The Complete Guide to Kids Coding Classes and Programs in 2023

Last Updated: February 22, 2023 4:50 pm
The Complete Guide to Kids Coding Classes and Programs in 2023

Technology is ingrained in almost everything we do these days, making it more and more imperative that today’s generation of students can understand it, use it, and create it on their own. Introducing the ultimate Complete Guide to Kids Coding Classes – the go-to resource for parents and educators looking to introduce young learners to the exciting world of coding!

Coding classes explicitly designed for school-age children are a great way for them to learn computer programming and the valuable educational skills that are picked up along the way.

Even more so, fun coding classes that meet the interests of kids and teens can also motivate them to learn additional programming concepts and make new ones.

Whether it be their phones or ipads, children spend a lot of time on their devices, and there’s little parents can do about it. However, the correct type of coding classes can make their screen time less passive and more productive. 

Coding classes can put your child ahead of the curve at school and potentially when choosing a career by transforming them from consumers to creators. But finding suitable coding classes can be a tricky proposition for parents.

In today’s market, there are many edtech platforms to choose from. So how can parents find the best coding classes for their kids? It depends on several factors, including the child’s interests and earning style.

Age and skill level are vital components, but suitable coding classes can suit kids from elementary through high school. There are a plethora of options in a variety of formats. For example, there are live group classes in after-school programs and camps, online coding classes with one-on-one teacher-to-student ratios, self-paced, game-based, self-guided, and more.

Let’s dig in and find your child the best coding classes for 2023:

What To Look For in a Kids Coding Class


  • Numerous edtech firms provide no-cost coding courses for children. Nonetheless, this article isn’t seeking to identify the top free courses but rather the top courses overall. If you intend to invest in your child’s education through college, paying for the appropriate coding classes is advisable.
  • When children are young, their brains are still developing and more adaptable to learning new skills. Coding can also encourage children to pursue careers in technology, an ever-growing field. Learning to code can give children a head start in understanding the foundations of computer science and technology, making it easier for them to grasp more complex concepts later. This period is crucial to getting kids interested in coding classes, so parents should act urgently.
  • As a parent, it’s crucial to steer clear of negative coding experiences and demonstrate to children the potential benefits of persisting in coding rather than risking their long-term interest by opting for a free but potentially inferior option.
  • If paying for classes is what it takes to ensure quality, then it’s worth considering the expenditure as an investment in your child’s education, as opposed to taking a chance on free activities that may not be effective. Therefore, finding a coding class that supports personalized learning and gradually introduces new concepts at an appropriate pace, enabling your child to learn and thrive from experience, is essential.

Curriculum Quality & Depth

  • Before your child starts a coding class, it can be challenging to evaluate the curriculum. To be most effective, there should be a definitive plan with the right balance of flexibility.
  • A project-based coding curriculum is a great way to keep kids engaged and interested because what they learn can be applied in the real world. This also allows them to express their creativity within the project’s parameters.
  • Parents should ask if student projects are all identical. If not, then ask about the range of projects produced by students. This will help you understand whether it’s genuinely creative project-based learning or a step-by-step tutorial creating a project. The latter approach can quickly become boring for kids and won’t support gifted students.
  • Verifying the program’s depth is recommended to ensure your child will finish it quickly. Look for programs that offer a wide range of courses and lessons with actual content, progressing from block coding to text coding.

Teacher-to-Student Ratio

  • The number of students in your child’s coding class is essential because it can affect their education quality. If too many students are in a class, it can be difficult for the teacher to give each student the necessary attention.
  • To get kids coding, teachers must have time to help each student individually. For example, summer camps and after-school programs can often have large teacher-to-student ratios, making it difficult for the teacher to ensure all of their students understand each new coding concept.
  • There needs to be more time for the teacher to ask each of their students questions, so they pick easy activities, which means that the average student isn’t even being challenged at the right level, let alone the most gifted students. Simply going through the motions won’t cut it; students must be encouraged to step out of their comfort zone to learn.

