There are plenty of useful skills that kids can learn to give them a leg up in life, but few are as flexible and fun as the ability to code. Many free coding websites advertise that their coding tutorials effectively teach coding, but they’re often aimed at adults hoping to change careers and aren’t effective for kids. Paid coding websites often require you to take a risk on their program without knowing if it’s a good fit. When it comes down to it, you just want to know which free and paid coding websites actually work.
That’s where we’re here to help! Our team of coding experts has scoured the internet to find the absolute best ways to introduce your kids to coding, coming up with this list of the 22 best free and paid coding websites for kids.
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Coding Websites for Kids in Elementary School
Puzzle pieces will appear on the screen and the goal is to complete the “story” that makes up the software program by completing the puzzle. Each puzzle piece represents a block of code, which is similar to a paragraph in a story. Kids can drag-and-drop the puzzle pieces to create a sequence of code.
As long as your child can read, he or she can code with Blockly. However, some of the games include using the number of degrees to define the direction an object moves and others concepts that may be difficult for really little kids despite it using a gamification approach and simple graphics.
Overall, Blockly is a simple, straightforward coding website for kids who don’t have any experience with coding. Its aim is to prepare kids for conventional text-based computer programming languages.
Pricing: Free for core levels. Monthly subscription for additional levels.
Players visit the Dungeons of Kithgard where they direct the hero, Anya, by writing code. After successfully completing a level, students move up to more complex tasks and coding. There are multiple worlds and levels to explore to encourage kids to keep coding and take on harder coding challenges.
If you are a teacher, CodeCombat developers even provide course guides and wikis for your classrooms. They also promise a Course-in-a-Box containing a semester’s worth of course content to add to your curriculum.
Pricing: Free. Annual subscriptions.
Stencyl is game creation software that lets users publish iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows, Mac, Linux, HTML5 & Flash games without code. They use a graphical interface similar to Scratch, but with new functionality and even more ready-to-use blocks. Kids can build their own worlds and characters and edit them in detail to make them more complex.
The graphics are kid-friendly and, for advanced students, there is the option to see and edit the text-based code in their game. It requires a software download and setup, but offers extensive support in their forums. Stencyl is great for the kid who appreciates game development and detail in design.
4. Code Monkey
Pricing: Annual Subscription Fee
Code Monkey is a coding website that teaches kids coding through playful online games. Children write code with the goal of helping a monkey gather bananas. The player works through a series of challenges and eventually develops the coding skills to be able to build his or her own game.
Code Monkey is made with 1st and 2nd graders in mind, but they also teach younger kids on their Code Monkey Jr. app. You do not need to download an application to play and no coding experience is required. If your child loves a good story, start with Code Monkey.
5. Code.org Studio
Code.org is a non-profit organization that organizes the annual Hour of Code. In addition to providing curriculum to schools, they also host a coding website for kids with a series of four courses that teach computer science fundamentals. At the end of each course, students are able to create interactive games or stories for sharing online. Your child will get to see and be a part of the over 74 million projects showcased.
Each course is made up of a series of puzzles, videos, and activities that teach the principles behind computer science. Course 1 is made for early readers (age 4-6) and can be skipped if your child is already reading proficiently.
Later courses use a block-based approach for programming activities, but students can choose to see the text-based code that is generated. Taken together, this series of four courses make up a curriculum that has been organized for use in the classroom and is aligned with ISTE standards. Best of all, each of their courses is available at no cost.
Pricing: Free for the basic curriculum. A parent plan, available for a flat fee, includes an advanced curriculum and access on any device.
Kodable teaches computer science fundamentals through kid-friendly, self-directed lessons. Students get to create and play alongside bright, cute characters.
Organized as a classroom curriculum, each unit includes a teacher’s script, an unplugged activity, an independent practice activity, and some kind of assessment or quiz. Kodable is a great way to take students from block programming and transition to real code.
Scratch is the platform we use for our elementary school coding program, so we obviously love it. It’s a free block coding website for kids, developed by the MIT Media Lab. Scratch is its own programming language and consists of graphical blocks that snap together.
