Does your child have an interest in learning how to code but don’t know where to begin? Then block coding for kids is the perfect way to start. Learning block coding helps kids to understand the basics of coding and how coding working before learning about text-based coding. Block coding is a simple and easy to understand coding language perfect for kids and any beginner who is interested in learning how to code.
But where do you start with the block coding? What are the websites and apps that teach block coding in an interactive learning environment. Read more to find the list of 8 free block-based coding websites and apps to get started with.
What is block coding?
Block coding converts text-based programming codes into block-based codes that one can drag and drop. Each block contains a part of a code. All these blocks, when combined, result in animation, graphics, or a game. This method of coding enables kids to understand programming with ease.
Block coding resembles real-life blocks in the way they are stacked together to get something meaningful in the end. These blocks can be moved around and manipulated by the kids in the way they want. This makes block-based coding the best starting point for kids, as young as 5 years old, to start learning how to code.
Free block coding websites for kids
There are both free and paid block coding websites for kids to learn block coding. A list of the top 7 free block coding websites is given below:
- Game Salad
- Game Maker Studio
- VEXcode VR
Scratch is an interactive platform where children can learn to code. They can also make stories, animation, and games on this paltform. It calls for the same drag-and-drop technique used by many software for coding. Children can also share their work on the platform for others to see. It is an easy first step towards programming for children.
2. Game Salad
Compatibility: Android, iOS, and Windows
It is a drag-and-drop coding platform that helps kids make their own games. Though it is more advanced than other block coding software, it is still used by many kids over the age of 12. It is used by many educational institutions to foster computational and creative skills among their student. The software needs to be accessed directly from the official website.
Free and paid
It is an online platform that uses drag-and-drop visual programming to design and play games. Game Maker is easy for beginners to grasp and get a hang of coding. The website is a good second step for kids who have already mastered block coding software like Scratch. The website also has video tutorials about how to code on the platform successfully.
This software can be accessed directly on the official website.
4. Scratch Jr
ScratchJr is an incredibly customizable software that uses drag-and-drop coding. It allows kids to create their animation and games easily. It helps hone one’s sequencing and numerical skill as well. It also allows children to record their own sounds for the games and upload images of their preference.
5. VEXcode VR
VEXcode VR attempts to teach real-life STEM concepts through easy block-based coding. The website provides an interactive and immersive experience to first-time coders. It ensures that the children are engaged throughout the learning process. It starts with block coding and transitions to Python with ease. It has two paid versions as well. VEXcode VR Enhanced has better graphics and accessibility. VECcoXe VR Premium can help learn AI, Data Science, and more! It can be accessed directly from the official website.
mBlock is a coding software exclusively for children. It supports both block-based and text-based coding. It has many projects within the software that the kids could learn to code with. Some of them include residential access control, smile test, face recognition system, and more! This app helps transition from block-based to Python coding quite easily. It can be downloaded on both Android and Apple devices.
Snap is a block coding language that can be freely accessed by coders. It is customizable extensively. One can customize the blocks, sprites, and more! Snap is also a community that lets you connect with fellow coders and share your work online. It helps children create interactive animations, games, and so on. It can help children develop computational and mathematical skills with ease. It can be directly accessed from the official website.
Blockly is a good software for children who are just venturing into coding. It involves block programming tools that children use to design games or solve puzzles. Each level presents a more complex challenge than the last. Children can use this tool without adult supervision due to its simplicity. It is available to download from the official website.
Benefits of learning block coding for kids
- Easy to grasp: Block coding makes it easier for children to understand the complex parts of coding. It eliminates the need to use text-based coding. So, it becomes simpler to perform programming for kids.
- Visually engaging: The blocks are similar to real-life playing blocks. They are a fun learning experience for the kids. Block coding thus ensures that kids enjoy their coding classes.
- Less tedious: Since syntax plays little to no role in block coding, there is lesser room to make errors. Rather than focusing on how codes are written, children get to learn how these codes function as a unit.
- Develop real-life skills: As the children learn about how codes function, they also develop computational skills, creativity, logical thinking, and problem-solving abilities. This can help them solve problems in real-life scenarios as well.
When did block-based software first came in?
In 2003, a software called Scratch was introduced by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Scratch was invented to help coders learn programming without difficulty. It later went on to become one of the most popular platforms in the world. Many children use Scratcher to learn block coding and create stories, graphics, and games.
In Scratch, a coder drags blocks and drops them in a sequence. Scratch uses different kinds of blocks for different functions. The “Look” block helps change the appearance of a character. The “Move” block helps move a character around. And the “Sound” block helps add and control the sound of the character. Like Scratch, numerous applications enable children to learn and practice block coding.
In this digital age, having the basic knowledge of coding and computational skills is not only an added advantage anymore but it is becoming a requirement for day-to-day activities in both personal and professional life. Starting the learning journey from an early age can become an added advantage for kids in their future.
But learning about might feel a bit intimidating to youngsters. Luckily there are a few beginner-friendly coding languages for kids to learn coding and free apps and websites to help them in learning the language in a fun and interactive learning environment. So, learning to code is no longer an intimidating and ardous task, it can be a fun activity that both challenges and nutures young minds.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
What is block coding?
Block coding converts text-based codes into block-based codes. This makes it easy to code in an easy and syntax-free manner.
Is block coding easy for kids?
Yes. Block-based coding is specifically designed for children. Block-based coding has made programming easy for kids.
What is the right age to start block coding?
The right age to start block coding is 4 years and above.
Are there any free block coding websites?
Yes. There are many free block coding websites. Some of them are Blockly, Scratch and Snap.
Can you create block coding games?
Yes, you can create games with block coding on Scratch, Blockly, GameBlox etc.
What are some of the block coding platforms?
Some of the block coding platforms are Scratch, ScratchJr, Blockly, Snap, mBlock, and many more!
What are some coding websites like Scratch?
Some coding websites like Scratch are Blockly, ScratchJr, and mBlock.
We hope this blog helped you to understand what is block coding, why is it the perfect coding language for kids to get started with and 8 free block-based coding websites and apps to create projects and learn. If this blog helped you and you want to earn more about other beginner-friendly coding languages, then read our blog on HTML coding for kids.