10 tools to teach kids the basics of programming (Part 2)

Ngoc Huynh

Kodable

Kodable is a free to use programming app for iPad. The tagline, “Learn to code before you know how to read” is embodied through their method of learning programming through a fun game. Kodable is specially designed for kids aged 5 years or above, so that they can learn programming by playing games with little instructions. Kodable has 3 levels of programming including K-2nd grade, 3rd – 5th grade and 6th – 12th grade.

Stencyl

Stencyl is fast, free and convenient. It allows you to develop games by using a drag and drop (block-snapping) interface, and no coding is required at all. If you do not want to use the block-snapping interface then you can type in code as well. Stencyl has extensive platform support and games developed on Stencyl can be played on Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, and Linux too.

RoboMind

RoboMind is a programming tool for kids which uses its own language called ROBO. It is a very simple language which does not require any previous knowledge of programming. The main objective of RoboMind is to move a virtual robot on a two-dimensional grid and perform simple tasks. By using RoboMind, your kids can learn the basics of artificial intelligence and later on even use it on real robotic kits such as LEGO Mindstorms NXT 2.0. RoboMind gives a 30 days free trial of their tools.

Etoys

Etoys is an easy to use programming tool that kids can use to create their own games, models and stories. An Etoys project can be developed by using graphics, animated objects, music, sound, scanned pictures and text. Etoys is free to use with a liberal license.

Waterbear

Waterbear is a convenient and free to use programming toolkit for kids which uses a drag and drop approach for programming purposes. Waterbear is a visual programming language which means there is no need to learn syntax to start programming with it. Kids can create a new file, look at examples of other creations and play around with the different features among other things. There are even descriptions for each element that are easy to follow as well.

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