10 free coding games that teach programming skills

     

Here’s the cool thing about getting started with something new at a young age. If you’re a kid, anything you start sooner than later is only going to allow you maximum time to lớn practice & perfect whatever it is you’re diving into. 

But, if you’re a teen who is starting that same thing, và is perhaps a few years “behind” where a kid would be, there is still plenty of reason to get going. 

Meaning, while I wouldn’t purposely wait to chase a new passion just for the sake of waiting, if you have a teen who has to lớn push something off - or, as is the typically the case - they just don’t get exposed khổng lồ something until a later age, there are plenty of benefits & advantages to lớn waiting. 

For instance, with age comes experience. For kids, coding may seem extremely intangible, but teens typically have a lot more experience with the very things that coding powers - apps, clip games, websites - it’s a bit easier lớn understand just all that is capable with such related skills. 

Secondly, a teen who wants lớn dive into coding is typically more easily able lớn jump in & hit the ground running “right now.” This stems from being able to research & suggest opportunities to lớn parents rather than having to rely on the parent to find the opportunity & present it lớn the kid; or being able to follow friends who have already begun coding themselves.

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So, if you have a teen interested in coding, the time is now, and they’re in a very good position khổng lồ begin learning what coding is, improving coding skills, & then immediately putting those skills in motion.

Why teens should want khổng lồ learn to code

There are a number of reasons teens should be coding, some of which can start paying off immediately, while others hold their value for the long term. 

To fill a gap

School is required. School is valuable. But most schools also haven’t come around khổng lồ offering computer science courses. Unfortunately, though, coding is no longer a “nice to have” reserved as a selective skill for only the extremely dedicated lớn chase and learn on their own. It’s now something that is arguably more crucial khổng lồ a well-rounded education, since ideally, “education” exists khổng lồ prepare students for success in the real world. 

So, teens should seek out coding classes and learn to lớn code because the opportunity to vày so is not going to lớn come to lớn them in the traditional school setting. 

To get a leg up

If teens go out và seek to vì chưng something not available to most of their peers, they are going khổng lồ stand out when compared to lớn others. And one of the most important times that comparison happens is when it comes lớn college applications. 


I mean, any extracurricular is typically going to bolster a college application, as it shows a student is taking initiative khổng lồ take on more, and to develop alternative skills. But even beyond that, students who possess coding skills in particular can be reasoned lớn be logic-based problem solvers, or persistent & resilient challenge-tacklers who aren’t easily pushed off course by bugs or hurdles. 

The benefits only snowball from there—those who seek khổng lồ solve problems are often forced to lớn communicate & work with others, & then are able lớn lead and teach once tasks are mastered, và so on. 

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To secure a lucrative career

First comes the opportunity, then comes college, và then of course, the ultimate goal, a career that pays well, is enjoyable, & has a noticeable impact on the general public.

Coding can very much be that career! While it’s up to the coder to lớn decide whether or not coding is actually enjoyable và something they lượt thích doing, there isn’t any denying that a career rooted in coding is a lucrative one (the computer science major is one of the highest paying college majors available), và is something that is required và utilized throughout each và every day across the world.

In fact, there are a number of different coding languages that are used in order khổng lồ make all of these things a reality.

Coding languages for teens to lớn consider

Python

A great beginner’s language, teens can use Python to get their ideas up và running relatively quickly, given that Python requires fewer lines of code than other languages! Python is used by Google, Disney, other big brands, và can be utilized lớn develop đoạn phim games, numeric computing projects, & web frameworks. Python is also flexible enough for use in cybersecurity và AI!

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Beginners can expect khổng lồ get started creating something like a text-based game, two-dimensional game, cybersecurity program, or console application. 

Resources: Online python tutoring available nowLearn more: Python 101

JavaScript

Teens who are interested in website development and want to lớn create front-end applications should consider JavaScript. It’s popular, and native khổng lồ most web browsers, making it a very relevant và in-demand language when it comes to lớn creating interactive website apps. 

Quick fact: Netflix, PayPal, và a number of other recognizable web products lean on JavaScript (and the Node.js runtime environment, specifically). 

Start now: JavaScript Coding powered by MIT open Learning | Teen Tech

Read more: Web thiết kế for Kids

Java

While Java might be easily confused with JavaScript, each language offers vastly different approaches, & they are used to accomplish a variety of different tasks. Teens who are familiar with và want to create app android apps will need lớn learn Java, and the language is also great for those interested in creating game engines và large backend environments, as well as those wanting khổng lồ get into Minecraft modding. 

C#

If augmented reality is of interest, teens should consider diving into C#. By combining C# coding và Unity (the industry-standard trò chơi development engine), teens learn khổng lồ use next-level sending và imaging tech lớn create their own mobile games! 

Quick fact: Augmented reality is an interactive experience where digital objects are placed in a real-world environment in real-time. 

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C++

This is a versatile programming language that if mastered, will mở cửa the door to lớn complex problem solving & a true understanding of how programs work. Teens might be most familiar with C++ as the language that is used to lớn create computer applications. Thus, C++ is a time-intensive và complex language, but necessary for those interested in trò chơi programming. 

Teens ready to lớn get started can learn more about C++ tutoring. 