In addition, Scratch has a large online community where children can program and share interactive media such as stories, games, and animation with people from all over the world. The Scratch platform is designed especially for kids ages 8 to 16. Younger children can also try ScratchJr, a simplified version of Scratch designed for ages 5 to 7.
We use Scratch in our coding curriculum because it’s the perfect way for younger kids to develop their problem-solving, communication, and reasoning skills. It doesn’t teach any real coding language, but it’s a stepping stone to computer programming and coding languages.
Pricing: A sample of coding lessons is available at Tynker for free. Access to the complete library and a private Minecraft server requires a monthly subscription.
Tynker is a self-paced online programming course for kids. It’s a coding website for kids created for them to build their own games and apps as well as learn how to program Minecraft mods. Tynker teaches in both block programming and text-based classes.
The programming courses are game-based and space-themed with space aliens and rocket ships. Kids progress through three levels of games/classes for the track that matches their age.
A collection of courses related to the popular Minecraft game teaches kids about mods and skins, how to create mods, and how to build multi-player Minecraft games. With a paid subscription, kids have access to their own private Minecraft server, providing a safe environment for them to build mods and then play online with their invited friends.
There is no structured curriculum in Tynker, so kids progress at their own pace. It’s great for kids at any stage, whether they are beginners or advanced.
Coding Websites for Kids in Middle School
9. App Inventor
App Inventor is a visual, blocks language for building Android Apps. Their coding website for kids features video tutorials and courses in a box.
Originally created by Google, App Inventor makes it possible to program Android apps just by moving objects around the screen. This approach is similar to block-based programming. The course begins with setting up App Inventor and moves through building progressively more complex Android apps. Students learn how to build mobile apps and share them using App Inventor. It’s educational, easy, and fun.
MIT now hosts App Inventor online, so, lucky for us, it available for free. The tutorials have been refined for use by teachers and gathered into a Course-in-a-Box that includes video and text-based lessons. Instead of keeping your kids off the phone, App Inventor will help kids go inside the phone.
10. Code Avengers
Pricing: A limited-time free trial or a monthly subscription is available.
Kids work through the lessons, debugging code, and completing challenges before. Code Avengers will automatically track your child’s achievements as they work through lessons and activities. They give you a Parent Dashboard, where you can view your children’s progress through the courses, the projects they’ve created, and the concepts they’ve learned.
When they hit a snag, kids have access to online support and technical support. This live help can be lacking in many other self-paced programs.
11. Code Monster
The purpose of Code Monster is to provide a fun, immersive platform to practice, not necessarily learn, syntax.
Your child can learn to code from home.
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GameBlox is a block-based programming site for making games online for web and mobile devices. It allows anyone to develop games that you can play online and on your mobile phone.
You can use their starter projects as a base and make them more fun or use the “Make a Game” button to go straight to the code editing screen. This coding website for kids offers five getting started tutorials, but that’s all you need. There is an online forum on the site where questions can be posted and some video tutorials on YouTube.
The games students make can be played online at the GameBlox site or on a mobile device using the GameBlox app. If your child is mainly interested in game development, try starting here.
Pricing: Free trial. Tiered annual subscriptions.
Codemoji uses images to teach coding and they’ve developed their platform with a deep belief that typing proficiency is not required to code. Students formulate solutions and learn to problem solve using images, so kids as young as 5 can build basic coding skills with Codemoji.
Ages: All ages
Pricing: Free trial. Monthly and annual subscriptions.
LightBot lets kids solve puzzles using programming. It’s a puzzle game, based on coding, that secretly teaches you programming logic as you play.
Kids will learn sequencing, overloading, procedures, recursive loops, and conditionals without feeling like they’re studying. The games revolve around a robot and blocks, similar to the popular game Minecraft. LightBot was designed with first-time coders in mind, so it’s simple for beginners.
