Has your child ever said, “I want to make a video game!”
If they have, then it might be time to introduce them to technology activities for kids!
Coding doesn’t have to be scary or intimidating for kids. And it also doesn’t have to take a screen.
If your kids are interested in coding, or you want to develop a love of coding in your kids, try this list of screen-free coding games for kids!
Why Should Kids Learn to Code?
Right now, there is a lot of emphasis on STEM education and teaching math, science, and coding to kids.
These sorts of skills are in high-demand in new careers, and many jobs require a working knowledge of coding even in non-tech industries, like healthcare, finance, and real estate.
But even if your kids hate the idea of a STEM career, there is still a lot they can learn from coding.
Coding teaches a lot of important skills to kids, including:
- Critical thinking
- Fine motor skills
So regardless of whether your child plans to become a doctor or a construction worker, they can benefit from the skills that coding teaches throughout life.
How Do I Get My Child Interested in Coding?
Some kids are super into coding no matter what format, but others have to be coaxed a bit more.
For kids who may be a bit reluctant, introduce coding games that align with their current interests.
You can also find coding games with fun themes like fairy tales, dinosaurs, or roller coasters.
Here are some fun coding games that we’ve tried:
What are Coding Games?
Coding games are board games and card games that introduce coding concepts in a way that is fun for kids and easy for them to follow.
In a coding game, kids can learn some part of coding, like logic, how to write a program, or even some real-world coding language.
Using a game format makes the process a lot more fun for kids, and expands their knowledge to a new level.
Simple Coding Games for Kids
Thesea are some of our favorite screen-free coding games for kids!
Coder Bunnyz – The Most Comprehensive STEM Coding Board Game Ever! Learn All The Concepts You Ever Need in Computer Programming in a Fun Adventure. Featured at TIME, NBC, Sony, Google, Maker Faires!Osmo – Creative Starter Kit for iPad – Ages 5-10 – Creative Drawing & Problem Solving/Early Physics – STEM – (Osmo Base Included)Learning Resources Code & Go Robot Mouse Activity Set, 83 Pieces, Ages 4+ThinkFun Roller Coaster Challenge STEM Toy and Building Game for Boys and Girls Age 6 and Up – TOTY Game of the Year FinalistThinkFun Code Master Programming Logic Game and STEM Toy – Teaches Programming Skills Through Fun GameplayThinkFun Rush Hour Traffic Jam Brain Game and STEM Toy for Boys and Girls Age 8 and Up – Tons of Fun With Over 20 Awards Won, International Bestseller for Over 20 YearsElenco Teach Tech “Mech-5”, Programmable Mechanical Robot Coding Kit, STEM Building Toy for Kids 10+ThinkFun Robot Turtles STEM Toy and Coding Board Game for Preschoolers – Made Famous on Kickstarter, Teaches Programming Principles to PreschoolersThames & Kosmos Kids First Coding & Robotics | No App Needed | Grades K-2 | Intro to Sequences, Loops, Functions, Conditions, Events, Algorithms, Variables | Parents’ Choice Gold Award WinnerLearning Resources Code & Go Robot Mouse, Coding STEM Toy, 31 Piece Coding Set, Ages 4+Learning Resources Coding Critters Ranger & Zip, Toy of the Year Award Winner, Interactive STEM Coding Toy, Early Coding Toy for Kids, 22 Piece Set, Ages 4+ThinkFun Potato Pirates Coding Card Game and STEM Toy for Boys and Girls Age 7 and Up – A Fun Card Game of Potato WarFisher-Price Think & Learn Code-a-pillar Twist
Coding Games for Younger Kids
If you have little kids under seven, these screen-free coding games are perfect!
The youngest kids will love the Code-a-Pillar game (seriously, my 1 year-old loves hers!). Using the simple coding logic and twisting knobs, little kids can direct their Caterpillar to follow a specific path.
If your kids are obsessed with emojis, they will love the Coji robot. This robot is powered by app and illustrated with emojies. Some symbols will make the robot move, while others will make it play a song or make certain expressions.
This robot is the most basic form of if-then logic for coding from preschool through early elementary.
Young kids will love learning coding with this cute little mouse, and parents will love that it doesn’t take any computer or app at all!
Kids work to help a mouse travel through a maze. Kids can use pre-designed mazes or make their own. Best of all, kids don’t need to be able to read to play.
Cubetto is a wooden coding game. Kids control a robot by slipping wooden coding blocks into a board, which then directs the robot.
Like the coding mouse, there is no need for any screen support or reading skills.
Kids don’t have to program anything in this game as they are the program with this toy. Kids learn the basics of coding and if-then logic by using large mats with coding instructions.
The players have to follow the directions and actions on the cards.
I can’t get over how cute these little coding critters are. With these coding toys, kids can direct their little critter to play hide and seek, follow directions and more.
Screen-Free Coding Games for Older Kids
Older kids will have a blast playing with these screen-free coding games.
Code master is a classic coding board game for older kids.
In the game, kids must set up a program for their robot to follow that allows the player to collect all crystals on the board. Challenges get progressivly harder and help teach children the basics of programming logic in a fun way!
Potato pirates teach basic coding logic to kids in a fun way. Rather than writing out card rules like a traditional card game, the card rules are written using coding language, including if then statements.
Kids will have a blast with the fun game and may not even realize they are learning how to code at the same time.
Rush Hour is a classic logic game that’s been around for a long time.
In this game, kids push and pull cars to get a specific car out of gridlock. It takes patience and logic to complete the challenges that get harder as the game progresses.
This is a wonderful tool for building logic and patience needed to code.
In this game, kids design roller coasters using logic and engineering skills. If the kids don’t use the right logic when designing their roller coasters, they are dangerous and they can’t win the game.
Challenges get progressively harder as kids complete more design challenges.
What are your favorite coding games for kids?