As a teacher with a deep passion for educational technology, I’m a big believer in the power of apps to help kids learn new skills. That’s why I’m excited to share with you a carefully curated list of the best coding apps for kids.
There are lots of coding apps for kids to choose from that promise to keep them entertained while teaching the basics of coding, but after extensive hands-on testing and research, I’ve ranked the very best of them based on a variety of factors, including ease of use, quality of the curriculum, how fun they are, user reviews, cost, and more (click here to learn about our entire Editorial Process & Methodology for product reviews).
This guide has been fully updated for 2024 to include my favorite coding apps currently on the market as well as the latest info on their features and pricing.
What are the Best Coding Apps for Kids?
Here are my picks for the top coding apps for kids to try in 2024.
codeSpark is a fun, engaging coding app that teaches kids basic problem solving, critical thinking skills, creativity, and a host of other valuable skills. Kids will enjoy playing on the app, not even realizing how much they're learning along the way as they get prepared for the world of tomorrow.
In my opinion, codeSpark is the best coding app for kids to begin their programming journey with.
It is an award-winning coding app that has an interface that’s like a game, and I’ve seen firsthand how much fun kids have with it.
By making coding fun and exciting to learn through various interactive games and activities, kids don’t even realize they’re learning, and they just want to keep playing.
The really cool thing about this app that I like is the word-free, intuitive interface lets kids learn how to code before they even know how to read. Even the littlest kids can create games themselves within just minutes. That’s why it’s one of my favorite educational apps for kids.
The app is super easy to use — even little kids can use it with minimal guidance required from an adult. I’ve seen firsthand kids as young as 5 using the app without running into any issues.
Through the various coding games and activities, kids can learn basic coding concepts like sequencing, loops, conditionals, and more.
Check out these impressive facts about codeSpark:
- Used by over 62,000 educators and 35,000 schools worldwide to teach kids coding in a fun way
- After 90 minutes of learning coding skills on codeSpark Academy, 55% of kids showed increased confidence in problem-solving abilities.
- After 90 minutes of starting to learn coding skills with codeSpark Academy, 22% showed an increase in accuracy with moderate sequencing tasks.
- In 2020, kids created 11 million games and stories on codeSpark Academy
- Available on Android and iOS.
- There is a character by the name of FOOS that is very attractive and playful for the children that require their help to solve the problems within the application.
- Fundamental coding concepts, like conditional and sequential, are used to solve those said problems and, hence, inculcating such concepts from the head start becomes easy.
- The overall design of this application is without words which makes it really easy for the pre-readers to go ahead and enjoy the game while learning the fundamental concepts of coding at the same time.
- The development of self-confidence in children is a vital part of success in later life and this is the very application that children use to solve their problems without the help of an adult.
- Children learn to use algorithms, which is considered to be one of the most fundamental objects upon which computer science and mathematics are built.
- There is fun stuff like a pet store upon which the children learn to place algorithms to constantly feed their puppies.
- There is a community of children that connects children with fellow codeSpark players.
- Children can be as imaginative as possible and design their own games, even interactive ones if they want to.
codeSpark pricing and plans are as follows:
- 7-day free trial
- $15 a month
- $90 for one year (works out to $7.50/mo)
Scratch is a free coding app that was developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 2003 to help kids learn basic coding logic and skills.
It’s considered to be most suitable for children between the ages of 5 and 16. It even has a version for children from age of 5-7 called Scratch Jr which is available on the mobile platform.
Scratch is freely available on the internet for children to learn how to code.
Scratch is one of the world’s largest online communities of children who code and share their creative expressions through coding.
Your children can create animations, games, and much more on this platform. Scratch Foundation is a non-profit organization and, hence, it mostly runs on donations.
- One of the best free coding apps out there.
- The community is really large due to being free and, hence, your child will have access to a much wider variety of creative ideas.
- It is available on both widely known platforms, namely Android and iOS.
- The parents have to be engaged with the children to help them navigate through the application which might be a good chance of bonding over something.
- Scratch has its own programming language that is easier to learn for the kids.
- Children learn to think systematically while also learning to collaborate as a community.
- Scratch is available in over seventy languages around the world to make it easier for the international community to take part in the online community.
- The interface of the application might not be a good start for a small kid, but easing into it will give the child a lot of benefits.
