When kids create, they are filled with a sense of pride and accomplishment. There are a bunch of ways to create, but we are particular fans of technology activity for kids, including learning to code!
These free kid-friendly coding websites will help your kids learn to code and help boost their creativity, confidence, and marketable skills as they enter college and a future career path.
Keep reading to find a list of helpful coding resources for kids from age 5 through high school that will help them master the basics of coding and expand their critical thinking, innovation, and problem-solving skills.
Don’t miss the complete list of STEM activities for kids!
Free Coding Websites for Kids
Use this guide as a jumping-off point for getting started with coding for kids. No need to spend money until you find out if your kids really love coding!
What is Coding?
Coding is the process of telling a computer what to do. Coding and programming are about the same thing. Completed computer instructions are called programs.
Coding is the language that the computer reads to perform the specifications of a program.
Coding is present in almost everything we own today. Even some clothing has programming involved!
There are a bunch of coding languages that kids can learn, but popular ones include C++ or C#, Stift, Python, Go, and Ruby.
There are dozens of programming languages, and each one is often used for a specific type of task, such as to program graphics or to run a database.
When children first start learning to code, they don’t always learn a “real” programming language right away, as the detailed work would frustrate a lot of kids.
Instead, many early programming websites use visual logic and programming tools to help children learn the process of coding.
As children progress, and if they are interested (you can’t force a kid to love programming!), then the actual lanaguage pieces are added.
Why Should Kids Learn to Code?
Not every child will love coding, and not every child should be required to learn programming.
Coding is a meticulous process and it takes a lot of patience and practice to get right.
However, the basics of computational thinking and logic are elements that every kid can benefit from.
In most early programming lessons, real programming and coding is not part of the process. Instead, kids learn how to find a solution to a problem using a set of sequential actions.
Doing this teaches kids logic, problem solving, perserverance, cause and effect, reasoning skills, and math.
Additionally, many of these coding game websites are fun, and allow for creative expression.
My eldest daughter used her coding time to create animated drawings. My middle daughter prefers to make cause and effect actions through her programs.
Both are valid expressions of computer coding.
15 Free Coding Games Websites for Kids
Here are some of our favorite free coding websites for kids. Each section is divided by age group.
Unless your child is particularly detail-oriented, they are unlikely to be ready for coding games until about age 7.
While there are some preschool coding games out there, I’ve found that most young kids get frustrated by the process.
If you do choose to do coding with preschool kids, look for non screen-based coding games.
Coding Resources for Kids
My First Coding BookLearning 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+Coding for Kids: Scratch: Learn Coding Skills, Create 10 Fun Games, and Master ScratchCoding for Kids: Python: Learn to Code with 50 Awesome Games and ActivitiesCode Your Own Games!: 20 Games to Create with ScratchThames & Kosmos Kids First Coding & Robotics | No App Needed | Grades K-2 | Intro to Sequences, Loops, Functions, Conditions, Events, Algorithms, Variables | Parents’ Choice Gold Award WinnerElenco Snap Circuits Jr. SC-100, BlackCoding Projects in Scratch: A Step-by-Step Visual Guide to Coding Your Own Animations, Games, Simulations, a (Computer Coding for Kids)Educational Insights Artie 3000 The Coding Robot: STEM Toy, Coding Robot for Kids 7+Ozobot Evo Starter Pack, Titanium BlackWooden Puzzles for Ozobot | Basic Set of 96 Pieces | Develops Creativity, Logical Thinking & Learns The Basics of Programming | for Children Aged 5 and More
Free Coding Websites for Elementary
Elementary kids will have fun with these coding websites.
To solve the level, the kids have to imput the correct coding sequences. The game gets more challenging as it progresses, and the learning is almost seamless.
In Stencyl, kids can make games without using real programming. The visual teaching tools offers a good plug-and-play system that younger kids love.
For kids who want to make a game, Stencyl is a great way to get started because it allows kids to start making a game right away rather than having to learn the boring side of coding first.
Code.org is one of the most popular free coding websites for kids. There are courses for kids as young as five and kids in college. First, the coding challenges are given using a visual block-based system, but as kids mature, there is an option to switch to text-based coding. Code.org is the only program on this list that meets ISTE requirements.
Kodable is a complete coding curriculum that can be used in the classroom or at home.
Scratch is one of my daughters’ favorite coding platforms. Kids don’t learn “real” coding lanaguages, but they do learn how to make logic chains and complete programming requests using the Scratch system.
Scratch can be used to make all sorts of things beyond what is typical for many of these coding games, and so it is hugely popular and has a thriving online community where kids can share their creations with one another.
Early elementary kids can also try Scratch Jr., which is even more simplified.
Free Coding Sites for Middle School
Middle school kids will enojy these coding websites.
In Tynker, the bright, colorful lessons keep kids engaged. Kids can use Tynker to make websites, games, apps, animations, and more. The system is perfect for middle school kids who are just getting into coding.
If your kids want to build their own apps, then App Inventor is for them. This app programming tutorial teaches middle school kids how to make apps for Android systems.
Middle schoolers who love video games will love GameBlox. In this website, kids can program games for websites or phones to play online and share with others.
You can either use existing templates or create a game from the ground up using real coding.
Free Coding Games for High School
High schoolers interested in coding will like these free coding websites for high school kids.
In Glitch high schoolers can make web apps. Glitch uses real developer tools, but in a more simplified manner.
Multiple people can work on projects together, making it ideal for team coding practice in high school.
One of the most attractive aspects of this system is that high schoolers can use the system to create a professional online portfolio for picking up clients.
In Code Wars, kids can work in teams to solve coding challenges. Each player is ranked based on their real-life coding knowledge and is tested and given a badge based on that knowledge.
The more challenges you complete, the better ranking kids get in the game.
Khan Academy aims to teach a professional working knowledge of programming, so lessons can get quite intense.
Kids are given video lessons, and then allowed to play around with the challenges until they understand it before moving on.
In CodinGame high schoolers compete in coding battles, build games together, and solve puzzels alone. Kids use real coding lanaguages to build games and play together.
Some working knowledge of coding knowledge before jumping in is recommended, but they do offer tutorials for learning as well.
What are your favorite free coding websites for kids?