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Best Programming Kits for Kids

Best Programming Kits for Kids
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In this post, I’d like to collect the best programming application for kids to learn how to code.  These applications are widely used in schools in the United States.  If you observe any other programs, please suggest in the ‘Comments’ and I will add them to the list.


Scratch is part of the core curriculum at my kids’ school in the United States.  It’s built by MIT.   Kids can have lots of fun with Scratch and the tool is very accessible.   Scratch also features a built-in kid-friendly social network that allows everyone to share and reuse projects.   Here are some books about Scratch.

Kodu Game Lab

Kodu lets kids create games on the PC and Xbox via a simple visual programming language. Kodu can be used to teach creativity, problem solving, storytelling, as well as programming. Anyone can use Kodu to make a game, young children as well as adults with no design or programming skills.  Teachers love how the visual programming style and debugging techniques are introduced in Kudo!   Schools are doing some amazing things with Kodu and the new computing curriculum.   Read more about Kodu School in UK.   Here is an amazing list of Kudo learning resources.


Tynker Online is an end-to-end solution to easily and successfully teach kids how to code, as they create games and animated projects. When kids get started with Tynker, they’ll

  • Learn to code using Tynker’s own visual programming language, featuring visual drag-n-drop logic blocks that eliminate the need to understand programming syntax.
  • Learn on their own with self-paced lessons and interactive tutorials are designed to build early confidence with programming, while guiding and inspiring them to advance their skills.
  • Get lifetime access to Tynker’s powerful yet easy-to-use Creativity Suite – including animation tools, art studio, visual programming tools, and a rich media library– engages kids’ creativity, and supports open ended opportunities for creating games and projects beyond the course.

When kids are ready, the solid foundation in programming acquired when building games and animations using Tynker, prepares them to learn any mainstream object-oriented programming language, like Javascript and Python.

JavaScript for Kids: A Playful Introduction to Programming

JavaScript is the programming language of the Internet, the secret sauce that makes the Web awesome, your favorite sites interactive, and online games fun!

JavaScript for Kids is a lighthearted introduction that teaches programming essentials through patient, step-by-step examples paired with funny illustrations. You’ll begin with the basics, like working with strings, arrays, and loops, and then move on to more advanced topics, like building interactivity with jQuery and drawing graphics with Canvas.

    I’m a Program Manager at Microsoft (MSFT), and a part-time computer science master student in University of Washington (UW).

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