Free to use
3. Code Karts
Code Karts is a coding app for preschoolers who love to play race car games. Even if they do not play, just persuade them to and then they will still start to love the Code Karts attractive interface for children.
The player has to guide the car around the racetrack through a drag-and-drop code in the game, which makes it competitive and, hence, more childlike than many other options.
Increasing the difficulty level will lead to an increase in the logical thinking capabilities of your child. The overall interface of gaming alongside learning is the best way for your preschooler to learn, given sitting for long hours in classes is quite boring even as an adult. If the car crashes then the child has to get more concentrated and actually debug the code to move forward.
The only notable limitation of Code Karts from my experience is the absence of constructive feedback for students when they encounter difficulties, along with a lack of dedicated tools for teachers. The reason I point this out is because it limits personalized guidance and support for students, potentially hindering their learning progress and engagement in some cases.
If you have a preschooler, this kids coding app is definitely worth a look.
- This application and over 30 others are primarily Montessori focused developed by Ekodia academy. Their aim is to give parents and children a full-fledged digital preschool experience.
- It has over 60 levels of difficulty which is actually a lot for a child to be engaged in and develop better learning capacities while playing.
- Maria Montessori and Jean Piaget are the inspirations behind this Montessori system so you can be assured that your child will turn out to be a better learner in the future.
$2.99 to unlock the full game
If you want to make computer programming fun for your kids, this coding app is a great choice. I mean, what kid doesn’t like dinosaurs?
Daisy the Dinosaur is a coding app for kids as young as 4 years old.
It will teach the kids the concepts such as loops and conditionals with such efficiency that you will be amazed without using the specific computer science terms for them.
Daisy the Dinosaur is the character that the child has to make dance.
The fun starts when the child realizes that there are numerous possibilities to make her dance through coding.
The concepts of loop and conditionals will be well ingrained alongside a way of making use of them creatively. This will help logical thinking while sparking the creative imagination the children have.
Overall, I think this app is pretty solid, especially for little kids. I see it as an excellent progression into the world of coding.
It’s important to note that this app offers a simplified glimpse into the programming world. It’s an introduction to it, so there’s not a ton of depth or advanced concepts here.
- The interface is fairly easy to understand for the children keeping them engaged.
- Daisy the Dinosaur is an attractive and engaging character that is good for the focus of young children.
- Totally free coding app.
- Available on iPhone and iPad only.
- Daisy the Dinosaur does not contain any kind of difficulty levels like other applications since its sole focus alongside teaching the child how to code is to develop the creative imagination by using the constraints of programming.
- It also has an easy drag-and-drop interface for kids to transcend the difficulties created by the technicalities and spend most of their time learning the coding concepts.
Hopscotch is another great alternative to many applications which focus on helping children how to code.
This coding app is designed for children from seven years of age up to 13 years of age.
On this coding app, your child can put his creativity to good use and develop anything, from animations to games, as he or she wishes to.
Engaging the creative side is one of the best and surefire ways to have children learn anything. That’s why Hopscotch is such a great kids coding app!
- Hopscotch has its own programming language which can be regarded as an alternative to pseudo code that is also used to learn fundamental concepts of programming.
- It is available on iPhone and iPad only
- Hopscotch, as per reviews of the customers, is a better alternative to Scratch after the usage of Scratch Jr at an age younger than seven. However, the problem of differences in programming language and learning each from the scratch will arise out of this.
- It has video tutorials to teach the children how to use the application. In my humble opinion, this is another of its drawbacks given that extra time would be wasted in learning the technicalities. However, what Hopscotch offers might make that time worth it.
- There is also a live-online workshop for game development on Hopscotch offered for $ 150. If you are concerned with your child’s disciplinary training then this is the best thing that could be offered in the world of learning to code for children.
Plans starting at $9.99/month or $79.99/year.
If you want to ease your child directly into the programming languages used in the market then Kodable is the right application for you to start your kids with.
This coding app is good at teaching complex programming concepts and procedures and driving them towards learning good coding.
Some of the languages that are offered in Kodable are Python, Java, HTML, and CSS. All of the mentioned programming languages are used professionally and it would give your child a good headstart when he comes to the age where he can begin to earn on his own.
