5 games that secretly teach children to code

Kayla Matthews

Kayla Matthews is journalist and blogger with a passion for technology and continued learning. She is currently a contributing writer for Muck Rack, Ragan and Technorati. When she isn't busy writing about the latest educational or tech trends, she loves spending time with her husband and playing video games.

Follow @KaylaEMatthews

Website: productivitytheory.com/ Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Image courtesy of Ozobot and Technology Will Save Us. Image courtesy of Ozobot and Technology Will Save Us.

Of course it’s important for kids to learn how to read and write, and there are plenty of games to help them do that, not to mention textbooks. However, in our increasingly technological society, coding is another crucial skill — and it helps when kids learn it young.

As far as games go, the choices of which ones to pick for children are seemingly endless. However, there are good reasons to choose the sorts of games that introduce and reinforce coding concepts.

Take a brief look at recent job postings in your area to see examples of how coding is becoming an increasingly valuable skill as years pass. It should soon become clear that people who know how to code will be competitive in a wide variety of positions.

Besides, the need for such skills is skyrocketing. Take cloud computing, for example, and the coding associated with it. Digital cloud encoding volume grew by 63% from 2015 to 2016. Since huge companies are becoming more familiar with cloud computing and similar technologies, coding job prospects are on the rise.

Check out these five games that are fun and worthwhile for exposing kids to coding basics.

1. Cubetto
Maybe you’d love for your little ones to start grasping coding but don’t like them sitting in front of computer screens for hours. In that case, Cubetto is the perfect solution. It’s a wooden robot toy with Lego-like blocks that kids place on a board to instruct the robot how to move. Intended for kids aged three and up, Cubetto is an excellent way to make coding concepts accessible and fun.

2. ScratchJr
Ideal for 5-7 year olds, ScratchJr is a free Android or iOS-based app that encourages kids to learn how to solve problems, write stories and express themselves creatively, all through coding. Text on the app’s website declares “Coding is the new literacy,” and, if you introduce this app to children early enough, they might learn to code like they learn to spell and do Maths.

3. Ozobot Bit
Ozobot Bit combines robotics and coding into a single toy, so it’s a thoughtful choice for kids who are forever curious about how things work. The gadget is a tiny robot measuring one cubic inch. Kids start by programming the Ozobit to move with lines and colors. Then, they can graduate to controlling it through a visual editor powered by blocks.


4. Think & Learn Code-a-Pillar
Targeting kids who are simultaneously fascinated by elements of engineering and computing, the Fisher-Price Think & Learn Code-a-Pillar has interchangeable segments. Each time kids swap the parts around, the caterpillar moves in a different direction. This interactive game helps preschoolers understand how certain actions dictate precise results, which could ignite the spark of curiosity that makes them become professional coders as adults.

5. Technology Will Save Us Gamer Kit
This collection of video games kids can program is ideal for small groups of young people who want to be world-class game developers someday. In addition to learning the code behind games like Flappy Bird and Tic-Tac-Toe, this set features the physical system for kids to play the games on and lets them assemble it.

If you get involved with getting kids excited about coding by giving them these specific games and others like them, you could play a direct role in helping today’s generation get acquainted with worthy abilities that’ll help them enjoy prosperous futures.

Whereas some people see coding as something that’s too far above them to learn, that’s only because it hasn’t been presented in enticing ways through games like those above.

Do you mix GBL and coding? Let us know below!

Register for free to continue reading
Registration is a free and easy way to support us.
When you register, you'll join a grassroots community where you can:
• Enjoy unlimited access to articles
• Get recommendations tailored to your interests
• Attend virtual events with our leading contributors
Register Now

Latest stories

  • How to handle stress while teaching in a foreign country
    How to handle stress while teaching in a foreign country

    Teaching English in a foreign country is likely to be one of the most demanding experiences you'll ever have. It entails relocating to a new country, relocating to a new home, and beginning a new career, all of which are stressful in and of themselves, but now you're doing it all at once. And you'll have to converse in a strange language you may not understand.

  • Is Learning Fun for You, Teacher?
    Is Learning Fun for You, Teacher?

    Over the weekend, my family of five went to an Orlando theme park, and I decided we should really enjoy ourselves by purchasing an Unlimited Quick Queue pass. It was so worth the money! We rode every ride in the park at least twice, but one ride required us to ride down a rapidly flowing river, which quenched us with water. It was incredible that my two-year-old was laughing as well. We rode the Infinity Falls ride four times in one day—BEST DAY EVER for FAMILY FUN in the Sun! The entire experience was epic, full of energizing emotions and, most importantly, lots of smiles. What made this ride so cool was that the whole family could experience it together, the motions were on point, and the water was the icing on the cake. It had been a while since I had that type of fun, and I will never forget it.

  • Free recycling-themed resources for KS1 and KS2
    Free recycling-themed resources for KS1 and KS2

    The Action Pack is back for the start of the brand new school year, just in time for Recycle Week 2021 on 20 - 26 September, to empower pupils to make the world a better and more sustainable place. The free recycling-themed resources are designed for KS1 and KS2 and cover the topics of Art, English, PSHE, Science and Maths and have been created to easily fit into day-to-day lesson planning.

  • Inspire your pupils with Emma Raducanu
    Inspire your pupils with Emma Raducanu

    Following the exceptional performance from British breakthrough star Emma Raducanu, who captured her first Grand Slam at the US Open recently, Emmamania is already inspiring pupils aged 4 - 11 to get more involved in tennis - and LTA Youth, the flagship
    programme from The LTA, the governing body of tennis in Britain, has teachers across the country covered.

  • 5 ways to boost your school's eSafety
    5 ways to boost your school's eSafety

    eSafety is a term that constantly comes up in school communities, and with good reason. Students across the world are engaging with technology in ways that have never been seen before. This article addresses 5 beginning tips to help you boost your school’s eSafety. 

  • Tackling inequality in EdTech
    Tackling inequality in EdTech

    We have all been devastated by this pandemic that has swept the world in a matter of weeks. Schools have rapidly had to change the way they operate and be available for key workers' children. The inequalities that have long existed in communities and schools are now being amplified by the virus.

  • EdTech review & The Curriculum Lab
    EdTech review & The Curriculum Lab

    The world is catching up with a truth that we’ve championed at Learning Ladders for the last 5 years - that children’s learning outcomes are greatly improved by teachers, parents and learners working in partnership. 

  • Reducing primary to secondary transition stress
    Reducing primary to secondary transition stress

    As school leaders grapple with the near impossible mission to start bringing more students into schools from 1st June, there are hundreds of thousands of Year 6 pupils thinking anxiously about their move to secondary school.

  • Generation Z and online tutoring: natural bedfellows?
    Generation Z and online tutoring: natural bedfellows?

    The K-12 online tutoring market is booming around the world, with recent research estimating it to grow by 12% per year over the next five years, a USD $60bn increase. By breaking down geographic barriers and moving beyond the limits of local teaching expertise, online tutoring platforms are an especially valuable tool for those looking to supplement their studies in the developing world, and students globally are increasingly signing up to online tuition early on in their secondary education schooling. 

  • Employable young people or human robots?
    Employable young people or human robots?

    STEM skills have been a major focus in education for over a decade and more young people are taking science, technology, engineering, and maths subjects at university than ever before, according to statistics published by UCAS. The downside of this is that the UK is now facing a soft skills crisis and the modern world will also require children to develop strong social skills as the workplaces are transformed by technology. 

In order to make our website better for you, we use cookies!

Some firefox users may experience missing content, to fix this, click the shield in the top left and "disable tracking protection"