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17 ways to get kids coding

My go-to solution? Toys, games, and other gifts that help kids learn coding. Kids love em, and Ive yet to get the dreaded parental stink-eye when theyre unwrapped.

7.Goldiebloxchanged the world of girls toys forever when they set out to disrupt the pink aisle dominated by dolls that dont even have posable arms. Driven to increase the number of women in STEM, Goldieblox toys cultivate creative thinking and problem solving as kids build machines using basic engineering principles.Best for girls ages: 4+

If you just want the list of coding games already,jump to the sections below. If youre up for a little sidebar on why you can feel good about them (not just this gift does no harm good, but this gift is legitimately, materially good good), meet me below this next headline

So instead of waiting around for formal programs to land in schools, a bunch of us parents at Atlassian decided to share our favorite games, toys, and books that help kids develop computer skills (and have a ton of fun in the process).

5.Developed by Apple based on their coding language, Swift,Swift Playgroundsis an app for iPad and iPhone that teaches kids to code in a fun way.Best for ages: 6+

1.With game-like tutorials for kids as young as is the best online tool for starting kids at an early age. is famous for their hour of code, which includes four free hour-long tutorials based on popular movies and characters from Star Wars, Frozen, Moana, and Minecraft. (Speaking of which, standing up a Minecraft server you can modify is a great way for technical parents to get their kids comfortable with the command line,as one of our staff recently discovered.)Best for ages: 4+

Coding is all about learning by doing. And the more kids feel like they can do computers, the more likely they are to pursue technical careers. Between coding games, toys, books, and online tutorials, there are loads of ways to help the special kiddo in your life start doing and learning.

What I want other parents to know about women in tech

Tech jobs are already the most sought-after in the world today, with companies offering eye-popping compensation packages to secure the best talent. And the opportunities just keep on growing. Little wonder that nine parents of out ten want computer science taught at their childs school.

On the go? You can listen to this blog, read by the author, using the player below.  Im a 16-year veteran of the tech world,…

The US Bureau of Labor and Statistics reports that by 2020,there will be 1.4 million jobs in computer science, but only 400,000 computer science graduates nationwide. The Obama White House even started programs to fill this education gap, with a Computer Science for All initiative that teaches more kids to learn how to code.

13.In theSuper Scratch Programming Adventure!workbook kids learn programming fundamentals as they make their very own playable video games.Best for ages: 8+

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12.Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Softwareilluminates the world of computer interfaces, hardware, and the internet through stories.Best for ages: 10+

14.Python for Kids: A Playful Introduction to Programmingis a kid-friendly approach to learning Python. The author writes in a fun style, highlighting code in colors, and including quizzes and exercises at the end of each chapter.Best for ages: 10+

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Growing the next generation of coders and computational thinkers

Star Wars Coding Projects Using Scratchis a guaranteed hit. Boys love Star Wars, girls love Star Wars, parents love Star Wars even more. This book guides kids through six projects where they build a spaceship and navigate their favorite characters through the depths of the galaxy using Scratchs drag n drop interface. May the Force be with you.

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15.Scratchis a programming language developed by MIT for young learners. On the Scratch website, kids use code blocks to create interactive stories, games, and animations. Its a great introduction to the logic aspect of programming. While it is used primarily by kids ages 8-16, younger kids can still learn a lot by playing with their parents, or by checking outScratchJr, an iPad version of scratch which doesnt require reading. And you dont have to be technical to get your kid started. They havegreat resources for parents! Scratch programming is also what is used by GooglesCS First program, a free training program offered by google in participation with schools.Best for ages: 5-7 (Scratch Jr), 8+ (Scratch)

In the new economy, computer science isnt an optional skill its a basic skill.   Barack Obama

6.Inform 7lets you use natural language to create interactive fiction one of the first forms of the modern video game. It doesnt involve code as heavily as the other programs, but it does develop some fundamentals of software development including defining features and interactions. For instance, you can create places and objects, describing it in simple language like, The farmhouse is east of the field so that when a user introduces a command to move east, they encounter the farmhouse.Best for ages: 9+

9.Lego Mindstormsshow how far these classic blocks have come. With Mindstorms, kids build and program robots that respond to commands on a smartphone app. And even though youre all grown up, we wont judge harshly if you cant resist the urge to build a robot or two of your own.Best for ages: 10+

3.Also based on Scratch from MIT,the Foosis an app that allows kids to interact with fun characters called Foos.Best for ages: 5+

Its a brave new world out there but at least preparing for it can still feel like childs play. For more on kids and coding, check out these posts from other Atlassians:


something educational, or something fun? As parents, relatives, and friends of people with children, we face this question every holiday season, birthday, etc. because no matter the occasion, were torn between pleasing the child and pleasing their parents.

When I grow up, I want to be a development lead?

2.Based on the Scratch language,Scratch Jris an iPad game for young kids that doesnt require reading.Best for ages: 5-7

17.GrokLearningis a series of online coding courses introducing students to Python 3. And for kids who like a little competition, they host online coding contests that take place across the globe.Best for ages: 13+

10.Lets Start Codingis more than a toy. Its a hands-on kit that uses real components like circuit boards and lights to help bring the magic of coding to life. It includes tutorials and instructions for over 20 projects ranging from beginner to advanced level.Best for ages: 8+

4.Robot Turtlesis actually a board game, but teaches the fundamentals of programming (without kids even knowing it!). It also happens to be the most widely backed board game in Kickstarter history.Best for ages: 3-8

This guest post was written by Vivek Ravisankar, CEO & Cofounder of HackerRank, a platform that helps programmers hone their skills and connect with companies….

Special thanks toNatalie Mendes, my partner-in-crime on this piece!


We all know computers have changed our world forever. But what we dont yet know is how (or whether) the inflow of new tech workers will keep pace with demand.

Dash and Dotare cute little blue robots that help kids learn the basics of robotics. Dash is a ready-to-go robot that responds to voice commands, can navigate objects, and can learn even more tricks that kids can program through the app. Dot is considered the brain of a robot, that kids can program directly to respond to commands.

And yet, computer science isnotpart of the required curriculum in US public schools. (And withPOTUS 45s general distaste for federal mandates in education, dont expect to see such requirements anytime soon.) In other words, its up to us adults to be the change we seek and make sure the kids we care about are exposed to computing. You can cultivate a childs interest in computing, even if youve never written a line of code yourself.


Its not quite what I had in mind when growing up, but right now my role title tells me I am a team lead. In…

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