“The ability to computer code in an important part of literacy today.” That’s the truth! The future is in technology. As everything goes the way of automation, kids need to learn different skills than people of previous generations learned. Teaching kids to code is actually a lot easier than you think. You don’t need to know anything to help them! Thankfully, there are lots of great resources out there!
If you’ve got elementary aged kids then you are probably familiar with SCRATCH. If you’re not, you really should be!! It’s an amazing, FREE, software from M.I.T. that teaches kids about coding. No experience necessary! Kids absolutely LOVE it.
From the SCRATCH website:
With Scratch, you can program your own interactive stories, games, and animations — and share your creations with others in the online community.
Scratch helps young people learn to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively — essential skills for life in the 21st century.
Scratch is a project of the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab. It is provided free of charge.
You don’t need any other resources to use SCRATCH, but there are some really fun and helpful books out there that will help your kids learn quicker and really enjoy coding! I’ve compiled some of our favorite books that help teach kids how to code. These are all highly reviewed on Amazon and people love them!
Written for children ages 8–12 with little to no coding experience, this straightforward visual guide uses fun graphics and easy-to-follow instructions to show young learners how to build their own computer projects using Scratch, a popular free programming language.
With Coding Games in Scratch, kids can build single and multiplayer platform games, create puzzles and memory games, race through mazes, add animation, and more. All they need is a desktop or laptop with Adobe 10.2 or later, and an internet connection to download Scratch 2.0. Coding can be done without download on https://scratch.mit.edu.
Essential coding concepts are explained using eight build-along game projects that guide young coders step-by-step, using visual samples, easy-to-follow instructions, and fun pixel art. The book teaches important strategies for solving problems, designing projects, and communicating ideas, all while creating games to play with their friends.
In Learn to Program with Scratch, author Majed Marji uses Scratch to explain the concepts essential to solving real-world programming problems. The labeled, color-coded blocks plainly show each logical step in a given script, and with a single click, you can even test any part of your script to check your logic. You’ll learn how to:
- Harness the power of repeat loops and recursion
- Use if/else statements and logical operators to make decisions
- Store data in variables and lists to use later in your program
- Read, store, and manipulate user input
- Implement key computer science algorithms like a linear search and bubble sort
Hands-on projects will challenge you to create an Ohm’s law simulator, draw intricate patterns, program sprites to mimic line-following robots, create arcade-style games, and more! Each chapter is packed with detailed explanations, annotated illustrations, guided examples, lots of color, and plenty of exercises to help the lessons stick. Learn to Program with Scratch is the perfect place to start your computer science journey, painlessly.
With the Scratch Coding Cards, kids learn to code as they create interactive games, stories, music, and animations. The short-and-simple activities provide an inviting entry point into Scratch, the graphical programming language used by millions of kids around the world.
Kids can use this colorful 75-card deck to create a variety of interactive programming projects. They’ll create their own version of Pong, Write an Interactive Story, Create a Virtual Pet, Play Hide and Seek, and more!
Each card features step-by-step instructions for beginners to start coding with Scratch. The front of the card shows an activity kids can do with Scratch–like animating a character or keeping score in a game. The back shows how to put together code blocks to make the projects come to life! Along the way, kids learn key coding concepts, such as sequencing, conditionals, and variables.
In Super Scratch Programming Adventure!, kids learn programming fundamentals as they make their very own playable video games. They’ll create projects inspired by classic arcade games that can be programmed (and played!) in an afternoon. Patient, step-by-step explanations of the code and fun programming challenges will have kids creating their own games in no time.
This full-color comic book makes programming concepts like variables, flow control, and subroutines effortless to absorb. Packed with ideas for games that kids will be proud to show off, Super Scratch Programming Adventure! is the perfect first step for the budding programmer.
Perfect for beginner coders ages 6–9, this highly visual workbook builds basic programming skills using Scratch, a free computer coding programming language, and will take kids from browsing to building.
DK Workbooks: Coding with Scratch Workbook explains how computer coding works and teaches kids how to complete simple coding actions with clear, step-by-step instructions and fun pixel art. All they need is a desktop or laptop with Adobe 10.2 or later, and an internet connection to download Scratch 2.0. Coding can be done without download on https://scratch.mit.edu.
From conditionals to math equations to animating characters who walk, talk, and dance, young coders will put all these pieces together at the end of the lesson to create a simple “dodge the dragon” game. Then, they can share the game with friends to see if they can top the high score. Kids can even test their coding knowledge with written quizzes at the end of each section and a glossary at the back of the book.
Perfect for children ages 6–9 who are new to coding, this highly visual workbook is a fun introduction to Scratch, a free computer coding programming language, that will take kids from playing games to creating them.
With easy-to-follow directions and fun pixel art, DK Workbooks: Coding in Scratch: Games Workbook helps kids understand the basics of programming and how to create games in Scratch through fun, hands-on learning experiences. All learners need is a desktop or laptop with Adobe 10.2 or later, and an internet connection to download Scratch 2.0. Coding can be done without download on https://scratch.mit.edu.
Simple and logical instructions help kids make their own Scratch Cat soccer game, design a ghost hunt that features a flying witch, animate a bouncing melon, or build a game to test reaction speeds. Children then can share the finished games with friends to see how they score. Kids can even test their coding knowledge with written vocabulary and programming quizzes at the end of each project.
A straightforward, visual guide that shows young learners how to build their own computer projects using Scratch, a popular free programming language, using fun graphics and easy-to-follow instructions.
Kids can animate their favorite characters, build games to play with friends, create silly sound effects, and more with Coding Projects in Scratch. All they need is a desktop or laptop with Adobe 10.2 or later, and an internet connection to download Scratch 2.0. Coding can be done without download on https://scratch.mit.edu.
Step-by-step instructions teach essential coding basics and outline 18 fun and exciting projects, including a personalized birthday card; a “tunnel of doom” multiplayer game; a dinosaur dance party animation with flashing lights, music, and dance moves—and much more.
The simple, logical steps in Coding Projects in Scratch are fully illustrated with fun pixel art and build on the basics of coding, so that kids can have the skills to make whatever kind of project they can dream up.
Scratch, the colorful drag-and-drop programming language, is used by millions of first-time learners, and in Scratch Programming Playground, you’ll learn to program by making cool games. Get ready to destroy asteroids, shoot hoops, and slice and dice fruit!
Each game includes easy-to-follow instructions, review questions, and creative coding challenges to make the game your own. Want to add more levels or a cheat code? No problem, just write some code.
You’ll make games like:
- Maze Runner: escape the maze!
- Snaaaaaake: gobble apples and avoid your own tail
- Asteroid Breaker: smash space rocks
- Fruit Slicer: a Fruit Ninja clone
- Brick Breaker: a remake of Breakout, the brick-breaking classic
- Platformer: a game inspired by Super Mario Bros.
Learning how to program shouldn’t be dry and dreary. With Scratch Programming Playground, you’ll make a game of it!