Coding Websites for High School Kids
Glitch is a simple tool for creating web apps. They’re evolving and simplifying developer tools, making it ideal for older kids and teens who are learning to code. Coding on Glitch is like working together in Google Docs–multiple people can work on the same project at the same time. There’s no setup, and you can see changes live on the web as you type. Students can use simple, yet powerful tools to build their website and remix projects from real-world languages and frameworks.
Kids can work collaboratively on projects or on a team. It’s easy and fun to express yourself in code on Glitch. Not only that, they have a community of developers at all levels to support them.
Students don’t have to worry about fussing with servers and setup. They can now create industry-standard code from start to finish.
Pricing: Free. A PRO track is available for a monthly subscription.
Codecademy offers a comprehensive set of text-based courses on web development and related programming languages. Students can pick which language they want to learn and advance through lessons with instant feedback on their code.
General access to Codecademy courses is free. The paid PRO track adds a personalized learning plan, quizzes, projects, and access to live advisors. For kids and teens dreaming about a job in programming, the final project in the paid PRO track covers how to build a professional online portfolio.
17. Code HS
Pricing: Limited free trial. Three paid levels.
Code HS is a coding website for kids that delivers a blended learning approach to high school computer science classes.
Code HS offers online, self-paced classes by blending video lessons, coding exercises, quizzes to assess subject mastery, and access to live tutors (for the paid levels).
A limited free level is available. The three paid levels add quizzes, handouts, lesson plans, various dashboards, and access to live tutors.
Pricing: Monthly subscription
Pluralsight offers one of the largest selections of coding courses online for new and aspiring developers.
Each course is built around a storyline that gamifies the material taught. Instruction is delivered via video and reinforced through coding challenges. Courses come with skills and assessment tests to make sure the concepts are solidified and an online community forum to answer students’ questions.
In an approach based on the Japanese martial arts practice of kata, the first step in Codewars is to choose a language and prove your skills. The coder is ranked and given a challenge based on this initial challenge. The challenges get progressively more difficult. Coder gains Honor points for each challenge that he or she successfully completes.
Once a challenge is successfully completed, the coder has access to other coders’ solutions who’ve completed the same challenge. By studying other people’s approaches, the coder gets new insight into how the code works.
It’s a unique and fun approach to learning and practicing coding skills. It can especially help kids and teens who are trying to master a language or expanding their knowledge of newly learned languages.
20. Khan Academy – Computer Programming
Each of these classes presents a comprehensive introduction aimed at building a base for professional level skills. There’s also a section called “Meet the Professional” which contains interviews with 11 computer programmers from around the world working in a variety of industries.
Normally Khan Academy presents their courses via video, but for its programming courses, they use “talk-throughs” which are more interactive than a normal video. With a talk-through the student can pause the video and “play” with the code listed on the screen. Talk-throughs are followed by step-by-step coding challenges and projects. Both are designed as coding practice. Finally, there’s a community programs area (i.e., online forum) where students can share projects, leave comments, and ask questions.
The computer programming courses are most appropriate for high school students and adults, but a tech savvy tween could probably work through them with some mentoring.
Pricing: Limited free access. Tiered annual subscriptions.
Users can upload photos, illustrations, videos and audio and manipulate them with code right away, allowing tweens and teens to connect computer programming to the media they interact with every day.
Free access to Vidcode gives access to the software, some beginner tutorials, and an online community. This is a great platform for the kids interested in social media and creating videos for the web.
Best Coding Website for All Ages
Pricing: Monthly Fee
CodeWizardsHQ is the leading coding school for kids and teens ages 8-18 and, of course, it’s our personal favorite. We’ve adopted a blended method to teach kids coding principles and practices using a combination of small, online teacher-led classes delivered and build-as-you-learn projects.
Kids can start in elementary school with block-based programming and advance to front and back end coding languages in high school. Every student has direct access to a teacher who is an experienced coder. The instruction and projects are all web-based, so students can attend CodeWizardsHQ from any place where there is a reliable internet connection.
Visit a Coding Website Today!
As you can see, there are many options if you are looking for coding websites for kids. You can choose which one to start with based on your child’s age and interests. From there, the possibilities are endless!