If you’ve ever asked yourself, “Can kids learn coding online?” you’ll be happy to know there’s no better place to do so. The web is full of courses, programs, and games that make coding kid-friendly and fun, allowing children as young as five to start learning the basics of making a website or an app. Whether your child is interested in creating unique appearances for their character with the Minecraft skin editor or is more drawn to creating a well-branded personal website, the following resources are a great place to start.
Minecraft HD Skin Maker
For the graphically inclined creator, Minecraft skins (the way characters appear in the game) are a way to combine artistic flair with technical know-how. Aside from Minecraft skin maker downloads, there are a number of sites that allow a player to customize an existing skin and showcase their new creation. More advanced creators can also create entire items or characters with a Minecraft 4D skin editor, contributing to the open-source wealth of visuals that make up the Minecraft universe.
From the folks at MIT Media Lab, Scratch is a favorite of classroom and after-school educators for its simplicity and kid-friendly interface. By dragging and dropping functional blocks of code in a sequence, Scratch allows you to create anything from text and animations to games and even music. While remaining highly engaging, Scratch can teach the fundamentals of web design and algorithmic programming. While recommended for ages 8 to 16, even parents might find a challenge juicy enough to rival their favorite Sudoku.
MakeCode from Microsoft
Geared toward instruction in C#, Unity Learn offers several courses and learning paths for independent study or as part of a school program. With structure lessons that include videos, exercises, and quizzes, Unity teaches everything from basic logic structures to debugging and custom user interfaces. For those who enjoy the pace and curriculum structure enough to stick with it to the end, the course culminates in a certification – a great way to stand out during college application season!
A sure favorite on this list, Gamestar Mechanic teaches children how to design, code, and share their own video games. Kids can learn the basics through interactive game challenges, or take more structured courses to learn the foundations needed to make their own game. A free resource for all levels, Gamestar Mechanic can supplement your child’s education or kickstart their game designer career from home or after school.
So, can kids learn coding online? In terms of logic fundamentals and programmatic thinking, the answer is a resounding ‘yes.’ Whether yours chooses to pursue coding as a career or field of continued study is up to them.
Regardless, thinking through a problem systematically can be applied to any number of fields, from business to education or management. The advantage of these online courses and games is their demonstrable result – any app, website, or game your child learns to make can be shown in a job interview or to a college admissions board, showcasing how your kid approaches a problem and implements a solution.