculum and is now compulsory computer learning for all children aged 5 – 16. As a parent, it can be difficult to support your child in this new area of the curriculum, of which the majority of parents are inexperienced in.
We’ve put together a list of the 6 best games to help your child develop the computational way of thinking they need to code. You might even learn something yourself!
- Tynker (suitable age: 5-13)
With Tynker, children can create games and mobile apps by arranging blocks of code. It allows them to use their imagination and turn their ideas into animated stories or art, keeping them enthusiastic about learning. There are different levels to the game which allow the child to develop an understanding of basic concepts before gradually introducing more advanced aspects of coding such as syntax driven programming.
Find the game online at: https://www.tynker.com.
- ‘An Hour of Code’ bycode.org (suitable for any age)
The makers of this interactive online game teach children to code by enabling them to create animations of their favourite film characters. This includes ‘Code with Anna and Elsa’ from the Disney hit ‘Frozen’ and ‘Star Wars: Building a Galaxy with a Code’.
Access the games by visiting: https://code.org/learn.
- LEGO WeDo 2.0 (suitable age: 7-11)
Lego WeDO 2.0 is a useful starting point when children first begin to code as it’s an exciting way to learn programming where results really come to life. The innovative idea combines LEGO programming software with links to projects in the National Curriculum, encouraging your child to design their own LEGO models.
Find out more at: https://education.lego.com/en-gb/lesi/elementary/wedo-2.
- Erase All Kittens (suitable age: 8-13)
Erase All Kittens (EAK) is an online game in the early stages of development that has been extremely highly reviewed by its users. The game focuses on a creative story-telling method where users save kittens while learning to code HTML. If your child loves cats then this is the game for you!
For more information on EAK, see: https://eraseallkittens.com.
- Scratch (suitable age: 8+)
Scratch is one of the most engaging coding games on the market. Children can create their own interactive games, holiday cards and stories, as well as share them with their friends. The only limit is their imagination!
ScratchJr is also available for beginners to programming and allows children to create characters and animate them by piecing together graphical programming blocks.
For more information about Scratch, see: https://scratch.mit.edu.
- Kano Computer and Coding Kit (suitable age: 8+)
Find out more at: http://uk.kano.me.
What is your experience with coding? Have you any other top-tips for parents? Tell us all about it in the comments section.