20 teacher-approved coding apps for youths and youths in 2023

Programming is one of the indispensable skills for today’s children. Your generation will find more IT jobs than ever before. Getting them a head start early in life can put them on the right path to mastering the critical thinking, problem-solving, and analytical skills they need. These coding apps for kids and teens offer beginner and intermediate options, with many free or low-cost options for every type of student.

The simple gameplay style and engaging animation make this a real win for those new to coding basics, especially younger students. A school version is available that includes a teacher’s guide with an accompanying curriculum. (iPad; free with in-app purchases, school version $7.99)

In this beginner-friendly app, kids drag and drop programming blocks to create games. When they’re done, they can play the games alone or share them with the world! (iPad; free)

Designed for more experienced programmers, Codea allows you to create games and simulations through a touch-based interface. It is based on the Lua programming language and offers unlimited coding possibilities. (iPad; $14.99)

Kids use basic programming skills to drive their car around a race track. They gradually build their speed to win races without damaging their cars. There are more than 70 levels and two game modes, so this app will keep you busy for quite a while. (iOS, Android, and Kindle; 10 free levels, $2.99 ​​to unlock full version)

Code Land’s games range from simple fun for beginners to complex multiplayer options for advanced coders. The company strives to inspire underrepresented groups to learn to code and join the ever-growing field of computer science. (iPad, iPhone, and Android; subscriptions start at $4.99/month)

For kids who love video games (ie everyone!), codeSpark is perfect. Learners guide their characters through increasingly challenging levels by selecting the appropriate code. You have to think ahead and visualize the end result in your head to get it right. This one is designed for elementary school (no reading required), but older beginners will enjoy it too. (iPad, Android, and Kindle; free for public schools, $9.99/month for individuals)

Use a simple drag and drop interface to make Daisy the Dinosaur dance. Players learn the basics of objects, sequences, loops, and events by solving the challenges. Perfect for beginners. (iPad; free)

Teens who aren’t looking for fancy graphics or simple games can learn a lot from Encode. Learn Python, Javascript, and Swift with bite-sized explanations, coding challenges, and real-world examples to build your coding skills. (iPad and iPhone; free)

Kids will be surprised and excited to discover all the amazing things their iPad is capable of. With the programming skills they learn in the app, they can create anything from a kaleidoscope to a voice changer to a stop motion camera. (iPad; $3.99)

The Hopscotch suite of games and activities is designed for tweens and teens. They will learn to use code to create games, create animations, and even design their own apps or software. Play games designed by other kids and share your own creations too. They also offer free lesson plans for teachers to use along with the app. (iPad; subscriptions start at $7.99/month)

This is one of the top coding apps for the Pre-K age group. While the little animals from all over the world help solve puzzles, they also learn skills like pattern recognition, dissection and algorithms. All of this will serve them well when they are ready to move on to more advanced coding. (iPad and iPhone; First World is free, Second World $2.99)

If you’re looking for coding apps that will grow with your kids, Kodable is a great choice. From beginner games to more advanced lessons teaching javascript, this is an app they will use again and again as they develop their coding skills. (iPad; school and parent prices available)

This coding app has been around for a while, but it still makes the favorites list regularly. Children guide a robot to make tiles glow while learning about conditions, loops and procedures. It starts out easy for beginners but quickly builds up to build fairly advanced thinking. (iPad; $2.99)

Just like real turtles, this app takes things slowly. Kids will learn the Logo programming language, known for its turtle graphics. Step by step, they learn and build the skills they need to create their own programs from scratch. (iPhone and iPad; $3.99)

Learn and practice Python, HTML, CSS and JavaScript by creating a game step by step. This app is better for older learners who are confident readers, but they will still enjoy the playful lessons and activities. (iPhone and Android; subscriptions start at $9.99 per month)

Mature learners who are ready to dive deep into coding and coding will love this app. Content is presented in bite-sized lessons so you can move at a pace that’s comfortable for you. It teaches a variety of programming languages, and the courses available are broad and in-depth. (iPad and Android; monthly subscriptions start at $6.99)

Scratch Jr. is based on a popular children’s programming language developed by MIT called Scratch. The app is aimed at the younger audience who want to build the necessary basic skills. Once they master these skills, they’re ready to continue programming in Scratch itself. (iPad and Android tablets; free)

Mature independent learners will find much value in Sololearn. Learn Python, C++, JavaScript, Java, jQuery, Machine Learning, Data Science and more. You will receive a certificate for each completed course. (iPad and iPhone; free with in-app purchases)

Swift is Apple’s programming language that is used to create many of the world’s most popular apps. Kids and teens can learn this precious language with Swift Playgrounds, which offers activities for beginners and advanced learners alike. (iPad; free)

Tynker is one of the biggest names in coding for kids, and their coding apps are some of the most popular and popular out there. Their Tynker Junior app is for the K-2 age group, while Tynker itself offers games and classes for kids up to intermediate level. They also offer Mod Creator that teaches block coding for Minecraft. (iPad and Android; prices vary)

What are your favorite programming apps for kids and teens? Exchange ideas in the WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook.

Also, check out our favorite sites to teach coding to kids and teens.

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