Learning Made Fun: 17 Coding Activities for Kids Of All Ages

  • October 7, 2019

With so many advancements in technology, teaching your kids how to code is more valuable now than ever. It helps build their logic and problem-solving abilities while also giving them a creative outlet. Children who learn how to code will have more employment opportunities available to them as they get older, and since coding careers tend to have great earning potential, this is an excellent skill to focus on with your children. If you’re looking for ways to get your little one interested in coding, we’re sharing 17 coding activities for kids of all ages below!

What is Coding?

Coding is the process of writing a script in a language your computer can understand to create websites, apps, software, etc. Computers understand different programming languages, each of which are a set of syntax rules that dictate how a code should be formatted. Each coding or programming language has a different purpose. For example, Javascript is used to create websites.

As technology continues to advance, knowing how to create and execute codes will open up so many job opportunities to your child, and teach him or her valuable life skills along the way.

10 Coding Activities for Kids in Elementary School

The following 10 coding activities for kids are great for all ages, and most of them can be completed without a computer! The point of these activities is to establish the foundations of coding, and demonstrate how commands translate into action.

Unplugged Coding with Hotwheels | Teach Your Kids Code
This activity is designed for younger elementary children, and teaches concepts like algorithms, sequencing, and debugging. This is a two-player game – one person is the programmer and one is the robot – and it’s a fun way to teach kids how a programmer can use code to tell a robot how to move through a maze.

X Marks The Spot | All Done Monkey
This activity is also for younger children. It teaches them how to put a sequence into a specific order to reach a set goal. This activity breaks down a sequence into its smallest parts, just like you would when writing code for your computer.

Printable Binary Puzzles | Science Kiddo
Binary code is a series of 1s and 0s and the basis of all computer coding, and these printable binary puzzles offer another fun activity to get kids interested in the basics of coding.

Design A Maze | Our Family Code
If you’re looking for coding activities for kids that don’t require a computer, this is a great one to consider! Your kids will write a program to get through a maze with this activity, and then you can challenge them to explain the program in simple words to teach it to others.

Cup Stacking Algorithms | J Daniel 4’s Mom
This cup stacking algorithm activity is perfect for older elementary children. Kids will create a code – or design – along with the algorithm for this code. There are a lot of different ways to stack the cups and the worksheet included helps them record their work as they progress through this activity.

How to Survive as a Shark Game  | Life with Moore Babies
How about a super fun game about sharks? This is another way to learn about coding without a computer. It teaches kids logic and sequential thinking, and it’s also based on the popular children’s book, How to Survive As A Shark.

LEGO Coding Activities | Little Bins for Little Hands
LEGOs are the perfect toys for explaining coding to children. Every single block and color can represent a binary number, and it helps children begin to think of code as a different language.

Debug Coding Game | I Game Mom
Debugging is a very important part of coding. It means finding the part of a code that isn’t right and fixing it. This game helps older children find things that are not right and use problem-solving skills to fix them.

Coding a LEGO Maze | Research Parent
This is another unplugged activity that helps kids learn the concepts of sequences and algorithms with LEGOs. It’s incredibly fun and something the whole family can enjoy!

Egg Carton Coding Activity | Teach Your Kids Code
Did you know you can teach your kids coding with egg cartons?! Your child will create a large grid out of egg cartons in this activity and then try to get a LEGO mini-figure to the prize egg without hitting lava rocks along the way. You will help your child write a code that will, hopefully, lead the mini-figure directly to the prize egg. If your child runs into problems, just debug and try again!

7 Coding Activities for Kids in Middle School

Middle schoolers are ready for higher levels of thinking. By this age, they are able to understand how to write code in different programming languages, and they will be eager to dive into coding activities for kids that are more hands-on and have a bigger payoff. Check out these ideas for some inspiration!

Coding Online | Code.Org
One of the best places for middle schoolers to learn how to code is on code.org. Here they will learn what coding is, different coding languages, and they will have the opportunity to work their way through actual coding courses designed for their age and level.

Learn to Make a Website | Code Academy
Once your child has some basic coding knowledge under his or her belt, Code Academy can help them build their own website. With step-by-step instructions, this is a really fun way to actually see coding in action.

Learn Programming Languages | Tynker
By the time your child is in middle school, they are ready to begin learning about the different programming languages. Each language has a specific function, and on Tynker, your little one will learn how to put these languages into action.

Create Their Own Videogames | Game Star Mechanic
If your child has ever dreamt of creating their own video game, Game Star Mechanic will be a great resource to help make those dreams come true!

Program a Virtual Robot | Lightbot
Another function of coding is writing codes that robots obey. This happens every day in manufacturing plants, and on Lightbot, your middle schooler can actually write code and watch a virtual robot execute the code right in front of their eyes.

Code a Yeti to Dance | Made with Code
This is one of the coolest coding activities for kids, IMHO. Watch as your middle schooler animates his or her very own virtual yeti!

Code by Solving Problems | Play Code Monkey
Play Code Monkey is a game-based website that teaches code by solving problems. With games for all ages and skill levels, this a great resource for parents and teachers who are looking for coding activities for kids!

There are a ton of careers that require a knowledge of coding, programming, or software engineering. By engaging your child in coding activities for kids at a young age, you will foster a lifelong love of technology, creativity, and problem-solving.

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17 Coding Activities for Kids | If you’re looking for fun activities to help foster an interest in computer programming in your kids, we’re sharing 17 ideas to inspire you. With tons of unplugged activities to choose from, these STEM inspired ideas can be used in the classroom and at home to teach kids how to write binary code, how to debug code, how to program a robot, how to make their own video games, and how to build their own website! #codingactivitiesforkids #codinggames #codingforkids

And if you’re looking for more ways to have fun at home with your little ones, please follow our Kids board where we share all kinds of great ideas we find each day!

Tania is a freelance writer and blogger. As a type 7 enneagram, she is known as the life of the party, but on her nights off, she can be found with a good book and a glass of champagne, spending time with her one-year-old daughter and husband at a local park, or working on her DIY blog, Run to Radiance.