5 Free Coding Apps for Kids

Technology and the code that runs it have become a part of our daily lives. Many parents want their kids to learn coding to be better prepared for the future. Luckily, there are many fun ways for kids to learn coding. Your child has access to options including kids coding websites, games, coding classes for kids, and even apps. Kids can now learn to code on the go with apps on their phone or tablet. 

Coding apps for kids introduce children as young as three to the basics of coding. Many coding apps focus on specific languages or on introducing the logic of coding. Kids can learn important coding concepts like variables, loops, and conditionals through riddles, puzzles, and free play.

There are many coding apps for kids to choose from. These 5 options covers students from elementary up to high school and the best part is that they’re free. So, your child can try out coding without the cost. Hopefully it inspires their interest in programming to continue their learning!

1. Daisy the Dinosaur

iPad | Ages 5-7

Daisy the Dinosaur is a great coding app for kids from the creators of Hopscotch. Daisy the Dinosaur teaches basic coding concepts like sequencing and conditionals in the form of fun little challenges. It also offers a “free play” mode. The app is targeted to kids too young for the Hopscotch app. 4-year-olds can understand it, but the instructions are written and not spoken, so reading assistance from parents may be needed. Meanwhile, older kids may find it too easy and beat the game in 10 minutes.

2. Scratch Jr.

iPad & Android tablet | Ages 5-7

Scratch Jr. is an open world where kids use drag-and-drop code to create games and animations. Semi-customizable characters can be programmed to move, jump, dance, and sing. Kids can even record their own voices to use in the animation. Scratch Jr. allows young children to be creative and artistic while also learning about sequences and problem-solving.

3. Swift Playgrounds

iPad | Ages 10-13+

Swift Playgrounds is created by Apple and hosts a collection of coding games for kids. This app teaches Swift, a programming language used to build Apple apps. In the main game, players guide a cute character through challenges in a colorful 3D world. The coding app for kids also offers other coding games. The game integrates with other apps, and even controls non-Apple robots and drones like Lego, Sphero, and Dash. It’s a fun way to ease kids into text-based coding.

4. Mimo

iOS & Android | Ages 4+

Mimo is a great way to practice programming skills because it schedules daily practice to ensure that your kid remembers important concepts as well as adds to their coding toolbox. Additionally, Mimo has a variety of different options for practicing how to code, one of which includes small exercises that they can do from the comfort of their own phone. Mimo compiles and runs your child’s code in the app to see how they did and even gives real-time feedback!

5. SoloLearn

iOS & Android | Ages 13+

Sololearn gives teens different ways to practice and courses in languages like Python, C++, JavaScript, Java, machine learning, data science, and more. New content is available daily and based on their progress and preferences. They can even earn a certification in each course completed. There’s also a social aspect where teens can challenge others with head-to-head coding competitions, leveling up their skills each time.

Starting with a free coding app for kids is a great way to introduce programming and gauge their interest. By making coding fun and simple, kids will be encouraged to keep learning and pursue their interest into college and career!