Getting kids to be enthusiastic about their education can be a chore sometimes. If it isn’t ‘fun’, they simply don’t want to know.
Thankfully, there are ways of teaching which combine learning and entertainment – and, when it comes to coding, there are plenty of resources for this. Here’s a mix of online and board games that will inspire the next generation of developers to build their skills…
Right now, the program is only available through schools, but it’s worth checking out if you’re a teacher/want to encourage your school to teach valuable dev skills.
Gravity Maze might seem like more of an old school board game, but it has real utility where teaching programming is concerned. Though there is no actual coding involved, the process of the game encourages kids to apply logic, spatial reasoning and planning strategies – all of which are essential skills for developers.
What’s more: though this is marketed as a STEM game for children, it can actually be a fun challenge for adult players, too!
All the games on this list are stand-outs for one reason or another, but Coder Bunnyz is really something special. Its creator is Samaira Mehta, who came up with the concept when she was just seven years old.
“I’m really passionate about coding,” Mehta told CNBC earlier this year. “I want the kids to be the same way, because coding is the future and coding is what the world will depend on in the next 10 to 15 years. So if kids learn to code now, [when] they grow up they can think of coding maybe as a career option.”
The gameplay is similar to that of a traditional board game, just with more of a programmatic spin.
Code Master functions like any other simple adventure game, albeit one with more of a STEM focus. Here’s a quick explanation on how to play:
Developed by MIT, Scratch is more than just a game – it’s an entire interactive platform. Kids can create their own interactive stories, games, and animations using drag-and-drop commands, and the results are really something!
This may be a little advanced for first-time coders or younger kids, but, with a little time and patience, the platform can provide hours of entertainment.
Littlecodr began as a Kickstarter project a couple of years ago, and is now sold all over the world! It’s probably the most basic of the games on the list, and is very easy to get to grips with for young children.
Essentially, commands are given on cards, and the object of the game is to get another player (most likely mum or dad) to navigate a space
Lego of all sorts is great as an educational toy, but there are two sets in particular that are designed to help kids get to grips with coding. For younger learners, there’s the Duplo coding express. And for older kids, there’s this Star Wars set.
Like many of the others, these games do not actually use programming languages. They do, however, teach the principles of coding – and that’s the best place to start for little ones.
So, if you’ve got a budding coder on your hands, check out some of these games and activities to get them started.