Schedule Flexibility

  • Assessing the coding class curriculum before your child commences can be a challenge. For the curriculum to be most effective, it should be well-defined with an appropriate balance of flexibility. A project-based coding curriculum can be an excellent way to maintain children’s interest and involvement. It allows them to apply what they learn in practical scenarios and express their creativity within the project’s parameters.
  • Parents should inquire whether student projects are standardized or whether students can produce a range of projects. This information will help parents determine whether the curriculum fosters creative, project-based learning or is merely a step-by-step tutorial that culminates in a project. The latter approach can quickly become dull for children and will not support gifted students.
  • Thankfully, with the right company, individual one-on-one coding classes can typically be rescheduled for another day or time. Moreover, companies that provide a self-paced curriculum can also facilitate flexibility. Ideally, self-paced materials should be implemented once the child can concentrate and has developed an interest in coding.

Instructor Quality

  • In addition to evaluating teachers for optional extracurricular activities, there are certain universal qualities that every great teacher should possess. One crucial trait is the capacity to instill a passion for learning in their students.
  • The mark of an inspirational teacher lies in their skill to present information in a compelling and relatable manner by linking subjects like coding to something the student is familiar with or passionate about, such as art, literature, science, or sports.
  • Merely possessing a great resume is only possible if a teacher adequately conveys their enthusiasm for a subject like coding. While qualifications are undoubtedly beneficial, teachers who have excelled in their educational journey will likely have high expectations for their students.
  • Parents often find it challenging to assess the instructors for their children’s coding classes before enrolling. One possible solution is to inquire with the company about their teacher selection process and request information on their educational background and experience.

Location, Location, Location

  • Different children have different learning needs and preferences. Some children may thrive in an online learning environment, while others may struggle and require in-person teaching. Several factors can influence a child’s ability to learn effectively online, including age, learning style, home environment, and access to technology and resources.
  • One advantage of online learning is that it allows for greater flexibility and customization. Children who are self-motivated and able to manage their knowledge may find online learning a good fit. Online learning can also benefit children with difficulty learning in a traditional classroom setting due to distractions or anxiety.
  • On the other hand, some children may need the structure and social interaction that comes with in-person teaching. Younger children, in particular, may struggle with online learning because they require more hands-on activities and personalized attention. Children with learning differences or special needs may also require in-person teaching to receive the individualized support they need.
  • Ask your child what they prefer or discuss the issue with their teacher. Determining whether a child should learn online or in person is a complex decision that requires careful consideration of the child’s individual needs and circumstances.

Numerous camps are established on renowned university campuses, but it’s important to note that the institution may not teach or endorse the course. To clarify the relationship between the organization providing the classes and the university, it’s advisable to inquire with the organizers.

Long-term Growth

The following scenario is typical: 

  • A child attends a large coding camp during the summer and enjoys it. However, they do not engage in coding during the school year. 
  • One year later, they enrolled in another summer coding camp to reach the next level. Still, the experience is only satisfactory, and they continue to neglect coding during the school year. 
  • As a result, they express disinterest in attending another summer coding camp. This can be frustrating for parents who believe they are offering their children an opportunity to learn how to code. 
  • They spend considerable money with nothing to exhibit for it and are apprehensive that it may be too late to reignite their child’s curiosity.

Many parents find that their kids enjoy activities like Minecraft modding camps but worry that their children are just playing video games the whole time without actually learning the fundamentals of coding. It’s essential to evaluate coding classes for kids based on whether they support long-term growth or are limited to being just for fun. If the provider offers multiple levels of advancement, parents should consider if it will determine their child’s learning in the future. It’s also crucial to assess if the class continues challenging students or is dragging out the curriculum. For gifted and talented children, one-on-one or self-paced classes best meet their unique needs.

Access to a Secure Community

  • Kids can learn from other children as much as from a program or teacher. A coding community provides opportunities for kids to collaborate with other young coders and receive support and feedback on their coding projects. This builds their confidence and keeps them motivated to learn.
  • A secure community also exposes kids to different ideas and approaches: By connecting with a coding community, kids can learn from other coders with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives. This can help them to develop new ideas and approaches to coding.
  • Joining a coding community can give kids a sense of belonging and connection to like-minded individuals who share their passion for coding.

