8 games and platforms that teach kids to program

15 noviembre 2018
8 games and platforms that teach kids to program
Our colleagues have prepared a special material for parents. Using these platforms, children can create their own worlds or games based on Star Wars or Minecraft.


The logo is one of the first programming languages ​​created for teaching children. It was developed in 1967 by Seymour Papert, and the scientist, Idit Harel. LOGO was the first programming language that used the “turtle graphics” method, which was later used for both educational purposes and in professional graphics. A user with the help of commands controls one or more turtles, which leave traces behind them. The goal is to set the commands so that the turtles create a pattern.

Windows has a free educational programming environment FMSLogo, which is widely used in schools in the UK and Australia. For Mac OS X there is a free ACSLogo program.


Scratch is a popular program for teaching programming to kids. It is translated into 50 languages. Scratch is based on the ideas of the Logo programming language and the Lego constructor. With it, you can create cartoons and 2D flash games. Ready-made characters are available in the menu, which can be edited. With the help of scripts presented in the form of a puzzle, you can program movements and speech, change appearance, reactions to user actions and other parameters. The current version is available online and uses the Adobe Flash Player (which is free).

“Scratch is perfect for teaching children, although in this environment you can write real programs, for example, the ones for managing robots. The official website says that the programming environment was created for children ages 8-16, but everyone can use it, including younger children with their parents”- Alizar blog on Habrahabr.ru


Cargo-Bot is the first game created entirely on an iPad. The objective is to program the crane so that it arranges the containers in the correct order. Instead of code, the game uses cubes with actions that need to be built in a special field in a certain order. Then the crane performs the specified actions. The goal is to complete the task using as few cubes as possible. The game is in English and designed for children age 11 and younger.


Code Builder allows you to write modifications for Minecraft, i.e. change the environment, time of day, set actions for characters, etc. Three editors are available in the menu - MakeCode (built-in), Scratch (as a web application), and Tynker (has a library of ready-made scripts). This application is part of the Minecraft Education program, so you must first register in the program, then download Minecraft Education Edition and Code Builder. It is a free demo version in English.


Blockly is Google's library that allows you to create web and Android applications from ready-made blocks. The developers have created a series of games for children which allows them to delve step-by-step into the basics of the library. Each game teaches individual principles, i.e. how to set the color, shape an object, set in motion, react to the movement of other objects, etc. The program consists of blocks responsible for the necessary functions. Then the user sees how it looks in JavaScript. Each game has 10 levels. For example, in Pond Tutor, after passing a level, it is asked to repeat the JavaScript program. The last Pond game is a battle between four ducks in a pond. The player’s task is to program their duck so that it reacts to other ducks, shoots them, and eventually wins.

“Blockly is perfect to start programming for even the youngest children because there is no need to read long tasks and instructions. While you try to help the yellow man find his way out of the labyrinth, in fact you are writing your first JavaScript code ", - Newtonew.com


Tynker is a gaming platform that allows you to program robots and create games and applications. It is also possible to create your own Minecraft mod. The child learns to program in blocks based on certain commands, then moves to JavaScript and Python. The platform is used in 60 thousand schools around the world. There are free features and a subscription that includes online courses, mobile courses, and other bonuses. It is available only in English.


Kodu is Microsoft's visual designer that allows you to create three-dimensional games. The user creates game worlds, and introduces characters and sets to the rules of interaction with other characters and objects. The program is distributed for free. It is available only in English.


Code.org is a non-profit organization whose goal is to teach children and students around the world to program. The project site has open access to lessons and courses on the basics of computer science and programming for children of preschool age and schoolchildren of different ages. It is possible to publish your code and projects for discussion and collaboration. Also, children can create Minecraft mods, games based on "Star Wars", "Cold Heart" and other cartoons. The project is supported by major technology companies such as Apple and Microsoft. Code.org also holds the annual Hour of Code, a short educational program about computer science designed to interest children and teenagers. Hour of Code has already been held in 180 countries.