Block-based coding is widely touted as the easiest and most fun way for kids to begin coding, which turns programming into a drag-and-drop event simply by changing the text-based codes into visual blocks. Block-based coding can also help improve children’s learning ability.
Keep reading for more on what parents should know about block-based coding for kids.
What is Block-Based Coding?
Block-based coding is a beginner programming language for kids. It helps youngsters construct an understanding and foundation in computational thinking.
With this type of coding, which uses a drag-and-drop interface, young programmers can use coding instructions called “blocks” to design animated games and stories. The use of text-based visuals can provide kids with a foundation in computational thinking.
Blocks are the pieces of instruction used by a coder who then puts the chunks together to tell their program what to do. For example, the popular block-based language Scratch allows kids to use their imagination to bring their creations to life through animated games and stories.
What is an Example of Block coding?
Imagine a block coding activity for kids where they’re tasked with creating a simple animation of a bouncing ball. In a block coding environment designed for kids, they might see a set of colorful blocks representing different actions and events:
- Start Block: This block represents the beginning of the program and is shaped like a green flag.
- Move Block: Kids can drag a “Move” block and set it to move the ball 10 steps to the right. This block might have an arrow icon to indicate direction.
- Wait Block: To control the timing, they can add a “Wait” block, set to wait for 1 second.
- Bounce Block: To make the ball bounce, they can use a “Bounce” block, which will reverse the direction of the ball’s movement when it hits the edge of the screen.
- Repeat Block: To make the animation continuous, they can place all the previous blocks inside a “Repeat” block. They can set it to repeat the whole sequence 10 times.
- End Block: Finally, they can use an “End” block to indicate the end of the program.
By connecting these blocks in a logical order, kids can create a simple animation where a ball moves to the right, bounces off the wall, and repeats this action 10 times.
In this example, block coding for kids provides a fun and visual way to introduce programming concepts like sequencing, loops, and events, making it accessible and engaging for young learners.
How to Get Block Coding Courses for Free?
You can access free block code programming courses for kids and beginners through various online block coding platforms and resources. Here are some ways to find free block code programming courses:
- Code.org: Code.org offers a wide range of free coding courses, including block-based coding courses suitable for kids. They have interactive lessons and activities featuring popular characters like Minecraft and Frozen.
- Scratch: Scratch is a popular block coding platform developed by MIT. It offers a free online coding environment where users can create animations and games. They also have a community where you can explore and remix other users’ projects.
- Tynker: Tynker provides free coding courses for kids, including block coding courses and more advanced coding lessons. They offer interactive coding activities and puzzles.
Remember to ensure that the course or resource you choose aligns with the age and skill level of the learner, especially if you’re looking for courses specifically designed for children. Additionally, some platforms may offer a mix of free and premium content, so be sure to explore the free options available to you.
What Can Kids Build?
Children can use block-based coding to build all kind of genres of games.
Kids can make any kind of game they desire! Simple games are common for beginners. Looking for more game inspiration? Check out this web story, Game Ideas for First-Time Block Coders.
- Chase. The player’s goal is to hunt down or avoid a moving object. Digital hide-and-seek games are prime examples.
- Clicker. This style of game has the player clicking on things, such as a cupcake or cookie, to earn points to buy upgrades.
- Adventure Games. Those who play these advanced games must make their way up multiple levels.
Animations and Stories
This is a good place for novices to begin. Using block-based coding, kids can make basic animations that include music, movements, and a variety of characters. Dress-up games and interactive fiction are common too!
The Benefits of Block-Based Coding for Children
There are some key advantages to block-based coding for kids:
- Visual coding. Block based programming is inherently visual. Kids can see how programs are constructed, piece-by-piece. By reading their code aloud, they can understand what will happen.
- No syntax. Syntax is one of the most challenging parts of text-based programming. Missing just one character (for example, forgetting a semicolon) or typing code in the incorrect order can result in errors. Kids need only to concentrate on how each block functions and how all the blocks work together. Misspelling and other common syntax errors are prevented.
- Quicker results. You simply get faster results with block-based coding. Children see the results of their programs acted out, visually, right away! Motivated and encouraged, kids become eager to learn more.
- Simple but challenging. Block-based coding is simple at the beginning but retains enough complexity to challenge kids of all ages.
- Incorporates STEM learning. Block-based coding uses science, technology, engineering, and mathematics concepts. STEM and coding will becoming increasingly important in every aspect of life.
Effective and efficient, block-based coding allows young students to begin to understand the core tenets of computational thinking using visuals instead of protracted lines of words or codes. Such coding promotes improved learning ability, economizes learning time, helps heighten understanding of coding, and improves kids’ enjoyment levels.
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Programming Basics (Level 1)
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Frequently Asked Questions
Are there any online resources for learning block-based programming?
- Code.org: Code.org offers a wide range of free coding courses on their block coding platform, including interactive lessons and activities suitable for children.
- Scratch: Scratch is a popular block coding platform developed by MIT. It offers a free online environment for block code programming, where users can create animations and games.
- Tynker: Tynker offers free coding courses on their block coding platform, catering to kids with interactive coding activities and puzzles.
What is the Best Block Coding Website?