Even without this aim in mind, learning a programming language at a young age gives a person deep insights into how the computer works. The computer is practically a contemporary necessity that cannot be ignored if one wants to survive.
Kodable is a complete package of all areas of computer science. It starts off from a really basic child-friendly approach towards increasingly complex concepts and areas in the study of computer science like robotics.
This is a full-fledged online school that also teaches life skills like emotional learning and communications.
This is for people who prefer homeschooling their child in the newest and exciting technologies produced by scientific advancements humanity has made.
- Over seventy courses as options to choose from with both on-screen and off-screen tools.
- Every lesson includes its own guidelines for instructions, vocabulary, and so on.
- You can pick and choose the level at which you wish to start learning computer science.
- Color coding, directional, rotational, and loop procedures are experienced by the character that passes through the lessons and represents the user themselves.
- Teacher mode in this application can help a teacher in their classes of computer sciences in many ways like creating online tutorials for them.
- Lessons containing the newest topics like robotics, digital citizenship, and so on are also part of the overall framework provided by the application.
- The application can get a little repetitive sometimes and might lead to boredom.
- Available on iPhone and iPad
- You can use Kodable to learn different areas of computer science at whichever stage of your life you are currently on. However, it is best used for children between the ages of five and eleven.
Kodable has 3 different plans:
- Monthly – $9.99/month
- Annual – $79.99/year
- Lifetime – $149.99 one-time payment
Thinkrolls Play & Code STEM is an award-winning coding and logic app for kids ages 3-8. Through the joy of play, kids hone their logic skills, build an early understanding of coding and develop a love of math and science.
Apple’s Editors Choice Thinkrolls Play & Code integrates a wealth of STEM concepts into a fascinating play experience. With thousands of logic puzzles, fun brain games, and unique math and coding activities, kids as young as three develop logical thinking and early coding skills.
With Thinkrolls Play & Code, your child will build problem-solving skills as they solve arcade-style coding puzzles and work through mazes, unlocking new challenges and quests along the way. With 3 levels of difficulty — Basic, Easy and Hard — kids of all ages experiment with physics concepts like force, acceleration, gravity, elasticity, and more.
The app also offers a unique coding platform, where kids can create their own logic puzzle games by dragging and dropping simple pre-coded objects. They can also share their masterpieces with the world and play games created by other kids through a safe, moderated community.
Through a fun, gamified experience your child will develop logical thinking, learn how to break down complex problems, understand sequencing and conditional logic, and practice spatial reasoning.
Perhaps more importantly, kids learn the importance of patience and working through problems thoughtfully as they make their way through the various challenges.
A great feature of this app is there are no lives to be lost or ‘game over’ scenarios. If a level isn’t solved, players can simply restart without any penalty. This approach is particularly beneficial for children who may find challenges in building resilience and confidence.
Thinkrolls is available for iOS devices at the App Store, so your child can enjoy this hands-on learning experience on iPhones and iPads.
- 100% ad-free
- Fun and engaging
- Builds critical thinking skills with thousands of fun, arcade-style games
- Kids create and share their own games with a moderated community
- Helps kids gain an early understanding of coding, math, and science
- Intuitive interface makes it easy for kids to play independently
Thinkrolls Play & Code STEM offers two different plans to choose from:
- Annual-$69.99/yr (about $6/mo)
Why Should You Teach Coding To Your Kids?
As an educator, I believe teaching kids to code has a ton of benefits even if they don’t pursue it as a career in the future:
- Kids can learn to think logically and systematically
- Kids can learn problem-solving skills
- Kids can get better at math and reading by learning coding
- Kids can learn how to be creative and innovative
Simply put, coding teaches kids lots of useful thinking skills and methods that prove really useful in the outside world.
Rest assured, your children are in good hands with all of the coding apps mentioned above and will learn quite a lot all while having fun along the way.
Learning coding can set your kids up for success now and in the future.
Not only is coding a great skill to have for the job market of the future, but coding games can also help kids in all other facets of life by fostering problem-solving skills and creativity.
With the best coding apps for kids, your little ones can start to master the basic skills of coding while having fun learning.
Remember, many of these kids coding apps offer free trials, so download a few of them and let your kids give them a try.
Have any questions about coding apps for kids? Make sure to drop a comment below so we can help you out.