The Best Online Kids Coding Classes

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to which coding class suits your child, as it depends on their age, interests, and learning style. However, there are some general considerations to consider when making your decision.

It becomes more challenging to provide broad recommendations once a student has been coding for a year or two and has progressed to an intermediate or advanced level. At Tynker, we have found that a blended learning approach can be convenient. We offer a range of online coding classes, including one-on-one sessions, covering various subjects and skill levels.

If your child is very young, choose an easy-to-use and engaging coding language, such as our block-based, drag-and-drop coding language. Python is an excellent option for slightly older children as it is widely used, easy to read and write, and relatively simple to learn. Additionally, we offer Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning classes, perfect for those ready to take the next step. Read more about the best coding languages for kids.

Best Hybrid Learning Program: Tynker 

Tynker is a coding platform that has received awards and is suitable for children of all ages and levels of expertise. The self-paced curriculum includes interactive tutorials, creativity tools, and mobile apps to empower learners to become successful computer programmers. Tynker offers distinct pathways to coding excellence, with 300 lessons and six mastery levels tailored to the individual learner’s needs.

Tynker’s in-depth content progresses with your child. Tynker provides a safe and secure online environment for children to learn and connect with other young coders. Children can share their projects and receive feedback from other members of the Tynker community.

Tynker provides two complementary coaching sessions with every subscription to ensure each child has a great start. These sessions are optional but highly recommended, and they offer personalized 1:1 support to get learners started on their coding journey. Tynker’s instructors are highly trained and flexible to accommodate the scheduling needs of parents worldwide.

You can also check out Scratch, a free program on the web. Scratch uses a block-based programming interface that is intuitive and easy to understand. Children can drag and drop blocks to create programs, allowing them to focus on learning to code and be creative without worrying about syntax errors or other technical details. After they have done a bit on Scratch or Tynker Junior, you can move them to Tynker.

Best Young Child Coding App: Tynker Jr

Introduce your young children to the world of coding with Tynker Junior! This interactive app is perfect for kids aged 5-7, even those still learning to read. Using colorful blocks that easily snap together to manipulate characters, your child will have fun while learning the basics of coding.

Tynker Junior is inspired by the award-winning Tynker programming language, used by over 60 million children and 100,000+ schools worldwide. Our user interface has been redesigned with pre-readers in mind, featuring word-free picture blocks, a tap-based interface, friendly voiceovers, helpful hints, and a progressive difficulty level to keep your child engaged and motivated.

With 200+ coding challenges, five puzzle-based adventures, five project creation studios, and an engaging video course, your child will have endless opportunities to explore and create with code.

Best Coding Classes for the Summer

As the school year closes, remember that summer break doesn’t mean learning should stop; you can keep your child’s brain active during the summer. It’s a well-known fact that children often experience a decline in their education and academic skills in the summer months, commonly known as “summer learning loss” or “summer slide.” 

On average, students can lose approximately two months of reading progress and 2.6 months of math progress during the summer. A recent study found that students lost, on average, about 20 percent of their school-year gains in reading and 27 percent in math during summer break. This loss is most pronounced in low-income students, who may not have access to educational resources during the summer, leading to a widening achievement gap. A study by the National Summer Learning Association found that students from disadvantaged backgrounds can lose up to three months in reading achievement, compared to only one month for their more affluent peers.

Self-Paced Learning: Positive screen time is essential to enhance skills, improve mental health, and provide opportunities for social connections. It can also serve as a source of entertainment and relaxation, providing a much-needed break from the stress of school. Tynker is the best learning platform for introducing kids and teens to the joy of coding. With over 5,000 activities and 300 courses in areas such as Minecraft modding, game design, and AI, Tynker is the perfect platform for introducing kids and teens to coding. 67% of all new jobs in STEM are in computing, so learning this skill will give your child an advantage in school and beyond. 

