Scott BowlerCo-founder ChooseHolly.com

What are some great (real world) products for kids to learn programming?

A school I know is interested in getting their kids programming by making objects in the real world do things. Budget is an issue. Age group is 5 - 12 year olds
Featured 
Your recommendation
🤓 Have a recommendation? Join to share.
21 recommended
  1. 93
    Arduino

    Build your own electronics

    Eshan SinghA young developer interested in AI. · Written
    Tried and tested method for getting kids excited about programming. I started programming with Arduinos when I was 9, and I've taught the basics to kids as young as 5. It's programmed in C++, but it's very easy to learn, with lots of good libraries available.
    CommentsShare
  2. 56
    Swift Playgrounds

    Learn serious code on your iPad in a seriously fun way

    My kids have used Tynker, Code.org, Kodable and many others. They consistently gravitate towards Swift Playgrounds.
    CommentsShare
  3. 43
    Microbit

    BBC's handheld, programmable computer given free to UK kids

    Very simple dev environment (web browser or smartphone): - Code visually using Blocks https://makecode.microbit.org/ (or write code using javascript, micropython, c/c++) - Download compiled binary file to computer - Upload binary file to the micro:bit (mounts on the computer as a USB drive) - Or do it all on a smartphone/tablet: write then send code to micro:bit using bluetooth Can start with just the built-in buttons, led matrix, accelerometer, compass. Then later buy more leds, buttons, servos, whatever as you need them from ebay/aliexpress. If you're in the US, Microcenter's (http://www.microcenter.com/) have a nice little DIY corner in their shops. I picked up a micro:bit go kit (includes short usb cable, battery, battery holder) for $12 this last weekend. Or buy online for $15 at https://www.adafruit.com/product... or https://www.sparkfun.com/product...
    CommentsShare
  4. When I was in high school, I spend hours on programming these things. It's great fun!
    CommentsShare
    LEGOS were my favorite toy growing up. Programmable ones sound even better!
    CommentsShare
  5. It offers a simple web-based visual programming platform to help kids to learn the essential concepts of programming without worrying about the complexity of syntax.
    CommentsShare
  6. Alexey ChernikovCEO at Twopeople Software · Written
    Robo Wunderkind lets your child to learn how to code in an easy, fun and interactive way by building real robots and coding them in an app.
    CommentsShare
  7. Thomas DIDIER6Marketing, Forest Admin 🌲 · Written
    Never tried (yet) but heard great reviews on Thingz products.
    CommentsShare
  8. There are a lot of different apps around the web. I can suggest to use https://weblium.com help if you want to make your working web site and to programm something interesting.
    CommentsShare
  9. Integration with Scratch, easy to use and program, with cool sensors to hack.
    CommentsShare
  10. It's free. A community that helps you learn to code, then get experience by contributing to open source projects used by nonprofits.
    CommentsShare
  11. Fun to play and it helps understanding loops and conditions.
    CommentsShare
  12. 3
    Bubble

    Build a fully functional web app without any code

    Emmanuel Straschnov made this product
    Bubble is the logic of programming without the tedious code syntax.
    CommentsShare
    • Keith CrosleyGRUPZ.com

      Look: There’s no platform that can enable someone with no freaking clue about how to build an app to magically build one... But boy does Bubble come close.

      I love visual/no-code/alterna-code environments and have worked on several of the most famous ones. Bubble is right up there.

      I feel like this tool‘s positioning (“you don’t have to be a coder”) belies its true strength. It‘s GRRRREAAAT for those who would rather NOT code most stuff.

      I do my best to help folks out in the forums at forum.bubble.is, but wish it had a StackExhange equivalent -- it’s that deep. Love it and wish it the best. You can build awesome stuff on Bubble, but (duh) prepare to learn some computer science In the process (this is a GOOD thing)...

    • An app that's more about doing something technically than paying any attention to the user or use-cases. Is just very impractical, with all the real-world features difficult to impossible. Just look at data-upload: https://forum.bubble.is/t/best-way-to-bulk-upload/1690

  13. Google designed a set of blocks that can be arranged to code almost anything.
    CommentsShare
  14. matt kocajDev on a mission to work for himself · Written
    Designed to be the most simple starting point for children. It's comprehensive and it was tested on the author's kid as he wrote it.
    CommentsShare
  15. Ali MirFounder, Hekob.com · Written
    Ali Mir made this product
    It lets your kids learn in real life - which is a lot more effective than learning online.
    CommentsShare
  16. Mingjie JiangHack Club Social Media / CodeDay DC Lead · Written
    Unlike Scratch, Construct actually features a lot of things that kids are going to see when they get into the real programming world. Objects, physics, events, methods and properties for each element. It is also more customizable than Scratch. It's fast to get started with, and students can make their very first game within minutes!
    CommentsShare
  17. Squeak is an implementation of Smalltalk and there's something called Etoys which is incredibly versatile and interactive: http://www.squeakland.org/ It's designed for kids to get started with programming and the Smalltalk language is beautiful.
    CommentsShare
  18. How to Design Programs is an amazing online book that uses a version of Scheme, a simple, small beautiful programming language designed specifically for cheating. The books takes you slowly in the path of learning real computer science with some pictures thrown in the middle to make it beautiful.
    CommentsShare
  19. Christian RodriguezCTI Coordinator, Wolfram Research · Written
    For your age group, I'd suggest this adventure: https://www.wolframcloud.com/obj... I started a programming club for middle schoolers in my town, (modeled like their AI League) and I've found AI Adventures to be helpful and easy to run through with my students. It's written like a script so you can walk through it and while at the same time the students are working off a blank notebook, programming and engaging in computational thinking... I'm a fan. We got a free year of the wolfram programming lab (extended capabilities over free version??), and a couple copies of a neat book to learn the language.
    CommentsShare