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5 apps to develop kids' coding skills

By Megan Rose

Coding is a subject that is becoming more and more popular in schools. So, here are 5 handy apps that will give kids a taster of what it involves, as well as encouraging them to develop valuable and transferable skills.

Kodable, 5+ Android and i0s, free
This award-winning app allows children to play a variety of games that are designed to teach the coding basics. From problem solving to sequencing, kids are able to cultivate useful skills through fun and engaging activities. Teachers and parents can also use Kodable to monitor children’s progress as well as using the activities at school. The app is free but does offer in-app purchases.

ScratchJr, 6+ Android and i0s, free
Widely used in many primary schools, Scratch teaches the fundamentals of coding by allowing kids to design and create their own story or game. As well as problem solving, the app encourages children to unleash their creativity. An app that challenges a child’s thinking skills as well as allowing them to use their imagination.

Tynker, 7+ Android and i0s, free
The companion app to the highly popular website, Tynker engages kids in all things coding. From building blocks through commands to playing story-based puzzles, children will quickly pick up basic programming skills. As well as this, Tynker provides explanations as users go along. While the basic version app is free, some games require in-app purchases.

Lightbot: Programming Puzzles, 9+ Android and i0s, £2.29
Lightbot provides games and puzzles to teach kids coding concepts. Children progress through levels which gradually become harder. Instructions are provided at the beginning of each level, allowing children to adapt their previously-acquired knowledge. Lightbot also offers a junior version of the app for 4-8 year olds.

Cargo-Bot, 10+ Android and i0s, free
Cargo-Bot provides challenging activities to whet children's appetites for what coding really involves. The majority of activities are based on simple coding concepts that get progressively difficult as they advance to each level. The app encourages kids to think logically, as well as considering alternative options for solving each activity.

Image: CC BY 2.0