Hands-on coding tools for teens

With something new and seemingly complex lượt thích coding, it might be useful for teens to lớn get familiar with the tools and “toys” at their disposal, in order to make coding - và coding creations - more tangible.

micro:bit

The micro:bit is a small programmable computer more formally known as a microcontroller development board. It allows users to

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create awesome inventions. In addition lớn creating basic programs, teens can also use the device to develop games và solve real-world problems.

Xem thêm: Các Cách Đơn Giản Fix Lỗi Google Instant Không Khả Dụng, Linking To Google Play

Sphero RVR

The Sphero RVR allows teens the opportunity lớn jump into autonomous robotics (which refers khổng lồ robots that can be programmed to perform tasks on their own). The Sphero RVR is highly customizable & has many built-in sensors, a professional-level control system, & a powerful motor paired with all-terrain treads.

ProtoType HARP

Prototype HARP is an escape room style hardware game you have khổng lồ “hack” to solve using cryptography và critical thinking skills. (HARP stands for hardware alternate reality puzzle.)

Arduino

An Arduino is a microcontroller, perfect for prototyping, và popular among teens who want khổng lồ create new electronic devices và integrate sensors for something like an autonomous robot that understands and navigates its environment. 

VEX

VEX is a popular, exciting, robotics platform designed for teens khổng lồ build a wide variety of robots. Features includes sensors, which gather information for the robot, and motors, which allow users khổng lồ create moving parts, like wheels và claw arms. 

PyCharm
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PyCharm is an Integrated Development Environment or IDE. You can think of it as a notepad in which lớn write programs.

TensorFlow

TensorFlow is a Google-developed library that makes it easier to lớn create and train machine learning models & neural networks. 

Quick fact: Machine learning allows computers khổng lồ learn & improve at a given time with practice over time. Learn more about machine learning for kids. 

IntelliJ

To start writing and running code in Java, teens can use IntelliJ, which is also an integrated development environment.

Visual Studio

Speaking of IDEs, Visual Studio is Microsoft’s integrated development environment. Teens can use Visual Studio for computer program development, allowing them to lớn create websites as well as web & mobile apps.

MicroPython

As spelled out on micropython.org, “MicroPython is a lean và efficient implementation of the Python 3 programming language that includes a small subset of the Python standard library and is optimized khổng lồ run on microcontrollers & in constrained environments.”

For instance, out at our robotics summer camps, MicroPython is used with Arduino to lớn control the camera of an autonomous & self-driving robot, & sends information based on the camera readings to initiate commands in the Arduino programming language.

Coding project examples

When starting something new, a common piece of advice you’ll often receive is to go “step by step” or “one step at a time,” “walk before you run,” etc. 

It’s all true, & great advice. But it doesn’t mean you can’t look ahead or around you at the same time. A perfect time to do so is when figuring out an over goal. Why coding? What does your teen want to vị with it? What can they do with it?

So, here are a few example projects that combine a lot of what has already been explained above with languages and tools. 

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For instance, combining micro:bit và Javascript, teens can learn how to lớn program games và then play them on their own or with friends—something like a falling fruit catcher as shown here!

Speaking of games, any game player is familiar with the famous side-scroller, made popular by titles like Super Mario Bros., Double Dragon, and others. Và how about the endless runner? Sonic Dash and Super Mario Run are newer examples, made popular as thiết bị di động apps. With Java, 2 chiều jump physics, và more, teens can make their own side-scrolling endless runner!

Switching gears to Augmented reality, AR is an interactive experience where digital objects are placed in a real-world environment in real-time. Recently, Augmented Reality technology has boomed due lớn applications và games that have made it more accessible to everyone.

Teens interested in creating their own AR games with C# can look to lớn the massively-popular Pokémon Go for inspiration. Other AR phầm mềm examples include Snapchat’s filters, và visualization experiences lượt thích IKEA’s Place app, which allows shoppers to lớn virtually place furniture they’re considering in their homes (or, within/on top of photos of their homes) lớn see how it looks!

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And then how about a game built with machine learning? Experiments with Google is a rabbit hole of fun, và one of the things you might come across is this drawing trò chơi where a neural network guesses what you’re drawing. It’s pretty amazing how accurate the guesses are, even when you’re terrible at drawing lượt thích me!

Last, for a hands-on, competitive endeavor, how about a little battle bot action? With VEX Coding Studio và VEX C++ (the robotics coding language), teens can customize và wire a robot base, và then put it through user-piloted obstacle course challenges and mazes, or stacking & object-moving activities, và more. 

For teens, the time to code is now

Something can’t be called cliche if it’s accurate, that’s my rule. So, seriously, if teens want lớn be able lớn get all they can out of learning to lớn code, the time is now. Jumping in today will allow them khổng lồ reap maximum benefits from all that coding has to offer. 

And there is good news và bad news. The bad news is that opportunities to lớn learn to code aren’t just going to lớn fall into anyone’s lap. Teens who get up and go lớn school, then khổng lồ baseball practice, & then home every single day may not ever be exposed lớn a coding opportunity. 

The good news, though, is that opportunities are plentiful, but they need to actively searched for. Perhaps it’s an online coding course over the weekend, or a weeklong coding camp during the summer. You can even get the ball rolling by downloading a coding app, or watching a YouTube tutorial. 

Either way, best of luck! Here are a few additional resources to help your teen get started.

Online coding resources

In-person coding courses và programs

Online learning

Coding Blogs & Organizations

Coding Tools và Toys



Chuyên mục: Tin Tức