Give the upstart kid in your life a gift from the future: the ability to code. Unlike toys they’ll grow tired of and clothes they’ll grow out of, a strong foundation in programming is something that could potentially change a child’s life for decades to come.
Coding can unlock creativity in new mediums and is an increasingly valuable professional skill, so it’s no surprise the market is flooded with products that make it fun for kids. This list has something for all ages.
Pump out the code. Amazon
A coding class and beat lab all in one. Kids use “coding blocks” to create musical beats and make them come alive.They also learn patterns and problem-solving in this great introduction to the concepts of coding. Ages 6-12.
Whooooooo’s ready to learn? Amazon
I haven’t looked to see if “Artie 3000” is an homage to Andre 3000, and I don’t plan to. Let’s just go with it. Artie offers a straightforward coding lesson with an IRL twist: You design code and send it to the avatar over Wi-Fi, and he designs it accordingly. A QuickStart guide and pre-programmed designs allow beginners to hit the ground running, and a suite of advanced applications will keep them busy even after they’ve gained experience. Computer or tablet required. Ages 7+.
Level-up your coding skills. Amazon
This story is peak gamified code mastery. Your young coder’s avatar goes on a crystal-seeking adventure, powered by programming logic. Learn skills such as loops and conditional branching to push through all 60 levels, each of which has only one solution. Ages 8+.
The first step toward blossoming into a code-knowing butterfly. Amazon
A simple introduction to logic-based coding, kids can “program” a path for the code-a-pillar simply by rearranging his segments. They’ll learn to send him in different directions by adjusting the sequence. Once they’ve mastered the commands, place the “Start” and “Finish” targets around the room and watch them use that knowledge to chart a course. Ages 3-6.
Chillingly educational. Amazon
For the kid who could use a nudge from intellectual property, there’s Kano’s Disney Frozen 2 coding kit. Learn programming with step-by-step lessons during a journeys that includes constructing Olaf, making fractals, and playing with all your favorite characters. But first build your sensor, which connects to iPads, Macs, Windows 10 devices, Fire tablets, and more. Ages 6+.