Learning to code, like learning a language, requires a lot of practice. When we practice coding skills, we are developing ‘computational thinking’ which is a type of analysis and problem solving that allows us to get computers to do the things we need them to do.

When children practice coding, they are also practicing analytical thinking.

Most of the websites and tools listed below are completely free to use.

LightBot and LightBot Jnr

Ages: 4 - 8 (LightBot Jnr) 9+ (LightBot)

Platform: Web, iOS, Android, Mac, PC

Through fun coding puzzles, LightBot and LightBot Jnr introduce new coders to fundamental coding concepts. The aim of the game is to instruct a robot along a path; through doing so, coders develop their problem solving skills and learn about sequences, conditions and loops.

ABCYA

Ages: 4 - 10

Platform: Web, iOS, Android, Mac, PC

ABCYA  is great  for practicing ICT skills and has some wonderful educational games. The website offers a range of games that help children develop a variety of skills, and offers different difficulty levels for various ages.

 

Hour of Code

Ages:  5+

Platform: Web

Hour of Code is not just one app, but many. The website has a range of games teaching computer science and programming concepts through fun hour-long introductory activities. It has something for kids of all ages and abilities, from new coders to seasoned techies. 

 

Typing Club

Ages: 7+

Platform: web

Typing Club is an online touch-typing tool. It’s free to use and helps children develop touch typing skills. It’s important that children keep their hands on the home row when practising touch typing. You can also try BBC’s Dance Mat Typing for more practice.

 

Scratch

Ages: 7-11

Platform: Web

Scratch is a fantastic coding environment for children. There are a number of step-by-step tutorials that children can access in the right hand side of the editor.

 

Bitsbox

Ages: 8 - 11

Platform: Web

Bitsbox is a JavaScript coding language that we teach at our intermediate coding clubs. They offers a subscription service where you can get their lessons sent to your home so children can practice at home.

 

The Everything Machine

Ages: 9 - 11

Platform: iPad/iPhone

The Everything Machine is a fantastic app for experienced coders looking to learn more about sensors and hardware. This app uses a visual block based language to code "machines" by connecting to and controlling the hardware and sensors on your device!

 

Khan Academy

Ages: 9+

Platform: Web

Khan Academy is a fantastic resource and has a number of online JavaScript tutorials to work through.

 

Nature of Code

Ages: 10+

Platform: Ebook

Students who have experience of processing and P5.js can look at the work of Daniel Shiffman and progress through some of his examples in his nature of code book which is free to access online. Some excellent processing lessons are available there.

 

You can also find some of blue{shift}’s own exercises in the Resources section of our site, and get help direct from our team by using the chat box at the bottom right of your screen at any time!

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