Tynker stands out as one of the best block coding websites for children and beginners due to its user-friendly interface and comprehensive educational offerings. With a wide range of engaging activities and courses, Tynker introduces young learners to the world of coding through colorful blocks that make programming concepts accessible and fun. From coding games to creating animations and projects, Tynker empowers kids to develop essential coding skills while fostering creativity. Its adaptability to various age groups and skill levels, along with a supportive online community, makes Tynker an excellent choice for those seeking a top-notch block coding experience.
Is Coding Good For Kids?
We’re living during a high-tech revolution, witnessing life-changing advancements in medicine, environmental conservation, and much more. At the core of all these amazing projects and discoveries is CODE. Code can be the thing that differentiates your child from peers and allows them to stand out as an asset for companies when they are looking for employment. The children who learn to code today will become the creators of the technology tomorrow. Learning to code can help children make a major contribution to the world that they live in and make a lasting impact.
As kids and teens learn to code, they also build essential skills like critical thinking, logic, and problem-solving. They learn to logically sequence events, create playable games, tell good stories, and model real situations. They also learn computational thinking by developing algorithmic and design thinking abilities. Coding for kids has become an essential element of a child’s education and an excellent way to express their creativity and imagination.
How Do I Start My Child Coding?
Coding, otherwise known as programming, is a creative activity for all children. Your child might not care about writing data processing algorithms, but they might enjoy creating games, programming music, designing websites, or just playing with code. Learning to code is for everyone; you don’t have to be good at math or a “techie” to learn how to code. Kids as young as five can learn to code and pick it up faster than most adults.
When your kids are starting, pick a program like MIT’s Scratch or Tynker Junior app. The visual style of these programs makes it easy for young children to learn to code. Scratch and Tynker have a graphical interface that works. Drag-and-drop code blocks snap together. Pieces of code that don’t make computational sense won’t fit together, making syntax errors impossible.
Older children can learn to code with Python by building games, art, music, and more. Some programs like Tynker offer a placement test to set your child on the right track for their age and experience level.
What Age Is Best To Introduce Coding To Kids?
Every child learns at their own pace. They can learn different subjects at varying rates and ways. Experts believe that children should learn coding at an early age. According to MIT, the best age for kids to start learning coding languages such as Scratch Jr. or Tynker Jr. is from 5 to 7. Many programs allow your children to progress at their own pace or hire an instructor to help them move along.
Which Is The Best Coding For Kids Program?
With so many great services available, learning to code has never been easier! For example, Scratch and Tynker provide innovative visual coding languages that make coding fun. Coding is a great way to broaden your child’s worldview and develop their creativity, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills. Here is a few coding-for-kids options to review:
Game-based learning—Game-based platforms such as Tynker and the challenges on Code.org motivate kids to use code to complete game levels.
Independent learning with Scratch—Scratch from MIT is a great way of getting started with code. Although they don’t have courses, there’s a vibrant community to learn from.
Build an app—Learn to build your own iOS app using Swift. Install the Swift Playgrounds app by Apple.
Use a book—Learn by following along with books like Mission Python, Super Scratch Programming Adventure, or Coding with Minecraft. Tynker has a series of super-informative coding activity books, including Code These Games, Code These Minecraft Mods, and Code This Art.
Why Is Coding Needed?
Coding for kids lays the groundwork for our world’s technology, from microprocessors in everyday items like refrigerators and water heaters to sophisticated programs that run our cars and buildings. Learning to code is a great opportunity for children of all ages to develop their problem-solving and critical thinking skills, while building the necessary focus and organization to see projects through to completion.
From online coding courses and games to offline learning, from in-person coding instruction to live online tutoring, there are endless coding resources available. The best coding platforms and programs like Scratch, Code.org and Tynker give children of all ages and experience levels the ability to code while making the process fun and engaging.
Why Should We Use Tynker Coding For Kids?
Tynker is the world’s number one coding platform for children ages 5 to 18 for a reason—it works! Tynker powers the creativity of over 60 million students and serves thousands of schools and educators worldwide.
Tynker’s award-winning, gamified courses and coding for kids activities encourage kids to complete projects as they have fun, allowing them to progress from novices to experts using languages like Python. Tynker’s interactive lessons have built-in tutorials for all ages and skill levels. Our highly rated mobile app (4.7 stars) lets students take Tynker on the go. Learning how to code with Tynker unlocks and empowers children’s creativity, teaching them life-long skills they can use today and into the future.
How Do I Teach My 7-Year-Old Code?
Learning to code is for everyone; you don’t have to be good at math or a “techie” to learn how to code. Kids as young as five can learn to code and pick it up faster than most adults. Tynker Junior is a fun, interactive way to spark your kid’s interest in coding. Kids (ages 5-7) learn coding basics by connecting picture blocks to move their characters. Tynker’s immersive game-like coding courses and interactive lessons with built-in tutorials are perfect for beginners 5+ through experts 18+.
What Options Are There For Coding For Teens?
Code.org has a yearlong course in Computer Science Principles that introduces students to the foundational concepts of computer science and challenges them to explore how computing and technology can impact the world.
Tynker has coding for kids courses that align with subject standards like CCSS-ELA, CCSS-Math, NGSS and CS standards such as CSTA, ISTE, CA CS, UK National Curriculum, and several state-level standards like TEKS.
Tynker is recognized by College Board as an endorsed curriculum provider for AP Computer Science Principles and AP Computer Science A.