Online Coding Camps: If you can’t make it to an in-person camp this summer, Tynker offers small-group instruction. Online coding summer camps can be an excellent option for children who cannot attend in-person camps due to location, budget, or scheduling constraints. Your child will create, code and play games, venture into Minecraft worlds, and learn how to animate their creations. Tynker’s highly experienced instructors can provide excellent guidance and support to children as they learn to code.

Read more about Summer Camps

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the recommended age to start coding?

All children learn at their own pace. They can learn different subjects at varying rates and ways. 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 Junior is from 5 to 7. Many programs allow your children to progress at their own pace or hire an instructor to help them progress.

With Tynker, a placement test will place your child on the correct path based on age and skill level, and Tynker supports children up to age 18 with real-world text languages like Python and JavaScript. Children progress to more difficult coding courses with the support of interactive tutorials and video instructions at their own pace.

What options are there for teens? has a year-long 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 courses aligning 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 TEKS.

Additionally, Tynker’s AP courses align with AP Curriculum Framework Standards: AP Computer Science Principles Curriculum Framework 2020-2021 and AP Computer Science A Course and Exam Description, Effective 2020.

What is the Recommended Programming Language for a Child to Learn?

This question has yet to be definitively answered because it depends on several factors, including the child’s age, interests, and learning style. However, a few general considerations can help guide your decision.

If the child is very young, you’ll want to look for a language that is easy to use and fun. Scratch is a good option for kids aged eight and up. It uses a block-based drag-and-drop coding language that is easy to start.

For slightly older kids, Python is a good choice. It is a widely used language that is easy to read and write. It’s relatively simple to learn, making it a good option for kids learning to code.

We wrote a whole article about more kids coding language options. Read more!

Should We Look for Object-Oriented Programming, Artificial Intelligence, or Something Else? 

Yes — just at the right time. There are tremendous possibilities if a student is ready for more advanced computer science topics, whether artificial intelligence, machine learning, data science, augmented reality, or something else. Tynker has specifically designed an AI/ML course for kids as young as 7. ChatGPT and other services are commanding a lot of news today – AI is excellent for any child to learn as soon as they are ready. Read more about Tynker’s AI and ML courses and projects.

You need a suitable coding class for your son or daughter’s situation. Providing blanket recommendations becomes more challenging once a student has been coding for a year or two and is intermediate to advanced.

Why is Coding Helpful for Problem-Solving Skills, Even if you are Not Interested in Becoming a Professional Coder?

The process of coding involves converting a problem or task into a set of computer-readable instructions, which can enhance problem-solving skills regardless of one’s interest in pursuing coding as a profession. This requires breaking down the problem into smaller, more manageable parts and devising solutions for each. When encountering unexpected results, it is necessary to step back and consider clues such as error messages and recent changes, demonstrating a highly logical thought process.

Moreover, coding fosters a particular kind of engineering creativity uncommon in other disciplines. It requires figuring out how to stack logical coding concepts to generate optimal outcomes, planning to ensure organization and minimize effort, and revising plans when encountering obstacles or discovering new features. This technical flexibility helps develop students’ creativity.

In addition to these benefits, coding knowledge can increase the effectiveness in various fields. With code becoming more prevalent in many industries, leaders must possess at least a basic understanding of it to communicate effectively with technical employees.


Tynker offers coding classes suitable for children of all ages and skill levels. You can ensure a perfect fit by evaluating the available options based on your child’s individual needs. Although many free options are available, investing in these classes can significantly impact your child’s future.

In today’s world, a fundamental understanding of technology and coding is increasingly vital. Learning to code early can give children a competitive edge in their future education and careers. We have numerous exciting projects planned for the new year to inspire enthusiasm for coding.

We look forward to witnessing the innovative creations your child will create with code in 2023!

If you enjoyed this article, see our other posts on Tynker’s blog page.


About Teri Llach

Teri Llach is Head of Marketing for Tynker. Teri is an experienced growth marketer with a highly successful track record in B2B and B2C, deep experience with start-ups, brands, and all functional areas of marketing. Teri lives in Palo Alto, CA.